Body hair myths and facts

Does shaving your pits give you more hair? Can you have laser if you have dark skin? Will waxing your eyebrows give you droopy skin?

Between Youtube and beauty blogs I’ve read a lot of bizarre ‘facts’ about shaving, waxing, epilating and the likes recently. I don’t know why people would advise others on things they don’t know for facts (I sure as hell will not be advising anyone on their tax return or on running a security firm) but it happens. I decided to delight and entertain you with a little game of myth vs fact because it’s something I actually know something about…

Shaving an area results in more (and darker) hair

MYTH. The amount of hair you have on your body is determined mostly by genetics (together with some other intrinsic factors like how your hormones behave, how you react to stress, etc). Cutting your leg hairs off at the surface can not, in any way, encourage your body to make more hair all of a sudden.

Why does  stubble seem so prominent a couple of days after shaving? You’re chopping the hair off with a razor, leaving the ends blunt. This makes them appear thicker than they looked when they were long. If you leave them for long enough the ends will naturally taper, making them seem finer. That’s all there is to it.

Cutting your hair makes it grow faster and thicker

MYTH. It’s the same scenario as explained above. Trimming tapered (and split) ends makes your hair look thicker because the ends are blunt again. And once again cutting off the ends of your hair can’t magically produce more hair follicles.

woman-shaving-face_h-article

Waxing will make your skin sag

MYTH. The argument that waxing your eyebrows is more damaging than plucking them is pretty flawed. If the reasoning is that the pulling action sags your skin, then pulling multiple hairs out individually must surely be much worse? But the good news is that you have muscles everywhere in your body, even under your eyebrows – and they’ll keep your skin in place – pulling it once a month isn’t going to change that.

Dark skins can’t have laser hair removal.

BOTH. Traditional lasers are not effective on dark skins and can do serious damage. Even moderately tanned skins are out of the question there. But technology is changing very fast and there are now various lasers that can treat different skin tones. I don’t have all the details, so chat to a recommended professional from a laser clinic or a derm’s practice.

If you lose your eyelashes they won’t grow back

MYTH. Your lashes, like all other body hair, has a cycle of growing, resting and shedding. If you were to pluck an eyelash you should have a new fully grown one in its place about two months later, depending on which stage of its growth cycle the plucked hair was.

Your eyelashes can become more sparse as you age (as with all other hair, again), but doing something hectic to your eyelashes (lash extensions gone wrong, for example) will not leave you with bald eyelids for life.

Waxing will reduce your hair with time.

FACT. In theory, waxing is damaging to  your hair follicles – you are ripping out hair by their roots before they’re ready to be shed, after all. If you’re lucky, some of the follicles are permanently ‘damaged’ and won’t produce hair again. Mostly the hair will just become finer though, since you’re not cutting them and leaving with blunt edges like shaving does.

Waxing causes ingrowns

FACT. Well, they kinda do. A whole new hair has to grow all the way from the root and break through the skin, and because it’s now a tapered hair (pulled out vs chopped off, remember?) it’s a struggle sometimes. Regular scrubbing and AHA exfoliators can help, but it sometimes reaches a point where nothing works.

When I still waxed my bikini area (pre laser) I had to wait 6-8 weeks between waxes to battle with ingrowns and then give the inflamed follicles a chance to heal – if this is the case, it’s better to stop waxing and opt for laser (long term) or an electric razor (short term) instead.

Shaving your eyebrows/moustache is ok

MYTH. While we’ve hopefully now covered that it won’t give you more hair, you must realise that there will be stubble. And stubble is going to make you shave more often. And shaving more often is going to escalate the stubble situation, because you’re also shaving fine hairs that were invisible until you started shaving them but are now coming out with brand new blunt ends that you created with your razor. Please, please please don’t shave your face. Rather wax (short term) or laser (long term).

If anyone has a myth/fact to add or a question to ask, drop me a comment!

C x

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6 Comments

  1. Hasmitha
    Oct 29, 2014 / 7:46 AM

    I am rather keen to find out more about lasering darker skin tones 🙂 Thanks for this post x

    • Oct 29, 2014 / 2:24 PM

      Yes, it’s pretty cool! As I told Sonnelion, I’d suggest chatting to a place like Laser Beautique for a consultation.

  2. Oct 29, 2014 / 8:25 AM

    Any way you can discuss your experience with lasering the bikini area? I know it’s a bit TMI and prob a bit of a sensitive (ha) subject, but it’s definitely something I’d want to consider but I’m a little embarrassed to actually go in for a consultation and discuss the nitty gritty 😛

    • Oct 29, 2014 / 2:23 PM

      We can indeed. I had four sessions a couple of years ago and it hurt like a mofo. I’d guess 70% of the hair is gone and I was very happy with it, I just stopped going because I moved away. There are ‘pain free’ lasers but I haven’t tried that. I’d aim for a place like Laser Beautique for a consultation if I were you.

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