Does shaving makes hair grow thicker?

by Gio

shaving makes hair grow thicker myth

I’ve always shaved. It’s my fave hair removal method.

Waxing and epilatories are painful as hell, and I don’t do pain. Hair removal creams take forever to use, and they always seem to leave some short stubs behind, anyway.

Shaving, instead, gets the job done well, quickly, and painlessly. It doesn’t even make hair grow back thicker. I know a lot of people think it does, but, in all the years I’ve shaved (more than a decade now), that has never happened.

So, why do some folks think it does? It’s an illusion. Let me explain…

Hair Looks Thicker, But It’s Not

Have you ever looked at your hair? Ok, it’s a bit gross, I know. But, bear with me. When a hair comes out from the follicle, it has a fine and tapered tip.

When you shave it, you’re cutting the hair with a razor. That changes its shape. The fine, tapered tip is gone, and what’s left is its wider base. That’s why hair appears to grow back thicker. But, in reality, its thickness is exactly the same as it was before.

Oh, and it’s not coarser either. I mean, if you touch the freshly cut hair, yeah, the base is gonna feel a bit coarse. That’s because it’s not really short. Let it grow again, and you’ll see, it’ll soon be as soft as it was before.

But, of course, we shave again before hair has a chance to grow back, so we never see it get back to normal.

Do you shave? Or has this myth ever stopped you from trying?

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12 comments

plue September 17, 2010 - 9:17 am

my exact same thoughts!

i shave because it’s fast and easy and convenient 😀 but i have to reshave like every 2 or 3 day? quite a bummer though. 🙂

Reply
beautifulwithbrains September 17, 2010 - 12:28 pm

Plue, I know, I shave every other day and it’s such a pain in the neck! But we’re just cutting the hair rather than completely remove it so it keeps growing back so fast. 🙁 At least this method of hair removal is painless though.

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Negra Cabreada September 17, 2010 - 7:48 pm

I alternate systems, shaving and waxing. Shaving regularly exfoliates my skin and helps me prevent those nasty ingrown hairs I get from waxing

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beautifulwithbrains September 17, 2010 - 9:06 pm

Negra Cabreada, those ingrown hairs are nasty indeed! Unfortunately I get them from shaving as well but exfoliating does help a lot in preventing them.

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Isabel September 18, 2010 - 4:34 am

I’ve only shaved so far. Not planning to wax or anything else cos shaving is so fast! However, I think I get shaving allergies or something cos I get spots where my hair grows. I’m worried it’ll get worse but so far I don’t think it is. I can’t remember if it was already like that before I started shaving

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beautifulwithbrains September 19, 2010 - 1:08 pm

Isabel, I get bumps too from shaving sometimes but usually exfolaiting skin helps prevent and get rid of them. 🙂

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Jeni September 18, 2010 - 8:57 am

I shave because it’s easy, painless, and really cheap! I remember that adults would warn teens not to start shaving until they were really ready because the hair would grow thicker, and once you started, you could never stop. I think they just said that to prevent kids from growing up so fast… I was super worried to do it the first time because of this.

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beautifulwithbrains September 19, 2010 - 1:11 pm

Jeni, I was worried too at first so it was a relief to find out it wasn’t true. 🙂

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Stavroula Plag September 18, 2010 - 1:51 pm

Good post!! 🙂 Of course I shave, I can’t stand pain! lol

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beautifulwithbrains September 19, 2010 - 1:13 pm

Stavroula, me neither. 😉

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Berna September 20, 2010 - 12:01 pm

As a person who uses three of the techniques for hair removal – shaving and epilators and waxing- I can clearly say that you are absolutely true! Shaving is painless and cheap and takes very little time. However, especially in winter when I have time to let them grow for a week or so, consequences of epilation and waxing stays much much longer.

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beautifulwithbrains September 20, 2010 - 1:49 pm

Berna, I agree with everything you said. The downside of shaving is that the effect lasts so little time and I have to say I’m tempted to try waxing and epilators to be hair-free for longer. But I just can’t put myself to go through pain (even though it’s bearable) when shaving is pain-free. 🙂

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