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1/25 Hair removal

Posted on January 25, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Here's a question from one of my readers:

Is it true that shaving makes your hair grow back thicker?

The answer is


I'm going to continue this blog by explaining to you why it does not, and what my suggested methods of hair removal are, but if you take nothing else from this entry, please remember that shaving DOES NOT make your hair grow back thicker or darker.

The number of hairs you have and their consistency was genetically pre-disposed LONG before you ever even thought of removing them, and one little razor (unless of course it's a magical razor) is not going to change that. You have a certain number of hair follicles, and each of those follicles can only grow one hair. Therefore, no matter what your method of hair removal, your hair will NEVER come in thicker. 

Now, lets identify your choices in hair removal:

Shaving: Shaving cuts the hair off at the skin level, giving it a blunt edge, rather than the tapered edge that it naturally grows in with. This is why it may appear to be growing in thicker or darker after shaving, but I assure you, it is not. The results of shaving will last only a day or 2. Shaving is ok for pretty much all areas, although I would not recommend it on a woman's face (because of the stubble factor). I reserve it for areas where I plan to remove ALL hair (for example: Legs)

Waxing: Waxing removes the hair from the root. The results of waxing will last 2 - 3 weeks depending on how quickly your hair grows. Hair that has been waxed will grown in with a tapered edge, as if it growing in for the first time. Overtime, waxing will actually decrease the number of hairs that grow, because once a hair follicle has been damaged, it will not grow hair again. If you get a spot of blood, that follicle is dead. The downside, waxing can be pretty painful (and expensive if you have it done professionally - which you ALWAYS should do). The only hair that cannot be waxed is a man's beard, because the follicles can grown more than one hair and there is no consistent direction of hair growth. I recommend waxing for areas where you want controlled hair removal (for example: eyebrows, woman's upper lip, any female facial hair). I do not recommend waxing for areas with deep rooted hair (for example: legs and underarms- it's really just not worth the pain - in my opinion anyway.)

Depilatory Creams (Nair): Depilatory Creams dissolve the hair from the root, so they have similar results as waxing, but without the pain. Sounds great huh? It is, as long as you're not allergic to it. Make sure to do a patch test on the inside of your arm or behind your ear before applying to large areas. I suggest depilatories for areas with course, deep rooted hair that grows quickly (you know, the areas that have to be shaved everyday, but you can't even stand the thought of waxing) such as underarms and bikini areas, but be sure to use the "sensitive areas" versions, and again, I cannot stress the importance of a patch test. Trust me, there is nothing worse than an allergic reaction on your bikini line!

Tweezing: Leave the tweezing to touch-ups only. If you get a stray here or there, go for it, but when shaping or removing large amounts of regrowth, see a professional for a wax.

Laser-hair removal: Laser hair removal is a much more expensive and permanent procedure. It usually takes several pricey treatments to permanently remove the hair from any given area.

I hope this helps!

Send your beauty questions to [email protected] and I'll answer them in my next blog.



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