If I Shave My Head Will It Grow Back Different?

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Head shaving equipment

There could be all sorts of reasons that you’re looking to shave your head, but you’re unsure whether it’s the right thing to do.

Like me, some people want to shave because they’ve started losing their hair. Others have heard that shaving your head will make your hair grow back thicker and stronger.

And some people just want to see how they’d look with a bald head.

In this guide I’ll explain everything you need to know about shaving your head and the impact it has on your hair, to put your mind at ease.

Will your hair grow back different if you shave it? Key points:

  • When you shave your head, any hair you had at the time will grow back
  • It won’t grow back any thicker, nor will it grow faster. These are myths.
  • Hair typically regrows at a rate of half an inch per month

If you shave your head, does it grow back?

If you shave your head, any hair that you already had will grow back. Shaving your head doesn’t have any impact on the hair follicles under your skin – any that are still working to produce hair will continue to do so.

shaving head with skull shaver pitbull
Shaving with my Skull Shaver Pitbull

Let’s be clear – shaving your head won’t make hair regrow that you’ve already lost. It’s not a miracle cure for baldness!

But if you are losing your hair, then the good news is you can shave your head to see if the bald look suits you, and if you don’t like it, the hair you did have will regrow (it’s a myth that shaving makes you go bald any quicker!).

I’d recommend that anyone losing their hair at least tries shaving, as long as they’re comfortable doing so.

This is because it’s the cheapest and easiest solution for hair loss. You’ll always look better bald than balding, and if you like the shaved look then you don’t need to worry about trying medication, an expensive hair transplant, or wearing a wig or hair system.

If you’re unsure, download my free PDF guide to whether or not you should shave your head or not. It’s a really simple flowchart that’ll take you through your options:

Your hair is always growing, and falling out. And it’s also dead – it’s not living matter. It grows longer because the living follicle is constantly adding to it, pushing it further out of your head. Eventually, it will break, and then start growing again.

When you shave, all you’re doing is accelerating that breakage process, and cutting all the hairs at once. It’ll still grow back because all you’ve done is shave off the dead hairs, but the follicles continue to work away.

Even if you wax your head, which I don’t recommend by the way, your follicles will continue to produce new hairs to replace the ones you’ve removed.

If I shave my head will it grow back thicker?

When you shave your head, your hair will grow back exactly the same as it was. It’s a popular myth that shaved hair grows back thicker, but it’s not true. Hair does appear thicker for a short period, as it is darker due to a lack of sunlight exposure, but this quickly changes back to normal.

Can you imagine if it were true that shaving your head did make it grow back thicker? There’d be a lot more people shaving their heads regularly if so, just to let it grow back out with more volume.

I’d be at the front of the queue, for a start.

bald head

But despite being widely believed, after being mentioned in popular media and because people mistake darker hair for thicker hair, it’s not a true fact. When you shave your head, the hair grows back almost the same.

For hair to appear thicker, you need two things:

  1. Healthier hair with more moisture
  2. More hair follicles

Shaving your head does not add moisture to your hair – you can do that by using conditioner on your hair or making changes to your diet to make sure you’re growing the healthiest hair possible.

And the only way you’re getting more hair follicles is if you get a hair transplant.

So, where has the myth come from? It’s because your hair does appear to be a little thicker when you shave it because the hair will be darker.

back of bald head

When your hair grows, over time it becomes more exposed to sunlight, which causes the hair to turn lighter.

If you don’t ever shave your head then you won’t notice because the longer hair strands will always have that lighter color and that’s what you’ll notice more, rather than new strands which are a darker shade.

When you shave your head, the hair that grows will all start at the darker shade, so you’ll see the change in color. And because it’s darker it appears to be thicker.

It might also ‘feel’ thicker just because it’s more blunt, and sticks upright instead of tapering off. That’s just what happens with new hair that’s been broken though, you’ve cut it at an angle so it feels sharper which can make your hair feel thicker when you run your hand through it.

But I promise you, it’s just as thick as it was before you shaved it. Medical studies have proven that hair grows back at the same speed and the same thickness (source).

What if I shave my head repeatedly?

Now, here’s one thing to think about – everything I’ve said so far applies to shaving your head once. But if you like the style and keep shaving it, there’s a chance your hair could grow back a lighter color when you do decide to let it grow out. And it may be thinner too.

When you’re regularly shaving your head, you don’t see the gradual changes as you lose hair or as your hair starts to turn gray. You don’t really think about it, because you aren’t seeing your hair grow out.

So if you later decide to let it grow, you might be surprised by how much thinner your hair is, or how the color has changed to gray. It’ll be different for everyone but it’s something to bear in mind, if you decide to keep your head shaved for a prolonged period and then try regrowing your hair.

