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Comparing Dermaplaning vs Waxing for Facial Hair Removal

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dermaplaning vs waxing

Frustrated with stubborn facial hairs? You’re definitely not alone. Many of our clients come to CosMedic LaserMD seeking smoother, stubble-free skin. The two most popular options for facial hair removal are dermaplaning and waxing. But how do you choose between them?

Dermaplaning and waxing take very different approaches. Understanding the key distinctions will help you determine the best treatment for your individual needs.

What is Dermaplaning?

Dermaplaning uses a surgical scalpel to gently shave the face. It removes fine vellus hairs and exfoliates dead skin cells. Dermaplaning is completely painless and suitable for all skin types. It does not affect deeper terminal hairs and requires repeating every 2-4 weeks as hair regrows.

What is Waxing?

Waxing applies sticky wax strips to pull hair out by the root. It is more effective at removing coarse, dense hairs for longer-lasting smoothness. But waxing can be painful, especially on sensitive facial areas. It carries a risk of irritation, swelling, and ingrown hairs.

Key Differences:

  • Waxing is more painful but provides longer-lasting hair removal
  • Dermaplaning is gentler with no pain but requires more frequent sessions
  • Dermaplaning exfoliates skin; waxing does not
  • Waxing works on coarse hair; dermaplaning only removes fine vellus hairs

Dermaplaning vs. Waxing FAQs

With two very different facial hair removal options to choose from, it’s understandable if you still have some lingering questions. 

To help provide more insight, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about dermaplaning and waxing. This extensive FAQ covers all the key details you need to make an informed decision. 

What is the difference between waxing and dermaplaning?

Waxing and dermaplaning take very different approaches to removing unwanted facial hair. Waxing requires applying a thick, sticky wax to the skin, then placing strips of cloth or paper on top. The esthetician quickly rips the strips off, pulling the hair out from the follicle. This process is repeated until all the desired hair has been removed. 

Dermaplaning uses an entirely different technique. A sterile, surgical scalpel is used to gently shave the face at a 45 degree angle. This removes vellus hair, aka peach fuzz, along with dead skin cells on the outer layer of the epidermis. 

What are the pros and cons of facial waxing vs dermaplaning?

Want an at-a-glance view of how dermaplaning and waxing stack up? Check out this side-by-side comparison chart. We’ve broken down the key differences into different categories so you can easily see the pros and cons of each facial hair removal method.

WaxingRemoves hair from the follicle for longer lasting smoothness- Effective for coarse terminal hairs on face and body- Inexpensive treatment, costs less than dermaplaning- Only needs to be done every 3-6 weeks for maintenance– Very painful, especially on sensitive facial areas- Can cause skin irritation, swelling, redness- High risk of ingrown hairs forming after treatment- Not suitable for some skin conditions or medications
Dermaplaning– Completely painless, safe for all skin types- Gently exfoliates skin, leaving it smooth and glowing- Prepares skin for better product absorption- No downtime, makeup can be applied immediately after– Only removes vellus “peach fuzz”, not coarse hairs- Results only last 7-10 days before hair regrows- Requires sessions every 2-4 weeks for upkeep- Risk of temporary redness or minor nicks if done incorrectly

As you can see, both facial hair removal methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Dermaplaning is ideal for exfoliation and vellus hair removal from sensitive skin. But for eliminating thick, dark terminal hairs, waxing remains more effective.

Is waxing or dermaplaning more painful for the face?

Waxing is significantly more painful than dermaplaning, especially on the delicate facial skin. Sensitive areas like the lips, brows, and jawline have many nerve endings that detect the trauma of hair being ripped out. Most clients report waxing these areas as intensely painful, even with numbing cream.

Dermaplaning, on the other hand, simply shaves the face with a scalpel. It feels smooth and frictionless, with no painful tearing. The esthetician guides the blade lightly along the contours. 

While pain tolerance varies, nearly all clients find dermaplaning much less painful than waxing on all facial areas. For those with low pain tolerance, dermaplaning is the better option.

Which is more effective for facial hair removal: waxing or dermaplaning?

Waxing is more effective for facial hair removal and longer lasting results. It removes the entire hair follicle for up to 6 weeks of smooth skin. Dermaplaning only affects superficial hairs on the epidermis. It can’t significantly reduce coarse, terminal hairs like on the upper lip or chin. 

While dermaplaning makes them less noticeable by exfoliating dead skin cells, it does not provide clean removal. For long term facial hair reduction on dense areas, waxing remains the gold standard.

How long does a wax last compared to shaving?

Waxing lasts significantly longer than shaving. Shaving only cuts hair at skin level, so regrowth appears in 24 hours. Waxing removes the entire follicle, so regrowth takes 3-6 weeks. You only need waxing every 4-6 weeks, versus daily or weekly shaving for upkeep. For longer lasting hair removal, waxing easily outlasts shaving.

Does dermaplaning last longer than shaving?

No, dermaplaning does not last longer than shaving. Both only affect the most superficial hairs and leave the follicle intact. Regrowth appears within 7-10 days after either method. To maintain smoothness, dermaplaning needs repeated every 2-4 weeks, on par with shaving frequency. 

Neither produces longer lasting removal compared to waxing, which removes the entire follicle. Dermaplaning can temporarily smooth fine hairs and exfoliate, but does not outlast shaving for hair removal duration.

Can you wax before dermaplaning?

Yes, you can safely wax before dermaplaning. Many clients do this – waxing first to remove coarse hairs, then dermaplaning a day or two later to eliminate fine hairs the wax missed. 

The exfoliation from dermaplaning also prepares skin to absorb creams that soothe from waxing. 

Allow 24-48 hours between treatments to avoid over-exfoliating. 

Does dermaplaning replace waxing?

Dermaplaning does not permanently replace waxing, especially for coarse hairs. It temporarily removes fine vellus hairs that waxing misses, but regrowth starts in about a week. To remove dense, stubborn facial hair for longer smoothness, waxing is required since it extracts the entire follicle. 

Dermaplaning can’t achieve that level of long-term removal. Many clients get waxes for lasting results, then use dermaplaning in between for exfoliation and peach fuzz removal. Dermaplaning complements but doesn’t replace waxing for months of hair reduction versus just weeks.

Can I dermaplane and wax at the same time?

It is not recommended to dermaplane and wax in the same session. Dermaplaning requires gliding a scalpel, while waxing forcefully removes hair, causing skin trauma. Combining both back-to-back can over-exfoliate and worsen irritation. 

Waxing opens pores and brings blood flow to the surface that dermaplaning can disrupt. It’s best to separate procedures by 24-48 hours to allow skin to recover after waxing before exfoliating. 

Get a wax first for long-term hair removal, then a dermaplaning treatment 2-3 days later for gentle exfoliation. Consecutive wax-dermaplane appointments are too harsh on skin.

Choosing Between Waxing and Dermaplaning

In summary, waxing and dermaplaning both offer facial hair removal with unique benefits. Waxing provides longer lasting results by extracting follicles, but can cause pain and irritation. Dermaplaning gently shaves hairs for smoothness and exfoliates, but has temporary effects. Consider your skin type, tolerance for pain, and goals for hair removal duration.
At CosMedic LaserMD, we offer both dermaplaning and waxing performed by experienced, licensed estheticians. We will help you select the right facial hair removal treatment to achieve your smooth skin goals. Contact us today to book a consultation!

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