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Why Does My Leg Hair Grow So Fast?

By Laura
November 29, 2023
8 minutes
Why Does My Leg Hair Grow So Fast

The smooth legs with baby-soft skin right after a shaving session look like a therapy, right? However, this smooth skin does not last for a long time and the hair grows back in a short period.

So, is your leg hair growing super fast and do you hate how you start to see pesky hair the next day you shave? Do you wonder why my leg hair grows so fast and how to deal with it?

If yes, we got you as we are going to talk about leg hair growth, its causes, factors affecting the growth rate, and all possible ways to remove leg hair today.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Understanding Leg Hair Growth

Understanding Leg Hair Growth

Leg hair, just like hair on any other part of the body, undergoes cyclic growth. This hair is more thicker and longer than the hair on other parts of the body including the face, arms, abdomen, and back. The growth rate between leg and arm hair has been compared in a study [1].

It states that the anagen phase of the leg hair in women takes about 3 weeks while the whole hair growth cycle completes in 2 to 3 months. However, it is important to note that not all undergo one phase of the cycle at one time. Rather hair growth is a continuous process.

Therefore, even with such a long hair growth cycle duration, you notice dense hair on the legs throughout the year.

The most common method to remove leg hair is shaving. However, there is a myth that shaving increases hair growth. As we said it is a myth, the fact is that hair growth is affected by several factors including hormones, genetics, heredity, lifestyle, and environmental factors.

Shaving only gives leg hair a blunt end that appears thick. It, in no way, alters the thickness, growth rate, color, and even texture of the hair as answered by experts in an interview published in Mayo Clinic [2].

Part 2: Factors Influencing the Growth of Leg Hair

Factors Influencing the Growth of Leg Hair

The details of factors that affect hair growth are given below.

Genetic factors

The biggest culprit of fast, thick, and dark hair growth on the legs is genetics. Genes affect the development of every physical feature of the body including hair growth. Genetic combinations determine the rate, color, texture, and thickness of body hair growth [3].

So, if you inherited complex genes that stimulate faster growth, it is likely the root cause in you.

Hormonal Factors

The second most common cause of faster hair growth on the legs is hormones. If your body naturally produces a greater amount of androgens and estrogens, the hair growth on the legs and other body parts will be faster. This is because these hormones stimulate hair follicles [4].

The level of hormones in the body changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Therefore, there is faster hair growth under such conditions. Moreover, it is the hormones that cause conditions such as hirsutism and hypertrichosis.

Metabolic Factors

A variety of disorders that affect the metabolic rate also affect hair growth. Mostly, these disorders are related to endocrine glands and cause an imbalance in the production of hormones resulting in faster hair regrowth [5].

Such disorders include PCOS, thyroid dysfunctions, hypothalamic tumors, and pituitary diseases.

Ethnicity and Hair Type

Heredity, genetics, and environmental factors together make ethnicity. If you belong to an Asian, Mediterranean, caucasian, or Middle Eastern background, faster hair growth runs in your race. A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology concluded that it is the race that predicts hair growth [6].

Additionally, some people have coarse or curly hair which appears thicker than it is in reality. Furthermore, body hair is well-accepted in some societies while it is taboo in others. All these factors determine how you see your leg hair.

Environmental Factors

Although not significant, environmental factors also play a role in leg hair growth. For example, direct and regular exposure to sunlight, hot temperatures, and pollutants slows down hair growth and also lightens the hair color.

Furthermore, if you live in a stressful environment, the production of cortisol influences hair growth [7].

Nutritional Considerations

Lastly, if your hair follicles are receiving a high blood supply and good nutrition, hair growth can be regulated. If most of your nutrition comes from junk foods that interfere with the hormonal status in the body, the growth will be faster.

On the other hand, if your nutrition comes from natural foods, seeds, herbs, and supplements, the hair will grow at its normal pace.

Part 3: Why Does Leg Hair Grow So Fast After Shaving?

Why Does Leg Hair Grow So Fast After Shaving

Leg hair neither grows faster nor thicker after shaving [8]. However, shaving cuts the hair off at the level of the surface of the skin. In the shower, the skin is wet making you feel like your hair is gone with a single swipe.

However, after a few minutes of stepping out of the shower, you notice pesky hair as you touch your skin. It is because of the stubble effect. It means that blunt hair pokes out of the skin after shaving.

Furthermore, leg hair grows at the rate of 0.27 mm per day to ½ inch per month. The daily growth of the leg hair makes you assume that hair is a growing factor. Therefore, it is recommended to shave in the direction of the hair, across its direction, and against it to get a close shave.

The condition of your skin, your skincare routine, shaving preparation, and the type of blades used determine how your legs will look after a fresh shave. Also, read whether should you shave along or against the grain.

Part 4: How to Manage Fast-Growing Leg Hair?

