For those who practice hair removal in the summer, it can seem like the process is never ending: You shave, wax, or use another method, and a few days later, it feels as though your stubble is back. But does hair actually grow back faster in the warmer months? Although it certainly can seem that way, experts say there isn't a simple yes or no answer.
Hair removal can be time-consuming and burdensome, whether you're lathering up with shaving cream and worrying about nicking yourself or dealing with at-home waxes on your own. So if you want to know whether your hair is really growing back faster despite your best efforts, here's what the experts say — and the methods they recommend if you do choose to remove your hair.
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OK, Does Hair Actually Grow Faster In The Summer?
The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no, according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology and an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. That's because preliminary studies show that body hair might grow faster in the summer — but not enough research exists to prove that definitively.
Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, a board-certified dermatologist at Park View Laser Dermatology, adds that while the increased hair growth may be marginal, you might still notice it. "It's possible that the warmth causes an overall increase in blood flow, which increases circulation — which, in turn, increases the amount of nutrients and growth factors delivered to the hair follicle," she says.
So What Causes People To Think Hair Grows Faster In The Summer?
Christian Karavolas, owner of Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal in New York City, thinks the reason might be psychological, saying that people tend to show more skin in the warmer months, which could cause them to notice their hair growth more closely. Dr. Gmyrek agrees, noting, "I think that because people are wearing less clothing and many women are shaving the exposed body parts, they are acutely aware of any growth – even a millimeter or two."
What Is The Best Hair Removal Method?
According to Dr. Gmyrek, all methods — including shaving, waxing, depilatories, and laser hair removal — are effective, but she cautions against waxing or threading if you're prone to ingrown hairs as there's an increased risk — and, of course, don't do it if you're sunburned (this goes for depilatories as well). Laser hair removal leads to more permanent removal, Dr. Zeichner says, because the procedure destroys the hair's root, leading to less growth over time.
However, while Dr. Gymrek echoes Dr. Zeichner's recommendation for laser hair removal, she also adds that it might not be an ideal method if you're tan. "The laser is focused on the pigment, darkness, and melanin in your hair," she tells Bustle. "But if you have pigmentation on your skin from a tan, it will hit that too and potentially cause you to have a burn on your skin."
Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology and an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital
Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, M.D. Board Certified dermatologist at Park View Laser Dermatology
Christian Karavolas, Owner & Laser Specialist from Romeo & Juliette Laser Hair Removal
Randall, V., Ebling, F. (1991) Seasonal changes in human hair growth. The British Journal of Dermatology. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2003996/