True or false: blonde hair will regrow darker if plucked?
June 28, 2008 5:02 PM   Subscribe

True or false: blonde hair will regrow darker if plucked?

My partner is reluctant to wax or tweaze her body hair because a 'professional' told her that any light / blonde hairs would regrow dark / black.

Is there any truth in this?
posted by Ampa to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total)
Plucking doesn't actually change the colour of your hair. What happens is that your hair becomes lighter and softer with exposure to light and contact with other substances, such as clothing. New hair is darker and stiffer because it's new (which is why stubble always feels so raspy), but over time it will bleach and soften.
posted by orange swan at 5:07 PM on June 28, 2008


i've done everything imaginable to the hair on my body and it grows back the same white-blonde as it was to begin with.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 5:25 PM on June 28, 2008

Age also changes your hair, so a lot of people will say "my hair was never dark until I started plucking/waxing/shaving it" when what they are forgetting is that they started doing these hair removal techniques at a particular age when their bodies were going through various changes anyway. If your hair does change, the hair removal process is just a counfounding factor.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:29 PM on June 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

I don't think it's as common as myths would have you believe, but I've heard that if you traumatize the follicle, hair actually can regrow differently.
...[E]xcessive tweezing (hypertrichosis) may traumatize the hair follicle and cause coarse hair to grow at the site of repeated injury.
--Primary Care Medicine, 2006
My body hair was originally light and fine, but in areas where I have scars (not from excessive plucking or anything, just from life), it's grown back darker over the scars -- but right next to the scars, it's still light and fine.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:06 PM on June 28, 2008

I'm not so sure it's a myth based on personal experience. But it could just be like articwoman says, sometimes your hair changes over time and if you're paying careful attention to it because you're removing it, you attribute its changes to the fact that you're removing it.
posted by amethysts at 11:49 PM on June 28, 2008

nthing articwoman. The hair on my lower legs was once as blonde and fine as the hair above my knees, it's gradually turned coarser and darker along my shin and at my ankles. It's age, not my intermittent shaving habits.

Waxing doesn't produce that blunt-end stubble thing, so it helps reduce the perception of this.
posted by desuetude at 12:24 AM on June 29, 2008

posted by greytape at 1:31 AM on June 29, 2008

An electrologist told me that this is somewhat true. She showed me a diagram of the hair follicle, and explained that each one was fed by a blood source. She said that when the hair is plucked (tweezed or waxed), more blood than usual will flow to the follicle in order to cope with the trauma. This extra blood will sometimes make the new hair grow in more thick and lush, since it's been so well fed.
posted by xo at 7:03 AM on June 29, 2008

Don't think it's a true false issue. As several have pointed out, there are some reasons why it might appear to be true (which means it's effectively true, either because your hair has changed or because you have to wait until the new hairs reach full lenth, soften, and lighten-up) and that in some cases it is actually true.

Waxing is probably the way to go. Unless she wants to keep her hair which is entirely up to her.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:52 AM on June 29, 2008

Greytape, your link talks about shaving, not plucking.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2008

Well.. if the hair becomes finer it will appear lighter.

Actually I know in my eyebrows there are ones that are oddly dark but the usually/always have a blunt edge - meaning it wasn't plucked it was just snapped. So they don't count.

Different bits of hair might behave differently too? I'm a bit curious so I'm going to lock in B. If any change at all - they get lighter. And mark out some test patches.
I'm a natural blonde. I wonder if that kind of thing might make a difference to it as well?
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 2:13 AM on June 30, 2008

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