Harry Styles shocks fans with a buzz cut: Does shaving your head help hair growth?

Harry Styles poses with the awards for British Pop/R&B Act, British Artist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year in the media room during The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena
Harry Styles's brunette locks have been shaved clean off. (Getty Images)

Harry Styles is beloved for many things - his catchy music, his out-there fashion choices, and his wavy brunette locks. But the pop superstar is sporting a very different look these days, leaving his biggest fans in total shock.

Earlier this week, speculation began circling that Styles, 29, had shaved off his locks in favour of a close buzz cut. On Thursday 9 November, the Harry’s House singer confirmed the rumours when he attended a U2 concert in Las Vegas with his new hair style and reported girlfriend Taylor Russell.

In a video released by TMZ, Styles could be seen enjoying the performance with his freshly shaved head. He wore a white T-shirt for the event, and appeared to be enjoying spending time with Canadian actor Russell, who he put his arm around during the video.

While the former One Direction star has yet to address his new hairstyle, getting a buzz cut is a popular trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. This summer, Florence Pugh made headlines when she debuted her buzz cut at the Met Gala, and in September, Bradley Cooper also stepped out in New York City with a closely shaved head instead of his trademark hairstyle.

Since word of Styles’s new hairdo began circling this week, Google searches for “how to shave head” have increased by 83%, according to analysis by hair transplant experts GetHair. Meanwhile, view on videos with the hashtag #harrystylesbald on TikTok have reached over five million in the past five days.

Harry Styles performs live on stage during The BRIT Awards 2023 at The O2 Arena
Harry Styles fans are bereft that their favourite pop star has decided to shave his head - but a buzz cut remains a popular hairstyle. (Getty Images)

Aside from being fashionable, some people may choose to get a buzz cut because it means lower maintenance. Others still might do it in hopes it will help “reset” their hair when it grows back, particularly if they have hair damage due to excessive bleaching or heat styling.

But does it work? We turned to the experts to find out whether it’s fact or fiction.

To shave or not to shave?

Florence Pugh attends the 2023 Costume Institute Benefit celebrating
Florence Pugh debuted her dramatic buzz cut at this year's Met Gala. (Getty Images)

For people who have historically had a full head of hair, the decision to get a buzz cut can be dramatic. With this in mind, GetHair’s expert Dr Tayfun Oguzoglu advises having a think about how long it will take for your hair to grow back if you do wish to go bald.

“Everyone’s hair grows at a different rate, however on average, there is only around 0.5 inches (13mm) of regrowth per month,” he cautions. “Always take this into account when making any drastic hair changes as it could take up to a year for your hair to fully grow back, depending on length.”

If your heart is set on the bold look, then heading to the hairdressers is your best bet for a neat, close shave. However, some people might be keen to do it themselves, in which case Dr Oguzoglu warns: “Always be cautious when shaving your head, as just like other parts of the body, shaving can cause irritation. If care isn’t taken it can lead to cuts, ingrown hairs, razor burn and dry skin.”

Will my hair grow back thicker and stronger?

A lady is having her head shaved as part of a charity event.
Shaving one's head can help get rid of damaged hair, but the regrowth may not be as healthy as you might hope. (Getty Images)

Unfortunately, it is a myth that your hair will grow back stronger and healthier if you shave your head. While doing so does remove damaged hair that has been subjected to too much heat styling or bleaching and dying, the hair that grows back won’t show much improvement if you have an unhealthy diet or continue treating it the way you treat your existing hair.

Eating a diet rich in the right nutrients for healthy hair - such as vitamins A, C, D and E, zinc, iron, protein, and B vitamins - is essential for maintaining luscious locks. If you don’t consume enough of these nutrients in your current diet, then shaving your head will not result in healthier hair.

Lucinda Ellery, a hair loss specialist, told Allure: “It’s the makeup of your body and cells that decide the quality of your hair. It can be affected emotionally through stress and anxiety and from the lack of correct nutrients within the body, but shaving won’t make it come back better or stronger.”

However, shaving your head might be a great place to start thinking about your hair differently. Gustav Fouche, a top hairstylist and salon owner in London, tells Yahoo UK: "Shaving your head won't result in thicker or healthier hair, but it does provide a fantastic opportunity to experiment with different styles as your hair regrows.

"For an elegant transition from a buzz cut, regular trims are essential to maintain a tidy look. Using high-quality hair care products helps keep your hair and scalp healthy, especially since the scalp is more exposed."

When your hair begins to grow back after shaving, it might appear thicker. However, don't be fooled - this is only because you see the widest part of the hair shaft, Fouche says. "This doesn't change its natural characteristics. If your hair was curly before, it will return as it grows."

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