Does Shaving Make Your Hair Grow Back Thicker and Faster?

Does shaving make your hair grow back thicker and faster? Is it better to wax?

Doctor Answers 22

Old Wives Tale

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    Studies have shown that shaving has no influence on density or thickness of the hair. After all the follicle is quite a bit deeper than the skin surface.

   I believe this fiction stems from the onset of shaving occurring basically at the same time as the need to shave. As we approach and then propel into the teen years the terminal hairs darken and coarsen. This results in a need to shave. There is then the perception that shaving causes the changes in the hair

   Similarly, if a woman begins to develop darkening hair, more hair or coarse hair, the cause is hormonal; not because she began to use shave as a remedy to a more hirsute appearance. 

   Further, the act of shaving, causes the hair to be struck at an angle, making the hair feel sharper and more coarse.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Myth of shaving hair association with increased thickness & increased growth

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This is a BIG myth & it is very difficult to make almost every patient to understand that there is no relation of shaving with increased growth/ or increased thickness of hair.

No matter, we shave or trim hair, it does not have any effect on its root deep inside the skin & the genetics which define the hair growth & hair thickness.

It is just a feeling that after shaving, base of the hair feels like more strong & broad for the short time but it is of same size & thickness as before.

Shaving is important before LASER as it helps to decrease chances of burning of skin.

-Dr. M. Khawar Nazir

M. Khawar Nazir, MBBS, MS(Derm)
Pakistan Dermatologist

Shaving does not cause a change in hair.

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Shaving has earned this mythical reputation because natural hair left alone has a soft tip and has been exposed to light for a while, making it potentially lighter in color. Newly grown shaving stubble has a blunt end from the previous shave, and is just emerging into the light of day so it is as dark as it will ever be.

Do not be afraid to shave.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Shaving and excess hair.

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Fortunately, you can shave, pluck, wax or nair unwanted hair, without causing more unwanted hair to grow. Think about it, with 75% of men experiencing some degree of permanent hair loss (male-patterned baldness) at some point in their lives, all they would need to do is shave their heads periodically to grow more hair. It just doesn't happen.

Jonith Breadon, MD
Chicago Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Shaving does not make your hair grow faster or thicker

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It is a proven fallacy. Testing has shown that the growth of hair is not thicker or faster once shaving begins. Many patients prefer to wax as it gives a smoother result and lasts longer than shaving. 

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Shaving and Hair Growth and Laser Hair

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The hair on various areas of your body have a certain pattern of hair growth. Shaving does not have it grow back thicker or faster.  It is always advisable and safe to shave your hair in between treatments.  You cannot wax since this pulls the hair root out which you need to laser. Please consult an expert in laser hair removal for the best cosmetic results.  Best, Dr. Green

Shaving does not make your hair grow back thicker

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Your hair may come back feeling thicker and stronger, but studies have shown that the act of shaving its self will not help you to actually grow thicker hair. One of the reasons it may feel like it comes back thicker is because its "new," and shorter, and hasnt had time to taper yet. 

Robert Jones, MD, FISHRS
Mississauga Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Shaving and hair thickness

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Shaving, waxing, and other depilatory techniques do not make hair thicker or grow faster.  Hair stubble appears thicker and as the hair grows longer it will look softer.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 181 reviews


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There is plenty of  clinical research showing that shaving has no effect on hair growth. All it does is that it makes the hair blunted, so that it appears thicker. Hair tapers at the ends naturally, giving it a finer appearance, but when you shave it cuts this tapered section off. That's why it looks thicker, but it will eventually taper off with time.

Shaving has no impact on hair growth or density.

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The idea that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker or faster is one of the most persistent myths about hair removal. The appearance of hair and rate of regrowth is related to genetics, not your hair removal methods. There are two reasons hair stubble might look darker or coarser after shaving than before. First, a natural hair has a tapered end, while a shaved hair is cut across the diameter and has a blunt end, which makes it seem thicker. The other reason is because hair that’s been growing for a while is exposed to the sun and other elements that can fade the natural color somewhat. A shaved hair that’s growing back in hasn’t been exposed to these elements yet, so it stays darker. Waxing can be painful and is only temporary, so for long-term hair removal, I recommend looking into laser hair removal.

Gary Motykie, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.