Before going into this waxing vs. shaving debate, discussing all the the pros and cons for these hair removal methods, I just want to say that these two are for sure the oldest methods of getting rid of unwanted hairs.
The actual tools were different but the principles are the same.
Cavemen shaved and ancient Egyptians actually invented sugaring plus they had better instruments for shaving than cavemen.
I’m pretty sure you didn’t come here for a history lesson but for some actually contemporary pros and cons for waxing vs shaving so, let’s see what there’s to say on that.
Waxing vs Shaving: Which One Offers the Smoothest Skin?
Waxing removes the hairs from their follicle and, if it’s done properly, it will remove almost all the hairs.
A very very small percentage will be left to be picked up by the next session.
It’s also considered to remove dead skin cells while it grabs the hairs and pulls them from their root so it’s another increase on the smooth factor.
But it’s also normal for some short/stray hairs to be left behind after. Some hairs will be just too short for the wax to grab them.
The hairs need to be between 1/4-inch (the length of a grain of rice) to 1/2-inch, that’s the ideal length.
Shaving cuts the hairs close to the skin. That’s the whole premise of this hair removal method.
If you have a really sharp razor the hairs will be cut very closely to the skin.
A safety razor will give you the smoothest shave, while an electric razor cannot get that incredibly close.
The skin feels incredibly smooth after, it’s an amazing feeling.
Gillette also claims that shaving exfoliates dead skin cells and I’m inclined to agree with them.
But you still need to exfoliate before and after in both cases, not matter which method you prefer.
Shaving offers the smoothest skin.
How Long Does the Smooth Skin Last for?
Waxing removes the hairs from their root so the regrowth period will take a while.
You won’t need another session for at least 3 weeks and you can even manage up to 5 weeks if your hair grows back at a slower pace.
In the case of the underarms it’s best to have a session once every two weeks. The same goes for the face.
Shaving cuts the hairs close to the skin so the hairs will start growing back and the stubble is the first to be felt, for some in first 24 hours.
The smooth skin is definitely gone very quickly, you will have to shave again in 2 days, that’s the average.
Waxing lasts longer than shaving, that’s for sure.
Waxing vs Shaving: Which is Faster?
Waxing can never be considered a fast hair removal method.
Let’s put it this way:
- it can take an hour, an hour and a half to wax your legs, full length
- waxing the bikini area can take at least half an hour, up to an hour
- underarms waxing can also take about 20 minutes and it’s best to wax your underarms once every 2 weeks, the same goes for facial waxing
Shaving implies softening the hairs with hot water for a few minutes, applying a good shaving gel/cream, and running a sharp blade on the skin.
You can have your whole body shaved (legs, bikini, and underarms) in less than 30 minutes, depending on how much experience you have.
Shaving is the fastest hair removal from the two.
Which is Cheaper: To Wax or to Shave?
Waxing can be considered an expensive hair removal method but if becomes even more so if you’re going to a salon.
For example, full legs can cost anywhere from $50 to $100.
Waxing at home is definitely more affordable from the two.
You need a good waxing kit, which can be used on the whole body and face, and then you just have to purchase the wax.
A good at-home waxing kit can be around $50 and the wax around $10.
Shaving has two primary components: a good razor and a gel/cream so that the blade glides smoothly on the skin.
Everything is really affordable.
Even an excellent safety razor is only about $30, while the best electric razor for women is around $20 and it can be with you for many years to come.
Shaving is cheaper than waxing.
Waxing vs Shaving: What About the Pain?
Waxing is painful. There’s no simpler way to put it.
It’s very painful in the beginning, especially if you’ve only shaved before attempting to remove the hairs from their follicle.
Some women can’t get used to it and I can certainly understand that.
When I first started epilating, which is very similar to waxing, I didn’t think I could pull through and get used to it as time passed. But, fortunately, it happened.
Shaving, unless there’s a nick, it’s completely free of any pain.
The razor just cuts the hairs at the surface of the skin, it’s like getting a hair cut.
In the waxing vs shaving debate, I think that the question of pain is the one that ultimately decides whichever one you prefer.
That’s totally the deciding factor, in my opinion. Besides the pricing.
Shaving is pain free.
Waxing Pros and Cons
This short list of pros and cons can give you a clearer picture on everything about waxing.
- long-lasting smooth skin (3-4 weeks for legs, bikini and 2 weeks for underarms and face)
- fewer ingrown hairs
- expensive, at-home waxing a bit more affordable
- at-home waxing requires a bit of skill and knowledge
Shaving Pros and Cons
- fast and easy
- easily accessible around the globe
- short-lasting smooth skin of 2-3 days
- razor bumps, itchiness, nicks/cuts
- ingrown hairs
A bullet list of pros and cons can definitely make your decision easier.
Bottom Line: To Wax or to Shave, Which is Better?
It’s a totally personal matter.
Universally, you can’t say that one is better than the other.
It’s just a matter of preferences, of cost because the pricing is a very important aspect in this whole waxing vs shaving discussion., of availability of products (whether or not you can find a good at-home waxing kit or an excellent beauty salon), of being comfortable with your choice.
If you are looking for extremely smooth skin, fast results that last a day or two, and most importantly a pain-free hair removal method, then shaving is for you.
If you are looking for smooth skin, long-term results, and can handle some pain but don’t mind the price that comes with it, then waxing is for you.