Myth or Fact: Does Shaving Increase Hair Growth?

Myth or Fact: Does Shaving Increase Hair Growth?

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It’s time we put this debate to rest. For long, women have avoided shaving their facial and body hair, fearing the growth of thicker, denser hair. If we go by that logic, hair shaving should be considered a breakthrough treatment for androgenetic alopecia. That begs the question, does shaving hair increase hair growth for real? It just sounds too good be to true. However, we need to find out if there’s even a smidgen of truth in it.

All those people who are losing their hair permanently would be all too happy to try out this “treatment.” To promote the regrowth of thicker, denser hair, many men with pattern baldness are shaving their scalps. Now, we just have to find out whether all these efforts are going to go in or will it yield results.

How Often Do People Shave?

Well, the shaving schedule of people may vary depending on the area of the body they’re grooming and the way they want to groom it.

Shaving Trends Among Women

In 2015, a survey of 2,061 women above the age of 18 by the British Association of Beauty Therapists and Cosmetology (BABTAC) showed that the armpit was the most shaven area of the body.

Women shaved their armpits three times a week on average, their legs twice a month and bikini line after almost a month. While over half the women in the survey said that they didn’t care about body hair, 39% of them hated it.

survey of 540 women by American Laser Centers also had some interesting insights. Almost two months of a woman’s life are spent in hair removal, with women shaving 12 times per month on average. Shaving costs her $15.87 per month, but it adds up to $10,207 throughout her lifetime.

Alarmingly, 52% of the women leave the water running when shaving, and it takes them almost 11 minutes to shave. So, in her lifetime, she’ll end up using 420,652 gallons of water for hair shaving. Most women prefer shaving over waxing and depilatory hair removal creams.

Shaving Trends Among Men

It’s not just the women, though. Mintel’s research showed that 46% of the males removed all their body hair in the UK. 57% of those between ages 16-24 said that they removed their pubic hair.

At the end of the day, how much you shave depends entirely on you. Men who prefer a clean-shaven face may shave daily or every first or second day. Not necessarily should you shave every day since your skin needs some time to heal between the shaves.

Still, it comes down to the look that you’re trying to achieve. If you want to grow stubble, you can shave after every three days. Hair does not grow at the same rate for every person. Moreover, your genetics can also play a part in determining how fast your hair grows back.

If we go by all the myths, some fundamental change in the anatomy of the hair follicle takes place when you shave. After all, they grow back ‘thicker and darker’. And yet, there’s nothing that magical about shaving.

What Is Shaving?

Shaving involves the use of razors (disposable, electric, safety, cartridge, and straight razor) to remove the hair shafts visible above the surface of the skin. Using the right razor in the right way will ensure a smooth, close and safe shave for you.

Keep in mind that when you’re shaving your hair, you’re only removing the hair grown above the surface of the skin. So, the root remains intact, which is not the case in waxing. Therefore, shaving does not change the rate of growth, texture or colour of your hair.

What Happens To Your Hair When You Shave?

In other hair removal methods, you will notice that the hair grows back differently. Take waxing, for instance; the hair grows back fine and sparse if you do it regularly. Now, you will say that ‘but my hair grows back differently when I shave!’

Because you’re only removing the surface hair, shaving makes it grow back faster. It doesn’t matter if you are shaving the hair on your head or other areas of the body. Hair removal with shaving works the same way.

There is a very big reason, though, why the hairs appear different after shaving. It makes many believe that shaving has something to do with the changed thickness. A closer look at a hair follicle might reveal a few things to you; it is thin, fine at the top and gradually increases in thickness as we go down the shaft.

When you slice the shaft midway (above the skin), the thicker, coarser part comes at the top. The tapered tip turns into a blunt tip. It looks darker due to the exposure of the thicker area of the shaft. It may also look darker because it hasn’t been exposed to the sun or other chemicals in body hygiene products. When you shave, the hairs grow back faster while looking thicker and darker. However, as it continues to grow, it becomes tapered at the end, yet again due to wear.

Does Shaving Increase Hair Growth?

The answer to does shaving increases hair growth is no. Whether it is your body hair or facial hair, using a razor to shave will not impact its growth rate. The hair will not grow back thicker. Due to the shaving of the tapered end, the hair may appear thick. Shaving will not affect hair thickness or the rate of growth.

There are different reasons why people end up believing these myths. A person with a lighter skin tone might notice the darker blunt end of the hair more after shaving. Non-exposure to sunlight, pollutants and chemicals in soaps can also make the hair look dark. Moreover, the time a person begins shaving may coincide with puberty, which naturally makes hair thicker.

Keep in mind that hair growth may differ in different areas of the body. Your armpit hair grows much more quickly than the hair on your legs. So, if you notice your armpit hair growing more quickly after shaving, don’t get alarmed.

Two significant studies have been made to dismiss these myths. Way back in 1928, a study published in Anatomical Record by Mildred Trotter showed that shaving did not make the hair grow faster, nor did it change its texture or colour. Another research published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 1970 showed that shaving did not affect the width of hair or rate of growth. When you’re shaving your hair, you’re removing that part of the hair that’s dead. So, their removal should not make them grow back faster or thicker.

What Are Some Tips For Shaving The Right Way?

Everyone’s skin is unique. Still, there are a few tips that can help you get a better shave. Before shaving, make sure to wet your skin with warm water. Shaving right after a bath is also a good idea as your skin will be soft then. Make sure that your razor has a sharp, clean blade. You may end up with nicks and cuts otherwise.

Apply the shaving lotion/gel/cream on your face and use short, gentle strokes to remove the hair in the direction in which it is growing. Once you’re done, wash your face with cool water and apply moisturizer.

Does Shaving Increase Hair Growth In The Beard?

Not at all. We’ve already established that. There is a popular myth that’s floating around town about it, though. If you’re struggling to grow facial hair, just shave your face. That’s because it will make your hair grow thicker and darker than before. If that’s all it takes to grow thick facial hair, many people would finally be able to grow a beard. Alas, that’s not the case.

For any hair removal method to affect hair growth, it must involve the hair root. Waxing pulls out the hair root from the skin, and eventually, you will notice a change in your hair growth if you keep waxing. Shaving, on the other hand, does nothing to the hair root.

So, if you’re struggling to grow facial hair, shaving your face won’t help. It sounds counterintuitive; why would you shave something that you want to grow? Shaving is no substitute for a beard or hair transplant as it can’t plant hair grafts in bald regions. If you have patchy facial hair or can’t grow any due to genetics or other reasons, you should consider getting a beard or moustache transplant.

In A Nutshell

So, does shaving increase hair growth? No. There’s absolutely no scientific evidence backing up this myth. Research exposed the truth behind the myth almost a century ago. If you have hair loss problems, you cannot expect your hair to grow back thicker if you shave. That’s not possible.

Those with permanent hair loss struggles end up finding the best solution in hair transplant. Contact our team today and book your free consult and learn more about your treatment plan.

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