Waxing vs Shaving, Which Is Better & Why !!
Almost all women have to think about and deal with the hassle of body hair as soon as they hit puberty. Every woman wants her skin to be soft, smooth and hairless. Having silky smooth arms and legs is the beauty standard most women strive for. And to achieve this goal they have a variety of choices regarding the method that they will follow. We have created this post with an aim of making the choice of the perfect hair removal method easier for you. In this post, we will analyze and compare two of the most common ways for hair removal: Shaving and waxing.
Types of Hair Removal Techniques
Women have ingratiated hair removal fully into their lives today. People have devised new techniques for hair removal and improved old ones over the years. The methods for hair removal broadly fall under one of two categories – epilating and depilating.
Epilating is used to define the hair removal techniques in which the hair is pulled out directly from their roots. Hence, tweezing and threading fall under this category. Consequently, waxing also falls under the category of epilation. That is because waxing yanks out the hair directly from their roots.
Depilating defines the type of hair removal techniques in which the hair is removed from the skin level. The roots of the hair stay intact. Shaving is one of the methods which fall under this category.
Generally speaking, epilating techniques provide you with smoother skin for a longer duration. Whereas, women consider shaving to be quicker and more convenient. Only you can decide on the method which will work best for you. We are here to help you make a smart and informed decision.
Now, let us refresh your knowledge on both waxing and shaving:
This is one of the most common and well-known methods of hair removal around. Being a woman, you most probably have, at least, come across this method before. The method of waxing involves slathering hot or warm wax onto your skin from where you want the hair removed. Then, after the wax has cooled down and solidified, it is ripped off quickly, along with your unwanted hair. Hence, waxing also exfoliates your skin as well because the wax also gets rid of any dead skin cells present on top of your epidermis.
The wax used for this method comes in two different types: Hard wax and soft wax.
Hard wax is the one where the wax can directly be applied to the skin. And after solidifying it can be pulled out directly too by grabbing its edge and yanking.
Whereas, there is a strip with wax on side of it for soft waxing. Its application to the skin is similar to the way of hard waxing. Then, the wax strip is pulled away quickly to yank out the unwanted hair.
Waxing can be troublesome for sensitive skin but otherwise, you will get silky smooth skin from this method.
This is probably the most common method of hair removal in the world. The method of shaving involves gliding a sharp razor blade over your skin from where you want the hair to be gone. Therefore, the razor removes the hair with it. It cuts off the hair from just above the skin though. This is a go-to method for women who want to quickly and conveniently get rid of their unwanted hair.
Shaving also exfoliates the skin but only lightly. This is because the razor can also sweep away the dead skin cells to some extent. The result of shaving isn’t as smooth as waxing though. The hair roots stay intact and can give a slightly bumpy or coarse feel since the hair is severed from just above the skin.
Waxing vs Shaving: A Detailed Comparison
Now, it is time to list all the difference between shaving and waxing in detail. This is so that you can compare the two exhaustively and then decide which method is best for your needs. We will compare these two methods based on a variety of factors like efficiency, convenience, frequency, costs and more.
In this section, we will figure out which method is more effective at removing your hair? Women want to have a silky smooth skin without any sign of hair on it. It would be an ideal condition if it seems like that hair never even grew there. So, let us delve into this factor in detail. First, let us start with waxing.
|As far as hair removal is concerned, waxing is very effective. It yanks out the hair from the roots to give you a silky smooth and hairless skin. When you glide your fingers over your smooth skin after waxing, it will feel great. This is because waxing will even remove your hair’s roots. Over time, you won’t even have to follow any hair removal technique as hair growth will get reduced in regularly waxed areas.||
Shaving, although effective, does not remove hair from the roots. This can give a slightly prickly or coarse feel. The hair is also quicker to grow out as the roots are intact.
Looking at both these methods, it is pretty clear that waxing is the more efficient one. That is because it is better at removing the hair completely and giving you silky smooth enviable skin. Shaving does not always give the perfect results you would want.
