Does Cutting Your Beard Help It Grow?
Guys who are new to growing a beard will inevitably ask themselves a question many have pondered. Does cutting your beard help it grow? How do these different hair removal methods affect hair regrowth? Is it true that shaving and waxing can make hair grow back thicker?
The answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
While the act of shaving or cutting your beard will not make your whiskers thicker or stronger, these all can indirectly lead to better beard growth. Feeling a bit confused by it all? Don’t worry: We’re here to explain.
Hair removal is a common part of many people's beauty and grooming routines.
Many people practice waxing and shaving armpits on a monthly basis. For others, laser hair removal of pubic hair is a big deal. For others still, using an epilator on different parts of the body is the key to the look they want. No matter what your specific needs are, there are a wide range of methods available for getting rid of unwanted body hair.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the rate at which hair grows back after being removed varies depending on the method used; however, the actual thickness of hair never changes.
The reason people believe it does is that shaving blunts the tip of the hair. The blunt end makes it appear thicker than it is.
How To Understand Hair Growth and the Various Methods of Hair Removal
Before deciphering whether any hair removal practice makes hair grow thicker, let’s look at how hair grows on the surface of the skin. Knowing the normal rate of growth will give us an idea moving forward of what we can compare the various techniques of hair removal to.
Men much smarter than we have put a lot of time and effort into figuring out the science of beards, and their data on the subject is extremely convincing. Their research boils down to this. There are four phases of hair growth: anagen, catagen, telogen, and exogen.
The first phase involves a growing period of about three to five years. Following that, the catagen phase is a quick blip of one to two weeks, where hair starts to degrade.
After that stage, your facial hair enters the telogen phase, which is when your whiskers call it quits and stop growing. If you’re lucky, your hair will grow back after this phase, and the process begins anew.
If not, your beard will head into the exogen phase. This is when your facial hair starts shedding. The hair just kind of sits on your face, waiting to be brushed or washed away. The whiskers have served their time, and we salute them as they fall from grace.
First off, let’s qualify what we mean by trimming. Tackling a trim doesn’t mean lopping off a few inches but rather a tiny length of hair. The tool of choice for this approach should be a pair of quality grooming scissors.
These will be used to cut away the split ends that crop up during your beard’s growth phase. Having trouble figuring out what a split end is? With beards, split ends are dry, wiry-looking bits that stick out from the rest of your facial hair.
Not only does hair not grow back thicker after you trim it, but that facial hair doesn’t even grow back faster. However, trimming off split ends does help protect the thickness of your hair. We’ll discuss dealing with split ends some more later.
The simple answer to this question is a very straightforward “no.”
Shaving every day is not going to help your beard grow. Shaving only removes the hair from the skin's surface, leaving the hair follicle intact. This means that the hair will grow back quickly — often within a few days.
Shaving does not affect the thickness of the hair shaft, so it will not make your hair grow back thicker. It only appears to grow back thicker because the blunt tip looks thicker against the surface of your skin.
Waxing, on the other hand, removes the hair from the root, which causes it to take longer to regrow. This is better than shaving but causes a good bit of pain. It’s a trade-off. Waxing also does not make your hair thicker.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is a semi-permanent method that uses lasers to destroy part of the hair down into the hair follicles. This technique leads to a more extended regrowth period, but it can also cause side effects such as redness and swelling. Laser hair removal, just like trimming, shaving, and waxing, does not magically give you thicker hair.
Epilation, which involves plucking the hair from the root, also slows down hair regrowth; however, it’s a painful process and may cause ingrown hairs. Like the other techniques, epilation does not affect the thickness of the hair shaft, so it will not make your hair grow back thicker.
How To Deal With Split Ends
Not only do split ends detract from your style, but they also hinder growth.
Getting rid of these stray hairs will stimulate your beard by allowing new hair room to flourish. While on split-end duty, keep tabs on the mustache area. This is usually where most split ends crop up, and they're quite noticeable.
Mustaches tend to grow quickly, so you’ll need to stay on top of things. There’s no doubt you’ll build up your scissor prowess while weeding out the ol' cookie duster. Trimming isn’t just about split-end management, though.
As your beard continues to grow, you’ll find that certain areas will outpace others. This can leave you with a beard that looks misshapen and unkempt. Time to pair those scissors with a trimmer to help eliminate flyaways and even out the asymmetrical spots. When grooming, don’t be afraid to get in the trenches and give your beard a once-over.
Working the rough spots and dead hair can lead to healthier growth. Even better, keeping a trimming routine can speed up beard growth in general. Out with the old, dead hair and in with the new! Though split ends and uneven patches are unavoidable, trimming can help stave off trouble in the future.
If you’re looking for extra protection, marry your grooming routine with a high-quality Beard Oil to take things to the next level. It’s all about keeping up the fight against damaged and uneven hair. Regular trimming and beard oil are the perfect combos to lock in a great-looking beard.
Putting an End to the Age-Old Discussion
Hopefully, we’ve cleared up the confusion on whether shaving your beard makes it grow faster. With the trimming facts checked and science deciphered, you now know that your hair is in a constant state of change.
The four different growth phases, or the “beard circle of life,” make for facial hair that’s always on the move. Sometimes your whiskers are growing long and strong. Other times, they’re taking a break. There are even instances where your hair has called it a day or is poised to start at the beginning again.
Trimming works to give your beard a better presentation overall. Manual face labor can do away with dead hair, trim out split ends, even up patchy bits, and open space for new hair to breathe.
The actual act of trimming won’t magically make all of your whiskers grow exponentially, but it can be enough to make your beard look better overall while giving incoming hair the best chance to thrive.
In the end, there’s one thing we can say with 100% certainty. Trimming your beard is a surefire way to keep your facial hair in tip-top shape, and it won’t do anything to stunt what you’ve got going. Why not give it a go? A regular trimming routine is the ultimate way to put your best face forward.
The various types of hair removal do affect hair regrowth, but not in the way you’d think. Trimming, shaving, and more can all provide a temporary fix, but they will not make your hair grow back thicker or faster. Though a few of them do make it grow back slower.
Make sure to speak with your dermatologist before trying any new hair removal methods. Additionally, using the right beard care and shaving products can help you avoid razor burn, ingrown hairs, and other uncomfortable side effects.
Overall, it is always important to consider the potential risks and benefits of each hair removal method before deciding which one is right for you.
Laser hair removal | Mayo Clinic
Does shaved hair grow back thicker? | Mayo Clinic