snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Old Wives' Tales » Does shaving really make your hair grow thicker?

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Does shaving really make your hair grow thicker?
Big Bang
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 05 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It sounds like an old wives' tale to me. If it were true, then who needs Rogaine? I'm sorry if it's been discussed before but it just doesn't make sense to me and I've been wondering for years.
I don't want any anecdotal "evidence." (Remember when Kramer showed his pubic area to Seinfeld?) I want a logical or scientific explanation. Please, someone, educate me.

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
quallianmaghouin
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
not scientific, could just be mind over body, but it sure as hell works.

the only evidence I can offer though is the dog gets scared when I wear shorts...

the reason? my personal theory is God's a man.
QM

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Gwenfritz
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 82 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Nope, it only looks like it does. Hair is dead. It doesn't know when it's been cut. The live follicle in the skin doesn't know, either. But when a hair is cut, its end is flat instead of tapered. This makes it look darker and thicker.

Gwen"hairbrained"fritz

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
kate sporks
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 07 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It's also an illusion due to color change. Sorry for the lack of documentation, but in some people, later puberty causes a slight darkening of body hair. This makes it look thicker. Since a lot of girls start shaving early in life, they get the illusion of thicker hair due to the color change but associate it with the shaving.

kate sporks

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Goes-hmmm
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I've got my own anecdotal evidence that shaving makes hair grow thicker. I never shaved or needed to until I was about 25 years old (always blamed my Cherokee blood), but then before long I was shaving about once a week until I was about 30 and that led to daily shaving, face only, until age 40 when I started having to shave my neck too. Does it ever stop?

Goes-"still don't have a five o'clock shadow like my dad does"-hmmm

[Edited to add: From age 25 to 30 I had exactly one chest hair that would grow to an inch or more in length, at which time I would pluck it every three or four months. Guess which of my many chest hairs turned gray first? (Still don't have the rug on my chest that dad has)]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 501 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I believe that there is some evidence that men get hairier in certain areas as they get older. I haven't heard of the back of the neck in this category, but ear and nose hair seems to increase with age.

Chava

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Goes-hmmm
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
What happens is that over a long enough period of time, men's hair follicles, which are not as fixed in place as on women, influenced by gravitational pull, migrate downward on the body, from the top of the head down the neck, face, chest and back, etc. If we lived long enough, say 300 years, we'd have no hair at all except on our feet. [Razz]

Goes-"just an ape with no tail"-hmmm

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Aimee Evilpixie
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 206 posted      Profile for Aimee Evilpixie   Author's Homepage   E-mail Aimee Evilpixie   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Goes-hmmm:
What happens is that over a long enough period of time, men's hair follicles, which are not as fixed in place as on women, influenced by gravitational pull, migrate downward on the body, from the top of the head down the neck, face, chest and back, etc. If we lived long enough, say 300 years, we'd have no hair at all except on our feet. [Razz]

Goes-"just an ape with no tail"-hmmm

So THAT'S why Hobbits have hairy feet! The hair migrates down over their longer lifetimes!

Aimee "Hairy Hobbit feet! Whee!" Evilpixie

--------------------
Ugg want you find JESUS!

My website!

Posts: 1853 | From: Washington (The State) | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Big Bang
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Thanks for answering my question, you guys. But speaking of chest hair, my chest is completely smooth except for one hair strand on each nipple. Am I a freak or what?
IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
sadisticbook
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 101 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
So how come the hair that you cut grows faster than the hair you don't?

I have to trim my bangs once a month, and the rest of my hair only every 4 to 6 months.

'splain that one! [Big Grin]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 220 posted      Profile for Spam & Cookies-mmm   E-mail Spam & Cookies-mmm   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sadisticbook:
So how come the hair that you cut grows faster than the hair you don't?

I have to trim my bangs once a month, and the rest of my hair only every 4 to 6 months.

'splain that one! [Big Grin]

Maybe it's because you *notice* that your bangs have grown because they're over your eyes, and it matters to you if they're a quarter inch longer than you want them to be. The rest of your hair can grow an inch before it starts affecting the style. (Depending on the style of course.)

--------------------
Did you see the Announcement?
There's a new snopes message board!

Posts: 7767 | From: Paradise Ceded | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 301 posted      Profile for AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
My daughter has a book entitled "The Hairy Book: The (Uncut) Truth About the Weirdness of Hair." It's a kids' book, so doesn't give any information about its sources, so take them as you will.

Fun Hair Facts:
quote:
Some people think that shaving hair makes it grow back thicker. Or that cutting hair makes it grow faster. But the tiny part of the hair that's alive is stuck in the skin of your scalp and can't tell if you're cutting or shaving the dead part of the hair. It just keeps growing in its normal way, lah dee dee, lah dee dah, no matter what you do.
I'm fairly sure the "lah dee dee" part was not found in any of their scientific research. Though I could be wrong...

--------------------
"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

Posts: 19266 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Worker and Parasite
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
We've discussed this UL many times on this board.

Snopes, if you're listening, it may be time to add it to the site. [Smile]

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Dark Jaguar   E-mail Dark Jaguar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I thought Kramer was just showing his chest! I could have SWORN it was just his SHIRT he was taking off before he backed out of view. Still, it was surely a horrifying sight to behold and experience.

