Does Shaving Make Hair Thicker?

Does Shaving Make Hair Thicker?

The joys of hair removal are never-ending (not!). Real talk: shaving is one of the most annoying and irritating acts of personal hygiene we choose to do. It’s tedious, it can irritate your skin, and the hair grows back so fast. When you’re shaving, it seems like you finish one leg, and the hair grows back before you’re finished with the other leg! While that might be a little dramatic, the point is that shaving is no fun. 

Also, let’s not forget about the annoying things that can happen once you finish shaving. Even if you get the perfect, smooth shave (which rarely happens), you are pretty much guaranteed either razor burn or ingrown hairs. Most of the time, you wind up getting both. No one wants to deal with the itchy redness that comes with razor burn. And no one wants to deal with the bumps of trapped hair you get with ingrown hairs. 

If you shave anywhere on your body, you also know how prickly and coarse your hair is when it starts to grow back. This leads you to shave your hair immediately again, even though it seems like you just did. Obviously, once you start shaving, it’s a never-ending cycle of shaving, hair growing, and then shaving again. The only way to stop this circle is to either let your hair grow back and don’t shave it or to stop the hair from growing entirely. We will talk more about the latter option later in this article. 

We’d bet you’re like most people and have thought to yourself at some point, “does shaving make my hair thicker?” It certainly looks that way, and it feels that way too. According to dermatologists and doctors, there is a definitive answer to this question. The answer is: no, shaving does not make your hair grow back thicker or darker. That’s definitely a relief to know, but it still seems hard to believe. 

Why Shaved Hair Seems to Grow in Thicker

The truth is, shaving just makes your hair appear thicker and darker when it grows back. It appears thicker because it grows back in as stubble as opposed to your normal hair. Due to its texture, most people tend to think their hair is thicker and darker. Think about it, though; you just sliced the hair with a blade. This result is a sharp edge that is left behind. 

It also does not increase the rate at which your hair grows back, which is another common misconception. It grows back at the normal regrowth rate. This is because you are removing hair at the surface level and not at the root. If you remove hair from the root, it does have a different re-growth time because it takes longer to start growing again. You do not have to worry about shaving having any of these effects on your hair, but it is still such an annoying thing to have to do. 

What Are The Different Hair Removal Methods?

Thankfully, there are other hair removal methods you can try if you’ve reached your wit’s end with shaving. It’s definitely worth it to try all of the different options and see what works best for you. At the end of the day, you want to find the cheapest and most effective option that works for you. There are three main hair removal methods besides shaving. These methods are waxing/sugaring, hair removal cream, and IPL laser hair removal. 

Waxing/Sugaring

This is probably the second most popular form of hair removal by shaving. It is fast and effective, and it does actually work to slow down the hair re-growth rate. Waxing uses strips of wax to rip the hair out of the root. By doing this, it causes minor damage to the hair follicle, which takes time to regrow. Depending on your body, you will typically be hair-free for anywhere from 7 to 14 days if you wax. 

Sugaring is the same type of hair removal, but it uses a mixture of sugar, water, and lemon that turns into a paste. This makes it hurts slightly less than waxing, but the results are typically the same for both methods. There are a couple of downsides to waxing/sugaring. The two main downsides are that it’s painful for most people and that you almost always end up with ingrown hairs. 

When you damage the hair follicle itself, there is a higher risk of the hair being trapped under the skin during re-growth. Whereas with shaving, you are just removing it from the surface level, which means there is a smaller chance of an ingrown hair forming. It can also get pretty expensive when you have to get it done every two weeks. Depending on what you are having waxed, it will cost you between $70 to $100 a session. 

Hair Removal Cream

This is another type of hair removal that isn’t as common but is preferred by those who are sensitive to the pain of waxing and sugaring. Hair removal cream is a much different type of removal method than shaving or waxing. Rather than using force or a blade to remove the hair, the cream causes a chemical reaction that breaks down the bonds of your hair. Essentially, the hair removal creams (also known as depilatory creams) dissolve the hair on the surface of your skin.

This hair removal method is more similar to shaving because it removes the hair on the surface rather than at the root. This means it will grow back at the same rate as hair that’s been shaven will. Hair removal cream is the least-preferred removal method because you have to put chemicals on your skin. You should always try a tester patch of skin before applying hair removal cream to make sure you don’t have a reaction. 

While it’s better for those who are sensitive to pain, it might not be great for those who have sensitive and reactive skin. These creams are completely safe to use, but people have reported reactions such as rashes and even burns. It’s important to make sure you follow the directions because leaving the cream on for too long can result in this sort of reaction. As long as you follow the directions and don’t have super sensitive skin, this option might work just fine for you!  

IPL

Another option you have for hair removal is IPL, which stands for intense pulsed light. This is slightly different from laser hair removal. These two methods achieve the same result, which is destroying your hair follicle and preventing hair from growing back. IPL uses a broad spectrum of light that has multiple wavelengths. This means that its light energy is scattered rather than focused (allowing it to target larger areas more quickly). 

This is the most recommended type of hair removal, especially by dermatologists. Over time, the hair will grow back less frequently until it finally does not grow back at all. If the treatment is effective, you will only need a touch-up once or twice a year for peach fuzz that grows in small patches. 

What is The Best Hair Removal Method?

The best form of hair removal is IPL. You will not find another hair removal method that actually prevents your body hair from growing back. It can get quite expensive at the dermatologist, with packages costing you a few hundred dollars and touch-ups costing around $100 per session. A much better alternative is using KENZZI’s IPL Hair Removal Handset. This handset costs significantly less than an IPL package in-office, and it will last you for at least ten years.  

Our IPL device is also a pain-free way to remove your hair. There is no downtime, and even those with sensitive skin report little to no pain or reaction to their skin. It is totally normal for your skin to be slightly red or pink for a few minutes after treatment, and you might feel a slight snapping sensation during the treatment, but that’s about it. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, shaving your hair does not make it thicker. It also does not make it darker or grow back more quickly. There are other hair removal options such as waxing/sugaring and hair removal creams. These are not ideal because you can still get irritated skin and ingrown hairs. IPL is the best hair removal method available because it prevents the hair from growing back entirely. KENZZI makes the best at-home IPL device that is safe, effective, and at a great price. 

Sources:

Shaving hair: Does shaved hair grow back thicker? | Mayo Clinic

Best Hair Removal Creams for Every Part of Your Body | Shape

The differences between IPL and laser hair removal | Harper's Bazaar 


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