Does keeping your head shaved prevent balding? Not exactly, no. It’s a very prevalent myth that shaving your head can increase the rate of hair growth, and prevent balding. In fact, it’s one I heard since I was pretty young. I remember my friend Matt in grade school telling me that he always kept his head shaved to prevent balding in the future. I think his dad told him to do it, as his dad was balding a bit at that time. However, it didn’t seem to work. When I saw Matt years later after his dad passed away, he was already starting to bald and I think we were only 25 years old at that point. That may be anecdotal evidence, but it’s my personal, first-hand account that shaving your head can prevent balding.
In actuality, the answer to this question is a lot more complicated. Hair density describes how closely the strands of hair are packed together. Decreased density is what gives the appearance of thinning hair. As hair grows longer, the ends of the hair tend to lighten from exposure to sunlight. When hair is first growing it may appear darker, and the ends tend to stick up. This can give the illusion of higher density when the hair is shorter.
Shaving Your Hair Will Not Prevent Balding
The reality is that cutting the hair has no effect on the follicles that are underneath the scalp. The follicles are responsible for when a hair grows, sheds, or stops growing altogether. A good way to think about it is that if you were to dye your hair blue, it would not turn the follicles blue. At least not permanently. As your new hair grows out, you maintain your original shade.
Remember, balding is primarily a genetic issue. And that’s why my friend Matt was doomed from the start. His father was clearly prone to male pattern baldness. And I don’t remember if his grandfather had issues with thinning hair, but I’ll say it’s a safe bet that he did. It’s in your DNA. It’s part of who we are. Some thinning and greying of the hair is a natural part of the aging process and is basically inevitable to some degree. Shaving your head will have no effect on this. So, unless you’ve been exposed to dangerous chemicals or had an accident of some kind, there’s no reason to believe that your hair loss is related to anything besides your family history.
Trying Anything to Prevent Balding
We get it. Dealing with hair loss can be really hard. Believe me. And we know that hair loss can come with a flood of emotions. A lack of control, embarrassment, self-esteem issues. It’s no fun. And we get why most people will try almost anything to prevent balding further, or stop it before it starts (just like Matt did). But just because you’re vulnerable doesn’t mean you should allow yourself to be suckered into things or believe anything. It’s best to do your research, and of course, that’s why you’ve landed on this very blog.
In reality, the myth that shaving your head prevents balding is no more true or founded in science than the “5-second rule”, the belief that going outside without a sweater can get you sick, or the still-prevailing belief that using a thin sheet of see-through paper can protect your butt against bacteria lurking in the bathroom. Think about it for a moment. How does that make sense? Where’s the logic?
Whether you are experiencing a receding hairline, thinning hair, irregular growth patterns, or even certain health conditions such as alopecia areata that can cause hair to fall out in patches that are usually the size of a quarter, shaving your head will not prevent balding or hair loss. However, while shaving your head won’t change the rate of growth, there are a few advantages to shaving your head if you’ve been suffering from hair loss.
Shaving May Help in Other Ways
First off, if you’re sick of trying to disguise your hair loss with hair replacement systems, comb-overs, wigs, hair concealers, or hats, shaving your head may be a simpler solution. It’s a good option for people who are tired of fighting it and just want to face the facts of life. However, it will not prevent balding. Styling your hair to disguise any thinning areas can be a time-consuming process that requires a lot of styling tools and products. You may be incorporating hair concealer products into this routine as well. While some very life-like hair fibers exist, it can get expensive having to purchase these products over and over again.
If you’ve been using hair systems or hairpieces to disguise your hair loss, it is even more expensive. These hairpieces need to be replaced regularly, which can get quite expensive. Not to mention that it is extremely time-consuming to be constantly removing, cleaning, and re-installing your hairpiece. Wigs and hats have longer wear but can start to feel hot, heavy, and itchy. Wigs can also be quite expensive, as well as time-consuming to install, clean, and care for. These fashion accessories should feel like a choice and not a necessity.
Shaving May Hide Hair Loss
Shaving your head will make your thinning hair less obvious to outside eyes. Not only that but you’ll be less distracted by it. No more checking your reflection constantly to make sure your hairstyle is still in place. With all the time you save on your personal grooming routine, you can do something that you enjoy more, maybe you get to sleep in an extra hour before work, or you have time to spend an enjoyable activity or hobby again. Hair loss can create a lot of emotional turmoil for the person that is experiencing it.
By shaving your head, you will be less preoccupied with how your hair is growing, and have more space to enjoy life again. With all the money you will save no longer needed to purchase hair products and hair systems, you’ll have funds available for activities that are more enjoyable. Or you can put that money towards saving for a long-term solution to hair loss such as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or hair transplantation surgery.
Shaving Can Keep Your Scalp in Better Condition
While shaving your head won’t do anything to trigger increased growth, if you have been struggling with any kind of build-up or irritation of the scalp, shaving your head can be a good way to remedy this. It can make it easier to prevent the build-up of oils and skin cells that can be congesting to the scalp and cause inflammation or fungal infections. These conditions can impact your hair growth, so if they are resolved, you may see some improvements when it comes to growth. The increased air circulation and decreased weight of hair on your head can feel like a welcome change as well. If you’re working with products that trigger hair growth in thinning areas such as minoxidil or finasteride, having short-cropped hair can make it easier to treat the affected areas.
If you’ve never experienced having a bare scalp before, it can take a few days to get used to. Some people don’t like the way it feels at all. You may feel a little colder than usual at first, for example. It’s important to take good care of your scalp in order to prevent irritation and support healthy hair growth. Frequently shaving the scalp, or shaving the scalp improperly can cause discomforts such as dry skin.
The scalp may require more moisturizer to prevent you from scratching and making the condition worse. If you’re not shaving carefully, using dull razors, or not enough shaving cream, you may experience razor burn, which is basically, red inflamed skin. Ingrown hairs can also result. This can be prevented by using an electric razor, but avoid the closest shave setting. Because your scalp will be more exposed to the elements, it will be important to wear sunscreen to prevent UV damage. You may need to keep a warmer hat for cold or wet weather.
While shaving your head won’t trigger miraculous new hair growth or prevent balding. However, if you use proper shaving techniques and after care, it can improve the health of your scalp. It can offer you increased convenience of spending less time and money on concealing your hair loss. It can feel liberating to embrace your natural appearance and may boost your confidence. And, thankfully it is not a permanent state for your hair, so if you do decide to shave, you can always let your hair grow back and decide on different hair restoration methods such as LLLT or hair transplants.
SUFFERING FROM HAIR LOSS?
Best Hair Transplant is the best place to schedule your hair transplant in Los Angeles. We’ve helped both men and women regrow their lost hair. But don’t take our word for it. We suggest learning as much as possible about hair restoration. Do so prior to making a decision on how to address your hair loss. Not every procedure is right for everyone.
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