Shaving Hair to Make it Thicker

Woman with a shaved head
Photo: Abo Photography/Shutterstock
Q: I noticed that shaving makes your hair thicker and sometimes causes multiple hairs to grow out of where there only used to be one. I have thin hair on my head, and I was considering shaving it, not only once, but many times - every other day increasing to every day for about a month.
Do you think this will make a difference and is there any cream or vegetable I should use on my scalp to maximize my results? I heard something about onions, but they smell really bad.

A: If your goal is to simply get plenty of practice in shaving your head, what you propose will be a great way to do it. However, it will not make your hair grow back thicker or increase the number of hairs produced by an individual follicle.
When the hair is shaved off or cut extremely short with clippers, all of the hairs are made the same length, and the ends are blunted. Very often, this causes the hair to feel thicker and possibly look thicker because the ends create a level plane. This "change" in texture is merely an illusion.
The hair on your head (and everywhere else on your body) grows according to genetic programming. If simply shaving the head repeatedly could give a person thicker hair or a fuller head of hair everyone would have thick hair.
The incidents where you think multiple hairs have suddenly begun to grow where there was previously only one hair are more likely cases where nearby follicles re-entered growth phases at approximately the same time as your shaving, or else the hair from an individual follicle has split (usually because of the shaving). In the case of split hairs, you can expect them to break off and/or become damaged very easily.
If you are really interested in maximizing your hair's growth potential, approach it from a practical level. Keep your scalp clean and healthy. Keep the hair that grows clean and well-conditioned. Make sure you get proper nutrition by eating a well-balanced diet rich in proteins and getting the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals.
There are products that will help your hair appear and feel thicker. You can use topical serums which will coat the hair shaft to add thickness, as well as shampoos and conditioners that will gently swell the hair to give it additional girth. The effects of these products are most apparent on hair that is at least 1-2 inches in length or longer.
So, shave your head if you like the look, but don't expect it to make a difference in the way your hair will grow.
See also:
Fine hair
Hair construction
Hair growth Q&A
Is there a difference between fine hair and thin hair?