Mythbusting: Does Shaving Make Your Hair Grow Back Thicker and Coarser?

You may have heard it from your mother growing up, from your friends, or even while doing some Google sleuthing: If you shave your hair, it’ll grow back thicker and coarser.

The thought is enough to put down the razor forever!

But is there any truth to the oft-repeated warning?

Not according to the experts.

“I think this myth has stayed with us too long!” says licensed esthetician Jordana Mattioli of Complete Skin MD. It’s partly just perception.

“Cutting or shaving slices away the tip of a hair, which is tapered at the end. Those short hairs, when they continue to grow past the surface of the skin aren’t tapered anymore, so we perceive this temporary process to be that the hair is thicker,” she explains.

So while the stubble of a sliced hair will feel different than the ends of longer tapered hair, they’re not actually different; and those short, sliced hairs will taper eventually.

“Shaving doesn’t affect the hair follicle, and doesn’t affect how fast the hair will come back,” Mattioli stresses.

But why does hair sometimes look darker after it grows back? You might notice it more around the summertime–and for good reason.

“Hair can be affected by the elements, like chemicals, pollutants, the sun,” explains Mattioli. “For example, if your arm hair has never been shaved and you shave it–when it grows back that new hair hasn’t been exposed to the elements that can lighten it yet.”

Fortunately, the hair on a woman’s face (i.e. vellus hair) is finer and shorter than arm hair, so you likely won’t notice this effect if you’re maintaining your facial fuzz with DERMAFLASH on a regular basis.

Researchers have also found no difference in hair thickness and coarseness before and after shaving over the years. A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology states,“No significant differences in total weight of hair produced in a measured area, or in width or rate of growth of individual hairs, could be ascribed to shaving.”

Translation: Shave away and put your mind at ease! 

Your facial hair will not seek out revenge when it grows back.

Author: Diana Vilibert

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