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#61364 - 04/12/09 05:18 PM shaving science
llVeXXll Offline

Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 4
I'm SURE there's been many many of this type of question ask so forgive me if I have missed it on the forum but:

Is there any scientific evidence to prove that shaving and trimming and the like would make your hair growth thicker??? Likewise, is there any evidence to prove it doesn't? I don't know much about the science of hair, and so I can't make a decision for myself. But from what I've heard, cutting the hair above the root wouldn't make the hair reinforce itself I don't think, just make it look flatter from the top, however all my friends say that they've shaved their legs for years and they've got thicker, well I say, that they started shaving their legs when it became noticeable, and I think that if they hadn't shaved it and just worn long trousers all those years until now, the hair would be just as thick becuase they got older! (of course they don't like the thought of that so theyre sure it's the shaving).

What do you people think? x

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#61370 - 04/12/09 06:17 PM Re: shaving science [Re: llVeXXll]
LAgirl Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 12/22/04
Posts: 9994
Loc: New York, NY
There is plenty of research(studies) and evidence that shaving does absolutely nothing to the hair. This is addressed constantly on the forum. The reason that it seems like it does is because people usually start removing hair when they first start developing in their teens. What they don't realize is that they're still developing hair and it's getting more coarse and dense on its own into their late 20s. So when the hair gets worse, they associate it with hair removal that they're doing. However, it would have gotten that way whether they touched it or not.

All shaving does is remove hair ABOVE the skin's surface. So it doesn't affect the root in any way to impact the structure of the hair. The reason hair seems thicker a few days after you have shaved is because you cut the hair at the thicker part of the stem. The end is always a bit thinner. If you let it go, it will go right back to the way it was.

#61372 - 04/12/09 08:17 PM Re: shaving science [Re: llVeXXll]

There is also a way to check that shaving does not change anything. Only apply the logic.

When a hair enters telogen phase, the growth has stopped, the last segment (1 or 2 mm) that appears near the orifice, ostium, is thinner and has no color. If shaving could fatten the hair, the look of that last segment change. Not so, the hair is shaved in telogen phase, there will continue to grow, and the little faces of the skin that remains can be more thin and colorless. If the hair has been shaved, becomes thicker, this last segment would be different, would the rest of the stem diameter (minus the tip) and have uniformity in color.

When the hair is being shaved Anagen, continues to grow, which grows after shave is more uniformity in diameter and the same color as the hair has disappeared.

This can not be seen in fine hairs, or gray hair.

#61381 - 04/13/09 02:12 AM Re: shaving science [Re: ]
Barbara_CPE Offline

Top 10 Contributor

Registered: 10/19/05
Posts: 1102
Loc: Kansas
Please explain the gray hair part....What cannot be seen in gray hair?

I do agree that shaving does not cause more hair to simply cuts hair off at the surface. Hair might seem heavier - but it's just because all hairs are one length and therefore more noticeable to the touch.
Barbara Greathouse, CPE
Kansas Licensed since 1980
Live by the 4 Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.

#61416 - 04/13/09 11:45 PM Re: shaving science [Re: Barbara_CPE]

It will be a pleasure for me, Barbara, but a better picture than a thousand words ....

Edited by ded10 (04/14/09 12:17 AM)

#61855 - 04/25/09 03:34 AM Re: shaving science [Re: ]
lefty2g , LE, CPE Offline
Top 20 Contributor

Registered: 11/16/02
Posts: 232
Loc: Massachusetts, USA
Communication is still one of the biggest problems we have as a profession. Our profession has much technical info for us to learn. Whether we are explaining to clients or being explained to by other professionals, communication can be difficult. I tried writing this out before sending it... in order to make sure that the story is intelligible to anyone who reads it. I know what I want to say, however, whether it comes out that way is another issue. All readers should have a working knowledge of the process of hair growth and the cycles of growth before trying to understand this communication or there would be too many pages of text. (I'm still tryin'....)

The schematics referred to show all hairs growing out synchronized in clusters of three, however, while this is possible.... it is not very probable. All hairs are shown as recently grown hairs that have never been cut and all in the same stage of growth, whatever that may be. This can be determined by the fact all hairs have a tapered tip just as fresh new growth would have except that they would not be as synchronized as they are shown. All hairs seem to be completely synchronized with one another. This does not occur in nature. They all grow at the same speed of 1/3 mm/day or about 1/2 inch per month when they are in anagen, however, this will not happen in nature. Each hair is independent of the others. Some may have started in anagen on Monday, others on Tuesday, others on Wednesday, etc. , therefore, they would never be the same length unless they were all cut at the same time prior to the time the sketch was made. Even then some will have reverted to telogen, others catagen, and others are in anagen but the difference in length would be insignificant. I say this because all the hairs are shown with a tapered tip as though they were never cut. New hairs all have the shape as shown, however, previously cut hairs will have either a blunt end (from a scissors or electric razor) or a beveled end from a razor blade as opposed to the perfectly symmetrical hair that is bigger at the base and tapering to a pointed shaped tip when in anagen. In any size patch of hair the distribution of anagen, catagen, and telogen hairs are randomly situated. There will be some anagen with a tapered tip, some catagen with a blunt end, and some telogen with a blunt or beveled tip.

If a patient had a whiffle hair cut (crew cut, or by some other name) all the anagen hairs would be in a continuous state of "continuing to regrow untill catagen phase had started." They would have one property in common and that would be, "ALL standing straight up in the air" regardless of what stage they were in (anagen, catagen, or telogen.) The reason for this is simple but hard to explain here in few words.

Hair has weight (not very much but it has some weight). As a shaft of hair grows, it's weight increases to the extent that it can no longer stand upright. It's own weight causes it to fall over. When the hair is freshly short it behaves as though it had more "body" and stands erect. As the hair grows it ads length and WEIGHT. Eventually, the hair will have added enough weight to cause the hair to fall over by it's own weight. Consequently, the texture of the hair is now softer with less "body" and some individual hairs try to stand upright but not all of them can make it.

There is a particular hair style popular among young women where there is a tuft of hair that is kind of "spikey" as it stands away from the rest of the scalp. As it grows it becomes heavier with length and tends to lie flat. This tuft of hair is renewed periodically to make it stand up away from the face by cutting it a little shorter to make it lighter so that it can stand up by itself.

I hope this explanation is helpful. I wrote and rewrote it over and over. I hope it is self explanatory now.

#61870 - 04/25/09 07:17 PM Re: shaving science [Re: lefty2g , LE, CPE]

Thanks for the long explanation Lefty .I intend with drawings, was merely to show the complete distribution of the follicles in the body. For everyone with a picture, what you try to explain with words. I know what you see in the picture is not exact, but close enough to the reality of what I see every day when working. If you can do better, be a pleasure for me to check.
All the pictures I've ever seen, showing a distribution wrong. A single hair (like lettuce planted)
The other pictures show what happens after days of being wrenched off the hair (forceps) or to be shaved.


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