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Monday, April 4, 2016

Studio Root's Dermaplaning: You Will Love It

A Studio Root Skin Care client receives a dermaplaning treatment by owner Tami Root. (Photo provided.)

When Tami Root, owner of Studio Root Skin Care, asked if I wanted to try a dermaplaning treatment and write about it, I had my reservations (and not because it involves a scalpel). My skin-care routine is this: I sometimes wash my face at night. I recently purchased a small container of Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream, which both felt extravagant (turns out it's not nearly as expensive as many other skin-care products) and grownup (I'm 37). The closest I've ever had to a facial is when I tried a fruit-scented peel-off mask at a slumber party in the 1990s.

But I trust Tami. I've long been seeing her for brow maintenance, which, at first, involved brow repair as she patiently and without judgement shaped my brows into something that matched—both each other and my face. I have fair skin and thick, dark, curly hair. (I'm thankful that bold brows are currently en vogue.) And while almost anyone can benefit from dermaplaning—for almost everyone has fine, downy hair on their face—my skin and hair type make me an ideal candidate. (Let's just say my tweezers see use daily.)

Dermaplaning is a process that removes the fine, downy hair from your face using a thin, fine blade (the scalpel I mentioned above). Smooth, gentle strokes both cut the hair at the surface and exfoliate any dry skin. While the scalpel may sound scary—it's not. It's akin to a shave, and much more pleasant than laser treatments, waxing, tweezing and harsh hair-removal chemicals (trust me, I know). The result? Never has my face felt so smooth or has my skin looked so bright.

Why the brightness? In addition to hair removal dermaplaning also exfoliates the skin, which promotes cellular turnover by regenerating new skin, Tami says. Makeup application is easier and goes on much more smoothly. This was proven to me the following morning, when, by habit, I used the same amount of light foundation I've been using for years only to realize, on my freshly dermaplaned skin, it was too much.

"As an anti-aging treatment, dermaplaning every four to six weeks keeps skin looking better by uncovering younger skin cells that are covered by older ones," Tami says. "The further away from 20 that you are, the slower your skin cells shed. Dermaplaning forces the shedding process to reveal younger, fresher cells that benefit from your skin-care products. Dry, dull, mature cells are never going to be revitalized by products, but once they are removed, you will start seeing better results. With regular treatments, you get longer-lasting results." 

Still worried about that scalpel? Don't be. Here's the process: I walked in sans makeup but it's fine to come in with makeup if that's what your day dictates. Tami removes makeup if needed, then uses a glycolic cleanser to remove any surface oils from your face. She then applies some alcohol to sanitize the skin and to get it as dry as possible. With her hands Tami then pulls a portion of the skin tight, and uses a sterilized #10 scalpel, which she holds at a 45-degree angle to systematically remove any hair and dry skin.

Tami has incredibly steady hands. Honestly? The whole thing felt relaxing. My kids were at school. I could have slept in her spa chair it's so comfortable. She plays soft, earthy music and there's no talking so she can concentrate. Although not a massage, the experience felt like one. And it's casual. Every once in awhile Tami will stop and ask if I need to move or have an itch.

Tami Root works on Vonda Pickens' brows with tweezers prior to a dermaplaning session. (Photo provided.)

Once she's done with the scalpel Tami massages oil back into the skin. The entire process takes 45 minutes and costs $50. Add brow shaping (which I highly recommend) and it just adds 15 minutes and $10, so $60 total. An extended dermaplaning treatment includes brow shaping, a pore purge and an enzyme peel to brighten the skin—$75 for 75 minutes. Consider that brow shaping typically costs $20 and a lip wax costs $15, $60 seems incredibly reasonable being that your entire face ends up hair-free. Plus, there's no downtime. No redness. No irritation. No wearing sunglasses and holding your hand up underneath your nose when walking down the street.

It's not permanent. "The hair does grow back in about a month," Tami says. "It doesn't grow back darker or thicker, because all that happened was cutting it off at the surface. That doesn't do anything to the root or the texture." 

Tami says there are two kinds of hair: Terminal hair is thicker, coarser and darker. Vellus hair is thinner, finer and lighter. "Most hair on your face is vellus hair," Tami says. "Terminal hair is what you find on your legs. Some of us also have terminal hair pop up in areas on our faces. A man's beard is terminal hair, and women can also sprout terminal hair on their faces as hormone levels fluctuate." 

In no way will the process make your hair grow back quicker and thicker. "If you think about shaving your legs, the hair was downy as a child, then got coarser, darker and thicker as we went through puberty," Tami says. "There is a stopping point. Shaving may seem like it made hair grow in more, but the change in color and texture was just part of the process. If shaving created more hair, we would have carpets on our legs by the time we were 30. Those of us with thicker, coarser hair on our heads will also have thicker, coarser hair on our bodies. That's just the way it is." 

Dermaplaning clients often become repeats. "It's the little things that feel so wonderful after dermaplaning," says Vonda Pickens. "Not only do I keep touching my face because it feels like newborn baby skin, but when I walk out of the studio, the air feels so tingly and fresh. When I get home and scoop up my cat, her fur feels so luxurious when it brushes my cheek." 

If you're interested but still have questions, contact Tami. Consultations are always free. Visit her website here or call 859-441-6500.

Twice voted "Best in Cincinnati" by Cincinnati Magazine for her spa services, Tami brings 30 years of experience to the spa chair. She personalizes every treatment. (For example, throughout the dermaplaning process she regularly tweezed any hairs she believed needed tweezed/would grow back quicker.) Tami also loves to talk skin-care (she barely balked when I told her my nightly routine) and so she offers a "skin care 101" to walk you through a simple, night time regime to keep your skin looking its best.

Before Tami explained dermaplaning I had no idea what it was—turns out, it's exactly what I needed.


  1. When I recommend a company or service to my friends, it has my 100% 'stamp of approval'.

    I just did my second dermaplaning two weeks ago, and while I use a third of the products I'm use to using (huge plus right there), the surface and texture of my skin is likened to that of a 5-year-old! Let me point out, I just turned 50! This treatment takes about 45 minutes from beginning to end, and is worth its weight in gold!

    I ENCOURAGE everyone (male and female) to do yourself a favor and at least try this once. You will be amazed beyond words and will be hooked! To me, there is not a whole lot out there that can produce these results, especially for the price. And as an added benefit, being in the presence of Tami.... is just good for your soul! It's like a mental massage!

  2. My daughter and I get our brows done by Tami. She does a wonderful job! The Studio is very clean and has a relaxing Zen vibe. Will be making an appointment for the Derma Planing.