When it comes to hair removal, it’s no secret that waxing and shaving are the two most popular methods. If you’re wondering what the difference is, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered:
What is Shaving?
Shaving is a way of removing unwanted body hair. You do this by using a razor blade made for this specific purpose. Using any other blade can hurt or tear the skin.
What is Waxing?
In waxing, we use hot wax to remove hair from skin follicles. It requires force and may hurt sometimes. However, it reduces hair growth in the long run, whereas shaving does not. Some claim it is a much more efficient way of getting rid of body hair!
Both methods have their pros and cons. So, the only person who can decide which one is better is you! It all depends on which factors are more important to you. There may be some things in either method that you prefer over the other.
To help you decide which one works best for you, we have compiled a list of differences between waxing and shaving:
1. Convenience and Cost
To shave, all you need is a razor and some shaving cream. Sometimes just a razor is enough, and you can substitute the cream with regular soap. However, this depends on the razor you use, and you can end up injuring yourself if you don’t use a good shaving cream.
For waxing, it is common for people to book a professional appointment at a parlor, which costs more than a shaving kit. However, waxing is only costly if you make it! You can also choose to wax at home, which is a much more affordable option. A good waxing kit is readily available in the market these days. But if you’re feeling lazy or want to be thorough in your body hair removal, you can find a lot of affordable parlors these days as well.
Shaving is a fast process and can be performed at home. Hence, many think it’s much more convenient. For waxing, you need to either set an appointment with a professional or set aside ample time at home to do it properly. Waxing seems to be more time-consuming in the long run, but once you wax your body hair, you’re good to go for at least three to four weeks, depending on the growth cycle for your hair. When it comes to shaving, hair grows back in just a couple of days.
2. Time Taken
Shaving takes less time than waxing. You can finish up your shaving job within 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how much hair you’re shaving. Waxing at a salon is relatively quick, too. With a good professional, you can get a full body wax in under an hour! If you’re waxing at home and are new to it, the preparation time may take long. You need to take out time to first heat the wax to the right consistency, and then prepare the rest of the setup.
However, as we said above, waxing does save time in the long run. Essentially, it boils down to what’s more convenient for you: taking out an hour or so every three weeks or taking out fifteen minutes every few days.
3. DIY or Salon
You can easily shave at home, but for waxing, you may have to go to a salon. Waxing at home is not a difficult task. Just like you need a shaving kit to shave, you need a waxing kit to wax. However, shaving is an easier process to learn when compared to waxing. There are a few intricacies to learn when it comes to waxing, but if you nail them then it’s worth it!
You also need to take the hygiene factor into account. If you go to a parlor with a poor reputation, they might be using low-quality strips that could leave some hair behind. That way, they will end up going over patches of hair more than once or twice. This can result in severe irritation. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that you take an appointment somewhere hygienic to protect your skin.
As important as it is to find a good parlor, it’s equally important to keep your shaving kit clean. Many individuals use the same razor to shave again and again, without washing it adequately in between. This may be due to the fact that people usually shave in a hurry. However, shaving with a dirty razor is extremely unhygienic. Hence, you should take extra care to keep your shaving kit clean.
5. Results and Other Differences
When you shave, your hair is not entirely removed. Instead, only the hair shaft is cut off, which is the visible part of the hair on the skin surface. However, hair is much longer than that. Each strand grows from the hair follicle present deep in the dermis (the layer of skin below the epidermis). That’s why hair grows back soon after shaving.
On the other hand, waxed hair takes much longer to grow back because it removes hair from the root, and thus is the more efficient hair removal method. In comparison to shaving, waxing ends up exfoliating more of your skin, as well. Waxing can result in smooth skin because the process removes dead skin along with body hair.
Results-wise waxing is better, but it may be the more painful process. Shaving is a more or less painless process as long as you are careful and don’t accidentally cut yourself. Using shaving cream and sharp blades can decrease the chances of post-shave irritation or razor burn too. But while waxing is more painful, it is just a few moments of pain in exchange for at least three weeks of hairless skin. Unlike with shaving, waxing won’t give you a stubble in a few days. When you wax, hair will grow back a tapered tip, making it less noticeable.
Another essential element to consider is hyperpigmentation. This is a condition that develops when small areas of the skin become darker than the rest. These dark spots can appear on skin that has been shaved numerous times, depending on the person, their health condition, and their type of skin. This problem can occur with shaving but never when waxing. It is also possible to have itchy armpits, legs, or pubic area after shaving.
It’s essential to take good care of your skin after waxing, especially if you have sensitive skin. It is best to steer clear of showers, hot baths, and sun exposure for 24 to 48 hours after waxing your hair as your skin will be extra sensitive during that time. After your skin has settled, experts recommend exfoliating twice or thrice a week to lessen the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
Common Myths about Waxing and Shaving
1. Myth: Shaving Makes The Hair Grow Back Stronger
There is a general belief that if you shave your hair, it grows back stronger. This is false. Shaving your hair does not change its rate of growth, thickness, or color. What shaving does do is give your body hair a blunt tip that might feel “stubbly” or coarse while it is growing out. During this period, the hair might be more noticeable and appear to be thicker, but that is not actually the case.
2. Myth: Waxing Has To Be Painful
Waxing is not always painful. If one takes good care of their skin, it is possible for waxing to hurt less. Exfoliating your skin regularly can reduce the pain of waxing.
Waxing also hurts less with time. After constant removal and pulling of the same hair, the follicle weakens. As a result, the hair regrows weaker and thinner, making it easier to pull off. In many cases, the hair follicle gets damaged to the extent that it will no longer grow hair. It has been proven that people who wax regularly experience less hair growth over the years. Regular waxing also makes it easy for people to withstand and tolerate the pain, making it more bearable.
The degree of pain felt during waxing also varies from person to person, depending on their level of pain tolerance. If your pain tolerance is especially low, experts recommended taking a pain reliever before the process to make it more comfortable.
They also suggest getting a professional appointment, particularly if you’re getting waxed for the first time. This is because parlors take extra precautions to ensure that waxing is a pain-free process for you.
There are many significant arguments about waxing and shaving listed above. You can use them to help you decide which hair removal technique is better for you. Generally, shaving is a quick option for emergencies, but waxing has better hair removal results and lasts longer than a fresh shave. Some people also feel that shaving is too high-maintenance for them, whereas others consider waxing far too painful. So, in the end, neither is better than the other. It is all about what you feel works best for you.