In this section, we will compare for how long does each method gets rid of the hair for. We will analyze the time gap after which you have to repeat the process if you want to keep your skin smooth continuously. That is because women do not just want smooth hairless skin for a day or couple of days. The duration for which you can stay and appear hairless after a single session should be as long as possible. A thing to keep in mind is that this factor will heavily depend on the rate of your hair growth. So, the details and variables will be specific and particular to you. So, let us look at this factor in detail:
|Waxing removes your hair from as deep as it goes. So, it takes the maximum amount of time for them to grow back out. This space out the time between consecutive waxing sessions. Also, your hair has to be longer than a minimum length for waxing to work effectively. Your hair should be about longer than a quarter of an inch before you can wax it properly again. This means though after a few days you will be able to notice your hair, they won’t be ready to be waxed again. Considering all this, generally, you will have to wax about every 2-5 weeks if you want to keep your skin smooth and hairless.||
Shaving actually cuts off the hair from just above the surface of the skin. Hair roots are still intact, so it takes lesser time for hair to grow out and become noticeable again. Hence, depending upon the rate of your hair growth, you may need to shave every 2-5 days if you want to keep hair off your skin all the time. One upside in this is that you won’t have to wait for any amount of time to shave your hair. You could do it whenever you wanted or felt that your hair needs another session for eradication.
Both methods have their own sets of pros and cons. You can go much longer in between sessions when using waxing. That is why people consider waxing as a semi-permanent method of hair removal. Shaving, on the other hand, will need to be done much more frequently if you want to keep your skin smooth and hair-free. Although, you also need to condsider the fact that you won’t always have smoothest skin in between two consecutive waxing sessions. Whereas, you can shave anytime you need to. Consider these factors carefully when making your decision.
Now, we will assess the level of convenience both of these methods provide. For comparing convenience, we will figure out how easy it is to carry out these methods. We will compare the times it takes to complete each method once. We will also analyze how accessible these methods are, both in terms of availability and the processes they follow. The less time each method consumes overall, the better it will be considered on this scale. Where you can follow these methods is also going to play a factor. That is because performing these methods in the comfort of your own home is generally considered more convenient.
|A single session of waxing can be pretty long. It could take up to an hour to get your whole body waxed. You can perform this method in your home but you need to gather the supplies first. Moreover, you need to prepare before you actually follow it. But mostly, you would go to a parlor or salon to get waxed by a professional. That also takes as much time if not more. Waxing in the home, although perfectly practical, can create a bit of a mess which also brings down its convenience level as you will have to do some extra clean up after. Though these days the trend of getting waxing done by a professional at home is picking up, which is still lesser messy!
So, even though it takes a long time to wax in a single session, you have to remember that you have to wax much less than shaving to upkeep your smooth skin. So, if you total up and average the time spent waxing in a month, it would be much lower than shaving.
|Shaving is a relatively quick and easy method of hair removal. You can easily shave in your shower and it takes about 10 to 15 minutes to do a full body shave. Hence, the level of ease and quickness of each session is much better in shaving than in waxing. Although, when you think about it you realize that you have to shave much more frequently than waxing if you want to keep your skin smooth. You may have to shave every 2-4 days depending upon your hair growth rate to keep your skin hairless.
When you sum up the total average time consumed in a month, it easily goes above that of waxing. Although, you can perform shaving pretty conveniently in your bathroom whenever you want, so that gives it somewhat an upper hand. The cleanup is also minimal since you will generally shave while showering and you can just wash away the shaved hair.
The results in this aspect stay uncertain and vague. It will majorly depend upon you to figure out which method seems more convenient as per your lifestyle. The priority of factors will be different for everyone and some will prefer waxing while some will favor shaving for this category. Although, if some event has sprung up and you need to get rid of your hair in a hurry, you will have to go for shaving, as you can shave quickly and easily within 15 minutes. You won’t be able to wax as it would take much more effort and time.
