Going to school to learn about hair removal and electrolysis was a truly educating and enlightening process. I have learned a lot about the hair removal process and also about the skin. Our skin is a very important protection for our bodies, and because of that it is important for us to understand how the different hair removal methods affect our skin. What I would like to do, is to simply mention the pros and cons of several different hair removal methods (over several posts), which would include electrolysis, waxing, laser, shaving, and several others. The pros and cons list I will be using for this post, come from “Hair Removal Techniques: A comprehensive Manual”. This book is written by Milady, a part of Cengage Learning, and is a great reference.

The first hair removal process I would like to mention, is that of Shaving. Now, as a young girl, all my girlfriends had been told by their mothers that you shouldn’t shave your legs too soon in life because then you would just deal with thicker and thicker hair each time it grew back. While this may have been a good scare tactic or parental practice to keep little girls from “growing up” too fast, it is not entirely true. Shaving does not actually cause your hair to grow back any thicker than before as it doesn’t do anything below the surface. So why does it feel thick?

Have you ever played on tall soft grass and felt how it serves as a great soft

blanket under your feet? Now, contrast that to a freshly mowed lawn. The mower didn’t change the thickness of the grass but it now has a blunt cut and feels more coarse and concentrated. The same thing happens to your hair. If you have ever shaved your legs and waited a day or two, your once soft legs are now prickly. This is again due to the blunt cut of the hair above the surface.

So, let’s get the truth about shaving. Here are the pros and cons from “Hair Removal Techniques: A comprehensive Manual”:

Pros of Shaving:

  • Fast
  • Inexpensive
  • Painless
  • Convenient

Cons of Shaving:

  • Hair grows back coarsely and more stubbly in 1 to 4 days
  • When Shaving bothersome terminal hair, fine vellus (or light hairs) may also be removed, causing potentially bigger problems.
  • May cause PFB (pseudofolliculitis barbae) and ingrown hairs
  • May cut the skin, particularly with a dull razor

So the point is, shaving is a perfectly safe use of hair removal but will not get rid of the hair permanently. I often tell my electrolysis clients if they must “deal” with unwanted hairs in-between treatments that shaving is the best method, as it will not slow down the process of permanent hair removal with electrolysis.