Does Shaving Or Waxing Affect Hair Growth? Beauty Myth Busted!
Dr. Rinky Kapoor breaks down one of the most common myths around shaving and waxing and its impact on hair growth. Here’s what she says.
Many people think that if you shave your body or facial hair, they come back thicker and darker. Men think of this as an opportunity to grow thicker beards or treat balding scalp, while women avoid shaving certain body parts as a result. On the other hand, people think waxing reduces hair growth, and opt for it despite it being a painful hair removal technique - believing that waxing reduces hair growth. But how much of this prejudice is based in truth?
To answer all your burning questions, we consulted one of India’s leading dermatologists to find out the truth behind all ongoing myths about these two most popular hair removal techniques. Here’s what we found out.
Regardless of whether you shave your legs, arms, armpits or bikini area, the regrowth isn’t any thicker than it was before. When you shave, the razor only cuts the surface hair which is why when they grow back the blunt ends may look and feel thicker, but they really aren’t. Dr. Rinky Kapoor states that the number of hair follicles you are born with stay with you all your life, so unless you’re transplanting new hair follicles on a particular area, it’s impossible to get new hair follicles. Hence, scientifically, it is not possible to have increased hair growth because of shaving or waxing. If there’s sudden hair growth, then there's an underlying hormonal problem which needs to be treated.
Hair growth and texture depends on your gene pool. How much hair you have and how fast or slow they grow back after shaving will vary drastically from another person. The same goes for different body parts on the same person. For example, armpit hair generally grows faster than the hair on your legs. So if you were to shave both body parts at the same time, your armpit hair will grow back 50 percent quicker than your legs. The same goes for waxing.
Having said that, the main difference between the two hair removal methods is that unlike shaving, other hair removal methods like waxing, epilation and laser treatment offer longer lasting results. This is because shaving only cuts the surface hair, while other methods remove hair from the root. As a result, the hair takes longer to grow past the skin’s surface.
Now that the popular myths around waxing and shaving have been debunked, the next common question people have is how do I hide the initial post-shave regrowth? Strawberry legs are every woman’s nightmare which is also why women dread the razor. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks you can use to hide those pesky little blunt tips. These are:
Tip 1: Use A Self-Tanner
A self tanner is a perfect solution for hiding blemishes and grown out hair, without exposing yourself to dangerous UV rays.
Tip 2: Try A Blurring Body Lotion
A blurring body lotion can help you blur out the stubble, even out your skin tone, and make your skin look more airbrushed.
Tip 3: Use Body Makeup
When in doubt, body makeup comes to your rescue. With just a small amount of matte liquid foundation, you can hide the stubble.
To sum up, shaving your body or facial hair doesn’t make them darker, thicker or grow faster. What it instead does is that it leaves a blunt tip since shaving only removes the hair on the surface. Waxing, epilator or laser treatment, on the other hand, remove the hair from the roots which is why the hair takes longer to grow past the skin surface. While the final decision rests on your hair growth, waxing is usually recommended every four to five weeks and laser hair removal treatment every four to six weeks. Moreover, if you are experiencing sudden hair growth, it can be a symptom of an underlying health condition. It’s best to visit a doctor immediately to investigate the problem and get the right treatment.
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