FE Today Logo

Shaving head regrows hair? It's a myth

DR IMTIAZ AHMED | September 20, 2023 00:00:00

Hair loss, be it for males or females, is embarrassing. It is not painful, but it does have the ability to impact the quality of life. In medical terms, it is known as androgenic alopecia, but for general people, it is baldness.

For a lot of us, baldness runs in the family. If it is genetic, it may appear in late teens or just after the Middle Ages. In these cases, baldness is irreversible, and we need to adjust to that. If the cause is some other reason, then recovery is possible.

Generally, age-related hair loss can fit into any one of the two categories. One is known as androgenic alopecia. Here, the hair loss is gradual. The second type is more sudden and often the result of stress.

Dr. Kathie Huang, Dermatologist at Harvard Medical School, said that sudden hair loss could happen following surgery, urinary tract infection or even high fever.

As mentioned, in case there is an underlying cause, e.g., stress, nutritional deficiency, medication or certain diseases, proper treatment to prevent loss and recover hair. It may take about 6 months for the new hair to grow.

But this treatment does not include shaving the head. In fact, this is a very common myth, often perpetuated by different media, that shaving can make hair thicker and stronger. This is wrong.

Dr. Rachel C Vreeman from Indiana University School of Medicine studied medical myths and included shaving hair as such. According to Dr. Rachel's research, no scientific evidence supports that shaving can lead to hair growth. This was shown as early as 1928 when a clinical trial disproved this myth.

Hair grows from a follicle which lies under the scalp. The part of the hair we see above the scalp is the shaft.

When we shave, we cut the shaft, but the root under the skin remains intact. Moreover, the hair we cut is the dead part, not the living. So, this practice cannot affect the rate of growth in any way.

Dr Taylor Bullock, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, explained that while many say their hair grew darker and thicker following shaving, it is only a perception, not reality. Because this appearance is due to the differences in the length of the shaft, not an actual alteration in the hair follicle. So, there is no reason to be ecstatic.

Shaving the hair could be good for the appearance of a balding head, but that is what it is. To help regrow hair, we need to consult dermatologists and change our lifestyle. A diet rich in iron and vitamin D could help. Applying lavender, peppermint, or other essential oils may also stimulate hair growth.

In the end, whether we can regain hair or not depends upon what caused it. If it is genetic, there is little we can do. If the reason is something else, there are a lot of options. But note that shaving the head is not a cure or a treatment for hair loss. We can always shave our heads while going bald, but it can only help our appearance.

[email protected]

Share if you like