There's an idea floating around that shaving one's hair makes it grow back quicker and thicker. In fact, this is an idea that many people are told from childhood, and there's not a lot of conversation about whether or not it's true.
Does hair really come back thicker if you shave it? We're going to take a look at some hair science in this article, giving you a little insight into this idea and whether or not you can use it in your grooming routine.
Hopefully, the ideas below will clear up any confusion you have. Let's take a look.
Hair Science: Does Shaving Make Hair Grow Faster?
To get to the bottom of this myth, we have to explore a little bit about how the process of hair growth occurs in the first place.
We start to grow hair inside of our mother and continue the process throughout the life cycle. Many people find that they start to lose hair growth as they reach a certain age, however. In total, we're born with around five million hair follicles on our bodies.
Five million! Those follicles range from the tips of your toes in some cases, all of the way up to the top of your scalp. Naturally, some people are harrier than others. There's a lot of diversity in that area.
As it turns out, the number of hairs that you're born with is the total amount that you'll ever have. We don't grow new hair follicles as we age.
One interesting way to verify this is to look at how thick a person's head of hair is as they transition into adulthood. You'll notice that the hair seems to look thinner than it did when the person was a child.
The reason being is that our scalps expand as we age and the existing hair follicles expand apart from one another.
Rate of Growth and Thickness
The idea that we don't produce new hair follicles as we age is one that pokes a hole in the idea that shaving makes hair grow faster and thicker. How could hair come back thicker if there are no new follicles? The thickness of one's hair depends on the density of the hair follicles they have.
It also depends on the rate of growth and extension of the existing hair. In the case of a beard, for example, many young men don't experience the fullness of facial hair until they're well into adulthood.
Even though all of the follicles exist throughout the lifespan, they don't fully mature until a person is around 30. You'll notice that a lot of 20-year-old men have light beards that don't fill out all the way.
Other young men might have nearly full beards right as they enter young adulthood. When facial hair grows depends on genetics. The way it looks depends on how dense your follicles are as well as how thick the hair is.
Thickness is another aspect that tends to mature over the course of young adulthood. A 20-year-old man's beard tends to be far thinner than a 30-year old's beard.
Is There a Connection Between Thickness and Shaving?
Unfortunately for those who want to kickstart a denser beard, shaving doesn't have any influence on how long, dense, or thick your beard is. These factors all have to do with your genetics, your diet, and your environment.
Your body dictates those factors, and shaving doesn't adjust how your genes are written produce different things in your body.
Hair Growth Cycle
Hairs all over the body subscribe to an interesting process of growth. You might not notice it happening, but our bodies are producing and releasing hairs all of the time.
This is why you'll find a whole heap of hairs floating around your home at all times. They might be tiny, they could be fully matured hairs, but they're there.
There are three stages to the life cycle of a strand of hair. Let's take a look at them.
This phase is the period of time in which hair is growing. Most strands of hair on the head grow about one centimeter per month. Different follicles of hair have lengths of the anagen phase.
For example, the anagen phase in back hair is a lot shorter than the phase of the hair on your scalp. Additionally, different hairs in regions of the body have unique anagen phase lengths.
You'll note that some of your arm hairs are a lot longer than others. The same goes for your hair, it's just more difficult to tell because we cut our hair so often. Typically, the hair on our heads has an anagen phase of up to six years.
Again, this phase determines the rate of growth that each follicle experiences. It's also responsible for determining how long the follicle of hair will continue to grow before a new one forms and pushes it out.
This phase is essentially our "shedding" phase.
Instead of having a shedding or molting phase like other species, our hair tends to fall out on its own terms. Each individual strand works on its own schedule, whereas other species tend to shed in particular seasons or at specific times in their lifecycle.
In the catagen phase, something cues the hair to stop growing. Once the growth stops, the root of the strand detaches from its roots in your skin. At this point, the hair doesn't have any nutrients so it begins to shrink.
That shrinking leads the strand to slide up to be shed as you go about your day. It's as if the hair knows when its time is up and it just removes itself to make way for more hair to flow through.
The telogen phase is the period of time when the hair follicle and strand are at rest. The strand has done its work and now leans back into retirement before the catagen phase kicks it out.
Hairs on the head go through around three or four months of the telogen phase before they enter the catagen phase. Other hairs tend to have a little bit longer.
