July 23, 2019 | 67° F

Simple Science: Why does hair grow back thicker, darker?

Hair does not grow back thicker when it is shaved.

The fine, tapered ends of hair are removed when hair is shaved, leaving thick and course hairs that already exist under the skin to grow out. Time lets these hairs also taper, according to Scientific American.

This same hair might seem darker than the strands that were shaved off. This is likely due to this hair’s lack of exposure to the sun and general environment. Airborne chemicals can cause hair to lighten over time.

Hair under the skin is protected from these elements, and so it is likely to be darker.

Any appearance that hair is thicker or darker is temporary due to these factors.

Shaving and waxing do not typically change these behaviors, although excessive shaving may damage hair follicles.

This can result in thinner or lowered hair levels over time.

Thinner hair from over-waxing differs from baldness in people, which is generally caused by bodily changes.

Excessive stress or genetics are more often causes for baldness, as well as chemical interactions that might prevent hair from growing, according to TEDed.

These chemicals include those used in chemotherapy.


Nikhilesh De is a School of Engineering junior. He is the news editor of The Daily Targum. Follow him on Twitter @nikhileshde for more.

Nikhilesh De

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