You have probably heard it a hundred times, especially from men with thick full hair; Shaving makes the hair grow back thicker. Is it that easy to grow more of a pelt? Surely someone has studied this to prove it. That’s what I assumed when I looked into the matter. However, the truth is often different from what we might expect. I checked with hair experts, scientists and doctors to see if there’s any reason to believe shaving your chest hair will make it thicker.
Does shaving chest hair make it thicker? Surprisingly, the answer is no. The persistent myth that hair becomes more abundant, darker, or thicker after shaving has been around for a long time, but the science does not support it. Shaving can make hair temporarily appear a little thicker or darker, but it’s an optical illusion.
Effects of Shaving Chest Hair
Shaving is a personal choice. Many men who have either a lot or a very sparse amount of chest hair opt to shave it off for cosmetic reasons. In short, they like the way they look and how that makes them feel.
Unfortunately, lots of guys still think shaving will thicken up that chest hair so they shave for the wrong reasons. Other men do it for better hygiene. Hair does collect sweat, germs, and bacteria.
Shaving can help keep you cool and make you feel great when someone is touching you. However, other side effects can be less-than-pleasant. The one thing that doesn’t happen is thicker hair, and even so-called experts in men’s body care may still be spreading this misinformation. If you ignore the misinformation, you can find a lot of useful tips.
Here are the Real Side-Effects from Shaving Your Chest:
- Stubble- When you shave and the hair grows out, you get stubble. This can look darker and thicker at first, but it’s not. It’s scratchy and catches on your clothing. Additionally, it can be abrasive when you rub your arms across your chest as you sleep and problematic when you’re intimate with someone.
- Itching & Skin Irritation- Regrowing hair can be annoying. It gets itchy and can make your skin red or overly sensitive. I suggest you pick up some TheraTree Tea Tree Oil Soap with Neem Oil from Amazon. TheraTree will help with several types of skin irritation related to shaving. Click Here to check it out.
- Dark Spots- As hair starts to regrow, it can show beneath the skin. Spots that are red or dark sometimes appear before the hair reaches the surface.
- Ingrown Hairs- Because shaving causes the newly shorn hairs to fall below the surface of the skin, you get that fantastic baby-smooth feeling. Unfortunately, when the outer dermis covers over the follicle, it can cause the hair to bend in on itself and curl up under the skin. These ingrown hairs can be annoying or even painful.
Darker or Thicker
Natural un-shaved and un-cut hairs taper at the end. When you cut it, whether it’s with scissors or a razor, blunting the tip of the hair can change the way it looks. Removing that thin tip only makes hair look thicker. That’s why men think shaving chest hair will make it thicker.
Moreover, because the ends are wider, it can appear much darker. That’s just the eye seeing more surface area. It may also have to do with lighter hair that’s short being in shadow inside the skin, but that’s speculation. Either way, it’s literally an optical illusion so convincing it’s spawned generations of misinformation.
Faster & More
If shaving were enough to make hair grow more, then we’d have the cure to baldness available in every grocery store in the country. There’s no reason for your hair to grow faster simply because you shave. You can’t make more hair follicles. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, if you see a sudden increase in the amount of your hair, you should talk to your doctor. You may have a medical condition or medication-related side effect that needs addressing.
Typically it’s just your normal hormonal fluctuations that should change how much or how fast your hair grows. Puberty and aging will cause noticeable changes. You’ll have the hair you were meant to have on a genetic level no matter how much you shave. Even men who never shave see changes in their chest (and other) hair over time.
Some Hairy Medical Issues
Several medical conditions and medications can cause you to grow excess hair. That means more shaving. Some of them are mentioned below, but I’m not a doctor or medical professional, and you should never try to self diagnose based on what you read online. Talk to your doctor if you experience a sudden and hairy growth spurt unless you’re going through puberty. In that case, it’s normal and nothing to be concerned about.
Hypertrichosis Makes You Hyper-Hairy
Known more commonly as “Werewolf Syndrome,” hypertrichosis is incredibly rare. It can occur in both men and women, and it causes excessive hair growth. If you think you shave a lot, just imagine how often people with this condition have to grab a razor.
You can be born with the condition or develop it over time. Unfortunately, the other known effect of Werewolf Syndrome is problems with the gums and teeth. Sometimes people with this condition are even missing some teeth.
Androgens Like Dihydrotestosterone Determine How Thick Your Chest Hair Grows
Sure, it’s a very long word, but the short version is that this big D-word is the hormone that causes you to develop male characteristics, like being hairy. You can thank Androgens for your need to shave. Dihydrotestosterone is part of a family of hormones known as Androgens that contribute to your hair development, among other traits.
Men who overproduce androgens or those who are especially sensitive to them in the follicles of their hair tend to have a whole lot more hair growth. Alternately men who are low on or deficient in androgens tend toward less hair and early male pattern baldness.
Hirsutism or overgrowth of hair can also happen to both men and women. Typically, in men, it is related to disorders of the adrenal glands. That’s why you should let your doctor know if you notice a sudden change in how much hair you grow. The good news is that hirsutism generally responds well to treatment.
Medicines & Supplements That Effect Chest (and Other) Hair
Some meds and supplements can leave your tongue feeling a little hairy, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. There are a few medicines that are known for their hair inducing side effects. If you (or your wife or girlfriend) happen to have a prescription for these and also see more hair than usual cropping up, you might want to talk to your doctor.
