Does Hair Grow Faster after Shaving?

It’s widely believed that shaving actually causes hair to grow back faster as well as thicker and darker. This is in fact an urban legend as shaving has nothing to do with hair growth. Shaving works by dragging a razor blade across the skin, cutting off hair just as it emerges from the skin. Hair growth is not determined by anything on the surface of the skin, but rather by a subcutaneous structure called the hair follicle. In order for any process to have an impact on how hair grows it needs to affect the follicle, which shaving does not.

So why is it thought that shaving makes hair grow faster?

Shaving is a fairly temporary form of hair removal as hair grows back relatively quickly. The perception that it’s growing back faster than it did before lies in the context. Before shaving, hair growth is in the context of longer hair, whereas after shaving you’re watching that same rate of growth on a smooth hair free surface. Hair growth is just more obvious in this context, hence leading to the illusion that it’s growing faster than it did previously.

This misconception is actually a factor that puts many people off shaving areas which they feel may be embarrassing. So if you found the possibility of quicker and darker re-growth was a factor in deciding against shaving, it’s worth revisiting the idea as shaving is a quick, painless, and smooth process.

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