So what happens if you have to travel somewhere for a while? In this section, we will figure out the answer to this question and also evaluate the portability of each of the method. The portability of each method concerns with how easy it is to travel with the things required for each method and whether you even need to do so at all. The easier one to do for you in your travels will be the best!
|As far as portability is concerned, waxing adds a bit of the variability here. You can carry wax strips with you while travelling pretty easily. But whether you will be able to find a suitable place & time to perform it is another question. Figuring out the place and opportunity to do it would probably be tricky. Another option would be to find a waxing parlor at your destination if you really have to. That is also another issue and will depend on the destination or the nature of your trip. All in all, waxing does not really have the best portability features.||Carrying a razor and cream with you while travelling is pretty straightforward. The equipment used to perform shaving are relatively compact and portable. Most women will carry a razor along with their toiletries. It would also be pretty easy to find a razor at your destination if you don’t have one. That is because razors are very common pretty much all over the world. So, no matter what or where your trip is you will probably be able to find a razor there. Furthermore, you can bang out a shaving session pretty quickly and discreetly. You will just need to have a bathroom and you would be able to shave within 20 minutes if you need to. So, as far as portability is concerned, shaving provides relatively more comfort and convenience.|
It is a toss-up in this section. You will have to figure out for yourself, depending on the nature of your trip, destination, duration etc, which method will be the most convenient for you. Although where the physical portability is concerned, shaving may edge out waxing as it is easier to do and to carry around.
In this section, we will figure out the overall cost each of these methods will incur upon you. This factor generally rates pretty high in people’s priorities. The weight each of these methods puts on your wallet will play a significant role while making a choice between them. After all, you always want to spend your hard earned money only on the things which provide you with appropriate returns. You want the method to be convenient and efficient while costing the least amount possible too. As is obvious, the method which costs less, when the cost is compounded over time, than the other will rate higher on this scale. Now, let us look at the costs of each of these methods in detail.
|The costs incurred when following this method regularly depend upon a few different factors and variables. Such as the fact that you can wax at your own home or you can go to a parlor. If you are planning to wax at home, you will need to buy a few tools to get started. You will need to buy the wax, sticks or other application tools, and wax heater. All these tools’ cost will be comparable to buying razors and you will only have to buy these once when starting out. After that, the only recurring cost would be of the wax, or maybe of wax strips, but that will run pretty cheap as you have to wax much less than shaving.
So, the cost is comparable to shaving when waxing yourself at home. But the gross cost would be much less since you will need to wax much less. Moreover, you will need to wax less as time goes by. But these points are only true when waxing at home by yourself. And you will still have to deal with the hassles of doing it yourself in the home. The cost of waxing would be much higher if you are planning to get professionally waxed at a parlor or salon. It would depend on the quality of the place but still a single session would cost much higher than even a few sessions of shaving or waxing yourself at home. On the upside, you will be handled by a professional and you will be able to get quality hair removal experience.
Overall, the costs would be lesser if you plan on doing it yourself. Whereas, the gross payment you will have to do if you plan on getting waxed professionally regularly will be much higher.
|The cost of shaving is relatively smaller. But that is only true if you do not consider the frequency of this method. Since shaving is not the most effective method of hair removal, you have to do it every 2 to 4 days if you want to stay smooth. So even though the cost of a single session is pretty low, when you multiply the cost of a single session to the time you will have to do it in a single month, it becomes more than substantial. It has been estimated that an average woman in the US spends more than 10,000$ on razors and other shaving related products over her lifetime. Obviously, that is a pretty hefty sum and not economic at all. In conclusion, the one-time upfront cost of shaving may not seem significant but when totalling the running costs, it will cost much more.|
There is not much room for ambiguity and flexibility in this factor as the cost can be quantified as a hard number. You can figure out definitively which method costs more. The cheapest method would be waxing at home followed by shaving and then regular professional waxing. So, if you want to keep the costs minimum while also having silky smooth skin most of the time, you should go with waxing at home.
