Myth or Reality: Shaving Makes The Hair Grow Faster & Thicker

Shaving makes the hair grow back faster and thicker is a commonly held belief. Find out if it’s a myth or reality.
Myth or Reality: Shaving Makes The Hair Grow Faster & Thicker
Myth or Reality: Shaving Makes The Hair Grow Faster & Thicker

Myth or Reality: Have you ever found yourself hesitating while shaving a bothersome body part, thinking it will only make it worse? You are not alone. It’s believed that shaving causes hair to grow faster and thicker.

This is a widespread assumption that everyone must have heard at some point in their lives. "Don't shave your face; you’ll grow a beard," is a common advice given to women, while the opposite is true for men. Young boys who are unable to grow facial hair are told to shave constantly by "wise elders." But is there any truth to this belief?

On that note, we bring you this explainer on shaving and its association with hair growth and texture. Dive in to find out if the notion that shaving makes the hair grow faster and thicker is a myth or reality.

What is Shaving?

Shaving is the act of slicing the hair from the surface of the skin using sharp tools like knives or razors. It’s the most common and preferred way of removing the body or facial hair. It’s even mandatory in some cultures and in the armed forces. Shaving has also been used historically to humiliate or punish people. A forcibly tonsured head was an act of great shame in the early days. Nowadays, shaving is seen as a daily chore that both men and women engage in regularly.

What is Hair?

Hair is a filament that grows on the skin and is made up of a tough protein called keratin. Like animals, which have fur or cuticles on their skin to protect them from adverse weather and predators, humans also have hair on their skin. The main purpose of hair is to protect the body from external factors like cold and dirt. Even your eyelashes and brow hair protect your eyes by keeping them sweat- and dirt-free.

What is Hair Growth?

Everyone has a natural hair growth cycle. Some people shave before going to bed and have a visible layer of hair in the morning. Hair colour, texture, and growth rate vary vastly among people and are predominantly determined by genetics. Lifestyle also affects the hair, but only marginally. However, most people's hair grows at the same rate throughout their lives. Lifestyle, medications, and illnesses can affect hair growth, though.

Factors Influencing Hair Growth

Sex: Men have faster hair growth than women.

Age: The age between 15 - 30 has the fastest hair growth in men and women.

Genetics: Genes are special DNA characteristics that are passed on from a person to their offspring. If your family members are hairy, chances are you will be too.

Nutrition: Since the hair is made up of protein and is constantly growing, adequate protein and vitamin intake is necessary for healthy hair.

Body Part: The armpits, scalp, face, chest, and legs all have different hair growth rates.

While there is currently no viable proof that hair growth can be accelerated, there are some factors that can slow it down.

  • Eating Disorders
  • Stress
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Poor Diets
  • Smoking
  • Waxing

Does Shaving Affect Hair Growth?

No, shaving does not affect hair growth in any way. Slicing off the hair at the surface and leaving the roots intact has no effect on hair. It simply grows back from the sliced portion.

Waxing, on the other hand, pulls the hair out from the bulb, resulting in softer and thinner hair. When done repeatedly, waxing can reduce hair growth and, in some cases, even stop it completely.

But shaving has no such effect. Whether you have a bald spot, thin hair, or no hair at all, frequent shaving won’t stimulate hair growth. And nor will your existing hair become thick or coarse. This is a myth that was proven false nearly a century ago, in 1928, in a study by Mildred Trotter of Washington University.

How Did the 'Shaving Increases Hair Growth' Myth Originate?

Most people undergo a sudden growth spurt during puberty. Voices, shoulders, and height all change along with the hair. Adolescents begin experiencing different emotions along with hair growth in odd places. At that age, the body is constantly changing.

The myth that shaving affects the growth rate and texture of hair originates from the misconceptions surrounding puberty. Most teenagers try shaving and often realise that their hair is different than before. The reason for that is the raging hormones but is falsely attributed to shaving.

As for the texture, the first batch of untouched hair looks darker and thicker because of years of sun exposure and the completion of its growth cycle. Shaving has nothing to do with the look or feel of hair.


There are ways to make your hair healthy, but nothing, including shaving, will change its natural texture or growth speed. You can, however, slow down your hair growth by adopting a poor lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating nutritious food is essential unless you want to sport a semi-bald look in your 30s. So, the belief that shaving makes the hair grow back thicker and faster is a myth.

Also Read: Myth or Reality: Drinking More Water Is Healthy For You

Also Read: Myth or Reality: You Can’t Sneeze With Your Eyes Open

Also Read: Myth or Reality: The 10-Second Rule of Dropped Food


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