Debunking The Myth
So, what does this all mean for the idea that shaving hair makes it come back thicker and faster?
It means that there's no truth to the myth. For whatever reason, all kinds of people are told this myth when they're children. Either someone wants to start shaving their face so that their beard will come in quicker or they're afraid that shaving their legs will lead to rapid growth.
As we age, this myth might come through in other ways. We start to grow hair on various parts of the body as we age. The back, the chest, the arms, the feet, knuckles, you name it.
In a lot of cases, most of us don't want hair growing all over our bodies. We might avoid shaving those areas out of the fear that doing so will just cause the hair to come back faster.
Fortunately, you can shave all of the areas of your body without affecting their rate of change in any way. Does this change things up for you?
Manscaping Tips to Work With
Now that you know that shaving won't impact how fast your hair comes back, you can start to shave your body without fear. some of the most difficult areas to shave are the back and neck.
This is partly because you can't see those areas of your body without a mirror, but it's also difficult to reach those parts of yourself without a tool.
1. Try a Bakblade
The Bakblade offers a seamless way to reach all areas of your back without nicking and scratching the hard-to-reach spots. You don't have to contort your arms and neck to try to get all of the hair from your back.
A hairy back can be a difficult thing to manage, and that might impact your self-esteem. There's nothing wrong with having a hairy back, but you should have the option to trim it up if you want to.
Give yourself that option by investing in a tool that's designed to treat your back and leave you with an excellent shave.
2. Multi-Purpose Shaving Tools
Multi-purpose shaving tools like the Bodbarber are excellent at getting your bodily and facial hair into the best state they can be.
If you've ever tried shaving your face or body with a hair buzzer that's meant for your scalp, you know how tough it can be to get things right. The fortunate thing is that there are a lot of tools that are designed to groom and carve out your hair the way you want.
Don't sell yourself short and neglect your facial and bodily grooming. Your hair's not going to grow back stronger if you shave it, it will just continue to sit there and grow until it falls out.
With that in mind, what's stopping you from trimming up?
3. Don't Forget The Skin
One of the worst things about letting your body hair grow out longer than it needs to is that your skin suffers.
Have you ever shaved your beard, only to find that your face is covered in flakes? Things have a way of drying out when they're covered in hair for months. Either that or they're subjected to a lot of oils and dirt that invades the pores.
In any case, shaving allows you to access that skin and give it the treatment that it deserves. Exfoliation is an important part of keeping healthy skin. It's tough to exfoliate properly when there's a lot of hair covering the skin.
Exfoliation is the process of scrubbing or rubbing to remove dead skin. Dead skin is always piling up all over our body, as the body is in a constant process of shedding and generating new skin.
When we fail to exfoliate, our pores clog and are prevented from maintaining their health. This can lead to acne, dry skin, irritation, and more.
You can also benefit your skin by investing in various washes and serums that are intended to moisturize, clean, and improve the quality of the skin.
4. Get a Grooming Kit
Not sure where to start when it comes to hair removal?
A grooming kit is an excellent stepping stone into figuring out what you need to groom yourself the way you like. These kits include various shaving and trimming tools, as well as reusable attachments and refills to keep you going for a while.
You might consider exploring various kits that address your face and body separately as well. These kits will also help you out by offering the right oils and gels for your skin.
Contrary to popular belief, oils and gels help with the shaving of all areas of the body. The back, feet, legs, chest, and face can all benefit from a well-selected regimen of lotions and oils.
5. Get Into a Habit
While it's not true that hair grows back thicker and faster when you shave, it does come right back.
Stuble is a good look sometimes, but it's not always the look you want on different areas of your body. The best way to keep yourself in check is to get into a good rhythm with your grooming.
It's impossible to resist or change the things that your body will do naturally, so all you can do is insert a little discipline and keep things on an even keel. Additionally, routine self-care will keep your skin clear, your hair clean, and even provide benefits to your mental health.
If you're curious about more ideas for grooming ad maintaining your hair, we're here to help.
Want to Learn More?
So, it turns out that the "does shaving make hair grow faster" debate is one big myth. Hair science shows us that there's no truth to the idea that thickness, speed, or length of hair are associated with shaving.
There are lots of ways to groom yourself and get your hair to the place you want it to be, though. Explore our site or contact us for more ideas on products, grooming, and more.