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Waxing vs. Shaving: What Is the Best Method for Hair Removal?

Waxing vs Shaving Guide

Waxing vs. shaving: which is the way to go for your hair removal needs? This is a common question running through the minds of many people looking for the best way to remove hair from various parts of their bodies. These two methods are undoubtedly the most popular for removing unwanted hair, but is waxing better than shaving or vice versa?

In this article, we go over the benefits of waxing vs. shaving and discuss why someone might need to choose one over the other. 

What are the pros and cons of each for your skin, your wallet, and your schedule? In the end, the question shouldn’t be is it better to shave or wax, but rather which method is best for you and your skin and hair type.

Waxing vs. shaving

What is Shaving?

Shaving is a method used to remove hair in which a razor is used to cut hair from the skin’s surface, but not from the root. It is the most widely used method to remove hair around the world. Shaving with a quality razor allows hair to be removed in a way that it is not visible on the skin’s surface.

Typically, men use razors to shave their facial hair, and women use them to remove hair all over their body. Shaving lightly exfoliates the skin by picking up shedding skin in the process of removing hair.

What is Waxing?

Waxing is a method of removing hair where wax is heated and applied to the area containing unwanted hair. After the wax is applied, it is then removed by pulling it quickly off the skin, removing hair follicles from the root. The most popular types of hair removal wax are soft wax and hard wax

Soft wax is a traditional form of wax that requires wax removal strips that are placed over the wax and then pulled to remove the wax from the skin. As the strip is pulled, the wax removes the hair at the follicle. When waxing large areas of the body, multiple strips should be used.

Waxing with hard wax has surpassed soft wax as a go-to for waxing hair removal since no strips are required to pull the wax. Instead, the wax is applied, sets on the skin and pulled by gripping the edge of the wax. Waxing also exfoliates the skin by picking up dead skin cells. Compared to shaving, waxing exfoliates the skin much more and leaves it looking and feeling smoother for longer.

READ: Top 10 Benefits of Waxing

The Process of Waxing vs. Shaving

Waxing vs. shaving are two very different methods that involve two very different prep processes and are carried out in very different ways. 

As we reviewed prior, shaving involves the process of removing hair with a razor, usually done at home. Shaving can be used as a hair removal technique for hair on multiple different types of the body. 

This process needs to be repeated frequently, as it doesn’t remove hair by the root, but rather cuts at the surface. 

Waxing is the process of removing hair at the root through applying and removing wax directly to the area. Because this wax grips hair by the root, it provides much longer lasting results, and doesn’t need to be done as frequently. 

How Long Does Waxing vs. Shaving Last?

There are many waxing and shaving differences, but their biggest contrast lies in how long each of their results last. Shaving is a short-term method for removing hair because the hair is cut close to the skin’s surface but not at the root. 

How many times you have to shave varies from person to person and with what you’re shaving. Typically, people might shave every two to four days for the body, although some people may find themselves needing to shave every day.

On the other hand, waxing is considered a semi-permanent hair removal method since it removes hair from the root. This allows you to remain hair-free for a lot longer compared to shaving. You can be hairless after waxing from one to three weeks, depending on how fast your hair grows.

armpit waxing


Because hair takes longer to grow back when waxing instead of shaving, it allows you to spend less time worrying about hair removal, and more time being productive with other things. 

This is one of the many benefits of waxing vs. shaving, and it’s especially important for busy professionals, moms, dads, and anyone that doesn't want to be held back by having to shave every other day.

In this case, is waxing better than shaving? Since waxing lasts longer than shaving, we’d say waxing takes the cake. If you wake up late one day and don’t have time to shave your legs, you may have to reconsider your entire outfit for the day. 

If your legs are waxed, it doesn’t matter what time you woke up since your shower doesn’t need to consist of spending extra time shaving!

READ: The Right Way to Prep Skin Before Waxing

Time Spent Waxing vs. Shaving

People usually shave around or during their shower time and generally spend about 10-15 minutes doing so whether it’s shaving the face, legs, underarm or intimate areas—longer if it’s all them. 

This may not seem like a very long time, but if you find yourself shaving every day or every other day, you will see that you are spending quite a bit of time shaving.

Waxing cannot be done in the shower and the amount of time needed to wax varies depending on the sensitivity of your skin and the type of wax session being done. Although it takes longer to get waxed than to shave, you may only need to do wax every few weeks. 

