Shaving is a popular, convenient means of hair removal. But it's often followed by dark rumors that it makes hair grow back thicker. And what about other hair removal methods? Are they part of an escalating cycle where you knock out hair and it comes back swinging harder than ever? Say it isn't so!
What Effect Does Removal Have on Hair Regrowth?
Spoiler alert: none really. Shaving does not make hair thick. Shaving cuts hair above the root where it protrudes from the skin. Other than that, it causes no physiological or chemical changes to the body that would affect hair growth. This also holds true for other hair removal methods like Nair™ hair removal creams and waxes which remove hair just below the skin's surface for longer lasting smooth skin. If hair removal doesn't make hair grow back thicker, then why does it look thicker after shaving?
Why Shaving Seems to Make Hair Grow Back Thicker
It's an optical illusion. No, your hair is not playing tricks on you - at least not intentionally. Hair tends to be wider near the root and taper toward the end. Because shaving cuts hair close to its root, or widest part, emerging stubble may look thicker and darker after shaving.Ok, then what about teens shaving "peach fuzz" for the first time? Doesn't that grow back thicker? While regrowth after a first shave may come in thicker, that's often due to the hormonal changes that go along with growing up (aka puberty). In this case hair thickens naturally, regardless of shaving.
Does Shaving Make Hair Grow Back Faster?
So we know hair doesn't grow back thicker. What about faster? Again, there's no effect. Hair removal does not make hair grow back faster. So whether you're, trimming, plucking, waxing, shaving or using depilatory creams, there's no need to worry that enjoying smooth, hair-free skin today will require doubling down on removal efforts tomorrow. Just keep a consistent hair removal routine and enjoy your silky-smooth skin.