There’s the age-old myth, that shaving making the hair grow back thicker, which may be easy to believe if you have a 5 o’clock shadow at lunchtime. However, this one definitely goes into the fiction category along with plenty of other pseudo-science men’s grooming myths that too many people believe. So — today we debunk some of those myths about shaving and men’s skin care in general — to help ensure all the guys out there are taking the best possible care of their skin and hair.
Myth #1: Particular foods can help make your beard grow quicker.
To all the guys out there desperate to push past the patchy beard, experts agree it’s to no avail. “No food or vitamin makes the beard grow faster. However, we do need amino acids or protein in our diet to grow hair. For instance, guys who are anemic often experience beard thinning,” New York dermatologist Dr. David Colbert told GQ magazine. So, a healthy diet can help maintain a healthy beard, but it will not speed up the growth process.
Myth #2: The more often you shave, the fuller your facial hair will become.
Lucky for guys that keep it fresh faced, shaving every day does not make your beard fuller or grow more frequently. Aside from the fact that you feel the prickly sensation of the beard pushing past the skin barrier more frequently if you shave often, the growth rate doesn’t actually change. So, no need to experiment with goofy facial hair faux-pas, it won’t slow your growth rate.
Myth #3: Gray beards are coarser.
“If anything, our follicles become smaller as we age. Gray beards are not much different than regular ones, structurally speaking,” explains Dr. Colbert. According to Colbert, if a Santa-like beard seems coarse, it’s just because it hasn’t been conditioned properly or is full of split ends. Try using a beard oil, like Prospector Beard Oil, and brushing your beard with a comb to keep it soft and kissable.
Myth #4: Exfoliating can slow hair growth.
This one actually passes the logical test in most cases, but in short, doing something to your skin doesn’t affect something that grows below it. “Exfoliating the surface of the skin, it’s not going to change the metabolism of the follicle underneath the skin,” explained Dr. Ronald Brancaccio, director of the Skin Institute of New York, to ABC News. What it does do is make sure you don’t experience any ingrown hairs and keeps the skin healthy.
Myth #5 – Shaving makes hair grow back thicker.
“That’s definitely a myth,” Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a clinical associate professor in NYU’s department of dermatology, told ABC News. But guys, don’t think you’re imagining it entirely — the hair may feel or appear to be coming back thicker. “When you shave, you’re seeing the blunt edges of the hair regrow all at the same time, so there’s an appearance of being thicker, but there’s no difference in the diameter or the density of the hair,” Kauvar said.