Post date: June 11, 2024 | Adventure

Does Shaving Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?

We hear it time and time again, and you likely have too, that shaving makes your hair grow back thicker and darker. But, is it true?

Although this is a fairly common and widespread belief, unfortunately, this concept has no scientific backing. Today, we’re going to dive in why it seems like hair grows back thicker after shaving, and how to shave the best way possible for the smoothest shaving experience.

Why Hair Seems Thicker After Shaving

A photo of a man shaving his beard

The myth that hair grows back thicker after a shave likely stems from the visual and tactile changes that occur after hair regrows. When you shave, you cut the hair at the surface of the skin, leaving a blunt tip. As the hair grows out, this blunt end can feel coarser and more noticeable than the tapered end of an unshaven hair. This leads to the perception that the hair is thicker and darker.

This myth likely comes from the change in visuals and “feel” that occur after your hair grows back.

when you shave, and cut the hair at the surface, you leave it with a blunt tip. And as that hair grows back out, that blunt end now feels more course and noticeable than the smoothly tapered hair did.

This leads to the perception that the hair is thicker and darker.

Understanding Hair Growth

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To fully grasp why shaving doesn’t really make a difference for hair growth, let’s explore how hair grows. Hair grows in 3 unique phases:

  1. Anagen (Growth Phase): This is when hair cells divide rapidly and hair growth occurs over several years.
  2. Catagen (Transitional Phase): In this phase, growth starts to slow down and the follicle shrinks.
  3. Telogen (Resting Phase): In this phase, growth stops completely and the old hair is beginning to shed away for new hair.

The thickness, color, and growth rate of your hair is very much determined by genetics and hormones (like most things your body does) and not by the act of shaving.

Shaving only cuts the hair off at the skin’s surface, and does not alter anything fundamental about the hair growth process itself.

Best Practices for Shaving

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Although it may be sad to know that this myth that, let’s face it, we ALL thought was true at some point, is false, here are some techniques that you can use to help achieve a better shave that leaves your hair feeling more consistent and reduces the potential for damage.

  1. Use a Sharp Razor: Dull blades tear, sharp blades cut. Cutting is what we want for comfort and to avoid nicks and cuts.
  2. Moisturize Your Skin: Shave after a shower when pores are soft and open. Apply some kind of shaving glide product like shaving gel or cream to help protect your skin.
  3. Shave in the Direction of Hair Growth: Shaving this way leaves the strand slightly tapered, reducing the risk of ingrown hairs and razor burn/bumps/pulling.
  4. Avoid Pressing Too Hard: Let the shaving cream or gel do its work and allow the razor to glide over the skin gently to avoid nasty cuts or scrapes.
  5. Moisturize After Shaving: Use a moisturizer or aftershave to soothe and hydrate your skin and to sterilize any micro-cuts that shaving often gives.


Ultimately, the myth that shaving makes your hair grow thicker or fuller or darker is just that, a myth, and has no scientific backing.

However, by shaving properly and following the tips therein, you can get a smooth shave without all the irritation that shaving often gives without worrying about altering your hair’s natural characteristics.

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