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Does shaving make hair grow thicker or faster?

For something that billions of us do every day, there are plenty of myths around shaving. While we’re not averse to adding a little extra mystique to the ancient art of the shave, at Wilkinson Sword we’re in the business of making shaving straightforward. We’ve been experts in shaving for well over a century, so we’re better placed than most to clear up any misunderstandings that might crop up in bathrooms up and down the land. 

One of the most common questions about shaving is what it does to your hair. Does it change the way it grows, paving the way for thicker or faster-growing hair to return in its place? It’s true that it can often seem like your hair is determined to defy whatever you do with a razor, coming back with more determination each time and occasionally making shaving feel like a futile exercise. But here, in black and white, are the facts about shaving and body hair…

Does shaving make hair grow back thicker?

In short, no it doesn’t. Hair might appear to be thicker after you shave on any part of your body. When the hair begins to reemerge from your skin after shaving, the blunt end where the razor cut it can make it look thicker and darker, but it’s still exactly the same strand of hair that was there before, completely unchanged.

There are a few optical illusions that don’t help with the spread of this particular myth. One of them is down to the fact that the longer you don’t shave, the more the sun can make your hairs appear lighter and thinner. That means that when you do shave, the remaining hair is suddenly a lot more noticeable against the skin. 

Another occurs because hair is naturally much thicker at the root than it is at the tip. That’s why brand new stubble looks more conspicuous when there’s no thinner hair to offset it. In reality, it’s impossible for hair thickness or colour to be impacted by shaving. Hair growth, on the other hand, is a different story…

Does shaving make hair grow back faster?

This one’s a little more complicated, because it can grow back faster but shaving’s got nothing to do with it – however, your genes have everything to do with it. Everybody’s gene pool determines the rate at which hair reappears, as well as the texture it develops. As a result of your genes, you might have more hair or thicker hair than other people, and it might grow back at what seems an exhausting rate. It’s not necessarily fair, but it’s science.

Does hair grow back faster on certain parts of the body?

Hair growth speed doesn’t just vary between people but between different areas of the body. Armpit hair tends to grow back around 50% faster than leg hair, and the same inconsistency applies right across the body – so you might find yourself engaged in a constant race to stay ahead of hair growth in some tricky spots. 

Should I shave different parts of the body in different ways?

You can say that again. Every area of your body has a different type of hair – whether you’re keeping the downstairs region in check or tackling those pesky patches that sprout in unexpected places as you grow older. The key is to be equipped with the right tools and clued up on the right techniques for each. A well-practised, carefully honed head-to-toe grooming routine will keep you looking your best and stop your hair getting out of control – whatever speed or thickness it grows at.