Men aren’t the only ones shaving their faces. Now, women are too.
And they’re openly sharing their experiences with dermaplaning, which involves shaving the tiny, soft hairs on your face for an instantaneous youthful glow.
Mona Gohara, a dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale University, is glad to see the practice has become a talker in recent years, especially on social media. The hashtag #dermaplaning, how has over 1.8 billion views on TikTok.
“As a Middle Eastern woman, I constantly have hair on my face. So to be able to exfoliate and remove those hairs is a big cosmetic benefit,” she says.
Typically, a dermatologist or licensed esthetician will use a surgical-grade scalpel to scrape off vellus hair (also known as peach fuzz) and a top layer of dead skin cells. But experts say you can also do it from home with an exfoliation tool.
“It’s different from a regular razor, because you can get a better angle with the long dermaplaning tools and it’s also less sharp than razors, which are meant to cut thick hairs,” Gohara explains.
For those interested in trying dermaplaning, here’s what you need to know about the trendy procedure, including its purported benefits and risks.
Why is everyone talking about dermaplaning?
In the last year, many women have been unafraid to show off their facial hair, which has typically been seen as “gross” or “unfeminine,” as well as their dermaplaning routines.
“It’s not only men that have thick, dark facial hair. And it’s not only men that shave their face,” user @thatgirlsare posted on TikTok Saturday. “Let’s normalize some girls having thick dark facial hair and using razors to shave.”
“Love how confident it makes me feel,” user @about_theglow wrote on TikTok.
Also known as “female face shaving,” dermaplaning has many benefits: It can brighten the skin, fade dark spots and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
“While those soft, vellus hairs can be helpful, they also hold onto makeup, dirt, bacteria and a whole bunch of irritants,” he says Cassandra Bankson, a skincare expert and medical esthetician who regularly shaves her face. “I found that when I dermaplaned my face, my selfies turned out crisper, because the powdered makeup wouldn’t hold onto my facial hairs.”
Azadeh Shirazi, a cosmetic dermatologist, adds this skin-smoothing effect is one of the main benefits.
“It’s more than just a method for hair removal. It’s a much deeper exfoliation treatment… so removing the dead skin cells allows for better penetration of your skincare products, making them more effective. It also allows for makeup to go on smoother,” Shirazi , says.
Will shaving your face make your hair grow back thicker?
It’s a common concern that shaving will make your hairs grow back thicker, darker and faster. But skincare experts say it’s “a complete fallacy.”
Bankson says it may appear this way, because the hairs will “grow back evenly and appear to be popping up at once out of nowhere.” However. Gohara says your hair growth and thickness is “genetically preprogrammed.”
“There are different factors that play into this like age, hormonal influences and genetics. That’s what influences the amount of hair and how thick it is- not how you remove it.”
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Are there risks to dermaplaning?
For anyone with a skin condition — sensitive skin, rosacea, skin cancer, eczema, or severe acne — the benefits aren’t worth the risks, particularly for infections, potential scarring or skin damage.
“Dermaplaning can cause breakouts in some people,” Bankson says. “Hairs on the face have a purpose of getting oil onto the outer surface of our skin. If you were to shave those hairs off, those oils could still potentially stay in the skin for those with acne or clogged pores, which could trap everything inside and cause a pimple.”
To minimize risks, Shirazi says it’s best to consult a professional who is skilled in the practice. But for those opting to do it from home, make sure to proceed with caution.
“You need a strong skin barrier so if you have dry skin, or flaking red skin it’s not a great treatment. It can worsen skin conditions or flare them up, so be sure to first consult with your dermatologist and treat your skin before trying any at-home treatments,” Shirazi cautions.
“Always cleanse the skin being treated and clean your hands, the tools, and the area where you are going to be doing it. Be informed about dermaplaning, the dos and don’ts, the techniques, because the more you know, the better you can assess the risks.”
Contributing: Joshua Bote