Will shaving my head make me bald?

Britney recovered - and so will you!

Q: I lost a bet with some friends and now I have to shave my head. Is it true that it can cause a bald spot?

A: There are lots of rumors surrounding shaving your head. I’ve heard the permanent baldness rumor, as well as the rumor that shaved hair grows back thicker and darker. One look at Britney can tell you that these rumors are both false!

For those of you that need further proof, let’s take a look at the anatomy of hair. Hair grows from the follicle, which resides in the deep dermis. This means that hair must grow several millimeters through the dermis and epidermis to get to the outside of the skin. When you shave, you lop off the hair at the skin surface, leaving several millimeters of hair growing through the dermis. The hair follicle doesn’t even know that the hair has been cut.

Some other hair removal methods can cause hair thinning or baldness. There is some evidence that repetitive plucking or waxing of hair can cause damage to the follicle, which could cause hair loss. In addition, a medical procedure called electrolysis – in which the hair follicle is actually zapped with a small electrical current – can destroy the hair follicle, resulting in permanent baldness. Shaving, however, will not turn you into Mr. Clean for the rest of your life.

Adam Brandeberry, Med IV (OSU COM)

John A. Vaughn, MD (OSU SHS)

2 thoughts on “Will shaving my head make me bald?

  1. Thank you messrs Brandeberry & Vaughn for your comments. It was quite fascinating to learn that the hair follicle (as long as it remains undamaged) will behave as it is intended to , as long as the follicle itself remains undamaged. I was heartened by the fact that cutting one’s hair with clippers or a razor will not affect the health of the underlying hair follicles.

    As for shaving itself, my strong belief is that anyone thinking of doing so would be wise to get educated on how to shave safely and properly. In that vein, I would recommend this resource: http://mastertherazor.com/shaving-your-head-bald-for-the-first-time-try-this-quick-safe-easy-way/.

    Hopefully, anyone else that comes across this page will benefit from your wise words, as I have. Thanks again for the lesson!

  2. I shaved my head 4 days back for the first time. My barber suggested that I should come back for another shave after 4-5 days for better growth. I went today and after I got it shaved again, I came home and realised that one big spot on my scalp felt smoother than the rest. Then I asked my girlfriend to have a look and she said it (the spot) was a bit red-ish/pink-ish in colour. I’m really worried now because I wonder if the barber shaved to deep in that area and damaged my hair follicles. There is no pain or irritation in that region and nor was there any bleeding. I’m very concerned about the fact that my hair in that area won’t grow back again. Is that possible? Please help! It’s really worrying.

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