Does shaving your face make it grow back thicker? Can it make the hair grow back darker? Can face shaving lead to stubble for women?

Menopause can result in unwanted excess facial hair. Whether it be an increase in fair coloured peach fuzz (vellus hair) or some darker hairs, maybe even some grey hairs on your face.

It is very common for women to wonder if face shaving will result in an increase in the hair thickness. Or perhaps turn it darker over time the more you do it.

Key Takeaways – The Short Version

Shaving your face does not increase hair growth thickness or follicle density. End of story! It just doesn’t. Which is great news for those of us who wish to shave our faces – hooray! Jump to Flo Hive top picks for facial hair removal HERE.

Flo Hive Science Scoop

The most famous study done to prove hair does not grow back thicker was way back in 1970!

This study had five men in the mid 20s shave one leg weekly for 5 months. Before the study started researchers counted total number of hairs, the width of the hairs, their length – on both legs.

After five months of shaving the men were reassessed. There was absolutely no difference between the legs. They had the same number of hairs, same width and the same length.

It is simply a myth. And probably one that is culturally perpetuated in homes. For example if your mother discouraged you from shaving your legs she may have warned you that the hair will “grow back thicker”. It is just not true.

Facial hair removal in women in some cultures has been practised for thousands of years – threading, being a common one. It is believed that threading originated in the Middle East around six thousand years ago.

Yes, SIX THOUSAND years!

Can I shave like a man?

Shaving your face as a woman does look a little different to a man. Women tend to use facial oils rather than shaving cream.

We don’t tend to need shaving cream. But you can use a variety of topical agents to make the face slick and slippery so that the razor moves smoothly over the face.

Some women use their daily moisturiser, applying it a little thicker than usual and some water. Others use their cream facial cleaners.

Some women skip the razor blades and opt for using hair removal cream. Or you could use an electric shaver.

It is totally up to you. Whatever method you choose you can be confident that the hair does not grow back thicker.

Method 1: Razor blade (or dermaplaning):

Shaving with a blade does remove a small amount of skin as you do it. This can be a great way to regularly exfoliate the skin.

Your blade should be solely reserved for your face shaving – don’t use the one that you also use for any other body part.

Blades are used once and then discarded. This is to avoid infection by reusing them.

1. Cleanse. It is essential that you ensure your face is free of any makeup or residue before continuing. Use a gentle cleanser or face wash for sensitive skin to eliminate any dirt and soften the hair.

2. Apply your chosen topical. Whether it be an oil, cream, your moisturiser – apply to your wet skin in order to decrease friction and avoid irritation. To begin, wet your face, and then spread a thin layer of cream or gel over the area you’re shaving.

3. Use short, light strokes while you shave. Position the razor at either a 45 degree angle and move it lightly against your skin. Perform short, light strokes to cut the hair in the same direction as it grows to reduce the risk of ingrowns. To ensure the razor does not skip or tug on the skin, it may be helpful to use your other hand to pull your skin taut.

4. Cleanse and hydrate. Wash the area with a few drops of water to get rid of any leftover fuzz, then use a gentle, water-based moisturizer and avoiding any products that contain potent ingredients such as retinol or glycolic acid right afterward.

Method 2: Electric shaver

Electric shavers do give a really close shave and can be gentler option if your skin is dry or sensitive. The method compared to using a razor is quite different after step 1…..

1. Cleanse. It is essential that you ensure your face is free of any makeup or residue before continuing. To achieve this, use a gentle cleanser or face wash for sensitive skin to eliminate any dirt and soften the hair.

2. Dry shave. Move the shaver over your face in a downward motion for the first pass. Then go back over the face for a second pass to pick up any stray hairs that have been missed. We highly recommend doing it in full bright daylight with your mirror.

3. Splash. Splash you face with water to remove any tiny fine hairs that may be resting on the face. Cleanse again if you wish or simply apply your moisturiser/ soothing serum.

How often will I need to shave?

Again this is up to you, but as a rough guide it takes around 3 – 4 weeks for the hairs to fully regrow. Most women report that they do it weekly if they have darker hair, for those with lighter peach fuzz it could be done around every two weeks.

Are there any side effects?

If your skin has become extremely dry due to menopause and you opt to use a blade, there can be some irritation. Local redness and flare ups can happen, just like men can experience after shaving.

Flo Hive suggests that if your skin is really dry or sensitive – try an electric shaver instead.

What types of shavers can I use?

Top picks for dermaplaning

If you are new to dermaplaning and find the prospect of using an open blade on your face (we get it – it’s a bit scary!) then there are specifically designed razors with safety guards making it the perfect choice for a beginner.

We recommend products and services based on their research backing, as determined by a review of clinical studies. We receive compensation when readers purchase the products or services we recommend.

We like this one from Flawless Finish –

Dermaflash Luxe also has a safety mechanism, another good choice for beginners –

If you are feeling confident you can simply use an open blade – like this one by Wanby is a bestseller –

Top picks for facial oil

If your skin has become dry and sensitive with menopause, then using an oil will reduce irritation on the face.

We recommend products and services based on their research backing, as determined by a review of clinical studies. We receive compensation when readers purchase the products or services we recommend.

Top picks for shavers

This one by Finishing Touch is very easy to use, the head is circular and gives good coverage for cheeks, forehead, chin and upper lip.

We recommend products and services based on their research backing, as determined by a review of clinical studies. We receive compensation when readers purchase the products or services we recommend.

The Panasonic Women’s Facial Hair Remover is effortless to use. It has a rotating head, vibrating side to side. And it comes with an eyebrow trimmer –

The Electribrite Razor has multiple heads for face and body you can switch them out easily, and you can actually use this one in the shower. It is also waterproof –

Conclusion

Face shaving for women can feel daunting at first, but as our bodies change with menopause we too can change our habits and rituals to meet the new normal. You can be confident that facial hair will not regrow any differently.

If you are hesitant – conduct your own science experiment. Shave your face one time. Then check back 4 weeks later. It will not look any different to before you shaved.

Flo Hive is certain of that – as is the science.

References

https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(15)47888-1/pdf

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-68992-6_2

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-hair-to-grow-back

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jocd.12280

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6735171/

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