Now we have come to the factor which causes many women a bit of anxiety when considering waxing. It is clear that this factor will vary greatly from woman to woman. That is because there is no accurate or tangible way to measure the pain these methods inflict. Moreover, this importance of this factor will also depend heavily on the pain tolerance of every individual woman. There is an inherent assumption that you will have to go through significant levels of pains if you wish to achieve smooth hairless skin. This is true for the most part when considering waxing but not always or forever. Ideally, you would not prefer to handle any pain when caring for your beauty but that is practically unavoidable and inevitable unless you plan on always going for shaving only. So, without further ado, let us evaluate the amount of pain each of these methods can give you.:
|Waxing is notorious for the level and amount of pain it incurs upon the recipient. The pain that you will feel when waxing for the first time would be substantial and agonizing. You may even swear off waxing and decide to never to do it again. But the silky smooth skin you get after waxing may be tempting enough for you to change your decision soon. We will also give you some assurance by telling you that the pain does go down with every subsequent session. That is because you will get used to it and the hair regrowing back will be finer. The first time would be the worst because you also would not know what to expect.
There is one more factor which needs to be considered regarding waxing. You have to deal with hot or warm wax for waxing and if handled poorly, you could suffer some burns. There is an even worse alternative if your wax is too hot. Your skin’s surface may also get peeled which will be immensely painful and awful. Overall, you will surely have to face significant pain if you want to achieve hairless skin by going down this path. Although you have got to remember that it will get easier with time!
|There should be practically no pain involved with this method. Shaving is a painless process if done carefully and correctly. It only cuts off the hair from above the skin’s surface. Since, dead cells make up the hair, no pain in inflicted. Although, you can cut yourself if the razor blade is handled incorrectly or clumsily. A cut can also occur at a hard to shave areas such as skin with folds. It could also cause some cuts and blood if your skin is excessively prone to goosebumps. But other than that, you are good to go in shaving as far as pain is considered. You do have to remember to maintain and replace your razors regularly. Do not use blunt, rusty, or basically old razors.|
Shaving comes out as a clear winner in this one. You will feel immense pain when getting a wax for the first time. The pain will subside in the subsequent sessions as you will get used to it and the hair growth will be finer. You should not be feeling any pain when shaving. Just be careful and use good quality tools and you will be fine. Hold your skin taut when shaving over any loose skin, with folds and such, to avoid any cuts.
Achieving a smooth hairless skin is not going to come absolutely perfect. You will probably have to face an adversary or two in the journey for this quest. In this section, we will look at the possible side effects of these two methods. We will analyze the severity caused by each of these methods. The method with least or no side effects will be considered ideal or at least the better one.
|There are a couple of side effects you may have to suffer when dealing with waxing. The most common of which would probably be ingrown hairs. Ingrown hairs are hair strands which instead of growing outwards from the skin, grow into or below the skin. They keep on growing under the skin unless removed externally. They can be painful and unsightly. Some women are more prone to ingrown hair than others. So, you have to figure out how susceptible you are and then decide accordingly. Since yanking the hair directly out from the roots is a harsh process, it could result in the drawing of a bit of blood from your follicles. Another cautionary case is that you can rip your uppermost layer of skin with the wax. That could be painful and unsightly.
Waxing could also result in burns, rashes or irritation. You can get burnt if the temperature of the wax is not properly regulated. You can also get skin issues like rashes, redness or irritation depending upon the sensitivity of your skin. You have to be mindful of these different issues when dealing with waxing. Although, these issues are avoidable if you take proper care and stay proactive.
|Shaving also comes with its own baggage of side-effects. One of the most common amongst them is razor burns. Shaving with a razor can cause razor burns which can result in inflammation, redness, and irritation of the skin. It can also cause cuts which could be a big problem. Shaving can also lead to ingrown hair although it is lesser likely than waxing. You have to be alert and careful when shaving since you are handling a sharp blade close to your skin. Always use good quality gear and take extra care to never use blunt or rusty and old razors.
