I'm 16 years old and I was always told that I should shave my beard, that it will cause it to grow faster. Is this true and is there any scientific evidence proving its true? Does it have any side-effects?
No. Shaving your facial hair (i.e. beard) or any part of your body for that matter will not make it grow back faster.
There is nothing proven scientifically or otherwise that has claimed that when a razor meets your skin does your hair automatically sprout up at a quicker rate.
Now there are a few reasons why people might think that this is the case to begin with:
When you do grow body hair, it will naturally shed a few hairs while in the growth phase.
In fact your hair goes through four very distinct phases:
Anagen (growing phase)
Catagen (regression phase)
- Telogen (resting phase)
- Exogen (shedding phase)
When you are a teenager, your beard is heavily in the anagen phase when it starts to come in. Therefore with regular shaving, you may notice more and more hairs are sprouting up.
Its not actually the shaving that is causing the growth, its just now that your body has started to enter the prime growth phase due uptick of testosterone in your body and with your androgenic hair (i.e. body hair) starting finally grow.
Therefore in a relatively short time frame, your beard will seem like it grows in rather rapidly, but in actuality its just that body hair is starting to take form.
If you think about it logically, if men who shaved daily had beards that grew in quicker, would have substantial beard growth by midday. While of course that would be pretty sweet, it just physically doesn’t happen that way.
In addition, we would never have bald men…ever.
Secondly, hair follicles themselves can be in any one of the four stages that we outlined above.
When you shave your beard, you are effectively normalizing all the hair follicles to just one length and when looking at your beard that is only a couple of days old it may appear thicker.
With the natural shedding and thinning of your beard that occurs during the exogen phase, when looking at a fresh shaved face, your beard will look more concentrated together.
No, shaving does not cause hair to grow faster. People believe it is true for several reasons
- Your hair might be just growing faster now because of puberty, which is when people usually start shaving
- Shaving makes the ends of the hair blunt, giving it the appearance of thickness as it is coarser than hair that has not been cut recently
Googling this brings up many reputable sources debunking this, here is a link from the Mayo Clinic