Read on to learn about the science and techniques behind skin, hair growth, and hair removal, for a close, comfortable shave every time.
Myth vs. Fact
Well, your mother was wrong—but just this once. The following myths about shaving have been circulating for years. Here are the real facts to set the shaving record straight:
Myth: The age at which you begin to shave influences the amount of hair you will have on your legs and underarms.
Fact: These factors are determined strictly by heredity. Early experiences with shaving coincide with the natural increase in hair growth resulting from puberty.
Myth: Shaving promotes darker, thicker or faster re-growth of hair on legs and underarms.
Fact: Since shaving removes hair on the surface of the skin, it doesn't affect the color or the thickness of the hair. After an area has been shaved, the hair shafts start to emerge from the follicle, so your hair looks and feels coarse and bristly. If you allow the hair to grow out, it will take on its original appearance and texture.
Myth: A tan can be removed by shaving.
Fact: Tanning occurs at the lower levels of your skin, where the skin's pigment cells are located. Razor blades never come in contact with these cells. Shaving can actually "polish" your skin and give it a healthy glow. You'll improve the look of your tan by removing flaky surface skin cells that give your skin a dull appearance.
Skin and Hair
A great shave goes beyond the surface.
Over time, skin and hair change in response to factors including: age, environmental factors (e.g. sun, wind) and hormones. Understanding these factors, as well as skin and hair growth specifically, are key to achieving a smooth shave on a consistent basis.
The body's largest organ, skin not only protects us against environmental influences, but also acts as a continuous conductor sending sensory information to the brain for processing.
Skin consists of two primary layers: the epidermis and dermis. The epidermis is the external layer of skin and is composed mainly of a protein called Keratin. The inner layer of skin, known as the dermis, contains collagen protein which provides strength and contains the nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, oil glands and upper part of the hair follicle.
New Skin, Every 14 Days
The skin is in a constant state of renewal as cells from below divide and replenish aging cells above. Every 14 days the external skin surface is renewed, and every 45-75 days skin undergoes a complete re-building of its full thickness.
Every 24-72 hours, cell division and corresponding hair growth occurs within the hair follicles resting deep inside the dermis. Despite the speed of this process, it takes newly formed hair about three weeks to appear at the skin surface. Hair grows on a cyclical basis with each hair growing to a pre-determined length. Eyebrow, eyelash and beard hairs never grow as long as scalp hairs because they spend less time in the growing phase before entering a resting phase.
Types of Body Hair
There are several different types of hair found on the body:
Vellus: This is the fine, white hair found on a woman's face. Vellus hair grows for a limited time, never reaching any appreciable length.
Transitional: Usually a fine, brown hair found on a woman's arms. Like vellus hair, transitional hair never reaches any appreciable length.
Terminal: Hair found on the scalp that also comprises the face and body hair seen in men.