By Madhusmita Bora
January 19, 2006
At four locations in Indianapolis, Roma Thadani plucks away on her American dream, seven days a week, one eyebrow at a time.
Thadani’s chain Eyes by India offers threading, a tradition of hair removal popular in her native India and the Middle East.
Armed with cotton strings, the 44-year-old and her 10 employees tame unruly eyebrow hair, giving male and female clients that perfect arch often associated with actors from Bollywood — the Indian film industry. They also clean upper lips, foreheads and cheeks, and occasionally shape a beard for a male customer.
Although popular in New York City and California, the art of removing unwanted hair by twirling and twisting a thread around it is a recent phenomenon in the Hoosier heartland. But it’s definitely catching on in retail locations that include malls and ethnic grocery stores, challenging the domain of spas and salons that offer waxing.
Hair removal — including threading parlors and products — is now a multibillion-dollar- a-year business, estimates Andrea James, owner of hairfacts.com, a consumer-oriented Web site.