Shaving can be time consuming

If you wax consistently, it will take longer for your hair to grow back, and your hair may also grow back thinner than before! This will result in faster sessions and will save you more time. 

In this case, is waxing better than shaving? Both waxing and shaving take time from your schedule, but since waxing you’d be waxing less, the benefits of waxing vs. shaving outweigh shaving.

READ: The Complete Guide to Buying a Waxing Kit

Costs of Shaving vs. Waxing

When comparing shaving vs. waxing costs, shaving is considered cheaper than waxing because all that is needed is a cheap razor blade and perhaps a shaving cream or similar product.

Getting waxed professionally is the way to go if you want the absolute best results possible for your skin. Nothing beats getting waxed by a skilled esthetician that specializes in hair removal waxing. However, getting waxed every few weeks might also be the priciest option, although it can be worth it if your concern is superior results.

standard hard wax kit

Though you can choose to wax at home, the initial costs can be high, but over time, waxing would be cheaper than shaving in the long run. To wax at home, you would need the following supplies to get you started. The basics would include your choice of wax, wax warmer, and applicator sticks if you were going for hard wax, you’d add non-woven waxing strips into the mix if you were using soft wax or a roll-on waxing system.

You would also need pre and post-wax care products. And though Starpil’s high-quality, professional grade items are all available to at-home users, nothing compares to going to a trained professional for your body waxing needs.

In this case, is waxing better than shaving? If you are on a budget, then shaving is the best option for you because it can be done anywhere at any time with an upfront cost between a couple of dollars and $20 depending on the products you use. But, if your priorities are long-lasting results and a job done right, the benefits of waxing outweigh shaving.

READ: What is the Average Full Body Wax Price?

Which Areas Do Waxing and Shaving Work Best For?

Let’s go over some of the most popular body areas where shaving vs. waxing would come into question. The truth is that the benefits of shaving vs. waxing depend on where you’re needing hair removal.

Waxing vs. Shaving the Face

Woman shaving face

For men, when it comes to shaving the upper lip vs. waxing it (or the rest of their beard) we have to give it to shaving.

Waxing Your Beard Instead of Shaving

Many men’s mustaches and beards are just way too thick to be waxed. The pain would be intense, and though, overtime the hair could thin out, lets just say that shaving still wins. For women, shaving the upper lip vs. waxing is a draw depending on how thick their hair is. 

Both offer similar-lasting results since the hair in the beard area or on the face may grow back faster than leg hair. It’s not true that hair grows back thicker after shaving it, so choosing whether waxing or shaving facial hair comes down  to preference, hair type, and skin type. 

waxing eyebrows

Waxing vs. Shaving Eyebrows

For the rest of the face, especially the brows, waxing might be the winner.

The benefits of waxing vs. shaving on the eyebrows would go to the trained professional who is going to get your brows on fleek, not on eek with a large razor.


Waxing vs. Shaving Pubic Hair

The benefits of waxing vs. shaving pubic hair goes to waxing. Having a trained professional who can reach where the sun don’t shine beats doing origami yoga in the shower to get to those nether regions. 

Plus, you don’t need to get “all up in there” every two days like you might with shaving. This one is all up to preference, but if you’ve gone to a professional for this, chances are, you might appreciate the benefits of waxing vs. shaving on this one.

bikini waxing

Bikini Waxing vs. Shaving

Bikini wax vs. shaving also goes to waxing! Like waxing the rest of your pubic hair, waxing just the bikini line is best done by hair removal methods like that remove hair by the root. 

This will save you from the irritation and razor bumps caused by constantly having to shave and go over this delicate area with a razor. 

READ: The Complete Bikini/Brazilian Waxing Guide  

Shaving Underarms vs. Waxing

This one boils down to whether you want to remove hair from the underarms regularly in the shower every day or two, or go for longer-lasting results with waxing every few weeks. 

The same goes for shaving waxing chest hair vs. shaving. Though, with waxing, you get smoother results longer than shaving which can have a chest remain stubbly by the next day.

Shaving vs. Waxing Legs

This goes into the same category of waxing vs. pubic hair; do you want to reach and do you want to be reaching there every other day or so. If you want smoother results, longer, go with waxing.

waxing legs

READ: The Complete Guide to Leg Waxing

The Benefits of Waxing vs. Shaving

Because waxing vs. shaving are very different methods, each is going to have it’s own set of drawbacks and benefits. Also, keep in mind that of course these pros and cons of waxing vs. shaving also depend on you and what you consider to be a benefit and drawback! 

