It is common for cyclists to shave off all their leg hair. While some remove leg hair for aesthetic reasons, this is not the only reason why bikers opt to get rid of their leg hair. For one, shaving a cyclist’s leg hair is a long-going tradition. So, even if some bikers do not know the reason for it, they abide by the tradition and shave their leg hair anyway.
Here are some reasons why cyclists remove their leg hair:
Shaved legs for a cyclist is a right of passage. It shows off those leg muscles you’ve been building up. Those hours of grinding up hills and saddle time pay-off with chiseled calf muscles that need to be shown off.
2. Improves aerodynamics
Getting rid of a cyclist’s leg hair makes them faster. The reason is that smooth skin means better aerodynamics. The absence of leg hair creates less drag, thus allowing a cyclist to go faster when taking on a biking path. (source)
While the absence of hair seems to have nothing to do with a cyclist’s aerodynamics, Specialized proved it to be directly correlated. Jesse Thomas, a professional triathlete, shaved his legs and participated in Specialized’s wind tunnel data.
The results showed that shaving the cyclist’s legs accounted for 7 percent less drag. Thomas also used 15 percent less power. Yet, he could pedal at the same speed that he usually does. (source)
Road rash, or the wounds you get from a bike crash, is widespread for cyclists. But no matter how common, cleaning and treating such injuries is essential. The reason is that crashing your bike means the road or trail scrapes your skin, so the soil and dirt may get into the wound.
However, the presence of leg hair makes wound cleaning and treatment more challenging. The leg hair can harbor dirt and bacteria, which may cause road rash to take longer to heal. In addition, the leg hair can scratch through the wound’s surface, which also makes the wound heal slower.
Cyclists have been shaving their leg hair for a very long time. The reason is that shaved legs mean a cyclist is dedicated and committed to biking. So, shaved legs equate to being a serious cyclist. In fact, the tradition of leg shaving on cyclists began a hundred years ago. (source)
How Long for Leg Hair to Grow?
Cyclists shave their leg hair for various reasons, one of them being tradition. While leg hair shaving is certainly not a requirement, it is essential to know the growth rate of your leg hair if you wish to shave it.
It takes approximately one month for a cyclist’s leg hair to grow fully after shaving. It is a fast growth rate as shaving does not touch the hair roots, allowing it to reproduce hair quickly. Stubbles may show up two days after shaving leg hair.
If you are a biking fan or cyclist, you may notice that some of your fellow bikers do not have leg hair. While shaving your legs is not a requirement at all, doing so brings various benefits.
However, before grabbing a shaver and getting rid of your leg hair, it is essential to find out how long it will take for the hair to grow back.
Cyclists opt to shave their legs as this process is less painful than waxing. However, shaving your legs also means it will only take a short period for them to grow back. The reason is that shaving the outer part of the hair keeps the hair roots intact.
As a result, your hair roots will continue to reproduce hair, as opposed to waxing, where your hair roots need to redevelop. So, if you shave your leg hair before biking, tiny regrows called stubbles will begin showing up in only two days.
Moreover, leg hair can take up to one month to grow back to its entire length. If you want your leg hair to grow back slower, you can opt to wax your legs. Since waxing means plucking the hair roots, it can take up to two weeks for the roots to develop again. It will take six weeks for waxed leg hair to reach its full length.
It is also worth noting that the amount of time for your leg hair to grow back depends on various factors. Certain conditions and medications may also account for a slower regrow of leg hair. (source)
Improperly shaving your leg hair can result in razor bumps, irritation, and even ingrown hair. So, if you are a cyclist, below is the proper way of ridding your legs of hair.
Use warm water to wet your legs. The water’s temperature will open your pores, making it easier to exfoliate sebum buildup and dead skin cells.
Apply shaving cream all over your legs to help the razor blades glide smoothly. The shaving cream will also prevent the razor blades from cutting through your skin. When shaving, follow the direction of the hair to avoid ingrown hair once it grows back. It would be best if you also rinsed the razor every time to glide it over your legs to prevent hair from clogging.
After removing all the leg hair, rinse your skin with warm water, followed by cold water, to close the pores. Next, apply lotion or moisturizer to prevent redness and irritation. (source)
As mentioned, various factors affect a cyclist’s leg hair growth rate. For this reason, it can take more than just a month for your leg hair to grow back. Some cyclists may also have a hair growth rate faster than others.
Moreover, let us dive deeper into the factors that can affect leg hair growth in cyclists.
- Sex – female cyclists have a slower leg hair growth rate than male cyclists.
- Genetics – genes, or heredity unit- dictate a person’s hair growth rate. If a cyclist’s parent has a lot of androgenic hair, cyclists may inherit this trait, causing them to have a fast leg hair growth rate.
- Health – a cyclist with a nutritional deficiency may have a slow hair growth rate than a healthy one.
- Medications – certain medications like antifungal drugs, antibiotics, and immunosuppressants can cause slow hair growth. (source)
How long for leg hair to grow? If you are a cyclist, you must wait a month for your leg hair to grow back to its regular length after shaving. If you wax your leg hair, it will take two weeks for the hair follicles to redevelop, so it can take up to six weeks for the hair to reach its full length.
Should you have questions, suggestions, or comments about this article, feel free to leave them in the comments section! We love to hear your thoughts and interact with you, so do not hesitate to ask us questions.
Furthermore, a proper shaving process is essential for leg hair to grow back well. Improper shaving techniques can lead to ingrown hair, razor bumps, and uneven hair growth.
Shoes, Socks and Pedals – taking care of your feet riding is critical. Check out the articles below:
- Socks stop blisters and keep your toes warm or cool. Read -> The Best Mountain Biking Socks
- Are you correctly supporting your feet with the right pedals? Check out -> Can I Get Bigger Pedals for My Mountain Bike
- Are you switching from MTB to the Road? -> Can I Use Mountain Bike Shoes on a Road Bike?
- Going to try clipless pedals? Learn -> How to Install SPD Cleats on an MTB Shoe
- Jacquelyn Cafasso. “How Long Does It Take For Hair To Grow Back After Waxing Or Shaving?” How Fast Does Hair Grow Back? (blog). February 17, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-hair-to-grow-back. Accessed October 7, 2022.
- Adrienne Santos-Longhurst. “How To Shave Your Legs.” The Complete Guide To Shaving Your Legs – Because It’s Harder Than It Looks (blog). May 19, 2021. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-shave-legs. Accessed October 7, 2022.
- Lukes, R. & Chin, S. & Haake, Steve. The Understanding And Development Of Cycling Aerodynamics. 2017. Sports Engineering. 8. pg 59. 10.1007/BF02844004. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225161766_The_understanding_and_development_of_cycling_aerodynamics. Accessed October 7, 2022.
- Suze Clemitson. A History of Cycling in 100 Objects. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017. https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=hc8vDgAAQBAJ&pg=PA70&dq=why+do+cyclists+shave+leg+hair&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwidk9-B7c36AhVFAN4KHRmhBSgQ6AF6BAgHEAI#v=onepage&q=why%20do%20cyclists%20shave%20leg%20hair&f=false. Accessed October 7, 2022.
- Amanda Barrell. “Factors That Influence Hair Growth.” What To Know About Hair Growth (blog). October 23, 2019. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326764. Accessed October 7, 2022.