When you’re growing a beard, it is easy to get impatient and want to find the fastest possible way to get it to grow in nice and full. Some people have suggested that waxing works, but we debunked that myth here. Others say shaving, specifically wet shaving.
But is this true? Can cutting the hair off of your face really make it grow faster and come in fuller?
No, wet shaving does not help you to grow your beard faster. In fact, wet shaving doesn’t particularly help your beard in any way. Most people who shave wet shave without realizing it, as it simply means to use water or shaving cream to make your razor glide more smoothly over the skin. The reality of it is that shaving does not help your beard at all. In fact, shaving is harmful to your beard growth because it means you have to grow it from the beginning all over again.
Wet shaving, or any kind of shaving, won’t help you to grow a beard faster—although it might look like it does. The belief that wet shaving makes your beard grow faster has been around for decades, but it predicated on a misconception about your facial hair. To learn more about this misconception, stick around. We’ll cover this, as well as why you should wet shave if you are going to shave at all.
Why Wet Shaving Is Important, Even If It Doesn’t Help Beard Growth
The idea that shaving can help your facial hair to grow makes no sense when you think about it logically. How does removing three or four days of growth make a beard come in faster? You’ve now reset your beard to zero and need to wait three or four days to get back to where you were. In the meantime, you’ll notice that growth doesn’t speed up.
It does appear like it does at first, which is why people are tricked by this.
Beard hairs are thick at the bottom and thin at the top. Think of them like tiny, hairy trees. If you cut a tree down, you wouldn’t expect it to grow faster suddenly. If you were looking at that tree from a bird’s eye perspective, then the newly exposed trunk would look much thicker and fuller compared to the tiny top.
Likewise, when we cut our beard hairs, we expose the thick root. You shave, you see thicker hair, and think that the shaving is making it grow faster.
The hard truth is that your hair hasn’t changed at all. It was always that thick. You just couldn’t see it because of the perspective you have and the hair that was in the way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re dry shaving or wet shaving, the result is the same. You remove the hair that has grown so far, and you reset the clock on your beard. The only time that removing hair from your beard speeds up growth is when you carefully trim off split ends. These prevent further growth, so cutting them does allow your beard to grow more readily.
So, while wet shaving won’t help you to grow your beard faster, it should be noted that it is the best approach for shaving if you are going to be. When you wet shave, you will find that your face is less irritated afterwards compared to dry shaving. This is because wet shaving leaves your face more lubricated so that the razor can easily zip across it.
When you combine it with hot water, you get the best results because the hairs soak up the water and get a little bit bigger. The warm water engorges the hair so that they’re thicker and less likely to be tugged by your razor while the lubrication (water or shaving cream) makes it easier to get a clean, smooth cut.
If you are thinking about shaving to increase the rate your beard grows, you are going to be disappointed. But if you are looking for the best shave, stick with wet shaving. For a guide on how to get the best wet shave, check out this video:
If Shaving Doesn’t Affect Hair Growth, Does Waxing or Using Beard Oils?
Nope. Unfortunately, neither of these are ways of speeding up your facial hair growth. Beard oil and beard wax are used in order to moisturize the beard or style it, both of which are irrelevant to growth.
Waxing your beard is actually a way of slowing down growth. To be clear, this refers to using hot wax to remove beard hair and not to the act of applying beard wax to style your beard. Waxing in this manner completely removes the hair follicle from the skin so that it takes much longer for the beard hair to return as a new follicle must first form.
Wet Shaving Clearly Has Lots of Benefits But Is Dry Shaving Bad For You?
This depends on what you are using to shave. If you are using an electric razor, then you shouldn’t have any problems with dry shaving. Just be careful when applying the razor to the skin and you’ll have no issues.
If you are dry shaving with a safety razor, you are likely to experience razor burn and it can even lead to pseudofolliculitis barbae, which is like razor burn cranked up to 11. It is also much more common to cut yourself and irritate the skin when dry shaving with a safety razor.
If you are shaving with a straight razor, then I would suggest never dry shaving. You want to wet shave with a straight razor, as the smooth glide will make it much easier and reduce the chance of cutting yourself—something that can be extremely debilitating with a straight razor.
What Is the Aftercare For a Wet Shave?
The aftercare for a wet shave is the same as for any kind of shave. In fact, wet shaving is the most common shaving technique used. So, your normal shaving aftercare is going to cover everything you need.
When shaving, you are removing great strips of shaving cream with each stroke. At the end, there will still be traces of the cream left. Begin by washing this off with some lukewarm water. Avoid hot water at this stage, as you want the remaining hair follicles to begin shrinking back to their regular size.
Aftershave is next to disinfect any nicks you might have made into your flesh, help soothe the skin, and reduce irritation. You can end your aftercare here if you want. Personally, I recommend finishing with one more application of moisturizer. Pick a moisturizing cream that doesn’t exfoliate the skin. Shaving is an exfoliating process, so doubling up on it would only further any irritation you might be feeling.
Help, I Want To Start Wet Shaving But I Don’t Have Any Gear! What Should I Get?
All you need to get into wet shaving is a razor and some shaving cream. It can be a safety razor or a straight razor, either one is fine so long as it is not an electric trimmer. If you’re on this site, chances are you already had the gear and didn’t realize it was called wet shaving. For many of us, using shaving cream to shave is simply just “shaving.”
If you don’t have a razor or some shaving cream, don’t worry. There are plenty of high-quality, affordable shaving options available. Start with a nice razor. Gillette has earned a reputation for high quality with more than one hundred years in business. Their ProGlide razors will give you a tight shave with minimal irritation. Next, get yourself some shaving cream.
If you are considering getting into wet shaving with a straight razor, check out my article on How Long Does a Straight Razor Shave Last.
Wet shaving is not a recipe for a faster growing beard. As much as people would love there to be a way to increase the speed of facial hair growth, there really isn’t an easy answer.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some steps you can take.
If you want to grow a beard faster, then you should stop worrying about your facial hair. Let it come in at its own time. Instead, focus on your diet and exercise. Make sure that you are eating enough vitamins and essential fatty acids. Also, make sure that you are getting plenty of sleep, as the body releases human growth hormone during sleep and this helps speed up the growth process.
The secret to a fast beard isn’t shaving, it’s staying healthy. So put down that chocolate bar, grab yourself a healthy portion of fish, and get to sleep early tonight.