How to Manage Fast-Growing Leg Hair

The best methods to manage leg hair are mentioned here. We will categorize them on the basis of the duration of the results.

Temporary Hair Removal Methods

The hair removal methods that last for 3 to 7 days are given below.

Shaving

The most accessible and go-to method of leg hair removal for women is shaving. It is quick and economical. All you need is a lubricating product and a sharp razor to shave the legs.

Shaving in the direction of hair is safer while against it is more effective. Therefore, you should carefully move the blade in both directions to get the desired results.

Waxing

Waxing is for women who dislike the stubble effect of shaving and want to stay hair-free for a little longer. Both hard and soft wax can be used on the legs. You have to mentally prepare yourself for the pain associated with waxing as well.

It removes the hair from the roots and traumatizes the hair follicles as well. Thus, the hair takes about 2 to 4 weeks to grow back.

Depilatory Creams

The chemical containing depilatory creams might seem scary. But they are one of the most feasible methods to remove hair from large areas like legs. The advanced creams now contain hydrating ingredients as well.

To use a depilatory cream, cleanse your skin well, apply the cream, and wait for 5 to 10 minutes before removing it with a spatula.

Long-Lasting Hair Removal Methods

The hair removal methods that target the hair from its roots and last for upto a month are given as.

Epilation

If you want to remove unwanted leg hair using a single tool, epilation is the hair removal method for you. An epilator comes with rotating foils that grab the hair and pull it out of the roots.

As it removes the hair forcefully, the hair regrowth is slowed down and the hair that grows back is thinner and softer.

Sugaring

Sugaring is similar to waxing. However, it is more gentle and more effective. You can make a sugaring paste at home and use it with your fingers to remove the hair from the legs.

It effectively removes the hair from the follicles and its results last for a longer period as well.

Threading

Threading is commonly used on eyebrows. But it is equally useful for the legs as well as long as you have enough time. Threading works well for women who get ingrown hair by other hair removal methods.

Furthermore, it is useful in cases where there is stray hair growth on the legs after waxing or shaving.

Professional and Semi-Permanent Hair Removal Methods

The semi-permanent methods of removing leg hair are given below.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal is a professional procedure in which a light of wavelength 700 to 1200 nm is used to target the hair follicle through the pigment in the hair and annihilate it completely.

This results in the death of the hair follicle. As a result, hair does not grow back and you stay hairless for months to years.

IPL Hair Removal

IPL hair removal is similar to a laser. But it is a safer, more feasible, and more affordable alternative. Using the same principle of killing the hair follicles and reducing hair regrowth, the results of IPL hair removal last for up to 6 months.

Moreover, devices like Ulike Air3 come with a full lifetime of flashes making follow-up treatments easier.

Permanent Hair Removal Methods

Lastly, if you want to say goodbye to leg hair once and for all, we have a permanent hair removal method for you.

Electrolysis

In contrast to laser and IPL which use light, electrolysis uses an electric current to kill the hair follicles. This current is stronger as compared to laser and it works on individual follicles. Consequently, the results of electrolysis last forever.

Conclusion

Unwanted leg hair has a negative impact on the self-esteem of women when they cannot wear one-piece dresses or short skirts without having to get rid of them. And even if they remove the hair, they grow back quickly giving women a headache.

The factors affecting hair growth include genetics, hormones, systemic disorders, environment, diet, and ethnicity. As most of these factors are unchangeable, efforts can be made to remove the hair by a compatible hair removal method.

References

  1. The hair cycle on the human thigh and upper arm. S V Seago, F J Ebling. July 1985. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/4015973/
  2. Does shaving unwanted body hair make it grow thicker and darker? Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D. Dec 2023. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/hair-removal/faq-20058427
  3. The genetics of human hair growth. P S Porter. June 1971. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/5173315/
  4.  Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles.  Monika Grymowicz, Ewa Rudnicka, Agnieszka Podfigurna, Paulina Napierala, Roman Smolarczyk, Katarzyna Smolarczyk. July 2020. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432488/
  5.  Effects of Hormones and Endocrine Disorders on Hair Growth. Rishi Hasan, Husain Juma, Fatema A Eid Hawra A Alaswad. Dec 2022. PubMed Central.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9788837/
  6. Race, Rather than Skin Pigmentation, Predicts Facial Hair Growth in Women. Emilia Javorsky, MPH, Alexis C. Perkins, MD, Greg Hillebrand, PhD, Kukizo Miyamoto. May 2014. PubMed Central. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025516/
  7.  Stress and the Hair Growth Cycle: Cortisol-Induced Hair Growth Disruption.  Erling Thom. Aug 2016. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27538002/
  8. Shaving Does Not Affect the Thickness or Rate of Hair Growth. Cynthia Cobb, Healthline. Dec 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/does-shaving-make-hair-thicker
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