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Tuesday, November 10

The Debunker: Does Hair Grow in Thicker After You Shave?

by Ken Jennings

Bad grooming in November: it's not just for the fellas anymore! It's been over a decade since the birth of Movember, the famed mustache-growing event that benefits men's health charities. Now there's No-Shave November, in which of both sexes can show solidarity with cancer patients by skipping the razor or waxing appointment, and donating their usual hair expenses to cancer research. Ken Jennings of Jeopardy! fame will be with us all month, untangling all manner of hairy misconceptions and follicular falsehoods.

The Debunker: Does Hair Grow in Thicker After You Shave?

Ken Jennings, Quiz Show Champ and Grooming Expert: No.
Skeptical Reader: But I always heard that. That's why you're not supposed to shave your legs/bikini line/etc.
KJ, QSCAGE: This is a very old old wives' tale. But it's still just an old wives' tale. There are clinical studies disproving it going back to the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, 1923.
SR: I don't believe you, Jeopardy! boy.
KJ, QSCAGE: Think about it this way: when you shave a hair off, you're just getting rid of dead cells. The follicle has no idea what you're doing a few millimeters over its head. It just keeps making new stacks of hair cells. How would it know to start growing differently?

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