I have had to deal with a certain ‘hair myth’ more often recently. It is a false assertion that even some hair stylists adhere to, but it is totally wrong.
It is the idea that shaving your hair makes it grow back thicker.
This is simply wrong. Hair is not like a plant. Hair grows under the skin, not from the tip. The hair that is cut is actually dead keratin, like your fingernails. When you cut it does it bleed? Is it painful? No.
The hair follicle is where the hair grows. If you pull that out is it painful? It is where the cell division takes place and this is where chemotherapy has it’s effect. It is not effected by how we style our hair.
I had someone inquiring about shaving her head and wearing a wig until her hair grew back thicker. I tried to convince her that (i) it was not necessary and (ii) it would not have the desired effect. A small partial would work with the hair she has and it will blend beautifully, or wearing a wig on top of her hair would look great as well.
I am sure that she thinks I am crazy or that I had some ulterior motive for my advice. But I see so many women that have lost their hair the idea that one would shave her head for a misguided belief is not something I could counsel. I hope that in her travels she finds enough hair professionals out there that will convince her that she does not need to do anything that drastic.
Many people believe that to wear a wig you have to shave your head. I would guess that this is coming from the rising popularity of lace wigs. These will not stay secure unless they are glued in place, and you do not want to do that if you have unshaved hair (see ‘pain’ above). But most wigs do not fall into this category. They are designed to stay on without glue. Don’t worry. They work well.
There are other myths out there, like hair needs to “breathe” to mention one, or that extensions are a technique for thinning hair, but we will discuss them in due course. In the meantime please understand that shaving your head is not your first option but your last resort.