#AskGrace: If I Shave My Face Will It Grow Back Thicker?

Dear Grace, 

I’m naturally quite fair-haired, which can quite often be a blessing, but I do have lots of peach fuzz all over my face. I’ve started to notice it more and more, and my makeup can quite often stick to it or look patchy because of it. I’ve heard that dermaplaning is the answer to smooth makeup and peach fuzz-free skin, but I’ve also heard rumours that if you shave it off, it grows back thicker. Is this true? 

Aimee 

There are so many myths around hair removal (in fact, I debunked a few of them recently in this article), but the biggest of all is the idea that hair grows back thicker and faster if you shave it off. First off, it’s completely untrue – let me explain why. The colour, thickness, and speed of hair growth is established within the root of the hair and is pre-determined by your genetics. It cannot change as a result of shaving or by applying certain products, using specific ingredients, or really by anything at all – and this is true of hair all over your body, not just your face.

All hairs are naturally thicker at the bottom and taper out to the top, so when you shave you cut the part of the hair that’s above the surface of the skin, but not the hair below. Once the hair starts to emerge through the skin again, the thicker part emerges first and so it may (on very close inspection) look and feel coarser or stubblier due to the blunt tip where the razor cuts the hair. This phase is very shortlived and as the hair grows out, the bluntness tapers off so the hair is much less noticeable to see or feel. 

Since shaving only cuts away a portion of the hair, whereas other hair removal methods (like waxing or plucking) pull the hair out from the root below the skin, shaved hair appears to grow back quicker, whereas it will take longer for plucked or waxed hair to emerge from the skin. Of course, plucking or waxing your peach fuzz is very impractical, especially if you are trying to remove from larger areas, so dermaplaning (a form of shaving) is typically the quickest and easiest method. What’s more, dermaplaning razors are fairly cheap so you can easily shave your face at home. I hope that gives you more confidence in approaching dermaplaning as an option – if you want tips, check out our handy guide to dermaplaning.

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