If you don't like the wax on, wax off method of removing unwanted hair, you might want to try the new threading shop co-owned by James and Syamala Garnham.

Asian Eyebrow Threading, LLC opened in June 2009 inside Foothills Mall, 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd. Syamala worked her threading magic at a kiosk in the mall for about a month before the couple signed the lease on the small shop.

"Customers are very happy with this place," said Syamala, 39.

"It's the kind of thing that when one person does it, they tell all of their friends," said James, 50.

Syamala is from India, where threading is common. She and James, who is American, met through an Indian matrimonial Web site in 2005.

"He wants to marry an Indian lady. He likes Indian culture. In 2006, he came to India to meet my family," Syamala said. "On Sept. 23, 2007, I came here (the United States). On Nov. 17, we were married."

At the time, James lived in a Detroit suburb and worked as an automotive designer.

"She asked me for a couple of grand (to start a business) and I thought, it's not a good time to start a business. She tripled the family income," Garnham said.

"I learned this (threading) when I was 15 years old," Syamala said. "In India, this is common. We never wax the face, arms or legs."

After Garnham was laid off earlier this year, the couple moved to Tucson. Garnham said they visited his brother in Phoenix and liked Arizona. But Phoenix did not work out and they moved to Tucson. The couple recently hired a cosmetologist to offer makeup application and eyelash extensions.

Mary Sekich, 77, was in the shop on a recent Thursday afternoon with her daughter, Kathleen Sekich. "I really recommend this to anybody," Mary said.

"It's more natural," said Kathleen, 52. "It lasts longer. I'll come back."

Elisabeth Cichocki, 50, had her eyebrows shaped.

Cichocki is from Poland and explained that, like in India, this method of hair removal is common in her native country.

"It wasn't painful at all," she said. "It's easy and quick."

Demystifying threading

Threading is such a practiced art, and one done so quickly, it's difficult to describe even after you've seen it or had it done.

Here's what happens:

Syamala Garnham dabs the client's eyebrows — or whatever facial hair they want removed — with a cotton ball dusted with baby powder and prepares a piece of cotton thread. She places the end of the thread in her mouth and twists it several times, making a loop at one end. She positions the twisted end over a line of unwanted hair and with an almost scissor-like motion, quickly removes the hair.

A piece of thread in expert hands

What: Asian Eyebrow Threading LLC.

Where: 7401 N. La Cholla Blvd.

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Phone: 219-4876.

Prices: Eyebrows, $10; upper lip, $7; $25 full face.

Contact news assistant Joyce Bertschy at 434-4076 or bertschy@azstarnet.com.