5 Popular Shaving Myths... Busted
We have all heard them growing up. Old wives tales and myths about this, that, and the other. Some prove right (heartburn during pregnancy DOES mean a furry baby) and others turn out to be pretty hokey (chocolate does not cause acne – thank GOD). We decided to look at some of the more popular shaving myths (cause you know… we sell razors) and see whether they held any grains of truth. It turns out that there are MANY myths surrounding shaving so this will be the first entry of many in this series, but these were the most popular ones. Take a read and let us know your thoughts especially if there are any myths you’d like us to research next!
Shaving causes your hair to grow faster.
- Not exactly sure where this beautiful piece of misinformation came from, but it has persisted for GENERATIONS. My mom told me this when I was a girl starting to shave and apparently her mom said the same thing to her. The truth couldn't be further from the truth. Shaving does not affect your hair growth. There are however several factors that will affect hair growth rates. The main one is the location on our body; this is why our eyelashes tend to grow to a certain length and then stop while the hair on our head can reach our toes if we so desire. Our age also plays a major part here. Depending on how old you are the hormones that prompt secondary sex traits to manifest may either be in full bloom or remission. That’s why you will see your most vigorous hair growth during your childbearing years. Once you hit menopause everything changes, including your hair growth rate. This plummets, and so while there are some negatives like hot flashes and boobs that are losing the ever-present battle with gravity, you will have to shave less. Additionally, time of the year matters as well. I bet you feel like you shave more often during summer time, right? This is real and documented. It may seem counterintuitive since you would need hair/fur to keep you warm in winter, but remember that hair helps with keeping you cool as well. Also, it takes energy to produce hair (and nails), and your body would prefer to keep that energy to keep you warm in winter, while in summer that need is moot. Pregnancy and our period also play a big part in our hair growth rates. It’s not enough that our shoe size increases, we have to get new bras, and our mood swings become more violent than a caged hippo, (seriously, they are responsible for more deaths in Africa than the rest of the big 5 combined!), we also will see changes in our hair growth rates. As added contraceptive knowledge it has been noted that hair growth also increases in unwanted places like their belly, face, and around their nipples. In some cases, women have seen changes in their hair color as well (thanks, progesterone).
Shaving causes hair to re-grow darker.
Shaving an area you didn’t shave before will result in new hair to appear.
- Okay, I have dark hair, so this was never something I heard of, but my many dirty blond and lighter brunette friends SWEAR this is true. So, here’s the skinny. The color of our hair is determined by genetics and the amount of melanin we produce, that’s it. Your hair is not out to spite you, I promise. Think of melanin as a darkening agent – blonds have less (redheads have the least), and brunettes and people with very dark hair have a lot of it. Now, when your hair grows out, it is exposed to the sun, which bleaches it by destroying said melanin. So what happens is that hair on your arm, and head looks lighter in color than the hair on your leg which is shaved more often. There is a simple reason for this. The hair on your leg is hiding out in the follicle and is not exposed to the bleaching effects of the sun, so it is actually your REAL color. The hair on your head and your arm (if you don’t shave) are bleached and lighter in color, and that is why this myth persists to this day.
Shaving causes hair to become coarser.
- This is a pure WTF type of myth. If you look up above at the answer to question 1 you will see the main reasons hair grows where it does. These factors include genetic disposition (some ethnicities tend to grow more hair and some less – I’ll probably research and write about this in the future if that’s something you are curious about), and the cocktail of hormones you have running around your body at any given time. As you age, you will see hair develop in different and unexpected areas (ears and upper lip, seriously?). Having a child can complicate things further leading to hair growth on your face, belly, and around your nipples as mentioned above. As you can tell, shaving was never mentioned once as a means to increase hair growth in a previously ‘bald’ part of your body. If this did happen, I would take a razor to every bald man and woman that wanted hair and fix that little problem overnight.
Shaving can make my gorgeous tan fade quicker.
- Unlike a few myths on this list, we understand where this one comes from. When we shave our legs or pits the stubble is far rougher than the hair on our heads which has grown out. There is a logical reason for that though. Look outside at a tree. You see it right? The tree is the thickest right near the ground. Your hair is that tree, and your skin is the ground. When we shave, we are cutting the hair at its thickest exposed part. Initially, we have yummy smooth legs, but after a few days or weeks, stubble appears – rough stubble. This is because you see the hair grow back, but since it’s still early and the hair is still short, it is resistant to bending and so feels rough to the touch. If you let your hair grow out then you will see that it becomes ‘softer’ this is an illusion because now it just has more give, it is no thinner at its base than it was before. So what does regulate how coarse or fine our hair is? Hormones and genetics, these two little words govern a LOT of who we are physically and our hair growth is no exception. You will also notice that just like in real estate, location matters. Pubic hair is thick, our arm and leg hair can be either fine or thick, and our armpit hair is thick as well. While this is not a universal constant, it is worth knowing that this is true for most women.
- Once again, I understand where this one came from, it seems like common sense, we go out and get nice and golden, then we have to shave away our stubble and with it goes our precious tan. This is a mixed bag to be honest. That top layer of skin is removed by shaving (think of shaving as a form of exfoliation). However, it is important to note that that layer you just removed is dead, dull skin. In many cases, you will find that once you remove it, you will see a healthier glow underneath. This myth stems from the fact that we only shave our legs and pits and we tan all over our bodies. If you exfoliated only your legs and your pits, you would notice that these two areas don’t look like the rest of your body. The solution is to exfoliate your whole body when you shave. This will prevent you from looking uneven, and the exfoliation will also remove that dull, dead layer of top skin leaving a healthier glow underneath. The ‘myth’ can be right about the tan fading slightly quicker though as this will mean some of your tanned skin (top layer) is being replaced from the bottom by the new untanned skin.
So there you have it. These are the top 5 shaving myths that you will probably encounter. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ping me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and keep the blog topics coming! We are happy to answer these questions so you don't have to!
The Rose's Razors Team
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