One of the most common misconceptions related to hair is that shaving makes hair grow back thicker. This belief has been around for generations and could be the reason why some people avoid shaving certain body parts out of fear that the hair will grow back thicker and darker than before. But is there any truth behind this myth?
Separating Fact from Fiction
The belief that hair grows back thicker after shaving is nothing more than a myth. The reality is that shaving has no effect on the rate at which hair grows, its thickness, or its color. Hair growth rate is determined by genetics. Hair thickness and color are determined by a person’s age, ethnicity, and hormonal changes, among other factors.
When hair is cut, the blunt end of the hair follicle may feel thicker and coarser to the touch, giving the impression that the hair has grown back thicker. However, the hair itself remains the same thickness and shape as before.
According to Dr. Doris Day, a New York City-based dermatologist, “Hair may appear thicker for a short time as it grows out because it has a blunt tip instead of a tapered end, which is more common with naturally grown hair. But over time, as the hair gets longer, the tapered end will return, and the hair will look normal. This can occur within a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how fast the hair grows.”
Why the Myth Persists?
Despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that shaving makes hair grow back thicker, the myth continues to persist. One of the reasons for this could be because of the way the hair looks and feels immediately after shaving.
When hair is shaved, it is cut very close to the surface of the skin, which exposes the hair shaft itself. Since the hair shaft is now exposed, it may feel and look more apparent than before, giving the impression that it is thicker. However, this is a temporary effect, and as the hair continues to grow, its thickness will return to normal.
Another reason why the myth persists is that hairlessness is often associated with prepubescent girls. Body hair is seen as a sign of masculinity, and many men may assume that shaving their body hair will make it grow back thicker and darker. However, this is not the case.
Despite the fact that shaving does not make hair grow back thicker, there are still several things people should keep in mind to ensure that they get the best results when it comes to hair removal.
First, it’s important to use a sharp razor when shaving. A blunt razor can cause razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other problems that can make the hair look thicker or more apparent than it actually is.
Second, it can be helpful to exfoliate the skin before shaving. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and helps to prevent ingrown hairs and razor bumps.
Third, it’s important to use shaving cream or gel to lubricate the skin and reduce irritation during the shaving process.
Finally, it’s important to moisturize the skin after shaving to keep it soft and smooth and to reduce the risk of irritation.
The belief that shaving makes hair grow back thicker is a myth. Shaving has no effect on hair thickness or color or the rate at which it grows. The thickness of the hair may appear thicker for a short time immediately after shaving, but this is only because the hair is cut bluntly and not because it has grown back thicker. By following proper shaving techniques and in conjunction with other forms of hair removal, shaving can still be an effective and efficient way to achieve smooth, hairless skin.
Sources for Further Reading
1. American Academy of Dermatology Association (https://www.aad.org/)
2. WebMD (https://www.webmd.com/)