Ask anyone who has ever tried to shave their body hair when they were younger if their parents forbid them from doing that, and for what reason. You will notice that many were not allowed to shave their hair because it was supposedly going to grow back thicker and darker. But if you haven’t learned that on your skin already – that can’t happen.
Then why did this myth appear in the first place? And why does it stay alive today, despite all these professionals repeating that it is simply not true? We are here to debunk, explain, and clear everything up. Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- Shaving and Hair Thickness
- Tips on Getting a Clean Shave
- How to Make Hair Grow Back Thicker
Shaving and Hair Thickness
Shaving your hair does not affect hair regrowth, but it does create the illusion that the body hair starts to grow back thicker and darker, and there is a simple explanation for that.
Shaving only happens at the surface of our skin, so it has nothing to do with the roots. The end of our hair is tapered, and when we cut it, we remain with a blunt end that feels spiky and coarser when the hair grows back. However, if you let it grow for a longer period than a couple of days, you will notice that the ends taper and your body hair does not seem thicker, nor darker, anymore.
Still not convinced? Let’s put things into perspective. Did a boy’s beard start growing just because he tried shaving those little hairs, or was it just a coincidence because he reached the age of puberty around the time he was curious about a razor? Do women who shave their legs all the time seem to have the legs of a gorilla if they happen to let the hair grow for longer than three days? Of course not, and it wouldn’t make sense, since the razor doesn’t touch the root, so the likeliness of changing the process of regrowth is very low.
How to Get a Clean Shave
Now that we’ve debunked that myth, getting a clean shave is still an important process in terms of your hygiene and health. Plus, who doesn’t love that post-shave smoothness that makes your skin feel like the softest silk? We’ve put together a few tips on how to get an impeccable shave every time.
Hydrate the Skin
Do not shave your body or face if they are oily and dirty. First, get in the shower, hydrate your skin well and open up those pores. If you shave dry or dirty skin you will most likely irritate or cut it, and that is the last thing that you want. Opening up the pores also helps for a closer, more even shave.
Always exfoliate gently to get ingrown hairs out of the clogged follicles and make sure there is no dead skin making the process of shaving more difficult than it should be. Be careful, however, as there’s only a need for a light scrub that is not too harsh on your skin, not a full-on skin layer exfoliation.
Water will not, however, ensure smoothness, so it’s best to use shaving cream for a safer hair removal process. It’s a product that softens and leathers the skin, creating a barrier against damage like razor burns and cuts. But if you’re not feeling it, there are alternatives to it, such as natural oils. Many people swear by using coconut, castor, olive, or argan oil instead of anything else, saying that not only do they get a nice shave, but their legs are also smoother, even after washing off the residue oil.
Get a Clean, Sharp Tool
Look at the razor in your bathroom. How long has it been standing there, lonely and over-used? If you notice that your body or face does not feel as smooth as it used to, it means that your razor needs to be tossed out and replaced with a new one. Don’t think that it only affects the smoothness of the shaving; you are also running the risk of irritating your skin and creating ingrown hairs later on. If you are in the market for a new razor, try to buy one that has more than 2 blades, for a more precise and smoother shave.
After the whole washing and shaving routine is done, pat dry your skin gently – do not rub! You don’t want to create any friction on your skin, because it gets irritated easily. Shaving is also a form of aggressive exfoliation, which makes the skin prone to dryness. This is why you want to moisturize your skin right about now. It needs the hydration and moisture it lost during the shower and hair removal process.
How to Make Hair Grow Thicker
If you shaved your head and are waiting to see the results of the regrowth process, or if you shaved your beard in hopes of getting the hair to grow back into a beard that is both aesthetically pleasing and healthy, you should know that everything we have said so far applies to any case of shaving, no matter the area.
But all hope is not lost. While you can’t make your hair grow thicker by using a blade, you can make it stronger and healthier using the right products. Several natural ingredients can help with hair growth, strength, and overall appearance. Here are some of them:
Castor oil – vegetable-based, yellow, and full of antioxidants. It has nourishing and healing effects because it contains fatty acids like omega-6, and ricinoleic, which is an unsaturated omega-9 acid. It may also prevent hair loss, and stimulate hair growth, and while there are not that many studies to back up this reputation, it’s not that far-fetched when you consider the mix of vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants that it contains.
Jojoba oil – extracted from the jojoba plant, this oil helps strengthen and moisturize the body hair and the hair on your scalp alike, and might even act as a dandruff remedy. Jojoba oil contains various vitamins like C, B, E, and minerals like copper and zinc, the latter being a key factor in hair growth. You can use it on its own or in combination with other nourishing hair oils, such as onion seed oil or black seed oil.
Rosemary essential oil – rosemary is has a reputation for treating hair loss because it has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes blood circulation, which is essential for healthy hair growth.
Grow Naturally, Not Forcefully
Now that you understand the disconnection between shaving and thicker hair growth, you can treat both of these as separate processes in terms of balancing your hair’s health and your body’s hygiene.
Facilitate your hair’s growth through organic, nourishing ingredients, rather than scalping it down with a razor and hoping that your hair follicles do the extra work. Working with your body, rather than against it, will always provide better results in terms of making you feel better in your own skin.
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