Health Myths #168 Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Darker and Thicker


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Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s likely that you heard this myth repeated to you a lot during those awkward teen years. If you were a man, it might have been encouragement, a secret hint on how to strengthen your moustache and impress your friends. If you were a woman, you might have been offered this sage wisdom in warning – don’t shave, it’ll grow back thicker!

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Myth 1: Shaving Makes Hair Grow Back Darker and Thicker – FALSE

We still hear this all the time, and the reason is probably because it seems so believable. And at first glance, it’s true – after we shave, the stubble seems darker and more visible than before. But at the end of the day, the idea that shaving darkens hair is just not accurate.

So what’s actually happening?

When you shave, the tip of the hair is removed. The softer, thinner end is suddenly gone. Instead, a new, blunt tip is left, appearing thicker. However, the growth pattern, rate, and thickness of the hair is no way altered by the act of shaving. Hair is dead. And unlike the living dead we saw this past Halloween, dead hair has no way of communicating to the root, and no way of altering its structure or passing on instructions.

Once the shaved hair is left to reach its pre-shave length, it will appear exactly the same. So while it might have seemed darker or thicker while growing out again, it hasn’t actually changed.

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