Let’s explore the benefits of waxing vs. shaving. 

Pros of Shaving

The pros of shaving revolve around its convenience and affordability. Razors are available for very reasonable prices at almost any grocery or convenience store, and you’re able to shave in the convenience of your own home. 

However, how quickly the shaving process is depends on the area you’re removing hair from, and how regularly you keep up with your hair removal. 

Cons of Shaving

The cons of shaving revolve around their lack of long term results, and the side effects of shaving. 

Shaving does not remove hair at the root - it only cuts the hair follicle at the skin’s surface. This allows the hair to grow back at a quick pace, and with the blunt end that causes that dreaded prickly feeling that stubble has. Additionally, shaving has to be done very regularly, and even daily for certain areas - which can be extremely inconvenient and annoying for those who experience a lot of hair growth. 

In addition to its extremely short term results, shaving can also cause razor burn, irritation, and ingrown hairs. When you use this method of hair removal, you often have to go over the area you wish to remove hair from multiple times, which can break up the skin and cause breakouts and inflammation. 

Pros of Waxing

Waxing pros are all about the hair removal process’ long term results and convenience. Though you can buy razors for cheap at the grocery store, waxing services are still affordable (though generally still more than razors), and need to be done less often. 

One waxing appointment allows you to remove all of the hair from the desired area in one quick session. These results will last for multiple weeks, and can even thin out hair growth over time. In contrast to shaving, the value you’re receiving for the money you spend on your appointment is incomparable! Waxing services are quick, easy, and provide you with a lot of value for your money. 

Because waxing removes hair by the root and in on session, this also saves you from the irritation and razor burn caused by shaving. 

Though you can still experience inflammation from waxing, not having to constantly irritate and go over your sensitive skin with a razor can really keep your skin looking its best - even beyond hair removal!

Cons of Waxing

Waxing cons involve the discomfort in the process. Because waxing removes hair at the root, it can cause discomfort or small levels of pain (that will abate quickly) to those having the process done. 

Additionally, as is the case with any hair removal process, there is always a chance of inflammation or ingrown hairs from waxing. However, the chance of these waxing side effects can be significantly reduced by practicing the proper pre and post-wax care routine. 

Practicing the best pre and post-wax skin routine can also help to keep skin exfoliated and ease discomfort caused by waxing. Prior to your appointment, always cleanse and exfoliate with Starpil’s Original Pre-Wax Gel to prepare skin for hair removal. By cleansing skin and ridding it of dead skin cells or debris, you’ll allow for an easier and less painful hair removal process. 

The best way to avoid ingrown hairs or inflammation from waxing is to incorporate Starpil’s Ingrown Hair Serum into your post-wax care routine, and apply it within 24 hours of your wax. Always make sure to also apply Starpil’s Original Post-Wax Lotion and Original Post-Wax Oil to freshly waxed skin to ease and reduce inflammation and provide skin with moisture and hydration. 

pre and post-wax care


Shaving vs Waxing: What's Better for Your Skin?

No matter which way you look at it, waxing is better for your skin than shaving. Shaving frequently can cause red bumps, breakouts, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation from the friction made by constantly running a razor over delicate and sensitive skin, which isn’t something anybody wants!

In contrast, waxing the skin actually exfoliates and removes dead skin cells from the areas of hair removal, which lessens hyperpigmentation and discoloration (even when these conditions are caused by past shaving!). Practicing pre and post-wax care will also help to keep skin not only hair-free, but also smooth and free from inflammation and irritation.

Waxing vs. Shaving at-a-Glance

Comparing Waxing and Shaving

The Verdict

Shaving and waxing are the two main methods used for removing unwanted hair, and each have their own respective strengths and shortcomings. 

That being said, when taking a close look at the pros and cons of shaving vs. waxing, we can see that waxing is the best method to remove hair if you want the very best results and to keep your skin looking its best for longer. 

When seeing a trained professional, waxing puts an end to ugly razor bumps, itchiness, and hyperpigmentation that causes areas of the body to turn darker than the rest.

Yes, shaving can save you when there is an unexpected party or event that you want to attend. 

Still, after reading the benefits of waxing vs. shaving, it is clear why estheticians and other skin professionals will recommend waxing over shaving. Shaving is a quick fix, but waxing is the best!

facial waxing


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