25.3.17

Fact Or Fiction – Lets Bust Some Hairy Myths

Shaving myths busted by dr. Shazia Ali
I want to sport hairy limbs, said no well-groomed female ever. That being said, the biggest dilemma every female faces in the unwanted-hair-department is: what method of hair removal should I adopt? Nowadays we have a plethora of choices that cater to female body grooming that range from shaving, chemical depilation, waxing, threading, mechanical epilation, lasers and IPL assisted permanent hair reduction. Which one is the best? It’s not an easy question to answer. One simple answer is: it all depends on you, your lifestyle, your threshold of pain, and off course affordability.
 
To get clarity and expert opinion on the topic, Gillette Venus recently conducted a survey. Three hundred and fifty dermatologists across Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman were contacted to identify what in their opinion was the safest, most convenient and least painful method of female hair removal. And guess what? ---- Female Shaving ranked as the top-of-mind method for all ages.

This survey also honed on to the top aspects dermatologists and women consider while choosing their preferred method of hair removal. The top considerations that got highlighted while filtering available choices included: a chemical-free process, hygiene factors, the element of convenience and pain during hair removal.

The survey asked skincare experts to shed some light on the myths of shaving as a primary method of female hair removal. While answering the misconceptions and myths that surround the shaving concept, 70% of the dermatologists agreed that shaving exfoliates the skin, and does not cause faster or thicker hair growth. All dermatologists pinpointed the fact that hair traits are genetically inherited and shaving can’t change that.

As the hair grows naturally through the skin the tip of hair gets tapered off and thinned. When we shave the hair shaft thickness appears more because the tapering journey of hair as it happens from under the skin to the top is omitted. We perceive that the hair is thicker but in fact hair diameter remains exactly the same. Thicker means blunt when it comes to shaving.
Additionally the dermatologists were questioned about the side effects commonly reported with depilatory creams (chemical burns, allergic reactions, etc). Over 80% of the respondents cited that they preferred shaving because it is chemical free and hence safer than creams.

Shaving myths by Dr. Shazia Ali

Additionally the dermatologists were questioned about the side effects commonly reported with depilatory creams (chemical burns, allergic reactions, etc). Over 80% of the respondents cited that they preferred shaving because it is chemical free and hence safer than creams. 

The Scientific Truth
Taking this survey into account lets get you all the valid scientific information that dermatologist and skincare expert rely on to dispel the notorious myths pegged with shaving: Will shaving cause my hair to grow back thicker, darker & faster?

Scientists have actually conducted multiple studies over the years to test whether shaving affects hair growth, size, and texture, this research has been published in dermatology textbooks as well as scientific peer review journals. All these studies unanimously conclude that shaving has no effect on hair's color, texture or growth rate.

Fact #1 - Hair Color And Thickness
Shaving hair myths by Dr. Shazia Ali
Hair color, texture, length, and thickness are genetically determined. Apart from genetics hormonal changes, low level laser stimuli, and certain medications can have some affect on the hair morphology and they can alter the hair color, length, and thickness. Hair bleaches and chemical depilatory formulations can seep under the skin and irritate the hair root, hence over time change the hair texture or length. But shaving only cuts hair from the skin surface it has no effect on the hair roots, which lie deep under the skin, hence it can never change those traits.

Fact #2 - Hair Growth Rate
Shaving myths by Dr. Shazia Ali
Research has shown that hair grows quarter of an inch every month. Hormonal changes and certain medications can alter the hair growth rates, but shaving can’t do so. As shaving only clips hair from the skin surface and has no access to or affect on the hair roots which lie deep under the skin. Hence scientifically speaking shaving can have no effect on hair growth rate.

No matter which method of hair removal you adopt, it’s always important to know the science behind the procedure of your choice and the right way to go about it. Shaving done with a proper razor, under hygienic conditions is a great choice for any modern girl who doesn’t want to break her bank while achieving smooth limbs on the go.

References:
- Bulliard H. Influence de la section et du rasage repete sur l'evolution du poil. Annales de Dermatologie et de Syphiligraphie. 1923; Series 6:386-91
- Seymour RJ. The effect of shaving upon the rate of hair growth. Am J Physiol. 1926; 78:93-8
- Raymond J. Myers, James B. Hamilton. Regeneration and rate of growth of hairs in man. Annals Of The New York Academy of Sciences, March 1951; Volume 53, P 562-568
- Trotter M. Hair growth and shaving. Anat Rec. 1928; 37:373-379
- Lynfield YL, Macwilliams P. Shaving and hair growth. J Invest Dermatol. 1970 Sep; 55(3):170-2.
- Peereboom-Wynia JD. Effect of various methods of depilation on density of hair growth in women with idiopathic hirsutism. Arch Dermatol Forsch. 1972; 243(3):164-76.
- Elise A. Olsen. Methods of hair removal, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Volume 40, Issue 2, February 1999, Pages 143–155
- K. Cowley, K. Vanoosthuyze. Insights into shaving and its impact on skin, British Journal of Dermatology, March 2012. 166: 6–12.