There’s a lot you can do to update the look of your eyebrows, and it’s not uncommon to want to shave them off – partially or completely – and start fresh.
But before you take a blade to your brows, you might have some burning questions: Will they grow back? Will they look alike? How to shave this sensitive area safely?
We are here to help you. Below are answers to your questions, as well as tips for experimenting with eyebrow shaving safely.
Safety first, of course. So how safe is shaving your eyebrows really?
Brow expert, brand founder and self-proclaimed brow queen Joey Healey says it’s safe, as long as you do it carefully and use the right tools and products.
He cautions, however, that it’s a choice you’ll want to be pretty positive about first.
“You should really think about why you shave your entire forehead because it’s a drastic decision. It will definitely change your look, so it’s not something to be taken lightly,” he says. “They will grow back, but it will take time.”
Alison Angold, esthetician and massage therapist, agrees that shaving your eyebrows is generally safe.
Angold points out, however, that the area of skin below the eyebrow is more sensitive than other areas we usually shave because it’s thinner and sits directly over the brow bone.
This means there is an increased risk of nicks, cuts and bleeding.
She also notes that there are several other effective options for hair removal, such as tweezers or waxing, preferably done by a professional.
“The eyebrow is a small area,” she says. “Shaving here is more difficult, so you’ll have to be precise.”
When you shave, Healy explains, you’re not removing hair from the root. Instead, you cut the hairs at the surface where they break through the skin.
“You’ll see the stubble very quickly because you’re not removing the entire hair,” he says.
Angold also says the regrowth will appear coarse and “thatch-like”. The hairs are likely to stand on end and grow straight out of the skin, instead of lying flat, which can cause an unnatural appearance.
Unshaven hair also has a finer, blunt tip. So when you experience hair regrowth, you usually see the coarser base instead of the softer, finer part that comes back over time – that is, of course, if you allow it to grow as far before removing it.
Another myth we need to bust: Shaving your eyebrows means they won’t grow back at all. Healy says it has no basis in fact.
“You’re not damaging the hair follicle,” Healy explains. “(Your eyebrows) may look weird for a while, but they will grow back.”
Shaving your eyebrows carries some risk of scarring, but only if you pile on the skin.
You might also notice some irritation, just as you might when shaving in any other area.
“If you’re not careful, you can really hurt yourself because it’s the eye area that’s hypersensitive. You can cut yourself and feel razor burns,” Healy says.
In most cases, however, there is no need to worry about hyperpigmentation or scarring. The more carefully and precisely you work, the better you can avoid nicks.
Looking for a plain old razor? You’ll probably want to put this back in – for this job, you’ll need an eyebrow-specific blade.
Angold explains that regular razors are often too big. Plus, “you won’t be able to get a good shape and you risk removing hairs that you don’t want to remove.”
So ditch the 5-blade razors you use on places like your legs or armpits. You’ll need something more specific, like a small single blade intended for eyebrows.
Healy recommends a straight, serrated blade, explaining that when the serration isn’t fine enough, it can be rough enough to cut you. A blade without serrations, he notes, can be too sharp, like the straight blades used for medical dermaplaning.
Healy recommends his Trio of grooming dermablades, which is foldable and can be used multiple times. Just clean it with rubbing alcohol between uses.
Want to brush yourself with shaving cream? It’s not strictly necessary, but if you feel more comfortable with a certain type of lubricating agent, go for one that you know is gentle on your skin.
Apply it only to the hairs you want to tweeze, as too much cream can make it hard to see where you’re shaving.
“Most people like to do their brows with short downward strokes on clean, dry skin.” Healy said.
Try these tips for success:
- Tighten the skin of your eyebrows by gently pulling it towards your forehead. You will want to use your non-dominant hand to hold your skin and your dominant hand to shave.
- It may help to cover the hairs you want to keep with petroleum jelly. It can also prevent you from accidentally shaving them off.
- Using your specific brow blade, gently sweep the hairs in the direction of growth.
- Ignore any textured areas, such as blemishes or moles.
- To help reduce the risk of razor burn, avoid shaving too often on the same area.
- Gently wash your face to remove shaved hair and any shaving cream or lubricant.
After shaving, you may notice redness and irritation.
Angold recommends a topical gel, such as aloe vera or witch hazel. It can help:
- calm your skin
- prevent redness
- promote healing
Even if your skin doesn’t look red, it never hurts to apply a soothing gel or ointment after shaving. In short: tracking is always useful.
Hair regrowth rates can vary a lot from person to person. Generally speaking, however, you will notice faster regrowth after shaving your eyebrows than you would after removing hair from the root by tweezing or tweezing.
However, the regrowth here is also determined by your personal hair growth rate.
You can expect to see stubble within a few days. According to Healy, if you shave your eyebrows off entirely, it can take up to 6 weeks before you see them back where they might have been before.
He also notes that removing the peach fuzz around the forehead won’t bring out the stubble.
“That peach fuzz isn’t going to grow back blunt or chunky, because it really is just that: fuzz. It’s not attached to a sebaceous gland.
The results of removing this type of peach fuzz, or vellus hair, usually last between 6 and 8 weeks.
Shaving your eyebrows can be a quick way to get a cleaning job done.
Healy says her clients typically shave off the peach fuzz around their brows — including the dead center, temple and forehead.
People who shave their eyebrows may do so simply because it’s fun to change things up. It can also help clear the canvas, so to speak, if you like to outline or do your eyebrows.
“We have clients who are drag performers or are in theater, and they just want to shave off all their eyebrows, so they can reshape them for a performance,” Healy explains.
Trending online – especially on TikTok – also seems to be causing an increase in eyebrow shaving.
Healy mentions a TikTok trend in early 2020, the fox eye, where people shaved the last half of their forehead and reshaped it to give the forehead a more raised look.
Shaving your eyebrows has potential downsides. Healy offers a few to consider:
- The regrowth will feel a bit chunky and blunt.
- Since eyebrows help keep dust, debris, and sweat out of your eyes, shaving them off completely can make it easier for these materials to come into contact with your eyes.
- You run the risk of nicking or cutting the sensitive skin in your eyebrow area.
- When you shave to tidy up the look of your eyebrows or add a stylish element, you may overcrowd one side and end up with uneven brows.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you don’t like the result after shaving, you can’t make instant changes like you would with eyebrow makeup. Instead, you’ll have to be patient and wait for the hair to grow back.
Whether you choose to tweeze, thread, use a microblade, or shave your eyebrows completely, just be sure to experiment carefully. When it comes to shaving, opt for an eyebrow-specific razor blade and use a soft touch.
Keep in mind that while the stubble will return in a few days, it may take several weeks for your eyebrow to return to its original shape.
Breanna Mona is a writer based in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a master’s degree in media and journalism and writes about health, lifestyle and entertainment.