How to Stop Leg Hair From Growing Back So Fast

At the end of the day, genetics determines the rate of your hair growth, whether it's on top of your head or on your legs. Hair growth works in cycles, and you inherit the pace of these cycles through the genes that influence your circadian clock.

While you can't reset your circadian clock, hope is not lost; you can change your habits to keep hair from sprouting so quickly. These tips won't keep your legs smooth for weeks on end, but they will exert a noticeable -- and time-saving -- effect.

Shaving Secrets

If shaving is the crux of your hair-removal routine, you can make a few tweaks to slow down leg hair regrowth. Shave just before bed, rather than early in the day, because your follicles tighten during sleep. This keeps hair from peeking out of your follicles prematurely.

After shaving, apply a paste made of equal parts turmeric, gram flour -- a flour made from ground chickpeas, often available at international markets -- and water, then rinse it away when dried. According to dermatologist Dr. Michael Fisher, turmeric and gram flour act as depilatory agents to naturally reduce the rate of hair growth.

Ignore the myths that shaving makes hair grow back faster or thicker. It's just not the case, as numerous studies over many decades -- including a key examination into shaving and hair growth from the Journal of Investigative Dermatology -- have provided no evidence that shaving or other forms of hair removal cause accelerated hair growth. Put age-old tales aside and shave when you need to.

Alternative Methods

Though shaving might be the workhorse of leg hair removal because it's so easy, other forms of grooming cause hair to grow back significantly more slowly in comparison.

Waxing is the most common alternative, especially now that there are effective home waxing kits. While shaving your legs only lasts for a couple of days, waxing keeps your gams smooth for up to two weeks, and causes thinner hair growth over time. Similarly, depilatory creams, whether prescribed or off the drugstore shelf, effectively slow hair growth when compared to shaving.

Home epilators, which mechanically pull hair out from the roots, can leave legs hairless for up to four weeks. With consistent, long-term use, these devices also cause hair to grow back more finely. As an even longer-term solution -- though one that comes at significant cost, in the thousands of dollars -- laser hair removal gradually destroys hair, reducing growth by roughly 20 percent to 25 percent with each visit.