Waxing vs Shaving: The Ultimate Guide With Pros and Cons

A tough part of being a woman is you can’t ignore unwanted hair on your body parts as men do. We have got to remove it. Everything is worth it when we get back our shiny, smooth skin. Every girl has to go through this dilemma when she finally decides to take the pain – waxing vs shaving.

Here, I will provide a detailed analysis of which one is better, so stick around and read further to clear up this confusion of waxing and shaving.

Technically, waxing pulls out hairs from the root and shaving only trims it. Hence, waxing is more painful than shaving, but both leave you hair-free. It will take a while for you to get used to the pain of waxing.

There are many more things to consider before you decide on waxing or shaving.
Let’s start with waxing. If you are doing it for the very first time, you must know what wax is, where it comes from, and the different types available in the market.

waxing vs shaving
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

1. What is a Wax?

This is beeswax mixed with some hydrating materials or resin, with oil or vitamins included getting better results.

2. Types of Waxes Available?

There are many types of waxes available such as Soft wax, Hard wax, and Cold wax.
Soft wax requires heating to a certain bearable temperature and requires a strip to remove hair. Hard wax is available in the form of bead-like structures and has a thicker texture than soft wax. It doesn’t require any strip after applying.

Cold waxes need no heating, they can be applied directly on the skin and then rubbed off. This is suitable for people who are sensitive to hot wax or finer hairs that need removal. It comes as pre-applied wax on a strip and is ready to use.

3. Types of Razors

There are plenty of types of razors available in the market, such as safety razors (use and throw type), electric shaves (which can be used according to their warranty period), straight edges, and epilators.

Straight-edge razors are the ones with an exposed blade, the one you remember from childhood, popularly known as a pocket knife. Some use it for a little trimming here and there.

Normal razors or safety razors come in a hood, not exposed like straight edges. They come in handy when urgent hair removal is needed.

As the name suggests, electric shaves are electric run shavers either using direct power or a rechargeable battery. These are better for the long run when compared to safety razors.

3.1 What’s an Epilator?

Epilators are somewhat similar to electric shaves as they also come in direct electric run mode or rechargeable battery mode. It is a little more effective than shaving and a little less effective than waxing.
It gives you more time for the next removal, as the hair grows back slowly compared to shaving.

4. How to Choose the Right Method for Each Area?

You can’t rely on one method as waxing all the body parts can be too tiring, and shaving your face can expose parts that can harm your soft skin. Using a razor in the bikini area is a risky gamble as it can result in cuts or infections, as the skin is the thinnest there.

When it comes to waxing vs shaving regarding different parts of the body, go for waxing your hands and shaving your legs. Using cold wax is hassle-free, and you can also use it on your face where hair growth is minimal. Unlike hot wax, it is easier to use.

If you’re looking for a permanent solution, consider laser hair removal.

4.1 Your Skin vs Waxing

Waxing sticks to the upper part of the skin and takes off all the impurities with it. The dead skin cells leave, and a new, softer layer is exposed. This gives you that smooth and shiny sensation.

Some people are sensitive to waxing, while others are sensitive to shaving. There is a chance for post-wax burns (if the wax is too hot). Other possible side effects are redness, sensitivity, sun sensitivity, scars, ingrown hairs, allergies, and rashes.

4.2 Your Skin vs Shaving

Like waxing, shaving also revives your skin, but there is no scope for exfoliation. Shaving removes hair from the skin surface and not from the roots, so the pleasure of smooth skin will be short-lived. Shaving is a great option for those with lesser hair growth and non-sensitive skin.
Shaving may cause problems like Folliculitis1(a little red bumpy skin) in some people. Itching and cuts are other prevalent side effects of shaving, along with razor burns. If your hair growth is more, shaving will be effective for less than a week.

Ultimately, choosing between waxing or shaving is a personal preference highly dependent on your skin type.

5. How Much Pain Can You Take?

It all boils down to this question – how much pain can you take? If you can’t bear the pain of waxing, you should steer clear of it. If you have a fear of blades, then shaving might not be the method for you.
Waxing often gives better results but try only if you believe you can tolerate the pain.