You can avoid a few of these issues by just being mindful. One should keep the skin damp or moist while shaving. You can also try shaving towards or with the direction of your hair growth, but you won’t get as smooth skin that way. Take extra care when shaving any of your sensitive areas like your armpits or groin.
As for the side effects, both these methods come with their own sets. You have to assess which issues are worse for you. Then you can choose accordingly. Although, many of the aformentioned issues are avoidable. You just have to use your common sense, be careful and use good quality equipment or gear.
This section is going to deal with how hygienic each method is and how much waste is generated while doing them both.
|Waxing could be a tad bit unhygienic. If you go to a low grade or cheap parlor that could prove further detrimental to the hygiene level. A low-end parlor will also probably use lower quality tools and strips. That could be problematic as if you have used a low-quality strip, the results will not be as good. You will have to give multiple passes to the same patch of hair if you are not getting all the hair removed at once because of the poor strip quality. That could cause troubles like irritation or inflammation of the skin. To avoid any hygiene issues make sure you go to a good place if going out or buy good quality supplies. If in a good parlor, insist that the professionals wear gloves and use new or sterilized equipment.
You will also generate some waste. That is a non-issue if you are going to a parlor. Although, you are going to have to deal with the waste when waxing at home.
|In terms of hygiene, shaving is pretty straightforward and clean. You will mostly shave when you are in the shower so it will be pretty clean and hygienic. Just make sure that the supplies at hand are clean and new. Take care to not use any old or dull razors. You also won’t have to do much clean up since you are already in the shower. You can just wash away the hair into the drain. Moreover, the hair will be tiny and not much fuss if you are following shaving regularly. Overall, hygiene won’t be much of a nagging factor in this if you use your common sense and take care while shaving.|
The results in this department are pretty cut and dry. Shaving is certainly better in this regard. But you really won’t have too much trouble with either one as long as you take care and keep your eyes open regarding the nitty-gritty of the procedure.
In this section, we will assess which method is easier to follow. Obviously, you won’t have any experience when starting off. So, the ease in which you can pick up and follow the method is going to matter for this assessment. The amount of preparation needed and the number of tools needed will also come while comparing the two methods to arrive at some results for this segment.
|Waxing is not the easiest method to pick up or follow. In fact, it can be pretty daunting at first. If you are going to a parlor you won’t have to do anything other than lie down and take the pain. But if you are planning on doing it at home, it can be pretty complicated to start. You will need to prepare all the tools, warm up the wax, collect all skin care products you are going to need etc. Overall, this method does not provide the most convenience when done by self at home. It is rather convenient when having it done professionally but not fully so as you still will have to commute, make an appointment etc.||Shaving is quite easier to pick up and learn. You do not need much to do this and the process is pretty ingratiated into the society that you would be having some awareness of how to do it. You will just need a razor and some shaving cream or gel and you will be good to go. The procedure you have to follow is also simple and straightforward. You just have to glide the razor over your skin to remove the hair. As long as you do it gently and carefully you won’t face any problems.|
The results are pretty clear for this segment. Shaving is the obvious winner regarding the ease of use. Moreover, you won’t need a bunch of tools to do it, just a razor and cream as a minimum would do just fine. Waxing, on the other hand, can be a big hassle when done by yourself. The pain and all the stuff you need to prep also does not make it any easier. You have the option of going out to get waxed but that also does not make it as easy and simple as shaving
You should by now have a clearer idea as we have looked into all the vital aspects and how each method fairs in each one. So let us give you a recap of all these properties regarding each method.
|Waxing is a slightly cumbersome but highly effective method of hair removal. It gets rid of your hair from their roots. The subsequent hair grows after a long time and is finer and thinner too. That makes it easier to remove the hair which grows after that. Waxing does inflict a lot of pain onto your skin if you want it smooth and can lead to a few nasty side effects. Overall, this is a highly effective method of hair removal and for just that purpose, it is brilliant.||Shaving is a simple and convenient method of hair removal. You use a razor to cut off your hair from just above the skin’s surface in this method. It is a quick and easy procedure and you will probably need to follow this at some point even if you would not prefer it. It is just a very common, tried and tested, and dependable method. The major downside would be the costs which add up to a hefty sum.|
Finally, it is time to select one of the methods. If you have studied all the factors closely, you may have realized that there is no easy or straight answer. This choice between waxing and shaving will depend heavily upon the priorities and preferences of the woman who has to decide amongst these methods.
