What Are Thread Lifts And Why Are So Many Orange County Housewives Getting Them?

Shannon Storms Beador, Kelly Dodd, and Braunwyn Windham-Burke have all tried this non-invasive treatment — and some of them are going back for more.

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There are three things we can always expect from The Real Housewives of Orange County reunions: fabulous fashions, drama, and some beauty talk. The OC ‘Wives are constantly at the forefront of testing the latest cosmetic treatments, and at the Season 15 reunion, they brought yet another intriguing procedure to our attention. 

In the exclusive Bravo Insider clip above, which shares a first look at the sit-down, Kelly Dodd dished on the first beauty treatment she got when personal care businesses reopened after COVID-19 safety measures earlier this year.

"I got threads done," Kelly revealed referring to a thread lift. The mom shared that she got three threads added to one side of her face and two on the other side. “I could’ve gotten more I think, but I didn't want to be pulled back too much,” she explained. 

When Andy Cohen asked if anyone else had tried the procedure, both Braunwyn Windham-Burke and Shannon Storms Beador admitted they did.

“I only did like one or two,” Braunwyn shared. She added, "If you’re like in your 40s and you’re not ready for a facelift, it’s a good in between.”

Shannon also revealed that she’s tried a couple of thread lifts and plans to do a bigger version of it in January "because I have jowls."

So what exactly is this procedure the ‘Wives seems to be loving? "You can think of it as a non-surgical facelift," shared Dr. Jennifer Armstrong, MD, who performed a lower face and jowl thread lift on Braunwyn last November.

The procedure is done under local anesthesia. Once the area is numb, a needle is used to create a portal to insert suspension threads that will pull and lift the skin. The threads then dissolve over time. 

As Dr. Armstrong explained, there are many different threads on the market. "Our threads are made out of PLLA (polylactic acid), and what polylactic acid does is it promotes collagen production," Armstrong shared. “So, you get the initial physical lift from the suspension threads, and then as they dissolve, it builds up your natural collagen to hold that lift.”

Unlike a traditional surgical facelift, there’s no incision, no scar, and little downtime. Armstrong shared that some patients may feel some soreness for up to 14 days. However, the results are instant. 

Another major difference between a traditional facelift and a thread lift is that the latter is not permanent. How long the threads actually last can vary depending on the doctor performing the procedure. Dr. Armstrong's patients can expect their threads to dissolve within two years. 

With an average cost of $5,000 for a full face thread lift compared to the estimated $7,000 to $12,000 needed for a surgical facelift, the treatment might also serve as a more cost-effective alternative. 

Armstrong’s most important tip: "Go to someone with experience."

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Want more The Real Housewives of Orange County? New episodes air every Wednesday at 9/8c or catch up on this season through the Bravo app.

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