When it comes to hair removal, it’s the age-old question. Shaving vs. waxing, which one is better? Or, should you skip both and try epilation instead?
The answer comes down to personal preference. Whether you’re removing hair from your legs, underarms, face or bikini area, learn more about shaving vs. waxing so that you can make the decision that’s most appropriate for you.
What Are the Benefits of Shaving?
Shaving has a few benefits when compared to waxing. For one thing, it’s pretty quick.
You can easily shave your legs or bikini area at home. As long as you have a sharp razor, you’re good to go.
Another benefit of shaving is that it’s relatively inexpensive. Depending on how fancy you want to get with your razor and shaving cream, you can easily shave large areas of the body for just a few dollars.
Even if you do buy the priciest razor and the most expensive brand of shaving cream, you’re looking at a considerably lower cost compared to waxing.
One more benefit of shaving: You don’t have to wait for the hair to reach a certain length to do it. When it comes to shaving vs. waxing legs, you need to let the hair be at least a few millimeters long to wax.
That’s because the wax strips can’t pick up very short hairs. Shaving, on the other, cuts hair off at the surface of the skin. As long as there’s any length of stubble, you’ll be able to shave it off.
Are There Disadvantages to Shaving?
Of course, it’s worth pointing out that there are a few disadvantages to shaving. One considerable drawback is the risk for cuts or nicks.
The risk of hurting yourself climbs if you use a dull razor or if you try to shave dry. To protect your skin and to avoid pain, get in the habit of changing your blade every couple of shaves. Using shaving cream or at the very least, lots of soap and water will also reduce your risk for cuts.
Another disadvantage to shaving is that it can cause something known as razor burn. As Everyday Health notes, razor burn develops when the hair follicle gets pulled by the razor and twisted.
The hair ends up growing back into the skin, causing a red bump to form. Razor burn is unsightly and uncomfortable. Using a sharp blade and shaving in the direction of hair growth can help prevent it.
What Are the Benefits of Waxing?
When it comes to shaving vs. waxing, waxing has its own set of benefits. The big advantage of waxing is that the results last considerably than the results from shaving.
When you wax to remove hair, you are pulling the hair out from the root, rather than lopping it off at the skin’s surface. The hair needs more time to grow back, so waxing can provide results that last for a few weeks, rather than a few days.
Another benefit of waxing is that it can have a positive effect on the way your hair grows.
One complaint people often have about shaving is that it makes the hair grow in thicker or coarser. That’s not true. The hair feels thick and coarse because the tips are cut bluntly.
Since waxing removes the entire hair, new hair that grows in tends to feel finer and thinner. Over time and repeated waxings, some hairs might not return at all, so you might end up being a less hairy person than you were at the start.
What are the Disadvantages of Waxing?
Like shaving, waxing isn’t perfect. That can be particularly true when it comes to waxing vs. shaving the bikini area.
One of the most significant disadvantages of waxing is that it hurts, a lot. You are ripping hair out by the follicles.
It’s going to sting a bit.
The Cleveland Clinic also points out that waxing causes considerable irritation of the skin, as well as ingrown hairs. If you DIY waxing, you can burn your skin if the wax is too hot.
You can also cause some harm to the bikini area with waxing, especially if you try to do-it-yourself. One recommendation is only to wax areas that you can easily reach.
That’s another issue with waxing. Unless you want to DIY and purchase at-home wax strips, you’re going to need to book an appointment at a salon or spa.
Usually, scheduling a wax appointment requires a fair amount of advanced planning. It can also get pretty pricey once you factor in the cost of the appointment, travel expenses, and tip.
You’ll also most likely need to plan when it comes to picking the right date to wax. You don’t want to schedule a waxing appointment the day of a big event or even the day before. There’s just too much of a risk that you’ll leave the appointment with red, raw skin.
One last disadvantage when it comes to waxing. If you use anti-aging skin care products that contain retinoids or use strong anti-acne products on your skin, then wax to remove facial hair, you can wind up creating abrasions on the skin, increasing your risk for infection.
What About Epilation?
For some people, hair removal isn’t a question of shaving vs. waxing. They’ve found a different way to remove hair from their legs, underarms, bikini area, and so on.
Epilation has some things in common with waxing and some things in common with shaving.
Like waxing, epilation removes the hair from the root or follicle. As a result, hair comes in thinner and patchier over time.
Like shaving, epilation is easy to do at home. You don’t need to wait for the hair to grow to a certain length.
The one thing you do need is an epilator. An epilator usually features several small tweezer-like devices on a rolling head.
You move the epilator over the area where you’d like to remove hair, and the tiny tweezers pick up and pull out the hair. Many epilators can be used either wet or dry.
Epilation does hurt a bit, but many people who do it regularly find that it’s less painful than waxing. It’s also worth noting that you get used to the feeling when you epilate and that there are tricks worth trying to reduce discomfort.
For example, pulling the skin taut while you epilate will aid in hair removal and will also help to reduce any discomfort you feel.
So, shaving vs. waxing, who’s the winner? If you’re looking for some quick and easy hair removal, that you can do whenever you’ve got a minute, shaving might be your best bet.
If you’re in the market for longer lasting results and want a professional to get rid of that unwanted hair for you, waxing can be the way to go.
But if you’d rather have a hair removal method that’s quick and easy and long-lasting, you might want to look into buying an epilator.
For plenty of the people, the answer to shaving vs. waxing isn’t one or the other, but “none of the above.” For those people, epilating is the way to go.