It was one of those unforgettable moments that stay with you forever.
Late in 2002, I was a senior in high school and on a date with a boy I thought was pretty into me. (Turns out he wasn’t, BUT I DIGRESS.) Sitting in the car at the end of the night, we were making silly small talk, frequently glancing at each other’s lips, wondering if our first kiss was imminent. (It wasn’t, BUT I DIGRESS.)
Because I was like pretty much the most awkward and least sexy date that poor guy had probably ever been out with, I somehow (no, I don’t remember how it happened, but really, I don’t think I want to) made a pitiful attempt at a cute, flirtatious joke by making some comment about his lack of facial hair and how I probably had more hair on my face. Look, I know I was weird, but please stay with me. Thinking I was coyly teasing his manhood, I was surprised when he scored the ultimate comeback with a casual, “Yeah, I noticed.”
This is the point where I wish this story was an episode of “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” so I could see her hilarious expression and laugh until I cried, but alas, it was me, and my recollection causes tears of another sort. I fear what my face may have actually done in that moment, because I very vividly remember what my stomach was doing (lurching). He must have noticed my horrified expression and realized that kiss we were working up to wasn’t going to happen now, because he tried to apologize. “It’s okay! I mean, my mom has that too!” WORSE. Worse worse worse worse WORST. I don’t remember what happened after that moment, or really anything that ever happened after that (other than later finding out he had also been simultaneously, probably-less-awkwardly, pseudo-dating my friend and then dumped both of us for some girl in Ohio, BUT I DIGRESS), but I do know that was the first day I started caring about my facial hair.
Over the years I have tried all kinds of hair removal treatments. In my teens and early 20s, I could settle for occasional plucking despite the slight discomfort (read: tearful cries of unthinkable pain) because I simply didn’t have that much hair. However, having had six pregnancies and at least three boys, my thyroid has decided to be best friends with testosterone and given me stubble that rivals an 8th grade boy. I have used creams and buffers and waxes and tweezers; I even tried an expensive hair removal tool my mom bought off QVC. They all did an okay job I guess, but many were time consuming, damaging to my skin, expensive, and downright painful. And it never failed that as soon as I would get into the car to go out with my fresh face, I would find a long hair on my chin that must have somehow gone undiscovered for weeks.
Then one day something amazing happened. One of our Knoxville Moms Blog team members shared this post from Jacksonville with our contributors and asked what we thought about addressing the peach fuzz (and wirey stubble) the good old fashioned way – shaving. I was shocked – “Shave my face?? Like a MAN?! Isn’t that just admitting defeat?” I inwardly scoffed and returned to my pink lady-hair-removal products that really didn’t work. Then I started seeing more comments. As it turns out, this is a growing trend, and several of our contributors had been shaving for years. It actually became a little game of ours as several more of us tried it and shared videos of our first shave.
GUYS, I AM TELLING YOU. THIS. IS. AMAZING.
I use a single-blade eyebrow razor, though it doesn’t actually feel very sharp. This is a plus for me because one of my biggest fears and deterrents to face shaving has been the idea of cutting my face as I regularly do to my legs. You certainly could shave your face using a 5-bladed Gillette specialty razor and a face full of Barbasol, but that really isn’t necessary unless you just want to. Using the eyebrow razor, I simply glide across troublesome areas using short, gentle strokes in a variety of directions to make sure I get all the hair. You can also safely use the razor on your entire face if you tend to have more on your cheeks or even neck. I don’t generally have much on my face or neck aside from my upper lip and chin, but I have used my Tinkle razor all over my face and neck, just to see, and it hasn’t even knicked my skin at all.
I know what you’re thinking, “Won’t that make the hair grow back thicker?” Well, of course not. That rumor is simply false, there’s nothing more to it. However, I do end up shaving more often than I used to pluck or buff, but not because the hair is thicker. Quite the contrary, I was previously accustomed to having a little bit of hair left even after treatment, so I could stand to go longer between uses. But with the razor, my skin is so unbelievably smooth and soft, I am completely addicted to that feeling! I can get by with shaving maybe twice a week, but I end up doing it about every other day just because I like it.
While shaving cream is unnecessary (and probably a hindrance) when using an eyebrow razor, a clean, dry face with a little bit of moisturizer or coconut oil helps the blade glide more smoothly with less irritation. Just to be clear – by irritation I mean slight discomfort (read: actually very slight discomfort) during the process; shaving has never left any sort of red marks or irritation on my skin at all. If anything, shaving has made my skin more supple, as it is a really excellent way to exfoliate! My makeup goes on more smoothly, I use less product, and my bare skin has a youthful glow. Best of all, my husband no longer calls me “Pedro” when my upper lip hair glistens in the sun.
I’m certainly not the only one raving! Here’s what a few of our contributor’s have to say:
“My skin looks and feels better than it ever has. Also when I got poison ivy this summer I legitimately was sad that I couldn’t shave (because it would spread the poison). It’s the most effective exfoliater I’ve ever used. Also my face products seem to stretch farther because my skin uses less. It doesn’t make me look stubbly or like the wolf man or anything like that afterwards when the hair grows back. I know a lot of people were worried about that but it’s totally not like leg stubble.” -Ashley G.
“Since I started shaving, it has really helped with my scarring and the overall texture of my skin.” -Lindsey B.
“My 5 o’clock upper lip ‘stache thanks me.” -Jennifer D.