DIY Sugar Wax
You do not always need to go to a parlor or buy the supplies for waxing at home. We have a DIY recipe for making your own wax at home. This is easy to do and you don’t need any uncommon or exotic ingredients either. This wax will be of the hard wax type and you can apply it directly to your skin.
Ingredients needed for this DIY:
|White Sugar||2 cups|
|Lemon Juice||1/4 cup|
What is the procedure?
- Firstly, take a pot and put all the ingredients in it.
- Then, mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. Use a wooden spatula or spoon for this purpose.
- After that, heat the pot on a high flame until the mixture starts boiling and becomes frothy.
- Then, turn down the flame to medium and stir the mixture. Make sure to keep stirring constantly so that the wax does not solidify.
- Then, heat the pot for about 5 to 10 minutes until the mixture turns to a golden brown color.
- After that, take the pot off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, take a little bit of the mixture in a spoon and put it in the fridge to cool it down and check the consistency. If the mixture isn’t consistent enough for waxing, resume heating the pot. Make sure you get a thick and almost-solid-but-not consistency until you are done.
- Then, let the mixture cool off for about half an hour and then take it in a bowl.
- Now, it is time to apply the wax and get on with the removal of your hair. Take a small amount of wax into your hands and roll it into a ball.
- Then, press the wax ball onto your skin from where you want the hair gone. Make sure to flatten the wax onto your skin until it is about a quarter inch thick.
- After that, it is time to rip off the wax along with your hair.
- Pick up the end of the wax using your fingers and yank it quickly against the direction of your hair growth. You should have gotten a smooth patch of skin.
- You can use the same wax patch to do it 3-4 times before you have to take more wax.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure your skin is as dry as it could be when waxing. This is because the wax won’t stick properly to your skin if it is damp or slippery. You can use some talcum or baby powder on your skin to make it dry. Also, make sure you are doing it in a dry and cool place so you do not perspire much which could be detrimental to the process.
- Apply the wax along the direction of your hair growth and pull it off in the opposite direction for best results. Keep your skin taut and stretched when pulling off the wax strips.
- Exfoliate your skin. It will be easier and less painful to remove your hair if you exfoliate your skin regularly. But do not do it right before or after the waxing session.
- Try not to wax if you are on your periods. Your skin becomes more sensitive during your menstrual cycle and the pain which you feel will be increased.
- Make sure your hair is at least a quarter inch long before you wax them. Avoid waxing too long hair also as the pain experienced will be much more.
- Splash cold water on your skin after you are done with the waxing. You can also use an astringent on your skin.
- Take proper care for your skin afterwards. Apply a moisturizer. You can even use some natural aloe vera gel too.
- Exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliating will also help you with the process of shaving since your hair will be easier to remove. Moreover, you won’t get dead skin cells.
- For best results, first, shave with the grain of your hair and then make a second pass going against the grain of the hair. You will get the closest shave this way.
- Never shave horizontally across your skin. That way you are more likely to get cuts. Always remember to go up or down while shaving.
- Pull your skin taut whenever going over skin that is a little loose. Also, steer clear of any bumps or bruises on your skin.
- Remember to replace your razors regularly and keep them clean and hygienic.
- Use short and measured strokes of the razor to get a close and thorough shave.
- Take care of your skin after getting over with shaving. You can use moisturizing creams or baby oil etc.
You can use either of these methods to achieve smooth and silky skin. Just make sure to fully understand the differences and intricacies of each one before going with the one that suits you the best!
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This article has been medically reviewed by Dr.Nagakeerthana S, MD (Dermatology) on 4/3/2019