Does Hair Really Grow Back Thicker After Shaving?

It's time to face the facts.

But does it? Not according to Chloe Scriminger, head trainer at boutique salon chain Ministry of Waxing. Well, not exactly, that is. "Only the shaft of the hair is removed when you shave," says Scriminger. "This is the part of the hair that grows out of the epidermis (the skin's surface); the hair follicle is still in the dermis." She explains that because the follicle hasn't been removed it will still be nourished by blood vessels in the dermal papillae ensuring it remains healthy and strong.

But that's not to say shaving doesn't make any difference to the hair that grows back. "After a shave, the hair all grows through together at the same time very bluntly, because it has been cut with a blade," says Scriminger. So while your regrowth may not actually be thicker or stronger, it can certainly feel like it.

So what are the options if you're bored of stubble? Scriminger says waxing can be done when the hair shaft is at 6 millimetres, which is about 10 days to two weeks after shaving. When hair grows back after waxing, the new tip usually means it feels softer and finer than after shaving.

For a more permanent removal solution, look to the laser: "It works by light converting to heat energy in the dermis and cutting off the blood supply to the dermal papillae ceasing the hair to grow," says Scriminger, and can show permanent results in six sessions.

A bit of light exfoliation before shaving will ensure that hairs are freed from the skin. And by removing excess dead or dry skin, you'll get the closest shave possible.

Sure, you can lather up with your regular bodywash before reaching for the razor, but shaving creams usually have special skin-soothing ingredients.

If you're scared of razor burn, look out for built-in moisturisers and skin soothers like aloe vera. A blunt blade can do serious damage too, so make sure you rinse yours in hot, clean water and change it regularly.

If you're prone to ingrown hairs, be sure not to pick at them; it can lead to scarring and serious infections. Instead, look for an acid-based exfoliant, which will help gently free them from the skin.

Keep a bottle of this handy and you can forget the pain of razor burn and ingrown hairs. Best for preventative use immediately post-shave.

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