Dermaplaning vs Shaving, What’s the Difference?

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Dermaplaning Vs Shaving, what’s the difference? At the end of the day, dermaplaning is essentially just a fancy word for face shaving, with a few notable differences.

First of all, it’s a lot easier to market salon treatments and products for “dermaplaning” to women as it is for “face shaving”. Face shaving is, after all, something that only guys are supposed to do, right? Women aren’t supposed to shave their faces, are they?

Well, the truth of the matter is, face shaving is not that uncommon. Facial hair can grow darker or longer on some women than others, depending on ethnicity, genetics, body chemistry, and hormone levels.

Facial hair can also grow differently in different areas. A woman may have more noticeable facial hair on the upper lip, the chin, or the sides of the face.

So it’s no wonder that ‘dermaplaning’ is an incredibly popular trend at the moment. It’s become a means of getting rid of unwanted facial hair without the negative stigma of face shaving as being non-feminine.

While dermaplaning has basically become “the new shave”, it also has some key differences and advantages over shaving.

In this article, we are going to look at dermaplaning vs shaving, the differences between them and answer a few frequently asked questions along the way.


Why Do Women Even Have Hair On Their Face?

Human beings have a lot of hair. Think about what we came from!

The only place we don’t have hair is on the lips, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. Though we usually don’t take notice of most of it.

Humans have two types of hair – terminal & vellus hair.

Terminal hair is longer and thicker and grows for a much longer period of time. The hair on your head, as well as your eyebrows and eyelashes, pubic hair, and armpit hair are all terminal hair.

Men have more terminal hair than women, which can also grow on their chest, back, arms, legs, and face.

Vellus hair is the fine, wispy hair that grows everywhere else on your body. Vellus hair is different in structure from terminal hair as it does not have a medulla, which is part of the inner core of the hair shaft that strengthens it, allowing it to grow longer.

The hair on your face is vellus hair.

For some, this hair might grow longer, be darker or grow more densely than others. Like we mentioned before, how it grows is due to factors you have no control over, like genetics and ethnicity.

Now every part of our bodies serves a function (or at least served a function at one time).

That layer of fine vellus hairs all over your face is thought to have originally been there to help regulate body temperature, among other things.

Now it’s obvious that those hairs will not be keeping you warm or protecting you from the elements or insect bites or doing what they were originally meant to do.

Unlike more vital hair, like our eyelashes or nostril hair, which serve to protect our eyes or act as a filter to prevent dust, pollen, and allergens from entering the lungs, facial hair has been deemed pretty much obsolete. It’s probably a throwback to a time when humans were much hairier.

So you will be happy to know that dermatologists and scientists everywhere are in agreement that getting rid of facial hair is okay and will have no adverse reactions.

Dermaplaning VS Shaving

Dermaplaning Tool

The main difference between dermaplaning and shaving is the razor.

Rather than using a regular razor a guy would use to shave his face, or a disposable razor you might use to shave your legs, dermaplaning uses what’s often referred to as a dermaplaning tool, or dermaplaning razor.

A demaplaning razor has only one blade. It’s more like shaving with a straight razor, or rather, a scalpel because it’s much smaller than a straight razor.

Dermaplaning is similar to shaving in that it removes unwanted hair. But because of the dermaplaning tool, it’s such a close shave that it offers other benefits to your face, over and above hair removal.

Dermaplaning Before and After

There are some shared benefits of shaving and dermaplaning.

First of all they both remove unwanted hair and they are both painless ways to remove hair (as long as you do it properly, carefully, and don’t nick yourself).

If you’re doing it at home, both shaving and dermaplaning are relatively inexpensive methods of hair removal.

If the idea of taking a scalpel to your face makes you uncomfortable, then you should leave it to the professionals and have it done for you.

This then makes shaving the more cost-effective method.

Unlike traditional shaving, dermaplaning’s use of a smaller blade also sloughs off dead skin cells in addition to removing wispy facial hair, so skin is more even in tone and texture.

Even if you employ a good skincare routine with regular exfoliation, your skin can still retain a certain amount of dirt, oil as well as product and environmental buildup or residue — not to mention dead skin cells which are constantly being regenerated.

Dermaplaning Tool In Use

This can make skin feel rough and look textured, especially when applying makeup.

Dermaplaning goes that extra step to eliminate skin surface buildup to make your skin smoother and softer almost instantly.

It also accelerates cell renewal to keep your skin looking soft and glowing.

One can argue that shaving is also exfoliating to a certain extent. In fact, many find that dermaplaning helps with acne flare-ups.

But women’s razors which are meant for shaving legs and underarms are often cushioned with conditioning strips as they are meant to cover larger surface areas.

It’s not as close of a shave as with using a dermaplaning tool. The closer shave means that dermaplaning is even more exfoliating.

Will Shaving My Face Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?

No, the hair won’t grow back thicker. Neither shaving (nor dermaplaning) will affect the growth, color or thickness of your hair in any way. Doesn’t matter if it’s on your face, your legs, or anywhere else on your body.

A hair strand is naturally thicker (and darker) at the base and tapers to a tip at the end.

When you shave a hair, it will continue to grow at a regular rate, but as the tapered tip has been shaved off, the blunt, thicker end of the hair will come through, giving it the appearance of being thicker.

But you can rest assured, that hair is the same hair and has not changed.

Can I Shave My Face With A Leg Razor?

Yes, you can. Just make sure it’s a new razor you haven’t already used on your legs.

BIC Soleil SMOOTH COLORS Disposable Razors for Women Sensitive Skin Razor With Aloe Vera and Vitamin E Lubricating Strip and 3 Blades, 8 Piece Razor Set
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Gillette Venus Sensitive Disposable Razors for Women with Sensitive Skin, Delivers Close Shave with Comfort, 6 Count (Pack of 1)
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If you choose to go for shaving over dermaplaning, then make sure you always use a separate razor for your face. Do not use the same razor you’ve used on another part of your body to shave your face. This prevents the transfer of fungus and bacteria.

Which Is Better – Shaving Or Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning Tool on Cheek

At the end of the day, it’s entirely up to personal preference. While dermaplaning has the advantage of being a closer shave and being more exfoliating, shaving will get the job done to remove hair. And it also has some exfoliating benefits. 

But shaving might be a better choice if you don’t have a steady hand or are not comfortable shaving using an unprotected blade.

You are more likely to get nicks or cuts using a dermaplaning tool.

If you don’t trust yourself using a sharp tool on your face you’ve never used before, but think dermaplaning might just be the boost your dull skin is needing, you can always go to the salon and get it done for you.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).