The Hair Removal Myth

Many people think if you remove facial or body hair it will grow back thicker, darker and coarser. This is a myth, which probably originated from shaving, where hair grows back at it’s thickest point.

There is no scientific study that shows hair removal causes hair to grow back badly. These crazy notions have scared us from removing unwanted hair from all over the body. The removal of hair will not change how your hair grows, the only things known to change and stimulate hair growth is hormones; natural and artificial and your DNA.

Where’s the Evidence?

This myth brings up debates such as “why then when a guy with a patchy or thinner beard shaves it grows back thicker and darker?” or “when I removed the hair from my upper lip it definitely has grown back much thicker and much darker?” These debates are pointless and would follow with rebuttals from like minded beauty therapists all over “if removing hair causes more growth why then do we have clients with pencil thin and patchy eyebrows caused by over plucking?”

Humans are born with all of the hair follicles they will ever have so there is no possible way that more will appear. The type of hair present in each follicle and its level of pigment vary person to person so this is why some people ‘appear’ to have more hair than others. Many areas of the human body are covered in hair called Vellus hair, this hair is very soft, fine. In some cases it’s almost invisible as it contains much less pigment than that of the darker and thicker terminal hair..

A human hair shaft has a similar resemblance to a pencil or javelin which tapers towards the end. It is because of this shape that when the tip of the hair is cut it can feel like it has been made thicker, darker and even coarser. The hair has been cut in the middle of the shaft which would make the thickest part of the hair shaft visible as regrowth, therefore tricking everyone into believing this myth. Our hairs are continually growing so this “thick” stubble with grow out and will make the tapered end again.

The Waxing Effect

The only major effect on hair growth from the removal of hair is when it’s waxed frequently over time. The volume of hair returning to a waxed area can be reduced or increased but not the pigment or density. As each hair follicle grows it leaves behind cells that encourage regeneration. With regular waxing you can sometimes catch the hairs before they have had a chance to leave behind any cells which in turn would prevent that follicle producing a replacement hair.

If the removal of hair whether it be through waxing, sugaring, threading or alkaline wash really did cause hair to grow darker, thicker and coarser, there would be evidence. Beauty therapists see the outcome every day and it just doesn’t happen.