Shaving is the most popular method of getting rid of unwanted hair, let it be on the face, armpits, legs or pubic area. And for a good reason – it’s quick, painless and easy enough for anyone to learn to do at home. Every drugstore is full of razors, shaving creams and post-shave balms, and the basic knowledge on how to get the job done most of us learn from either parents or siblings. Waxing, on the other hand, requires a little more skill and knowledge, and some areas are very hard (or near impossible!) to wax on your own… but you get to enjoy your hairless skin for longer. Is waxing better than shaving, then? Or is there more to this entire “shaving vs waxing” debacle? Let’s find out together!
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What is shaving?
Shaving is a hair removal method that involves cutting the hair from the skin’s surface, usually using a razor. As mentioned, it is the most popular hair removal technique, used daily by people of different ages and genders to get rid of unwanted hair in different areas. It is relatively painless and risk-free, although comes with some uncomfortable side effects.
What tools are necessary for shaving?
Razor is the only necessity. Preferably, you want to use shaving cream and a post-shaving balm to make the process easier and less irritating for your skin.
Which areas can you shave?
Any, really. When it comes to the whole shaving vs waxing debacle, legs, face, back and other large areas, such as hands, are considered best-suited for shaving.
Is shaving painful?
You are only cutting hair on the surface, so it’s not painful – unless, of course, you cut your skin on accident. Nevertheless, out of all the hair removal methods, shaving is the least uncomfortable one.
What are the possible side effects of shaving?
Side effects of shaving are very common and rather unpleasant, but they rarely come with a risk of a bigger problem. They usually include:
- Razor burn
- Ingrown hair
How long does shaving take?
As always, it depends on the area you want to shave, your experience with the razor, the amount of hair you have and how flexible you are, but overall, shaving is very quick. Most people are able to shave their legs or pubic areas in 10-15 minutes.
How quickly do hair grow back after shaving?
Due to the fact that you are not getting rid of the hair but simply cutting it from the surface, hair grows back quickly after shaving. Depending on the area as well as your natural hair growth cycle, you are likely to see them appearing again as soon as 1-3 days after shaving. In a week they are going to be very noticeable again.
How much does shaving cost?
When it comes to razors, you can choose between disposable, single-use ones (the cost of which is usually something around £0.50) and more advanced options, such as electric razors (£50+). Basic shaving cream or foam will cost you around £2-£3, a post-shaving balm should be similar in price. Overall, it’s definitely the most affordable option when it comes to hair removal.
What is waxing?
Waxing is a hair removal method in which hot (or cold) wax is applied to the skin, left to harden and then pulled off along with the unwanted hair. Specialists advise against trying to wax bigger and more sensitive areas on your own, as the possible side effects of botched waxing can be disastrous, so waxing is considered a service that should be done at a salon.
Which areas can you wax?
Pretty much all of them. It’s especially recommended for the eyebrows, nose and ears, and works great for sensitive areas such as the pubic area.
Is waxing painful?
Most people agree that waxing, especially for the first time, can be quite painful. It gets easier with each appointment, but you have to be prepared to experience at least some mild discomfort.
What are the possible side effects of waxing?
Waxing comes with the risk of some pretty nasty side effects if performed by an inexperienced person – this is why it’s better to leave this one to professionals. The most common (and more manageable) ones include:
- Bumps and pimples, usually followed by ingrown hair
- Redness and inflammation of the skin
- Pain and/or itching
Unfortunately, in some cases you can also experience:
- Contact dermatitis
- Folliculitis (bacterial skin infection resulting from follicle damage)
How long does waxing take?
It’s not a particularly long process but definitely isn’t as quick as shaving. Waxing pubic areas takes around 15-30 minutes, while larger areas, such as legs, can take 45-60 minutes.
How quickly do hair grow back after waxing?
This is probably the best part of waxing. Because you get rid of the entire hair strand, not just cut the top of it, you can enjoy your hairless skin for much longer. You shouldn’t see any regrowth for up to a week, and it will take your hair around 3-4 weeks to be long enough to be waxed again.
How much does waxing cost?
Depending on the area, waxing can cost anywhere from £3 (eyebrows) to £80 (full body service). For a single area, such as legs or a bikini, the cost usually ranges from £15 to £35.
So, which is better – shaving or waxing?
If you want to decide whether shaving or waxing will be better in your case, you need to analyse the benefits and drawbacks to see which aspects are more important to you.
The pros of shaving:
- It’s quick and easy to do
- It can become a part of your daily routine
- It’s affordable
- It’s painless
- It does not require going to a salon
- You can shave almost any area of your body
- You can shave the hair of any length
The cons of shaving:
- It causes unpleasant side effects very often
- You need some level of flexibility to reach certain areas
- The results are short-lived and not as spectacular
The pros of waxing:
- The effect of smoothness you achieve is unpaired
- You remain hairless for a longer period of time
- If you get it done by an experienced specialist and follow their aftercare instructions, you are not likely to get side effects more serious than a temporary irritation
The cons of waxing:
- If done poorly, can lead to serious side effects, such as burns and infections
- It can be painful (or at least rather unpleasant)
- It requires some preparation, including making sure that your hair is no shorter than ¼” and no longer than ½”
- It should be done by a professional, so you need to visit a waxing salon
- It’s more expensive than shaving
There is no single answer to the “is it better to shave or wax” question. At the end of the day, the choice is a matter of personal preference. You need to get your priorities straight and consider all the pros and cons of both methods. It’s also a good idea to fit the method to the body area you want to remove the hair from – some people, for example, get regular wax for their pubic area while prefer to keep shaving their legs. Some specialists say that in the whole waxing vs shaving debacle, pubic hair is better managed by waxing while large areas, such as the back, work better with shaving. It’s worth considering to try waxing at least once to see whether it is something that would make your life easier, especially if your body hair is on the thicker side. To find the perfect salon for your first appointment, make sure to visit Booksy – we list only the best businesses in the UK!