How Does Shaving Hairs Make Them Grow Back Quicker?

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How Does Shaving Hairs Make Them Grow Back Quicker?
How Does Shaving Hairs Make Them Grow Back Quicker? (Image: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/dreamguy)

The Myth

It is commonly thought that people who shave the hair on their body cause the hair to grow back darker, thicker and more quickly. Parents tell their teen girls not to start shaving until they absolutely have to, as the fine hair on their legs will never look the same again. Similarly, young boys are encouraged to shave early by their fathers, so they can grow a thick, manly stubble. However, none of these suggestions are based on fact. The idea that hair grows faster and thicker after it is cut or shaved is inaccurate. Although there is no factual evidence explaining why so many people believe hair grows back faster after shaving, there are several theories that may explain why the misconception is so common.

The Reasoning

When hair is shaved, it is easier to determine growth. For instance, it is apparent to sight and touch when the hair has grown after shaving, because the skin will be smooth one day, and rough the next. But hair that was not shaved feels the same on both days, having been long on the first day and long on the second. This may be the reason for the common misconception that hair grows back quicker after it is shaved. If you compare the growth of a sharp, recently shaved hair to a long, wispy hair, it will seem like it is growing more quickly, but it is actually because the reference points are different. To determine this, experiment by shaving one leg while leaving the other leg unshaven. After 6 weeks, both legs will have the same length again, proving that shaving will not make hair grow faster.

The Fact

There is a plateau that hair, especially body hair, will reach, and some hairs will stop growing after they reach a certain length. When hair has been shaved, it seems to be growing much faster than other hairs that were not shaved, but this hair will also stop growing when it reaches a certain length. Because body hair is meant to stave away infection and create warmth, it does not grow to the vigorous length that hair on the scalp might. It does not matter how often you shave or what type of razor you use. Your hair will continue to grow back to a similar length every time you shave it.

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