Does Shaving Make Hair Thicker?
The short answer is…no.
Were you told the same myth as me when you were growing up? Don’t start shaving too early because the hair grows back thicker?
Well I, to my embarrassment, believed this to be true for years. How else could I have gone from having pubescent tufts of hair on my face, to a five o’clock shadow huh?
It turns out that me shaving my little puberty ‘tache and my hair getting thicker, was nothing to do with the shaving of the hair. It was instead to do with nature taking its course and the hair gradually growing thicker anyway.
Don’t Try This At Home!
Unlike our friend above, we know better…
So, Why On Earth Do People Think This Is True?
Well, urban legends are urban legends mostly because they take something interesting that’s a good talking point and spread like wildfire as people rush to pass on ‘the story that they heard’. It’s a similar dynamic regarding hair growing back thicker after shaving. There are a couple of factors that may have contributed to this myth. One is that once the hair is freshly shorn it may ‘appear’ ever-so-slightly darker because it hasn’t yet been exposed to pollutants and chemicals that will make it ever-so-slightly lighter. Another is that because human hair tapers in at the top, like a pencil, that once it’s cut, the razor has simply sliced away the thinner top part, and left the thicker part of the hair below. Which may then lead, wrongly, to the conclusion that the hair beneath is thicker. It’s only temporary however. Cutting away part of the hair doesn’t change the regrowth process. We’re not miraculously producing more hair follicles, regardless of how much thicker the base of the hair may ‘appear’ under certain conditions.
There’s also the possibility that because we’ve learned from nature that pruning plants can generate regrowth, we decided to apply that logic to ourselves!
Pffft, I Still Don’t Believe You!
Well don’t take my word for it! Basically, there’s not only NO scientific evidence to support it, there’s countless studies to disprove it.
As far back as 1928 there were studies to disprove the theory. The authors of this rudimentary 1928 experiment had four men shave half their faces with the same soap/razors/water as each other and then measured the hairs over time. They concluded that no thickening had occurred. In 1970 five men were given the task of shaving one leg on a regular basis and the testers concluded again that no increase had occurred to the thickness of the hairs or rate of growth. So not only does it not grow back thicker, it doesn’t grow back faster either. For more info on this particular study click HERE.
But maybe the biggest and most obvious statement of all is this. If we were bald and continued shaving our head every day, wouldn’t we grow hair?! Wouldn’t the minoxidil producers and finasteride producers be out of the job?!
Sorry to shatter any beliefs that you may have had on this…but hey…at least we know better than these guys…