Face shaving as a woman is something people would have scarcely admitted to or even considered. The image of a guy in front of his bathroom mirror, frothed up with shaving cream, razor in hand is pretty much the image of masculinity. It’s totally a guy thing.
Women aren’t supposed to do that… are we?
While shaving your face may feel like a blow to your femininity, it’s actually not that uncommon – and no, it does not make you any less feminine.
Sporting a ‘stache or having a noticeable blanket of fuzz covering your face is far less feminine than taking care of it in the privacy of our own bathroom! This realization has made dermaplaning a much more common occurrence.
In this article, we’ll go over the pros and cons dermaplaning (shaving your face) from a woman’s point of view. We’ll answer some frequently asked questions about face shaving, as well as give you some pro tips on how to shave your face properly.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of face shaving, we’re going to talk about hair, the different types of body hair, and how facial hair in women and men is different.
There are 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 also grows on their chest, back, arms, legs, and face.
Vellus hair is the fine, wispy hair that grows everywhere else on your body, with the exception of the lips, palms of the hands, and the soles of the feet.
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.
Facial hair on women is vellus hair.
Depending on your ethnicity, genetics, and body chemistry, that hair can grow darker or longer on some people than on others.
That said, apart from the usual hangouts, the thicker terminal hair can also pop up in all sorts of unwanted places for both men and women, including on knuckles (both hands and feet), stomach, nipples, chin, ears…. pretty much anywhere you don’t want it to.
While the hair men shave on their face is terminal hair, hair on a woman’s face is vellus hair.
But, changes in hormones (like during pregnancy or menopause) can cause terminal hairs to appear in places like on your chin, for example.
Facial shaving can be used to remove both vellus and terminal hair.
Will Shaving My Face Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?
No. Shaving does not affect the growth, color, or thickness of your hair in any way. That is true whether it be 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.
Note: waxing has a reputation for making hair grow back thinner and slower. But waxing is very different than shaving!
But you can rest assured, that your hair is the same hair and has not changed.
See also: What Happens When Hair Grows Back After Dermaplaning?
Can I Shave My Face With A Leg Razor? Is There a Better Option?
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 germs and bacteria.
Can you use a new leg razor for your face? Yes, you can.
However, using a razor, specific to face shaving will get you better results, especially if you are going after the peach-fuzzy hair (vellus hair).
Dermaplaning To the Rescue!
What’s often referred to as a dermaplaning tool, or dermaplaning razor, is a bit different from the standard disposable razor you’d use to shave your legs.
It has only one blade and gives a smoother shave.
In short, it works better on your face than a leg razor.
Pros And Cons Of Dermaplaning
Before you grab a razor or dermaplaning tool, do a quick skin assessment first. If you have any type of skin condition, like eczema, psoriasis, or acne on your face, shaving may exacerbate these conditions and could lead to infection.
Extremely sensitive skin, or skin that has red, irritated patches for any reason, may also not respond well to shaving.
If you fall into either of the two categories above, the cons of shaving outweigh the pros, so we don’t recommend it in those cases.
If your skin is clear and can handle exfoliation, there are also a few cons we are going to talk about, but enough pros for you to consider shaving as a good option to remove unwanted facial hair.
Pros of Shaving or Dermaplaning
Other common forms of hair removal such as waxing, epilation, and plucking, all pull out hair from the root. This can be very painful and cause a lot of discomfort. Shaving, if done properly, is painless.
Shaving certainly costs less than salon hair removal treatments. And compared to other home hair removal options, it works out to be less expensive in the long run.
Some people are self-conscious about facial hair. If you’ll feel more confident and better about your appearance by getting rid of facial hair, then do it!
Exfoliates for Smoother Skin
Even if you employ a good skincare routine with regular exfoliation, your skin can still retain dirt, oil, and environmental buildup, not to mention dead skin cells. This can make skin feel rough and look textured, especially when applying makeup.
Shaving helps 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.
Smoother Makeup Application
Feel like your makeup looks cakey and textured, despite blending it correctly and using the right tools and amount of product? Face shaving might help.
Face shaving removes excess oils, dirt, and other impurities along with peach-fuzz to give your skin an extremely smooth and soft finish.
This helps makeup go on and more flawlessly blend into your skin, making it look more natural. It also increases the absorption of your other skincare products.
Cons of Shaving or Dermaplaning
Shaving can cause razor burn and carries the risk of nicks and cuts. Any open cut has the potential to become infected.
Dryness and Itching
If you have dry skin, shaving may dry it out further and be uncomfortable. It may also cause flaking and itching. Moisturizing immediately afterward should help to avoid this.
Shaving off vellus hairs (soft peach-fuzz) will not cause ingrown hairs, but shaving terminal hair (thick, coarse hair) can cause ingrown hairs.
How To Shave Your Face
There are better ways to smooth and exfoliate your skin than shaving. The shaving process can introduce small abrasions on the surface of the skin that can cause irritation and lead to infection if you are shaving your face when you don’t need to, or shaving your face too often.
Shaving your face as a woman is not the same as a man shaving his face. As we mentioned above, men’s facial hair is very different.
So before you grab his shaving foam and the disposable razor…
Here are a few things you need to know about shaving your face.
- Use a separate razor for your face. Avoid using the same one as the rest of your body. This prevents transfer of germs and bacteria.
- Clean your skin first and dry it completely. Facial shaving is typically done on naked skin, without shaving cream or product of any kind. Some women may find dry shaving irritating to their skin. If you do, you can use shaving gel, moisturizing lotion, or cream on your face before shaving.
- Use a straight edge, single-blade razor designed specifically for women’s facial shaving. These razors are sometimes referred to as dermaplaning tools .
- Always use a sharp razor to avoid nicking or irritating your skin.
- When shaving, hold the skin taut with one hand. Hold the razor at a 45-degree angle and gently graze the skin with short, light strokes, while applying as little pressure as possible. Always shave with the hair’s grain rather than against it.
- Rinse the razor after each stroke.
- After shaving, rinse your face and moisturize immediately.
- Don’t need to Remove Hair? – Don’t shave! If you are wanting to try shaving your face because it seems like everyone else is doing it, and it’s the new trend – after all it makes your face smooth and good for exfoliating – don’t do it!
Shaving should only be done if there is hair you want to remove.
Other Facial Hair Removal Methods
If you don’t think shaving is for you, here are a few other facial hair removal methods you can try:
Hair Removal Cream
Hair removal cream works by applying the cream to the face, waiting and wiping it off. The hair should come off with the cream.
Keratin makes up 65-95% of your hair structure by weight and is what gives it its strength. Thioglycolic acid (TGA) is the most commonly used active ingredient in hair removal creams. The TGA breaks down the structure of the keratin to weaken and dissolve the hair so that it can be easily wiped away from its follicle, just below the skin’s surface.
The top layer of your skin also contains keratin, which is why you should never leave a hair removal cream on for longer than the maximum time on the product instructions (especially on your face!), otherwise you can damage your skin.
Facial Wax Strips
Facial wax strips use cold wax, so they don’t require heating. They are safe for even sensitive skin.
That said, it’s still wax, which works by ripping the hair out. It’s not the most pleasant method of hair removal, but it’s quick and easy.
See also: Face Waxing Aftercare Tips