Does shaving make hair thicker or grow faster?

Does shaving make hair thicker or grow faster?

The age-old myth that shaving makes your facial hair grow back thicker has been passed down through generations of men. Let's cut through the stubble and get to the root of this hairy situation.

1. Understanding Hair Growth

Growth Cycle Of A Hair Follicle

Image attribution: Shutterstock

To debunk this myth, we need to understand how hair actually grows. All your hair grows from follicles beneath your skin. These follicles determine the thickness, colour, and growth rate of your hair - not your razor.

2. The Science Behind the Myth

Now, let's look at what science has to say about this. Multiple studies have shown that shaving does not affect the thickness, colour, or rate of hair growth. In fact, this myth was debunked as far back as 1928!

3. Why Does It Seem Thicker?

A Guy Shaving With A Single-blade Razor

So why does it feel like your beard is staging a rebellion after you shave? There are a few reasons:

a) Blunt ends: Shaving cuts the hair at its thickest point, creating a blunt end that feels coarser than the natural tapered end of uncut hair.

b) Stubble illusion: Short stubble can appear darker against pale skin, giving the impression of thicker growth.

c) Increased awareness: After shaving, you're more likely to pay attention to the regrowth, making it seem more noticeable.

Comparison Of Unshaved Hair Versus Shaved Hair

Image attribution: Fuss-Free Shaving

4. Shaving Techniques and Hair Appearance

While shaving doesn't change your hair's thickness, your shaving technique can affect how your facial hair looks and feels when it grows back:

a) Shaving with the grain: This method is gentler on your skin and can result in a smoother appearance as the hair regrows.

b) Shaving against the grain: While this gives a closer shave, it can lead to more irritation and potentially cause ingrown hairs, which might make regrowth appear more noticeable.

c) Using a sharp razor: A sharp blade from a single-blade razor instead of a multi-blade razor can give you a cleaner cut, which can make regrowth feel less stubbly. 

Multi Blade Shaving SkinSingle Blade Shaving Skin

Conclusion

Shaving does not make your hair grow back thicker. It's simply an illusion caused by the blunt ends of freshly cut hair and our increased awareness of regrowth. Your beard's thickness is determined by factors like genetics and hormones, not your shaving habits.

Whether you choose to rock a full forest, maintain a bit of stubble, or go for the clean-shaven look, having the right razor for your needs can make all the difference in achieving your desired look. 

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