Thicker Fuller Hair from Shaving/Waxing?


So we’ve all heard the tale:
After shaving and/or waxing his chest it grew back thicker, longer and fuller.

Is there any truth to this statement?

I’m interested in getting rid of the hair on my chest/stomach for the summer, but if it’s going to come back in thicker and fuller, i’m not interested.


Welcome, Joe!

This is a very common myth, with no basis in fact. Shaving has been shown since 1928 not to cause hair to come in thicker.

Hairfacts: shaving medical data

Think of shaving like mowing grass. When grass is long and tapered on the ends, it’s pretty soft, but when you cut it low and with a flat surface, it feels thicker and fuller (like a putting green). Same is true for hair.

Another way to think about it is like a forest. The tall trees are soft and tapered at the top, and they bend in the wind. But if you clear cut the forest leaving only thick flat stumps, they don’t budge. That’s what shaving does.

As far as waxing, there may be a very minuscule change in hair growth from waxing, but it’s not something you’re going to notice. In fact, some people think waxing is causing permanent reduction in hair growth, but this is basically an optical illusion, like the “thicker” hair from shaving.

The advantage of waxing is that regrowing hairs are tapered, so the don’t feel as rough as stubble from shaving.

[ May 30, 2002, 04:56 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]


I would disagree. I have been shaving (face) since i was 14. I did not shave the hair on my cheek bone, only on my face. The hair on my face is very thick and dark (even when I grow a beard). Yet the hair on my cheek bones has remained light and thin. Only recently did I shave the hair on my cheek bone. As soon as the hair came back it was definetley longer, darker and thicker.


Hi ap–

One of the tricks of hair removal is that it’s very difficult to gauge quantified results from personal experience.

That’s why it took published clinical data from scientists working under very controlled conditions to determine that hair does not come in thicker from shaving.

There are several reasons people can think hair is coming back thicker after shaving. Among the more common:

The fine, wispy hairs grow at a different rate, so the first hairs you see after shaving are the larger, darker ones.

Hair on the face often gets thicker as you get older, whether you shave it or not. You probably started shaving it for that very reason-- it wasn’t noticeable at one time, but it eventually got thicker and darker. So you went from gradually getting more hair, to no hair after shaving, and back to the thicker hair that had been coming in slowly. This creates the illusion that the shaving caused the thickness. It did not. You just didn’t notice how gradually it was getting heavier until you shaved it.

[ June 22, 2002, 12:29 PM: Message edited by: Andrea ]