I am sure you have heard it… said it… or believed it at some point in your life:
“If you shave, pluck, wax, or thread, dermaplane, (or any other form of hair removal process) it will only come back THICKER and darker! So you should NEVER EVER have your facial hair removed!”
This my readers is false. I am not here to argue the age old hair growth myth. Just give you the facts and I hope it will help you shed some light on the potential hair removal process you are considering having done or afraid to even consider having done because you are afraid of being Bigfoot when you are finished… and when your hair finally does grow back in.
First off… there are two types of hair on our bodies:
Short, fine, light-colored, and barely noticeable hair that develops on most of a person’s body from his/her childhood. Exceptions include the lips, the back of the ear, the palm of the hand, the sole of the foot, some external genital areas, the neval and scar tissue. The density of hair – the number of hair follicles per area of skin – varies from person to person. Each strand of vellus hair is usually less than 2 mm (1/13 inch) long and the follicle is not connected to a sebaceous gland.
Thick, long, and dark, as compared with vellus hair; thicker hair that grows under the arms, pubic area, eye brows, legs and mustache and beard for men.
Vellus hair when cut or removed will grow back the same. The structure of the hair does not become damaged, therefore it is impossible to alter.
Terminal hair is physiologically coarse. When Terminal hair is cut, it grows back the same way – coarse.
Sometimes, waxing can make the hair appear to be “thinner” but it is really not thinner at all. Because waxing pulls the hair from it’s roots, the new hair grows in with a smooth tip, making it feel softer. But it is actually the same type of hair it was before. It’s only when we cut hair (any type of hair) that the hair grows back with a blunt cut at the tip.
The question has been given often times:
“why did my daughter (whom just began puberty) shave her legs, it was soft and more liken to “vellus” and then when it grew back, it became thick and darker?!”
The answer to this is due to it was actually Terminal hair to begin with. The structure of the hair on her legs was different from the assumed vellus hair. Leg hair is mean to be thicker, so when someone shaves the hair on their legs, the tip of the hair is blunt, therefore, making an already coarse piece of hair feel thicker. Of course, add puberty into the mix and you will see plenty of changes within your daughters physical structure.
If you want to assist with lessening the “course” feel of the above scenario, one should consider waxing or threading the leg or other region that you are concerned with being course in texture. Often times the hair will be softer and will grow a bit slower, because your esthetician or professional is removing the hair from the root and not just cutting the hair at the skin line the hair is re-growing a brand new strand. Therefore the hair will come back a bit softer initially because it is a new “baby” hair.
If you choose the hair removal process you should keep up on this process with having a maintenance hair removal process every 3-4 weeks, most places will even offer discounts for coming back within a set time frame and it will offer a less discomforting process when you do go more often to have your hair removed professionally.
If you choose the laser hair removal choice, please note you cannot and should not be having any laser process near your eyes, so permanently having your eyebrows arched with next to no hair growth coming back isn’t something that will work for laser. The darker the hair the better when using laser hair removal process and even after several visits you are explained and advised that you should revisit the laser process every few years for a maintenance process to stop any hairs that will eventually regrow even after most of the follicles were destroyed by said laser, some will still live and eventually re-sprout with new growth cycles. Nothing is permanent (yet) with regards to hair removal. The lighter, vellus hair growth as of 2012 is not something a laser procedure can assist with. With many changes being made everyday in the esthetic and hair removal industry… anything is possible!
If you still have the voices of women of years gone by reminding you still not to remove that hair above your lip… (for example) what I can tell my clients is that after a threading process the hair is removed for a longer period of time, then say for example waxing or shaving. This gives you the advantage and happiness to see a clean upper lip for a longer time frame. This also can create an issue when you realize in about a months time your lip appears “harrier”! You panic and start to think your grandmother was right! What I do see in my practice is that the clients I work with month after month that come to me and I thread their entire face or just a lip… the hair never changes. We have several cycles of hair growth, yes, you might have one growth cycle a bit thicker then another, however, the hair that is growing back isn’t any thicker then the first time when you sat in my chair the month prior. I believe we see such results that are beneficial to our outer appearance and we forget just how much hair we did in fact start with and when the hair comes back… we are a little surprised sometimes with the growth that is coming back.
We have two choices… we have it removed… or we let it be. What I do say to my client that is considering any hair removal is this:
“Does it bother you? Is this something you want removed?”
If you can answer the questions above yes/no… then you know your answer… if you are being talked into something… chances are you will not be happy with the process, results or the grow back later on, IF on the other hand you are wanting that hair removed… then you will deal with the discomfort that comes with hair removal and you will be happy with the results.
This is a personal preference and I do not recommend it unless YOU WANT IT! 🙂
I hope the above has helped shed some light on the old wives tales about hair growth/removal and maybe convinces you to try out threading, waxing or let your daughter that’s been nagging you to shave her legs to go ahead with it!
If this is a first time… for ANY hair removal process… EDUCATE YOURSELF!!
Thanks for reading!!
Have a great one! 🙂