The waxing vs shaving debate is hotly debated. One method is painless but with short-lived results and the other is painful but provides weeks of fuzz-free skin. Here are the pros and cons of each, and an expert’s take on which method to adopt.
Hair removal is not a necessity and should not be. Women shouldn’t feel like they have to remove every last bit of thatch every summer but since you’re here you’re probably considering a bit of pruning (and there’s nothing wrong with that either!) But , which avenue to take? The best women’s razors promise silky smooth skin, but is waxing better?
There are advantages to any method of hair removal, as well as some disadvantages. But if laser hair removal isn’t in your budget and the thought of using one of the best epilators sends shivers down your spine, then choosing between waxing and shaving is a big one. shout. To get to the bottom of each defuzzing method, we asked skin expert and founder of Wow Facial, Claire Williams (opens in a new tab) to decipher the key differences between the two so you can determine which is the right method for you.
Waxing vs Shaving: Your Expert Guide
Waxing vs Shaving: Key Differences
- Root: Waxing pulls the hair out from the root. Shave slices of hair from the surface of the skin, leaving the root entirely intact.
- Time: Waxing can take up to 3-4 weeks, but shaving will only last 1-5 days depending on how quickly your hair grows.
- Pain: Shaving is completely painless (as long as you don’t nick the skin) while waxing can be painful.
- At home or in the salon: Shaving is a do-it-yourself job, at home with the razor. Waxing can be done by a professional in the salon or at home with a waxing kit.
- Cost: The cost of razors can vary between £5 (for disposable razors) and £50 (for electric razors). Hair removal costs between £10 (for an at-home waxing kit) and £80 (for a salon treatment).
- Skin smoothing: If you choose to shave your hair using a dermaplaning device, you may also enjoy some additional exfoliating benefits (see our guide to what dermaplaning is for more information on this subject)
- Length: Hairs can be any length for shaving, but waxing will require 6mm of growth.
Should I wax or shave?
Hair removal is a matter of personal preference. There is no real reason why one method should trump the other as there are pros and cons to both. But, if you’re looking to make waxing sensitive skin more enjoyable or are tired of ingrown hairs, weighing the pros and cons of waxing versus shaving can help.
One of the most obvious benefits of waxing is the longevity of the results. According to Claire, “Waxing can last up to six weeks and when done correctly, you’ll get a smoother finish than shaving.” You will also notice softer skin as the wax also removes the top layers of dead skin cells.
However, the disadvantages of waxing should not be ignored. “It can be uncomfortable in some areas and can cause friction burns and possibly even bruising if not done correctly,” Claire explains. “Waxing can also cause skin redness and irritation, as well as ingrown hairs. Before getting a wax, you will also need to grow the hair to at least a quarter to a half inch.” So if you need instant hair removal, waxing may not be ideal.
If you want a hair removal method that’s a bit faster and you can do it yourself, you might consider shaving. “It’s quick, easy to do at home, painless, and you can do it as often as you want,” says Claire. “Home use razors also tend to be cheaper than professional waxes.”
But, shaving still has its drawbacks. “Shaving can cause itching, inflamed hair follicles, and ingrown hairs,” Claire explains. “There is also the risk of razor burns and cuts.” You can minimize these risks by using a new, sharp razor, but accidents do happen!
Ultimately it comes down to your own personal preference. Shaving is probably gaining in convenience, comfort and everyday value. But waxing has a long shelf life – the Holy Grail for many people looking for body hair removal – and, provided you consult a trusted professional, the guarantee of a thorough and notch-free (if not pain-free).
The best hair removal and shaving products
Get the most out of every hair removal method with these premium products. With all budgets in mind, we’ve scoured the net to bring you the best buys, whatever your preference.
Our beauty team recommends…
woman&home would like to thank Claire Williams for wow facial treatment (opens in a new tab) for his time and expertise.