The Real Story Behind Lip Threading And What It Does For You

Lip filler has soared in popularity over the last decade, with Kylie Jenner giving the trend an extra boost when she revealed to the world that she'd had her lips plumped in 2015. In fact, it has even become so popular that it is estimated that a total of 2.1 million people underwent the procedure in 2018. While lip filler remains vastly popular, new lip-enhancing techniques are gaining traction in the beauty world.


One trend that has been increasing in popularity is a procedure known as lip threading. Despite being around for quite some time, the cosmetic procedure has only begun to re-surge in recent years. Much like lip filler, many individuals are attracted to the procedure with promises of fuller and bigger-looking lips. However, can this be achieved? We'll take a closer look at what you can expect, and the truth behind using cosmetic threads to alter the shape of your lips.  

What is lip threading?

Despite being closely compared to lip fillers, these two procedures actually have quite different outcomes. So, what is lip threading all about? Put in simple terms, lip threading is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the natural look of your lips by using small, dissolvable threads made from poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), to lift and tighten them. These small threads are inserted through the skin around the edges of your lips, typically through a small tube by the individual administering the procedure, per WebMD.


When it comes to lip threading, they differ quite drastically from lip fillers. While lip fillers involve the use of hyaluronic acid to add volume to the lips, threading is used to create a more subtle lift using only a thread. The benefits between the two differ, and you cannot expect to see the same results from threading as you would with lip filler. So, what can you expect to see from undergoing lip threading?

Lip threading can add more definition to your lips

So, what effects does lip threading have on your lips? As a result of using cosmetic threads, one benefit you can expect to see is added definition to your lips. This is because the threads enhance your cupids bow on your top lip, allowing for a more refined look that is minimally invasive compared to other surgeries available. As your lips have been lifted and tightened, this will help to give you the appearance of having fuller lips — one of the main reasons that it's commonly compared to lip filler.


This added lip definition is likely better suited for those who want to create a more natural appearance. The result will be subtle, meaning that many people around you probably won't even realize that you've undergone lip threading. However, there are still plenty of other factors to consider while making a decision. So, what else can you expect to see?

It helps lessen the appearance of fine lines

In addition to adding definition, lip threading may also help to lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, per Healthline. Of course, this is due to the tightening and lifting effects of the threads that sit around the edges of your lips, which help to smooth your skin out. As a result, you may notice improvements in the skin surrounding your mouth. While it may not remove lines completely, it should help to dampen their appearance.


Often, these lines can also be corrected via other methods, including chemical peels, filler, botox, and even micro-needling. All these procedures can help smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. However, it is essential to note that you should always consult a professional, and do your due diligence when researching potential side effects. The more research you do, the better prepared you'll be.

Lip threading can potentially cause internal scarring

Lip threading can help to add definition to your lips and even reduce the appearance of wrinkles. However, that's where the benefits seem to end. If you're considering lip threading, there are other important factors that you should be aware of regarding the highly-discussed procedure.


One concern with lip threading is that it can cause permanent internal scarring, otherwise known as fibrosis, notes leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Dr. Talei. He also explains that the procedure can even lead to lopsided lips (via Beverly Hills Center), a result that many clients understandably find problematic and undesirable. The uneven effect is often a direct result of the threads being inserted around your lips. In fact, Talei even recommends avoiding the procedure altogether, suggesting that it has "no benefits" and is "problematic."

While the dissolvable threads used are usually the cause of the internal scarring, the lopsided effect is typically a result of the procedure being administered incorrectly by the individual performing it. When they are not placed correctly, this can give the appearance of wonky lips.


It's not reversible

Despite being touted as a great alternative to lip filler, there are other effects that you need to be aware of. One important factor to note is that lip threading is not reversible, meaning that once the procedure is complete, there is no reversing it or going back. Once it's done, it's done. If you don't like the results, you simply have to be patient and let the effects wear off.


In addition to not being reversible, other downsides include being able to see visible thread marks. For others, it could also be considered a costly procedure. Side effects may include minor sensations, including swelling and even a feeling of slight tugging in the lip area. However, these are not permanent and should disappear in a relatively short period of time.

It should only be performed by a certified surgeon

If you want to undergo a lip threading procedure, you should ensure that it is only performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. If an individual has this title, it means that they meet the strict national standards for their work and will have received the correct training. While it may be more pricey, it will help to minimize your risk of any potential side effects and ensure that you receive the correct advice and care on the day of your treatment. All of these factors are incredibly important for your own safety and health.


Going to a beauty practitioner or salon may increase your risk of experiencing side effects such as lopsided lips and internal scarring, as they will not be as experienced as a board-certified plastic surgeon. They will likely have fewer certifications too, which means they will not be as qualified as those who have been certified. If you want the appearance of fuller lips without undergoing a cosmetic procedure, you can try the very simple trick of overlining your lips. This trick is simple, easy, and fast. It's always a great option for a night out!