Does Waxing Make Your Hair Grow Thinner?

by Gio

waxing makes hair grow thinner

To say that waxing isn’t my favourite hair removal method would be an understatement. It’s way too painful for a wimp like me (I don’t even tweeze my eyebrows because that hurts too much, ahem).

But if it could make my hair grow back thinner, I’d suck it up and do it anyway.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?), that’s just a myth.

WHY WAXING SEEMS TO MAKE HAIRS GROW THINNER

If you’ve ever looked at the tip of a hair, you’ll know it’s fine and wispy.

When you wax, (or tweeze, for that matter), you pull out the entire hair, root and all. Once that’s gone, the hair follicle gets to work and starts creating a new hair. There’s no point in telling it you don’t need that new hair. You’ll get it anyway.

This new hair is growing back from scratch. So, when it reaches the surface, that’s exactly what you see. A thin tip.

But when you shave, you only remove the tip. The rest of the hair, which is thicker, will keep growing back from where it was cut off. That’s why it looks thicker.

At first sight, the new waxed hair looks thinner than the “new” shaved hair. But, if you were to measure their widths (I know, only a weirdo would do that) you’ll find that they are exactly the same. Thinner at the tip, and thicker at the shaft.

The Bottom Line

If you like waxing, keep doing it. But if you’re thinking of starting because you heard it makes hair grow thinner, don’t bother. That’s just a hairy myth.

Do you prefer to wax or shave?

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9 comments

Eli January 24, 2014 - 2:26 pm

Exactly this thin tip plays me a nasty trick – I get bumps wherever I wax, because the hair can’t get through my skin, obviously! So I have to wax and shave on and off. But as years go by, less hairs seem to grow back at all…

Reply
Gio January 24, 2014 - 8:05 pm

Eli, oh no! What a pain that is!

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Sarah January 24, 2014 - 5:18 pm

I have been waxing since…well, forever. I’m 31 now and I have much less (much, much less) hair now on my legs than 10 years ago, and almost nothing under my arms. I can sometimes go 5-6 weeks between waxing, since the hair doesn’t really show up (and I have dark hair). In the long run, I think waxing was a very good choice for me. As for the pain, it doesn’t even bother me anymore. I mean, I know it’s painful, but I got used to it! So maybe the hair is not thinner, but it’s definitely thinning over time.

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Gio January 24, 2014 - 8:08 pm

Sarah, I heard that waxing can, in the long run, damage the follicles, which is why less hair grows back. But I couldn’t find any study confirming it, so that’s why I didn’t include it. In any case, it’s great not having to remove hair often. 🙂 Being a wimp I shave, but it’s a nuisance to have to do that daily.

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Ana January 25, 2014 - 7:35 am

I prefer waxing – it’s smoother, and stays that way for longer.

I’ve been exclusively shaving for the past few months, though, in preparation for photoepilation – and I’ve hated it before my first treatment.
I get ingrowns from waxing, but shaving… it’s just been a bumpy, itching, red mess!

I’m so happy that the first session produced results, so what has been left isn’t that awful when it starts regrowing after shaving.

We’ll see if the second session went as well as the first one in a few weeks 😀 .

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Gio January 25, 2014 - 4:57 pm

Ana, I hope it went well. Keep me updated. I’d like to try that too, as I’m tired of shaving every day. And you do get bumps and ingrown hairs that way, what a pain!

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Shaving Emporium February 20, 2014 - 9:23 pm

I am a guy so know very little about waxing. I got half a leg done once for a charity bash and that was more than enough fr me. How you ladies go through this on any type of regular basis astounds me.
I recently did quite a bit of research into trimming nose hairs for males. There were a lot of myths going around that if you plucked those then they grew back bigger and faster. As I am sure you all know that just doesn’t happen. Waxing in many ways is a type of plucking I guess and as it removes hair, then over time it will also thin it out.

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Gio February 21, 2014 - 3:06 pm

Shaving Emporium, well done for doing it for charity. I hope you raised quite a big of money. They say that after a while, you can’t feel the pain anymore, although I prefer to stick to other non-painful removal treatments. But they don’t last as long as I can see why a lot of women prefer waxing despite the pain.

And thank you for sharing your research with us, and busting this common myth! 🙂

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Katrina October 25, 2019 - 6:24 am

I’m sorry to say but it’s no myth for me. I’m Asian with black thick coarse hair down there. Had my first wax at age 40 and I have no regret what so ever. 3 wks later 1/2 an inch grew in but so soft and fine and very sparse. So fine like hair on my arms. Even the husband said the hair was so soft he didn’t even noticed it, lol. I couldn’t believe it, it was a miracle. Before the wax they were very curly and thick now they’re very very fine and straight. Can’t wait for my next session. 😊

Reply

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