Does your hairline change if you shave your head?

Shaving your head has no impact on your hairline – it won’t make it change and it won’t speed up the loss of your hair. If you have longer hair then it could appear to change your hairline when you shave it and it grows back, but only because you’re seeing clearly just how receded the hairline already was.

The only difference that shaving your head makes to a hairline is that you can no longer see as clearly where the hairline is. If you want to disguise the fact you’re losing your hair, shaving your head is the best way to do it because people can’t tell that your hairline has receded.

How long does it take for a shaved head to grow back?

Hair grows at different speeds depending on your genetics, but on average, a completely shaved head will see stubble after a day or two, some hairs will appear within two weeks, and hair will grow at a rate of half an inch every month.

back of head horseshoe hair

Obviously, if you want to regrow your hair to the length it was before you shaved it, that’ll depend on the hairstyle you had. Most men with short hair find that it takes 3-4 months to grow it back to its original length, but if you had a longer style it can take longer.

However – and this is important – when you shave your hair it will all regrow at the same rate. Men often assume that hair grows slower on the back and sides but that’s not the case – it’s just because you’ve always had that hair cut shorter.

For the first couple of months, you’re going to have that all-over ‘tennis ball’ look where your hair is all the same length, until it’s long enough that you can cut it with a shorter back and sides again, or you decide to just shave it all off again.

Still, it’s not too long to wait, so if you’ve got a receding hairline it’s still worth giving the bald look a try because even if you don’t like it, you won’t be stuck with the new look for years.

What are the benefits of shaving your head?

There are a number of benefits to shaving your head – but to be honest, there are some disadvantages too. I’ve always been really happy with my decision to shave my head and I’ve no regrets, but I know it’s not for everyone so I want to provide both the pros and cons.

One of the advantages is that you don’t have to worry about losing your hair anymore – your hairline is irrelevant when you have a bald head. And if you move from having a balding hairstyle to being completely bald, you’ll probably look younger too.

It is, of course, cheaper than having to worry about getting a haircut every now and then, since you can maintain a shaved head at home with ease, though you do need to buy a reliable shaver. Here’s my guide to the leading electric head shavers, if you need some help choosing.

electric head shavers

A shaved head will feel cooler in warmer months, and it can make it easier for you to care for your scalp too, since you can more easily wash and moisturize it. If you have a medical skin condition then a shaved head could be important for helping you to properly care for it.

And whether you’re a man or a woman, shaving your head is often empowering – it gives you back control of your hair, and as you get used to your new look, it will give you confidence as well.

As for the disadvantages of shaving your head, you will need to factor in more time to keep your style maintained – as soon as those small hairs start to grow through your scalp, you’ll want to tidy them up.

Thankfully there are some really good electric shavers that make the job super-quick. There are other advantages to choosing electric, which you can find in this article on electric shavers vs razors for shaving your head.

And while a shaved head is great in the summer for feeling cooler, you will notice the cold temperatures more during winter, and you may need to start wearing hats to keep your bald head warm if you didn’t previously.

You’ll also need to be careful going outdoors when it’s sunny, making sure you’ve got a good sunscreen on your scalp.

wearing sunscreen on a bald head

At the same time, dry scalps are common for bald men and you’ll want to add moisturizing to your daily routine.

Bald head moisturizers
Bald head moisturizers

I would argue that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, but there are some subjective elements too – some people just love having hair.


So now you know – shaving (or waxing) your head doesn’t have any impact on your existing hairline, thickness, or growth. And you can call anybody out when they tell you it’ll make your hair grow back faster, or fuller. It’s just not true.

Because shaving your head doesn’t impact your long-term hair-growing ability, I’d recommend trying it if you’ve been considering it.

The worst thing is that you don’t like it, and you need to wait a few months for it to grow back out. It won’t take too long, and you can always wear hats in the meantime. And don’t worry, the idea that hats cause baldness isn’t true, as long as they’re not too tight and they’re kept clean.

But especially if you’re balding – give the shaved head a look, because you’ll look younger, more confident, and you’ll feel more in control. You’ll never have to worry about whether you’re balding ever again because you’ll have taken the shortcut to the best look. Own it, before it owns you.

If you still need a little more convincing then don’t forget to sign up for your free guide on whether or not you should shave your head.

If you’re ready to give it a go, make sure you read my guide on what you need to know before you shave your head for the first time and this article that shows you how to shave your head with a razor.

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This post was written by Matt:

I've been shaving my head for nearly 20 years. I'm here to share that experience, good and bad, help you embrace your hair loss, and live your best bald life.

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