We’re willing to try just about anything for shiny, strong hair. Some of us swear by an avocado hair mask, while some of us still snack on SugarBearHair vitamins (this is what happens when you follow all of Bachelor Nation on Instagram). So when we heard that the key to longer, healthier hair may be shaving it all off, it definitely piqued our interest.
We’re good journalists; we know never to take anything literally without consulting experts first. We turned to hairstylist Nick Arrojo and Cutler Salon senior stylist Emily Heser and asked, “Will you get longer, healthier hair if you shave your hair off?” The answer was simple: no.
“It’s an illusion,” says Heser. “The shorter the hair is, the easier it is to see each millimeter of growth.”
“When people see a person with a shaved head and then two weeks later see them with a non-shaved head, the dramatic difference can lead people into thinking that the hair must be growing faster than it was previously,” says Arrojo. “Growing half an inch on a shaved head makes a huge difference; it is eye-catching and makes a genuine difference to one’s appearance.”
Arrojo also says hair, regardless of how you cut it, typically grows at the same rate—even if it doesn’t seem like it. “It grows at the same speed, always grows typically,” he says.
If you’re starting from scratch and shaving all your hair off, the new hair that grows in will, of course, be healthier. But that isn’t because of the shaving. “Whatever is done on the outside of the hair follicle as far as cutting or shaving does not affect new-hair growth,” says Heser. “The new hair that grows will be healthy because it’s brand-new. Cutting hair gives the opportunity to be good to it and keep it healthy during the grow-out process.”
The lesson here is only shave off all your hair if you want that look. If you want healthier hair, the best solution is to keep up a hair routine with products that will treat and protect your hair from future damage. Check out Arrojo and Heser’s picks below.