Chinatown merchant offers ancient-style hair removal in Pattaya


South Pattaya shoppers and tourists were given a taste of Eastern cosmetology when a Bangkok Chinatown shopowner set up a booth offering cheap “threading” hair removal.

Called “mang ming” in Thai, threading is an ancient method of hair removal originating in China, India and the Arab world that uses thin cotton threads as an alternative to waxing or tweezing to thin eyebrows and remove unwanted facial hair.

Laddawan Saeyuang works her “mang ming” hair removal system on a customer.Laddawan Saeyuang works her “mang ming” hair removal system on a customer.

Laddawan Saeyuang, a 39-year-old Chinese-Thai businesswoman in Bangkok’s Yaowarat district, garnered a long line of Thai and tourist customers at her booth at a South Pattaya market March 15. Charging 100 baht for 20 minutes, Laddawan doubled and twisted the thread before rolling it over areas of unwanted hair, plucking it at the follicle. Powder is used to smooth the process.

Advocates say threading provides more precise control in shaping eyebrows and is more gentle on the skin than waxing or tweezing. But because several hairs are removed at once, it can be painful if done by unpracticed hands.

Laddawan said threading has been passed down through her family in Chinatown and family members tend to each other’s hair removal. Not limiting herself to eyebrows, she rolls the string all over the face, starting at the forehead. Laddawan said she thinks the process stimulates hair follicles, creates a whiter face and improves circulation.

Customer Pisamai Inhom said she felt only a little pain, but that afterward her face felt smoother. If Laddawan is still working when she returns to the market, Pisamai said, she’d certainly have another treatment.