Let's Debunk 4 Myths About Women Shaving Their Faces

I'm willing to bet that your very first thought upon reading the headline of this blog post was "does it grow back thicker and darker?" That's nearly everyone's initial and most-asked question when a woman shares that she shaves her face.

Facial shaving has been in practice for a LONG time—so long that Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, and even Cleopatra have been documented as the first major women to get behind the hair-removing method.

This semi-taboo practice first got it's big buzz when Kate Somerville, a skincare icon, shared that she's been shaving her face for a good twenty years. In a TSC blog post by Lauryn Evarts Bosstick, Lauryn mentions that she tuned into a podcast featuring Somerville as a guest, in which she revealed that shaving the face "makes your makeup go on smoother, gives you glowy/dewy skin, AND exfoliates your skin BIG TIME, which is fucking fabulous for anti-aging." Lauryn Evarts Bosstick in true form, everyone. If you know her IDGAF magnificence, you know!

Anyyyyways, basically shaving your face is super trendy right now, but for good reason. Since it's a practice that's new to the spotlight, let's debunk a few common myths about it:

Myth One: 

The hair grows back thicker and darker. This, so far in my experience, is NOT true—the hair grows back exactly the same as it was before. I've been shaving my face for about four months now, and I have yet to notice any abnormal hair regrowth.

I know of quite a few women who subscribe to this beauty practice as well, and they all agree that unpleasant hair regrowth is not an issue. In fact, I did a little research for this post and it turns out that Dr. Debbie Palmer of the Dermatology Association of New York told the HuffPost that "hair will not grow back thicker or faster. Shaving does not change the number of hair follicles in the skin or the rate of hair growth." So there ya go: myth one debunked.

Myth Two: 

You can use the same razor you use on your legs. Pleeeeease for the love of god don't do this! Using your "body" razor on your face will not only spread a ton of bacteria, but Cecelia Wong of Cecelia Wong Skincare shared with Well + Good that it'll also put you at "risk for nicks and cuts, which can cause inflammation & irritation and can lead to scarring and ingrown hairs."

So basically body razors are a double whammy of potential breakouts, which no one wants! If you are going to shave your face, the most gentle and sanitary mechanisms are eyebrow shapers like the Tinkle or dermaplaning tools.

Myth Three: 

The direction you shave doesn't matter. Again, not true my friends. Stephenie Kaulesar of Spruce & Bond also shared with Well + Good that the best direction to shave is the same direction as your hair growth. This prevents irritation and uncomfortable ingrown hairs.

In Carli Bybel's YouTube video sharing her face shaving routine and her experience with shaving her face for four years, she mentions that she likes to gently shave against the grain as well because it works for her. You are of course free to try whatever you like, just know that ingrown hairs are a risk when you shave against the direction of hair growth.

Myth Four: 

Shaving at home is the same as dermaplaning. This is a common misconception because the two practices are similar. What sets them apart is that dermaplaning aims to exfoliate more than simply remove the hair. The goal of dermaplaning is to remove dead skin cells, and dermatologists & estheticians do so using a "specialized scalpel, held at a 45-degree angle to the face," according to Dr. Daniel Maman, a plastic surgeon and clinical professor of plastic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital.

While you can purchase your own dermaplaning scalpel on Amazon, Dr. Maman recommends that we leave this practice to the professionals, as untrained practitioners don't know "how deep and how extensive the shaving of superficial dead skin cells should be."

Have you heard of any other myths about face shaving? Leave them in the comments below and tell us whether you think they're true or false!

Want to know more about facial shaving? Check out my list of pros and cons here.

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