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  5. Shaving Vs Waxing: Which Is Better For Hair Removal?

Are you in a dilemma deciding between waxing and shaving for hair removal? Don’t worry, we are here to save you the hassle.

Hair removal is a major part of your skincare routine. Among a plethora of techniques available for smooth and hassle-free hair removal, waxing and shaving continues to be the most popular ones. Each technique has its pros and cons.

In this article, we tell you the benefits of waxing and shaving so that you can choose the best method based on your skin type.

Let’s begin.

Quick Comparison Between Shaving Vs Waxing





Removes the top layer of your hair using a sharp razor

Removes your hair from the roots, using a combination of ingredients that form a soft or hard wax.

Tools Required

Shaving tool like a razor along with shaving cream or any other lubricant.

Soft wax or hard wax. If you are using soft wax, you will need strips too. You will also need a heater to heat the wax and a metal spatula to spread it.

Done By

Easy process that can be done by you

Can be done by a technician or by you.


Less pain and easy to do. Less expensive than waxing.

Long lasting results, light exfoliation of your skin and removal of hair from roots.

Pain Level

Low pain level, but may result in cuts if done incorrectly.

Pain level may be moderate to high.

Time Taken

It can take a few minutes and can go upto half an hour.

Depends on the area to be waxed. May take upto an hour in the case of a full body wax, sometimes longer.

How Long Do Results Last?

Hair usually grows in a day.

Lasts till 2-4 weeks, as hair is removed from roots.


Inexpensive, cost incurred only of razor and lubricant

More expensive than shaving. Cost depends on type of wax and technician/ salon charges.

Skin Type Suitability

If your skin is highly sensitive, you may experience more pain.

If your skin is highly sensitive, you may experience skin irritation.

Process and Tools For Shaving Vs Waxing


beautician waxing female legs spa

Waxing involves removal of your hair strands from the roots. It may involve the usage of either soft wax or hard wax.

Soft wax uses a warm mixture of resin, oils and some other ingredients. This is warmed on a heater and applied to your skin with a spatula. A strip is placed on the wet wax and peeled off, in the direction opposite to your hair growth. The recently introduced hard wax is made of resin, oils and beeswax. It is applied to your skin and left to dry till it can be removed by itself without using strips.


Shaving is a simpler method of hair removal. It only removes hair over the top layer of your skin. The tools required include razors and lubricants such as shaving cream or gel.

There is a wide variety of razors available in the market today. These include safety razors, that are usually disposable and available at your nearby drugstore. You also get straight edge razors that typically look like an exposed blade. Electric razors are available online but are slightly more expensive.

Which Parts of Your Body Does Shaving Or Waxing Work Best For?

beautician depilating young womans face wax

The preference towards waxing or shaving often depends upon the part of the body you wish to shave/wax. While both methods are equally effective, it all comes down to the ease of doing the process by yourself, skin sensitivity and the pain involved.

A lot also rides on personal preference. Women on the go usually turn to shaving, as it takes minimal time and least fuss. For those who want longer lasting results, may opt for waxing their arms, legs, underarms and bikini areas too.

What Are the Benefits of Shaving Vs Waxing?


1. Basic Exfoliation:

Waxing removes dead skin cells, making the skin softer, smooth and brighter.

2. Removes Hair From Roots:

The process removes hair strands from their roots. Hence, hair on your skin will re-grow only after a few weeks of your former appointment.

3. Prevents Inflammation:

It prevents inflammation and itchiness caused by razors. As waxing exfoliates and removes the skin’s top layer, the skin isn’t irritated.

4. Reduces Risk Of Cuts:

As there is no usage of sharp tools, like blades that are involved in shaving, there are no cuts in waxing.

5. Brighter Skin:

The skin appears brighter and isn’t discoloured. Frequent shaving may darken skin.


1. Slight Exfoliation:

This offers slight exfoliation by removing dead skin cells when you run your razor over your skin. However, it is not as effective as waxing.

2. Painless:

Shaving usually is not painful. It is an easy way of getting rid of prominent hair strands.

3. Fast And Easy:

Shaving doesn’t require you to visit the parlour regularly. It may be done even if your hair is very short. You do not need to wait for your hair to regrow upto a certain length.

4. Economical:

It is not as costly as waxing. All you need to buy is a good razor and lubricant.

5. Quick Results:

Shaving does not take very long to achieve the end-result.

6. No Skin Allergies.

Shaving doesn’t get you worried about your skin reacting to ingredients. However, you may experience itchiness and irritated skin if you don’t use a cream.

Side Effects of Shaving Vs Waxing


1. Pain:

As waxing involves the removal of hair from its roots, the process can be painful. However, the level of pain varies from person to person.

2. Redness Or Irritation:

Waxing may cause redness, sin-irritation and inflammation to some extent. If you have very sensitive skin or thick hair, this may be a side-effect that’s common to your every appointment.

3. Breakouts:

You may also see breakouts or a few pimples. As open hair follicles are prone to bacterial infections, lack of pre and post hygiene measures may leave behind pimples on the skin.

4. Ingrown Hair Strands:

Waxing removes the hair from its roots but sometimes, instead of coming out completely, hair may break off and leave a certain part of it behind.

5. Burn Marks:

You may also notice a few burn marks or removal of the skin. This may happen if the wax used was very hot or you were using a product that interacted with the wax, leading to the reaction.

6. Pigmentation:

As waxing exfoliates the skin, the top layer may become sensitive to sunlight, leading to hyperpigmentation.

