How To Use An Eyebrow Razor For Immaculate Brows: 3 Steps + Expert Tips
Brow trends come and go, but at the end of the day, it's all about personal preference. Some love a bushy, unruly brow; others are partial to an immaculately groomed arch. And if you fall toward the latter, you likely know there's a balance between a careful tweezer game and the over-plucking craze of decades past.
We've got a solution for you: an eyebrow razor. No, it doesn't involve repurposing your standard shaver. Rather, the targeted blade offers perfectly shaped, tamed brows (and smooth skin all over, while you're at it). Here's how to know if it's right for you.
What is an eyebrow razor & who should use it?
If you're unable to make it to your standing wax or thread appointment (pandemic and all), an eyebrow razor can be a handy tool to have at home. The most basic comes in a disposable, handheld tool (often dubbed a "tinkle"), but you can find many more upgraded versions, like collapsible stainless-steel blades and electric trimmers.
No matter which you choose, each tool is able to shave those superficial hairs, and while the brows receive a lot of attention, you can also use these blades to target any area that requires a bit more precision—like the upper lip, jawline, even along the bikini line to clean up errant hairs. It's quite similar to dermaplaning, although these at-home tools are only meant to lift unwanted hairs, not the entire top layer of skin (typically, estheticians will use surgical blades to dermaplane).
In terms of who should use an eyebrow razor, brow expert Joey Healy explains the best candidate is someone who has a lot of vellus hairs (aka, that light, baby hair akin to peach fuzz). "Somebody who has a lot of that superficial hair on the forehead or at the temple, sometimes at the bridge of the nose," he adds.
How to use it.
Grab your tool of choice, and follow the expert-approved steps:
- Make sure your skin is clean and dry before starting, even sans moisturizer or sunscreen. Unlike a traditional shave, you don't need any sort of cream or oil to shave the brow area, says Healy. (On the other hand, feel free to use a dollop of shaving cream if you're doing other targeted places, like the upper lip or bikini area.)
- With your eyebrow razor at a 45-degree angle, perform short, downward strokes in the direction of hair growth. "The key is to avoid long strokes," Healy adds. "Instead, do short, little sketch strokes and apply light to medium pressure." You may even want to lightly pull the skin taut, which can make the process a touch easier. Just make sure you're keeping your strokes feathery-light—you don't want to be scraping up your skin, here.
- After, simply follow with your routine as normal. That's the bonus with eyebrow shaving: There's typically no downtime, as opposed to a brow wax or thread. You just might want to hold off on exfoliation afterward, especially if you're shaving off a fair share of peach fuzz; that fresh skin can face some irritation from heavy-duty product. Regardless, you'll still want to moisturize the area after, as well as swipe on sunscreen—standard skin care rules always apply.
How quickly does the hair grow back?
Shaving those vellus hairs can keep them at bay for at least a couple weeks, Healy notes. However, there's no hard-and-fast rule for how often you should use an eyebrow razor—if you notice some peach fuzz reappearing on your jawline, feel free to tinkle away any unwanted hairs.
But rest assured, the hairs will grow back—even if you (gasp) accidentally nick one of your arches. That's because you're shaving the hair at the superficial level rather than pulling it out of the follicle (as you would during a tweeze, wax, or thread). "You are not removing the hair follicle from the bulb," says Healy. So if you got a little carried away with the razor, "It is the same as if you over-trimmed your brows—you can think of it that way."
And for what it's worth, those hairs won't grow back any darker or thicker than they were before. A common myth with shaving is that once you reach for the razor, you'll sprout thicker hairs. This, says Healy, is simply an old wives' tale: "[Shaving around the eyebrow] doesn't change the texture or the amount of hair that comes back after the treatment," he says.
Final tips & warnings.
While you can shave virtually anywhere you see peach fuzz, Healy wouldn't use the razor for the underside of the brows. "That's best left for tweezing," he says, perhaps because those wisps tend to be a bit longer and darker than the baby hairs up top. You'll also want to avoid any raised areas, he notes, like moles, breakouts, scars, or scabs.
Finally, make sure you're cleaning and disinfecting the razor after each shave. While the disposable razors are typically single-use, other options require some aftercare (usually a swipe of rubbing alcohol will do the trick).
Whether you're in between brow appointments or notice some unwanted peach fuzz, eyebrow razors are helpful to have at your disposal. With all the brow procedures and tools out there, it's never been so easy to keep those face-framers in tiptop shape.
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Jamie Schneider is the Associate Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.