Threading is one of the newest western trends in professional hair removal, but it's been a common practice in Middle Eastern cultures for dozens of years. Threading safely removes unwanted facial hair using just a bit of cotton thread. But is threading more effective or longer lasting than laser hair removal? As one of the most popular hair removal methods used today, laser hair removal is known for its ability to remove hair on a variety of body areas with long-lasting results. So what's the difference between the two techniques? Which hair removal treatment is the right choice for you?
The threading method of hair removal is widely considered to be appropriate for sensitive skin, effective on all hair types, and is said to be less painful than waxing or tweezing. Threading is mainly used to remove unwanted facial hair rather than body hair, and its specialized technique makes it difficult to perform on yourself at home.
For the treatment, a very thin cotton thread or sewing thread is twisted tightly and manipulated back and forth to pull hairs out at the root. The threading technician will loop the thread between both hands and create twists in the thread's middle portion. Then, the thread is placed on the skin's surface and quickly worked back and forth to remove hairs in a line. For this reason, threading can be very good at removing hair in areas where precision is required, like the eyebrows.
Pros of threading hair removal include its low cost, low risk, painless reputation, and the treatment's speed and convenience. Cons of threading hair removal are that results only last about as long as tweezing, it can cause redness and itching, or possibly folliculitis, and it can be difficult to find a professional threading provider in certain areas. Threading is also typically not offered as a body hair removal treatment.
Laser hair removal has been a popular cosmetic hair removal procedure in the U.S. for years. With its ability to remove unwanted hair for a variety of patients, and on virtually any area of the body, laser hair removal is commonly used by both men and women.
With the benefit of today's advanced laser technologies, professional laser hair removal disables unwanted hair at the follicle through the use of heat and light energy. A laser hair removal provider will target hairs underneath the skin one at a time, while the laser's energy locks onto hair pigments and then destroys the hair shaft. Depending on the patient, several treatment sessions may be required to achieve their best hair-free results, which can last anywhere from six months to two years depending on the number of treatments received.
The biggest benefit of laser hair removal treatments is the incredibly long-lasting results, which surpass the majority of today's hair removal options, including tweezing, shaving, waxing, depilatories, threading and sugaring. The only hair removal technique that boasts longer results than laser hair removal is electrolysis; but even electrolysis has its downsides and side effects to be wary of.
For some patients, the biggest downsides of using laser treatments are the cost and the occasional inconsistencies when treating certain skin and hair types. The good news is that today's range of hair removal lasers are equipped to remove hair for most skin and hair types; just be sure to check with your hair removal provider about the type of laser they use, and whether or not you are a candidate for laser hair removal at their clinic. Many laser hair removal patients also have questions about the pain factor involved with laser hair removal. This will vary from patient to patient, but the sensation is often likened to a rubber band lightly snapping the skin.
Your decision to choose threading hair removal or laser hair removal will likely come down to your needs concerning cost, length of results, area of treatment, and the type and condition of your hair and skin.
Cost - Per treatment, the cost of laser hair removal is definitely more than the cost of threading hair removal. However, the total number of required treatments per year is much greater with threading. In other words, the cost difference between the treatments is greatly diminished when you're realistically considering your hair removal treatment needs over a greater period of time.
Length of results - If the length of results is your chief concern, then laser hair removal has threading beat hands down. Some laser hair removal clinics even guarantee patients will experience no regrowth for up to two years after completing six hair removal sessions.
Treatment areas - Hair removal patients who are looking for a fast eyebrow shaping treatment may be very satisfied with the threading technique. For patients who want long-term hair removal for all treatment areas on the face and body, laser hair removal will usually be the better bet. Most threading hair removal providers will only treat facial hair.
Skin and hair type - Patients with lighter hair and dark skin, or incredibly fair hair in general, may find facial hair threading more of a convenient, sure-thing. While laser hair removal for dark skin and light hair types is offered, these treatments require specific lasers to be used, and the length of results is more subject to variation. Dark-skinned and/or light-haired laser hair removal patients may require more treatments to achieve their ideal results than will patients with dark hair and light skin. Check with your local hair removal provider to see if they carry a laser to treat your specific skin and hair type before seeking treatment.