Does shaving your head make your hair grow faster?
The crew cut has gained an element of notoriety that is hard to beat. Buzz-cutting gained popularity with the coming of hair clippers and became the hair style of choice in the armed forces. This ultra-short style has for many years been a symbol of a macho character and during the 1960s and 70s, the skinhead-look even became associated with anarchism and hooliganism. Today, times have changed everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs to pop stars are sporting shaved heads.
Whether you consider it sharp and clean, or thuggish, buzz cut is a hair style is common among men of all ages, social classes and professions these days. The crew cut has been sported by a number of celebrities, including Drake, Nick Jonas, David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Zayn Malik and many more. Even women are abandoning their locks for the skinhead look.
Shaving your head or trimming it short with the clippers has a number of benefits. It may look nice with your facial features and give you a new look to sport. Buzz cut hairstyles are also low maintenance and if you are losing hair because you are balding, cutting it short is often the only way to wear it and pull-off looking tidy and presentable – this is why many bald men cut their hair short or shave it off completely.
But does cutting your hair short help it to grow faster? Can shaving your hair affect your hair growth cycle? Or for that matter; can a buzz cut hamper hair growth? That is what we will be discussing in this blog.
Does a buzz cut help hair grow?
The truth of the matter is that a buzz cut will not affect hair growth. Neither the speed at which your hair grows, nor the health of your hair are affected by the haircut. Hair regrows in a particular pattern that is not dependent in any way on you cutting your hair. Regardless of how short, or how regularly you cut your hair, it will continue to go through its normal growth cycle. It’s a myth that cutting your hair short makes it grow faster.
What factors can affect how your hair grows?
Your hair grows from roots, or hair follicles, located deep in your skin. Your hair gets everything it needs to grow from within. Your blood brings oxygen and nutrients to your hair follicles, and they use these ingredients to grow hair. The speed at which your hair regrows, the length it grows to, the thickness, texture and quality of your hair – all depend on your genetics, your lifestyle and routines, your age, your physical and mental health, and your diet. Even if you buzz-cut your hair every week, it will always go through the same healthy hair growth cycle as uncut hair.
How long does hair take to grow?
Even when you go for a buzz cut or crew cut, the existing hair will continue to grow at a normal speed. How fast does hair grow? The average rate of hair growth for a healthy human is around 15 centimeters, or 6 inches per year. This does vary from individual to individual but is a pretty good rule-of-thumb. How long hair grows is a different matter altogether. The maximum length at which your hair can grow to is dependent on your hair growth cycle.
What is the hair growth cycle?
In order to understand hair growth, we need to understand the hair growth and hair fall cycle. Your hair follicles cycle through four distinct phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen.
Anagen is the growth phase. In the Anagen phase, your follicles grow hair continuously grows for 2 to 8 years. All the hair you see growing right now on your head is anagen hair and about 90% of your hair follicles are in the anagen phase at any one time.
Assuming you are Mr. Average, with a growth rate of 15 centimeters/6 inches a per year, and an anagen phase lasting 5 years, your hair could grow to a maximum length of 75 centimeters/30 inches. If you are unfortunate enough to grow hair more slowly, or your hair growth phase shorter 9 (or both), your hair will never grow as long as Mr. Average’s, no matter how long you go without cutting it. This is the same reason why a short-haired breed of animal like a dog, never grows long hair - it falls out before it gets long. Why? Read on…
At the end of the anagen phase, your hair enters the next short transitional phase called Catagen. In this phase the hair shaft and the root become detached from one another and the hair sheds. The Catagen only lasts for about a couple of weeks.
Next, your hair follicle enters the Telogen phase. This is the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. Telogen can last from 3 to 9 months. Typically, about 10% of your hair is in the telogen phase at any one time. At that end of the telogen phase, a new hair will start to form and the whole process starts over again.
So, whether you like it or not, the speed and length your hair grows is down to internal factors, like your age and health, and a cycle that means that inevitably your hair follicles will grow, shed, rest, and regrow hair. Cutting your hair short does not affect this process, period.
Can styling your hair damage the roots?
While a crew cut might not impact your normal hair growth cycle, there are certain hair styles that negatively affect your hair growth and overall hair follicle health. These hair styles can lead to what is called Traction Alopecia, which can be described as hair loss as a result of constant pulling, or too much force on the hair shaft, which damages the roots, often permanently over time.
Culprit hairstyles include anything were your hair is held up or back tightly, including tight buns, cornrows, deadlocks, weaves, hair extensions, wearing a turban, and chemically relaxed hair styles. Therefore, hair experts advise to go for simple hairstyles that are not only good for your face shapes but also for hair health.
What should you do when you notice hair loss?
Usually, human beings will expect to lose about 80 to 120 strands of hair per day, as our hair follicles transition between their growing and resting phases. Hair fall is an inevitable and essential component of the hair growth cycle, as we have discovered above. For our hair to grow, it is important that it must fall – irrespective of whether or not we cut it.
Common hair fall problems start when we lose more than 120 hair strands a day for a prolonged period. This is known as excessive hair fall, or medically as telogen effluvium. If you are losing an excessive amount of hair, then this is a symptom of an underlying problem and you should visit a hair loss clinic to seek professional advice.
What is the number one cause of hair loss?
It’s extremely important to keep an eye out for the early signs of male pattern baldness or female pattern hair loss (androgenic alopecia) which is a genetic hair loss condition and the number one cause of hair loss around the world today. There are other types of alopecia, such as alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition exhibited by patches of missing hair. These require medical intervention but are very rare. Book an appointment with a hair loss doctor.
The common signs of genetic hair loss often include receding in the hair line, widening of a parting, and the thinning and weakening of hair strands behind the hair line and across the top of the head and in the crown. Genetic hair loss is always progressive unless it is treated. If your hair loss becomes severe, then eventually the only solutions available are hair restoration procedures, including undergoing a hair transplant, or a non-surgical hair replacement solution like a wig or hair system. This is why it is imperative to start hair loss treatment early on.
Buzz cuts and crew cut hairstyles have a variety of benefits, especially because of their low maintenance, but if you are going short with the hope that your hair is going to grow back longer and faster, think again. Cutting your hair has no impact on the speed your hair grows, or your hair growth cycle.
If you want good hair, the key take-aways here are that you should avoid any hair styles that hold the hair high and tight. You should also take care of your hair with regular brushing, shampooing and conditioning in order to encourage hair growth. And if you are cutting your hair short because you notice that its going, that means you have a hair loss problem and you need to address it. Get help today.
Established in the 1970s in the United States of America, Advanced Hair Studio is one of the largest hair restoration companies in the world, with a flagship facility in Dubai and more than 300 hair loss clinics and alliances around the world. So, if you are having any kind of hair problems or hair loss, do pay us a visit and meet our team of hair experts.