I'm sure many of you, when you were little, were told by your mom that if you wax your body hair off, it will grow back thicker and blacker. Am I right? Well, good news: that's not true! In fact, over time the hair follicles may get damaged and be able to only produce wispier, thinner hair. And it will never come back darker. Nothing from the environment can change the predetermined melanin in your hair. The reason hair seems to grow back darker is because, let's take arm hair for example, the hair on your arms has been exposed to the sun over the course of its' life and has been lightened by it. So when you take all of that hair out at once and lots of it starts popping back up at once, it's going to appear darker because it hasn't had a chance to be lightened by the sun yet. You don't notice this happening when it's only a few hairs at a time that are falling out naturally and growing back out.

Now, let's talk about shaving for a bit. My friends and I always laugh about how our parents would scare us after popping out of the shower when we were like eight and they found out we attempted to shave our legs. "Oh no! Now you're going to have coarse, dark hair grow back! Oh! You're going to look like a monkey!" And they scared us into thinking that our rash decision to pick up mom's razor would result in us looking like King Kong in a few days. Well, again, this isn't true. It seems true because when you cut a hair off right at the skin, it gets cut off bluntly (see picture below). When hair falls out naturally or gets pulled out (either by tweezing or waxing) it grows back out to a point, making it look thinner in diameter than it really is. And, like I said earlier, that leg hair had been lightened by the sun and none of this new hair that's going to grow out will have ever seen the light of day before, so it's going to be darker than the hair color you're used to seeing which also contributes to it looking thicker.

How many of you got scolded for shaving your legs when you were little? Or told that waxing was a devilish activity? Leave a comment!
Picture
See how at the tip of the hair strand it's grown to a point and how that's thinner than the part of the strand that's right at the skin? This is why shaving makes hair appear thicker/coarser when it grows back
Images: Google Images
References: www.HairFoundation.org
 


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