What is threading?
‘Threading’ hair removal is on the increase in the UK and is now very popular for facial hair removal both at home and in clinics. It has been practiced in the Middle East for centuries and provides a safe and effective method for facial hair removal. So how does ‘threading’ compare to laser hair removal? And which is the right choice for you? Well, as you can expect, there are pros and cons with each:
Threading Hair Removal – the lowdown
Threading can be used on all skin types and hair colours and is even appropriate for sensitive skins. It tends to be used only for facial hair however whereas laser hair removal can be performed anywhere on the body. Whilst it is possible to perform threading at home, some people may find it more difficult than waxing or tweezing as it requires mastering a specific technique which some people may find difficult or fiddly.
The threading method involves using a piece of thin cotton thread which is twisted tightly and moved backwards and forwards in order to pull hairs out at the root. When done correctly it can be a very precise method of hair removal making it very suitable for shaping eyebrows for instance.
The main advantages of threading hair removal is that it is cheap, low risk and comfortable compared to waxing and tweezing. The main disadvantage however is that like all non-laser methods of hair removal, it isn’t permanent. You can expect to remain hair free for as long as you would do if waxing or tweezing. It also doesn’t tend to be an option for hair removal on the body.
Laser Hair Removal – the lowdown
Laser hair removal is often thought of as a fairly new method of removing unwanted body hair, but it has been around now for about 15 years. The very first laser hair removal system was called the ‘Ruby’ laser, which although effective, had unwanted side effects like intense heating of the skin, requiring a lot of pre-cooling. However technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last 15 years and now it’s all about fast results, with minimal side effects. As lasers and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)’s have evolved so too has the influx of cheap lasers and IPLs, not only from the UK but also from China. It is very important therefore to insist on knowing whether your laser is beauty grade, or medical grade.
The power of light:
Lasers and IPLs work by targeting melanin (pigment) in the hair. It uses the pigment to travel down the hair shaft where it disables it at the root. It does this by heating the root to approximately 70 degrees for a split second. This not only destroys the hair bulb itself, but the stem cells lining the hair shaft meaning that hair follicle will never produce again. Several laser hair removal treatments are required (generally between 6-8 sessions) approximately every 6 weeks, although this can vary depending on where on the body the hair is being treated.
I often get asked at my laser clinic in Bournemouth whether laser hair removal is permanent. The truth is, it’s as permanent for as long as we’ve had the technology, which is currently around 15 years. As I tell my clients at the Bournemouth clinic, at the end of the day, we haven’t yet been able to laser someone when they’re 20 years old, and looked at their bikini when they’re 80 years old. But if you can provide laser hair removal that’s permanent for 15 years, I’d say that’s as permanent as you’re going to get.
The only other method of permanent hair removal is electrolysis. However this has been shown to be not as effective as laser hair removal. It also takes an incredibly long time to do as it’s only possible to treat one hair at a time. Whilst it is feasible to treat facial hair, it makes it an unattractive option for larger areas like legs and backs.
There is no doubt that the biggest advantage of laser hair removal is that it is permanent. It’s also quick and not limited to facial hair. Indeed it is suitable for all skin types and most hair colours, even dark blonde. It is important however to always check with your laser technician that you are a suitable candidate for laser hair removal and that they have a laser powerful enough to deliver results for your hair type.
The Solutions: laser or threading – which hair removal method is most appropriate for you?
The most important factors likely to influence your decision will come down to body area to be treated, and length of hair free results. If permanent hair removal is what you’re after, then laser hair removal is your only option. In Bournemouth laser hair removal for facial hair proves to be more popular than threading, partly due to a lack of threading practitioners, but also due to the fact that threading does not provide permanent hair removal.
Cost – Whilst laser hair removal is definitely more expensive initially than any other form of hair removal, including threading, it is nonetheless cheaper in the long run compared to a lifetime of paying for non permanent hair removal methods.
Length of hair free period – If the length of your hair free period is the most important issue for you then laser hair removal wins hands down.
Treatment areas – whilst facial laser hair removal is very popular at my laser clinic Bournemouth, there is no doubt that for actual shaping of the eyebrow, threading is the better bet. Whilst it is possible to remove excess eyebrow hair laser will never be able to get that perfect shape as threading would do. On the other hand, any other body area, including the face would be better off treated with laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment.
Hair and skin types: clients with white, grey, very blonde or red hair in general will be more suited to threading. However if a clinic has more than one laser or IPL for any given treatment, chances are they will be able to treat all skin types and most hair types. Beware of beauty clinics operating small IPLs, claiming to be able to treat all skin types. Dark skin types should never be treated with an IPL as the risk of laser burns is high.
At my laser clinic Bournemouth we have a range of medical grade lasers and Intense Pulsed Light systems meaning we can treat clients with whichever laser hair removal system is most appropriate for them, not because it is the only system we happen to have.
– how many lasers and IPLs a clinic has for hair removal (if this is your chosen treatment)
– Are the medical grade? (the term medical grade is often misused by clinics, so always ask which hospitals currently use their laser)
– Qualifications: always ask what laser qualifications they hold and how long it took to obtain them. Most clinics receive only manufacturer training which lasts between a few hours and 2 days at most.
At Laser Skin Solutions, Laser Clinic Bournemouth we operate medical grade lasers and IPLs and insist on laser technicians obtaining the BTEC Laser & Light technologies, currently the highest national qualification available.
We also offer a promise locally meaning you will get the best deal. For details please click on the link below:
For your FREE, no obligation consultation, please call the clinic on
01202 29 69 69