A Vampire Myth
“Careful! Hair grows back thicker when you shave“. You’ve probably heard this from someone before. I know I have, I think I even heard it from my mom! This is one of those myths that just refuses to die thanks to off hand remarks my thousands of people that are just repeating what they heard at some point because it seemed relevant and helpful… or unnerving. (let’s face it normal people don’t do fact checking). Yeah okay but does it? you ask.
The answer = NO!
Now, let me explain. This myth was around even before Seinfeld had an episode where Jerry shaves his chest despite people telling him that it will grow back twice as thick. Hilariously, it does grow back twice as thick. If you are a sentient human being then you might now that TV is not correlated with reality, and Seinfeld is not the oracle of the universe. In real life this is not the case. Apparently there was even a clinical trial from way back in 1928 that proved shaving had no effect on hair growth. But I can’t find any primary source on this, so if someone could comment below and link to ACTUAL study that would be grand. Until then I found this on pubmed.
It Just Looks Darker
So why does this myth even exist? There are a few reasons. Imagine a cone that has it’s pointy end toward the sky. Now imagine the cone is sliced in half horizontally. There is no sharp point anymore instead there is a flat round surface. It is now more of a cylinder than a cone. This is what happens to hair. This also makes hair a little bit rougher and more visible after it is cut. Another factor is bleaching. If the hair has been getting sunlight then it will be a little bleached. After you cut it the hair growing in will appear more voluminous because it is slightly darker than before and is not pointy. There is one small possible exception. If you scratch at skin long enough it may develop calluses, thicker nerves and maybe even thicker hairs.
Because of the illusion of more hair people began to apply causality to correlation (which is never good). And that’s why your well meaning friends, relatives and acquaintances will parrot off this nonsense once in a while.
We Are Not Gorillas
If this myth were true, then girls would have gorilla legs, which most of them do not.
Also if this were true, most men would be able to grow huge full beards. Sadly this is not the case. I still have two weird bald spots on my face despite years of shaving.
So your safe, go shave, wax or whatever. You will not turn into a gorilla I promise.
So GO AHEAD and get the wax and get rid of hair in that place you were thinking about.