Shaving is an effective and relatively cost-effective form of hair removal that removes hair temporarily just below the skins surface. But does shaving cause your hair to grow thicker and darker?
Does shaving cause your hair to grow thicker and and darker?
I was told growing up that shaving causes hair to grow back thicker, but is this true?Shaving and the effects on hair colour and thickness has been studied in the medical literature. Studies have shown that shaving does not cause hair to grow back thicker, darker or faster.
Shaving gives the illusion of hair being thicker as when hair grows back, hair is thicker closer to the root.
Is shaving bad for the skin?
I typically recommend avoiding shaving if possible as shaving can produce skin irritation for some people. The skin can become irritated due to the cutting process of the blade, or the gels/creams that are used during the shaving process. Shaving may also lead to abrasions in the skin that may increase the risk of skin infections. It may also contribute to the spread of viral warts and a specific wart called Molluscum contagiosum.
So I often recommend to patients to try to avoid shaving if possible – especially in sensitive areas!
This post was co-authored by Stephanie Liu, MD, MSc, CCFP, BHSc and Erin Manchuk, BScPharm, BCGP.
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Lynfield YL, Macwilliams P. Shaving and hair growth. J Invest Dermatol 1970; 55:170.