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Does Shaving Make Hair Thicker? Separating the Facts from the Myth

Does shaving make hair thicker? A lot of men use this theory to make the beards grow faster and fuller. Most people accept this as an indisputable truth, but things are not always what they seem or how one believes.

In fact, there is no truth to this because all scientific research over the years and other studies prove that there is no relationship between hair thickness and shaving.

And so before you decide on whether to shave your strands or not you should understand that you cannot use this to influence its thickness.




What Determines Hair Thickness?


There has always been a debate on what determines hair thickness. Every person wishes to have thick strands especially on the head, and this is what brings about interest in the factors that determine hair thickness.

However, it is an unquestionable fact that your genetics will affect the thickness of your hair. The same way that your genes will determine the texture, color and length of your strands is just the same way they will influence their thickness.

A good example of this is the fact that Asian hairs are about 30% thicker than those for Africans and slightly more than 50% more voluminous than the Europeans. Genetics influence the volume of hair follicles and the thicker your follicles are, the thicker your hair will be.

Other factors such as age also have an effect on how thick your strands will be. As you grow old, your strands will not be as healthy as they were in your younger years and so they will appear thinner.

No matter how many times you shave your strands you can never get back the volume that you lose due to age, and this should be enough proof that shaving does not affect hair thickness.

Other factors that may alter the volume of your locks include disease and how you treat them. Most types of cancer and other skin conditions will cause hair loss and in most cases when or if the strands grow back, they will appear thinner than before.

Subjecting your hairs to harsh chemicals or too much heat may also affect their thickness and in most cases the strands become fragile with time.


The Relationship between Shaving and Hair Thickness


Contrary to what most people think the medical or scientific literature has a lot of information regarding this topic. The debate on whether shaving and thickness have any relationship has been there for hundreds of years.

And so it was only a matter of time before scientists took the liberty to prove or refute this claim. The first in-depth research into the subject was in 1928 where four men participated in a hair regrowth experiment.

In conducting these studies the men cut the strands on their faces in one downward stroke using the same shaving soap, a similar brand of razor, and water at the same and constant temperature.

The authors of the study collected the strands and compared them with the ones that grew back, and the simple conclusion was that there was no relationship between shaving and a person’s hair texture, color or its volume.

Although the research in the 1920’s was very detailed, it did not bring an end to this debate. In fact, over the years, there have been more scientific studies, but the notion that shaving your whiskers makes them denser is still there.

Another important study on this subject is the one published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology in 1970 and just like most previous ones the conclusion was that trimming your strands will not affect their thickness in any way.

The participants in this study were five healthy men and to conduct the research each was to shave one leg and leave the other as the control or for comparison.

And just like the 1920’s study the conclusion was that there was no significant difference in the volume of the strands on the shaved leg and the control.


How This Myth Started

This myth has always been there, and it is hard if not impossible to determine when and how it started. However, it is very accurate to say that it has always been a rumor or notion.

But let’s admit the fact women were the first to notice it. And this is because most parents always advise their daughters not to shave their legs as the whiskers will grow back thicker and hence look worse than they were.

The daughters will, in turn, pass down the same message to their children. This is the reason why this myth has always been there and will probably continue to be for many years.

When you shave your strands, they also appear thicker than they were before. However, it is important to note that this is just an appearance, and their volume is still the same. What brings about this appearance is the fact that your hair will naturally taper at the ends.

And so when you shave your strands you will only be getting rid of the thin tapered section at the top and exposing the full part of your strands that is near the skin.

Although the resulting whiskers after a cut may appear denser than before they are not but their dense look comes from the fact that they are short and straight. Another thing that may cause the full look is the fact that the stubble will stand out against your normal skin color and hence appear more voluminous than it is.

There is also one more factor that one should think about that will help you understand the origins of this myth. When the strands are starting to grow, they will appear darker because they are yet to be lightened by exposure to the elements and other things such as chemicals and pollutants.

And so when you are looking at hair that is just springing up through the skin it will appear thicker than it was before and this makes people think that the shaving increases the volume of their strands.

However, this could not be further from the truth because this look comes from the contrast that the dark strands create with your natural skin tone, and so cutting does not give you thicker hair.


Is There Any Way to Make Hair Thicker?


Cutting your strands will not give you thicker hair, but you should not lose hope because there are still other ways you can make it fuller than it is (or at least make it appear this way).

However, the effectiveness of these other methods will depend on the location of the strands you want to make voluminous because what works for a beard may not work for the thin whiskers on your head.

The natural thickness of your strands, their length and texture will also determine which method will be effective for you. A simple layering is enough to give some people full looking locks.

The most efficient way to make your strands thicker is to keep them healthy. What you eat will determine how healthy and hence how thick your strands will appear. You should also take a lot of water as it will cleanse your skin and give your long thick whiskers.

To ensure that your strands remain healthy you should also avoid heat as much as possible. Do not wash them with scorching water and also avoid styling them with heat tools such as flat irons and blow drying.

Chemicals can also destroy your hair. So you should limit their use and if you cannot avoid them stick to natural ones. For example, you should use organic conditioners and shampoos.

Essential oils are another effective way to give your strands an extra volume or to make them appear fuller than they are. Most people across the world especially ladies use essential oils to treat their hair and of their greatest benefit is increasing volume.

However, you have to choose the right ones and also know how to use them. The best essential oils for this purpose are lavender, chamomile, rosemary, cedar wood and almond oil. And to use them you will only need to apply about 20 drops of the oil and massage it with your fingers.


How Shaving Affects Your Hair

Shaving is just reducing the size of your strands, and so it has no effect on the color, coarseness, thickness or even growth. Although most people also think that trimming or shaving your strands will make them grow faster than usual, this is not true.

However, one of the benefits of cutting your hair is that it will make it grow uniformly. Unless you have other conditions such as a receding hairline or medical conditions. They may cause hair loss, you strands will always grow evenly if your cut them to the same level.

It is important to note that the effects of cutting your strands with a clipper or scissors and removing them by waxing are entirely different.

Waxing your hair will hamper growth, and this is the reason why people consider this a useful way of getting rid of hairs in places that they do not wish for it to grow such as legs.

This method can damage the follicle, and it also pulls out the strands much deeper, and so the whiskers will take longer to grow back. However, it will also not affect the thickness of the strands.

The old myth that shaving will make your strands thicker will not go away anytime soon, but it is just that, a myth. Research and all experiments on this subject prove beyond any doubt that the two are not related.

And so if you want to have thick whiskers you should try other methods because cutting them will never give you the results that you desire.