Did You Know?

Shaving and waxing may cause decreased thickness of the stratum corneum (outermost layer of epidermis) and skin barrier functions (1).


1. Cuts and Abrasions:

This is a common side-effect caused by sharp tools involved in the shaving process. (2) While shaving is less painful than waxing, cuts may lead to pain.

2. Razor Burns:

These may occur if you shave too fast or don’t use a lubricant. This in turn may lead to pigmentation or darkening of the skin.

3. Skin Darkening:

Frequent shaving may activate melanocytes that contribute to the production of a pigment called melanin in the skin. As melanin gives your skin and hair their color, a higher amount, can make your skin look darker.

4. Skin Irritation:

Caused by the inflammation of hair follicles, this may be caused due to wearing clothes that irritate the skin. A dull or pre-used razor may lead to inflammation (3) and cause razor burns too.

5. Ingrown Hair:

Shaved hair may grow back in the skin causing ingrown hair.

When Should You Reconsider Shaving or Waxing?

1. If You Have Sensitive Skin

Waxing tends to be more painful for those with extremely sensitive skin. You may also want to avoid undergoing a waxing session if your skin is allergic to ingredients. Shaving may irritate the skin and cause cuts and bumps that may result in scarring.

Get more information about your skin type.You can do a patch test before choosing either of the methods.

2. If You Are On Any Medication

A few kinds of medication may make your skin sensitive. You may want to avoid waxing and shaving if you’re on antibiotics, Hormone Replacement Therapy.(HRT), Retinol based creams, Accutane or Hormonal birth control

3. Past Experience

If you have had any instances in the past when your skin reacted to waxing or shaving, avoid it. You may consider a patch test before trying a new method.

4. Your Pain Tolerance Level

Shaving does not cause pain. However, mild cuts may occur if you don’t shave properly or don’t use a cream. If you can tolerate some amount of pain, you can opt for waxing.

5. Your Time Frame

If you need to quickly get the smooth look, and don’t have time, you can shave your hair. This is also recommended when your hair is too short for a waxing session. If you have more time and want longer lasting results, then plan for a waxing session instead.

6. Hair Length

You may visit a technician for waxing or do it on your own if your hair is at least half an inch long. In the case of very thick and long hair, trim it before shaving or waxing for a smoother and a hassle-free experience.

How Do You Prepare Your Skin for Shaving or Waxing?

Pre-Waxing Tips

1. Prepare yourself before the appointment by,

Post-Waxing Tips

  • Exfoliating your skin to remove dead skin cells and dirt. It will also prevent ingrown hair strands after waxing.
  • Hydrating your skin by drinking enough water to prevent rashes.
  • Avoiding usage of lotions or creams to prevent build-up and make for a better waxing session.

2. Do not get waxing done,

Post-Waxing Tips

  • Around your period date. Your nerve endings tend to be more sensitive during this time, making your waxing session painful.
  • If you notice that the area you want to get waxed is painful or shows a fresh breakout. Waxing may lead to tearing of the skin.
  • If it’s your first time waxing, and you’re getting it done before a big event. You need to know how skin reacts, so try it out a few weeks earlier.
  • If you’ve recently gotten a tan or have exposed your skin to the sun. UV rays can affect the skin and make it sensitive.

3. Ask your doctor for an allergy test to understand how your skin reacts to wax. Plan this a few weeks before your waxing appointment for a better understanding.

4. You may also take a pain relief tablet before your session to avoid a painful experience.

Post-Waxing Tips

  • Avoid any form of exercise right after your appointment to prevent bacteria from entering your pores.
  • Avoid using any skincare products as these may cause itchy and burning sensations.
  • Don’t exfoliate skin till 2 days after waxing, as your skin is sensitive.

close view young woman shaving leg

Pre-Shave Tips

  • Clean the area to be shaved, before you begin. Clean skin will help avoid clogged pores and ingrown hair strands. It will also help to get rid of the dirt build-up and excess oil on the skin’s surface, for a smoother shaving experience.
  • You may also opt for a pre-shave oil to keep your skin lubricated.
  • If your hair is too long for a smooth shave, you can run a trimmer across your skin before shaving.

Post-Shave Tips

  • You may apply moisturizer to relieve your skin from itching and dehydration.
  • Avoid using any products that may be harsh on your skin. This may cause your skin to feel itchy and may also contribute to burning sensations.
  • Apply sunscreen whenever you step-out. Your skin may be sensitive if exposed to UV light too often. This may make it irritated and cause burning sensations post your shave.

How Long Do The Results Last?

In the case of shaving, you may notice your hair strands re-growing within 2-3 days. However, as waxing involves the removal of hair from the roots, hair regrowth will be noticeable after 2-4 weeks. As hair has a life cycle like your skin, pulling it out of its roots will make the results last longer.

Which Of The Methods Is More Expensive?

Getting your skin waxed by a technician may be more expensive than shaving. This is because of the various tools involved and the service cost. However, if you purchase a waxing set you may not have to constantly invest in parlour services. Shaving is much cheaper on the pocket, as you incur only the costs of the razor and the lubricant.

Wrapping Up

Shaving and waxing are two different methods of hair removal. While shaving removes only the visible part of your body hair, waxing removes hair strands from their roots. With each having its own pros and cons, either of the methods can be used by anybody. With shaving being more economical, results of waxing last longer. Also, your decision needs to be based on the sensitivity of your skin, pain tolerance level and time at hand. Know all about the pros and cons, and choose what works best for you.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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