If you’ve spent any time scrolling the Instagram hashtag #EyebrowSlits — where users show off bare, vertical lines carved into their brows — you might be tempted to shave your own arches.
It’s definitely a cool, trendy look, with a lot of different ways to rock it, but there are a few questions you should answer before picking up the razor. For instance, what kind of razor should you use? And will the eyebrow hair grow back? That’s something many women wished they would’ve asked themselves before plucking their brows away permanently in the ’90s. (The ultra-thin tadpole shape was it at the time.) The lesson here is, you don’t want to outgrow a trend before your face does. So keep that in mind before shaving.
Maybe, rather than making a fashionable cut, you’re considering a razor to quickly clean up your arches (because, let’s be honest, no one likes tweezing) — or perhaps you even want to shave them off all together. Regardless of which path you choose, the task isn’t risk-free.
What to know about eyebrow shaving
Just as you can get razor bumps after shaving your legs, pits, or bikini line, it’s possible that a rash will appear after shaving your brows. “Shaving is the process of evicting a hair from its home, the follicle,” Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara told Allure in August. “So hair gets irritated [because] it is getting kicked out and creates a bump as a form of protest.”
Thankfully, multiple experts have debunked the myth that shaved hair will grow back thicker or thinner. In reality, the rate at which your brow hairs will return is solely up to your body. “The rate of hair growth is a genetic thing,” Gohara explained. “Some people’s hair grows faster than others but, in general, the growth cycle of eyebrows is around four to six weeks.”
Overall, although taking a blade to your brows is a delicate dance, it can be done safely as long as you use the right tools and technique.
How to shave your brows
It goes without saying: Be careful when approaching the skin around your eyes with something sharp. And please, oh please, don’t use the same razor you use for the rest of the bod. Instead, try one like this, as recommended by Byrdie, which will allow for more precision.
According to brow and skincare expert Robin Evans, shaving cream or lubricant isn’t necessary, but recommended at first. “I personally use my tool when my skin is dry,” she told Byrdie. “Most aestheticians and brow experts would use it this way. But if you are new at it, start with a light oil so you get a feel for the razor. Once you’re comfortable, definitely use it while your skin is dry.” She recommends shaving “at an angle” so you don’t make the cuts too wide. A pro tip from YouTuber BreeAnn Marie is to tape off where you don’t want to cut, especially if you’re going for the slitted look.
Still, if you get halfway through and find that shaving isn’t your fav, you can always pick up the tweezers and use them where the razor left off.
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