6. How Often Wax or Shave?

The hair must grow back and be visible before going for the next wax or shave. It should not be less than 1/2 to 1/4 inches long. You can go for the next turn in 3-4 weeks, depending on your hair growth. Keep in mind to avoid frequent shaving as it can lead to irritation and other problems.

7. Waxing vs Shaving: Cost-Effectiveness

Waxing vs shaving is a strong dilemma, and it might come down to which is the more economical option. Waxing is more expensive than shaving, with one waxing appointment costing equivalent to 10 shaving procedures.

You can still save some bucks if you do it yourself, but it can be messy and time-consuming, the main difficulty being narrowing down a professional wax in the market.

Shaving is very cheap, easier to execute, less time-consuming and hassle-free.
Epilators 2and shaving machines are more expensive but can be used for a longer period and add value to their price.
Based on your budget and patience level, you can make a calculated choice on waxing vs shaving.

waxing vs shaving
Image by guaxipo from Pixabay

8. How to Prepare Before Waxing Or Shaving

  • Don’t shave for at least two weeks before your schedule, let it grow at least 1/2 inch long.
  • Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.
  • Avoid swimming and tanning your skin in the sun.
  • Keep your skin wet and moisturized.
  • Take pain medication only if you can’t bear the pain at all.
  • If you are doing it yourself, avoid overheating the wax as it can burn your skin.
  • Apply shaving cream or at least wet your skin before shaving.

9. Let’s go through the steps for once-

9.1 For waxing –

  • Pre-wax treatment to expose your grown hair. This may be a powder or some other material to prevent irritation.
  • A thin layer of wax is applied using a clean popsicle stick in the same direction as hair growth.
  • In the case of soft wax, a strip of paper is placed on the wax-applied skin and tapped hard. It is then pulled out against the direction of the hair growth.
  • In the case of hard wax, the strip is not required. The applied layer of wax hardens and can be pulled out against the direction of hair growth.
  • A moisturizer is applied to soothe the skin.

9.2 For shaving –

  • Shaving cream is applied to the skin before shaving.
  • Move the razor in the direction of hair growth in long strokes.
  • Rinse after each turn and remove the hair.
  • Clean up the clutter and use cool water and moisturizer to soothe the skin.

10. How to Tackle the After-Effects?

After waxing3, burns and redness are common. Some also get bumps and red marks all over the skin. The key here is to exfoliate after waxing or shaving is done.
At times, little hair follicles are left here and there, which have to be ignored. Do not try to pick them as your skin is fully exposed after removing the outer dead cells. Apply a moisturizer and leave it to cool down.

11. Waxing vs Shaving, Which One Lasts Longer?

Waxing removes hair from the roots, so growing back would take more time, 3-4 weeks, depending on your hair growth. Shaving breaks your hair superficially from the skin surface, so the root still lies there. It can grow back in 4-5 days, but shaving every day is not recommended.

Thus, waxing vs shaving in terms of longevity is bagged by waxing, whereas shaving takes over when it comes to cost-effectiveness.

12. Conclusion

This comprehensive exploration of waxing vs shaving was aimed to give you an idea of how each of these methods works. Now, it’s on you to consider the pros and cons of both.

It’s your call to choose from waxing and shaving wisely, considering the concerned area.

Make sure you opt for the right method from waxing and shaving based on your skin type but remember to stay hydrated and moisturized irrespective of what method you choose.

Happy shaving/waxing!

  1. Vlachos, C., et al. “Critical synthesis of available data in Malassezia folliculitis and a systematic review of treatments.” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology 34.8 (2020): 1672-1683. ↩︎
  2. Bitton, Etty, and Walter Wittich. “Double-Blind Comparison of Eyelash Epilation Techniques for the Purpose of Demodex folliculorum Mite Retrieval.” Eye & Contact Lens (2022): 10-1097. ↩︎
  3. Abdelfattah, Ahmed, et al. “Effect of washing, waxing and low-temperature storage on the postharvest microbiome of apple.” Microorganisms 8.6 (2020): 944. ↩︎

Last Updated on by Suchi


  1. Even after reading this article I am still team shaving because I can bare the pain of paper cuts and scratches but those painful Experience of waxing is a hella no for me.

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