- Anabolic Steroids
- Cyclosporine (Sandimmune®)
- Danazol (Danocrine®)
- Methyldopa (Aldomet®)
- Minoxidil (Loniten®, Rogaine®)
- Phenytoin (Dilantin®)
- Progestins– These are more likely to be in a woman’s oral contraceptive pills.
Other medications can affect excessive hair growth, but those I listed above are among the most common. If you’re looking for a great way to shave your chest, I suggest you Click Here to check out the Philips Norelco Bodygroom Series 7000 Showerproof Body Trimmer & Shaver. It’s a great all-inclusive tool for manscaping your chest and any other areas you may want to smooth out before your next hot date.
Can I Change The Way My Chest Hair Grows
While there’s no prescription for causing more chest hair to grow, a few supplements do make that claim. Additionally, there are some simple things you can do to help prevent early hair loss and less hair growth than your full potential.
Getting less hair to grow is a bit easier. If you’re looking for a solution to the direction or pattern of growth, I couldn’t find anything. You might try gel, but it’s probably best if you just shave instead.
Increase Chest Hair Growth
If you’re looking for more chest hair, or just trying to make sure your pelt lives up to its full potential, you can try out a few of these easy home remedies. Sadly, I can’t vouch for any of them. Still, it never hurts to give it the old college try.
Biotin For Better Chest Hair
Biotin has long been touted for its ability to increase the speed of your hair growth. Experts disagree, and so do biotin users. Unfortunately, while it may work, there’s probably some misunderstood genetic component. It is also known as vitamin B7, vitamin R, or vitamin H, but whatever you call it, this water-soluble vitamin is helpful in the digestive process and likely to help you grow healthy hair and nails.
Flaxseed Oil Might Help Put Hair on Your Chest
As odd as this may seem, there’s some evidence it helps hair follicles stay healthy. Since flax is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, it may help your hair grow-in healthier. Additionally, flaxseed oil is anti-inflammatory and helps moisturize. Reducing inflammation might help keep your follicles clear.
Lower Stress Could Mean More Shaving
Without a doubt, stress has been linked to hair loss and a lot of other adverse health effects. Stress levels directly affect your immune system. An unhealthy immune system will not allow your body to function at its peak. Try meditation or other forms of stress relief.
Massage to Stimulate Follicles for More Chest Hair
Rubbing the skin helps stimulate blood flow. The short and not-too-technical explanation for why this is good goes like this: Blood helps heal and bring nutrients to your body. It also carries away dead cells.
Rubbing your chest muscles, especially with some of that flaxseed oil I just mentioned, may lead to better chest hair growth. Regardless, it will feel good and shouldn’t do any harm unless you’re allergic to flax.
Rub Chest Hair With Onion?
This sounds like the most suspect solution to me. There is little to no science available to show that cutting an onion and rubbing it on your chest will do much good. That said, some people swear by this homeopathic remedy. If you don’t mind smelling like an onion, give it a shot. After all, onions do have antioxidant properties. I doubt it will work.
Reduce Hair Growth on Your Chest
Getting rid of unwanted hair is something humans have been working on for centuries. Ever since the first primitive ancestor sliced off a knotted mass of hair or a too-long beard with a sharp stone, we’ve been perfecting the hair removal process. In the last several thousand years, we’ve gotten pretty good at it, too, so you have lots of options.
Shaving Your Chest
The most obvious and common way to get rid of hair is to shave it off. When it comes to shaving your chest, it may be easier if you start with a good set of trimmers like the Panasonic Electric Body Hair Trimmer and Groomer ER-GK60-S from Amazon. It’s usually best to go with a wet-dry model like this because it’s easier to clean, and you don’t need to worry about shaving creme shorting it out. Click Here to check out prices and availability.
Once you’ve shortened the hair so it won’t clog up your drains or your good shaver, it’s a lot easier to get a nice smooth shave. Use a good shaving creme designed to help reduce irritation and an electric razor like the MAX-T 3D Rotary Shaver Razor for a quick, clean shave. You can get one from Amazon by Clicking Here.
Waxing or Plucking Your Chest Hair: Ouch!
Men who can take the pain, or those who enjoy it, swear by waxing. Over time damaging the follicles with repeated ripping out of your hair may reduce the quantity and thickness of hair you can grow on your chest. However, that’s not guaranteed. What you will get is a hairless chest that lasts more than a couple of days.
Sugaring Your Chest is Not What it Sounds Like
Though it’s not as well known as other depilatory processes, sugaring works on hair in much the same way as plucking or waxing with less irritation. A paste made from sugar, lemon, and water gets inside the hair follicles and attaches to the hair, but doesn’t bond well to skin allowing you, or a specialist to pull the hair out with less redness and irritation.
Laser Chest Hair Removal
If you want to get rid of your chest hair for good, but you don’t want to pay for repeated sessions in a salon or dermatologist’s office, then an at-home IPL laser hair remover may be your best bet. My favorite is the Remington iLIGHT Ultra Face & Body At-Home IPL Hair Removal System I got from Amazon. Rather than continuing to shave, wax or mess around, you can always invest in an excellent DIY IPL. The only downside is that they work best on fair-skinned people with dark hair. Click Here for details and pricing.
Whether you want a more manly pelt or you feel more like a sexy beast when you’re hairless and smooth, chest hair shaving will not change the amount or thickness of your hair. Likewise, shaving won’t change the color of your hair or the speed it grows.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to grow healthier hair, and even more to remove it if you don’t like the way it looks or feels. Whatever you prefer, chest hair is something that, at least to some degree, you can control.