Here's something. Why does hair suddenly QUIT growing at a certain length? I mean, in humans, that doesn't seem to happen to scalp hair (which is also something very curious), but in animals? Well, the fact that there is a distinction between long haired cats and short haired alone MUST mean that environment's degrading of hair mustn't be the determining factor in maximum hair length. I mean, I have had my cat (Camelot) shaved a few times, due to hair tangle problems that got worse, and he looked well, like Mr. Bigglsworth (he IS a pure white persian cat), and it grew very quickly over a month or two, and once at it's previous length, it stopped. It then maintained that length for the rest of the time. Same with my shorthaired cat, it has ONE length it always seems to keep. Explain THAT one Mr. Wizard!

Posts: 958 | From: United States | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 501 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
All hair stops growing at a certain length, including human head hair. Head hair is just longer when it stops than, say, your cat's hair.

The follicle grows hair for a more or less constant period of time (depending on where the follicle is located and what your genetic background is with regard to hair). How fast the hair grows also depends on these variables. Then the follicle stops growing for a while, the hair falls out, and it starts a new cycle. If you don't cut or shave your hair (like your cat), after a while all your hairs will have tapered ends (start of new growth) and they will seem to be all the same length. But if you look through the hair, you will find that there are really hairs of all lengths up to the maximum mixed in there.

Cecil explained all this, but I'm too lazy to look up the reference. Go look around on the Straight Dope page.

Chava

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Jaguar
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Dark Jaguar   E-mail Dark Jaguar   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Ah, so at a certain point, the hair just falls out, and that certain point is one particular length depending on genes? That explains it. I guess shaved or not, the hair would fall out at it's due time anyway.

Dark "There was a problem in the unfreezing process" Jaguar

Posts: 958 | From: United States | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
gothelen
Friends Are Calling You Fool


Icon 01 posted      Profile for gothelen     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
WooHoo! Finally a question I can answer!

Hair doesn't grow thicker or quicker when shaved. It just looks like it does because the end of the hair is blunt as Gwenfritz said.

The hair growth cycle has 3 stages, Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.

Anagen is the active growth phase of the cycle. Itcan last upto seven years. The length of this stage is dependant on genetics.

Catagen is a transition stage, it's when the follicle separates form the blood cells that feed its growth.

Telogen is the resting phase, it usually lasts 2-4 months and this is when the hair falls out.

I'm training to be a hairdresser, does it show?

Gothelen

--------------------
"Oh, Look at me, I am a big terrorist with my cat!" - Seen on Airline

Posts: 217 | From: Bucks, England | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Brad from Georgia
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Brad from Georgia   Author's Homepage   E-mail Brad from Georgia   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Now that that's settled, does absinthe make the heart grow, Fonda?

--------------------
"No hard feelin's and HOPpy New Year!"--Walt Kelly
Hear what you're missing: ARTC podcasts! http://artcpodcast.org/

Posts: 7581 | From: Gainesville, Georgia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BCE
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 601 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Brad,

See here: Absinthe-Pun-A-Chow

BCE (does your chewing gum lose it's flavor on the bedpost overnight?)

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
LeNea
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 27 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
What about waxing? I've noticed that the hair seems to come back very dark and somewhat thicker (hair removed from chin due to hormonal imbalances in a woman). How does pulling the hair out by the root change the shape of the tip and therefore the color appearance.

The thickness seems to really just be a difference in texture.

LeNea

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
hoitoider
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


Icon 01 posted      Profile for hoitoider   E-mail hoitoider   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Chava:
...ear and nose hair seems to increase with age.

proportional to the rate it falls off my head [Laughing out loud]

--------------------
No man has a right in America to treat any other man "tolerantly" for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. -Wendell L. Willkie

Posts: 3833 | From: Virginia | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Artemis
The First USA Noel


Icon 01 posted      Profile for Artemis   E-mail Artemis   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Really? Waxing is known for making hair come in shorter/less thick, I thought. After I started, it would grow in much slower. Now the hair on my arms tends to be much sparser than it was when I first started. And in general, the hairs are also more fine, less noticable, etc. I still need to do it, of course, but if anything it helps the way your hair looks.

--------------------
"You can't play Electro-magnetic Golf according to the rules of Centrifugal Bumble Puppy."
-Mustapha Mond, "Brave New World"

Posts: 679 | From: New York | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
MisterGrey
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 01 posted      Profile for MisterGrey     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
When I first started growing facial hair a few years ago, I wanted it to come in thicker, so I started shaving more frequently. Now I've got signifigant (visible) growth in less than 24 hrs after I shave
Posts: 2711 | From: Texas | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Chava
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 501 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Just think what you could have done if you'd started shaving when you were 5.

Chava

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
LeNea
The Red and the Green Stamps


Icon 01 posted            Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Artemis:
Really? Waxing is known for making hair come in shorter/less thick, I thought.

That's what I've always been told...but it isn't what is happening on my face/chin. However, I heard the same thing about dipilatory creams and they just got to the point where they ceased to work at all on my facial hair - I wonder if the hormonal basis has anything to do with it.

Any guys tried waxing lately? [Big Grin]

LeNea

IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2