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Shaving vs Waxing, What’s The Difference?

Posted by Nima | August 2, 2022

Shaving can be a hassle for some people, so they might look at other hair removal alternatives, such as waxing. Shaving vs waxing, what’s the difference? Waxing and shaving are two distinct procedures when it comes to removing hair from the body. Wax removes hair from the root via many successive tugs. Shaving is a more minor operation that only removes hair from the skin’s surface and not the root.

Shaving vs waxing, what’s the process like?

Waxing involves applying a hot mixture to the skin and then removing it as soon as possible. Soft wax and hard wax are two different types of wax that can be used for hair removal.

Soft wax, unlike all forms of hair removal, involves the use of wax strips in order to remove hair. Wax is combined with rosin and other substances to create a thick but spreadable texture. The wax is applied first before laying down a strip on top, that is then quickly pulled to remove hair in the same direction that it grows. Hard wax is composed of beeswax, resin, and oils. Hard waxes eliminate hair without the use of strips and become malleable, but stiff, when cooled and can be directly pulled to remove hair.

Shaving, on the other hand, is much more basic in nature and simply requires a razor. Safety razors, straight edges, and electric shavers are the three types of razors. Before the 20th century, straight edge razors resembled an exposed blade, and those seemed to be the most popular.Disposable safety razors resemble those you’d find in the supermarket. Electric shavers are a bit more expensive, but they give a closer shave, and are operated electronically, not manually. To remove hair, all razors use the same technique: They glide along the top of the skin’s surface to essentially “trim” the hair as close to the skin as possible. 

Are there any other differences between shaving vs waxing?

Which areas does it work best for? 

Shaving on a daily basis is typically less difficult, but it depends on personal preference. For the underarms, legs, and bikini region, some people feel that shaving is simpler on a regular basis for maintenance. Some people prefer the long-term benefits of waxing their legs, armpits, and bikini regions. Waxing is more accurate in the delicate skin area of the bikini region, resulting in fewer razor bumps, and is often more gentle on skin and doesn’t have to be repeated as frequently as shaving.

Are there any benefits?

There are a few more perks to consider beyond the aesthetic appeal. But what’s the difference of benefits between shaving vs waxing? 

Waxing also includes the benefit of light exfoliation. Because the substance clings to the top layer of skin, it may pull away dead cells along with the hair and reveal a softer underlying layer. Due to the removal of the hair root from the follicle, hair grows back much slower, maintenance is more infrequent, and when hair does grow back, it is less likely to grow in under the skin and result in ingrown hairs or razor bumps.

Waxing and shaving provide an additional benefit in that they are both able to be done at home, by you. Shaving, rather than waxing, is generally a more readily available and cost-effective way to remove hair at home, and can be done in minutes, while waxing can also be done by a professional waxer and is more time consuming.

Shaving vs waxing: side effects or risks to consider?

There are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to hair removal, no matter what sort of method you use. Shaving vs waxing: which one is better and less of a risk for you?

Waxing has the potential for adverse effects, including:

  • pain
  • redness
  • irritation
  • rash
  • bumps
  • sun sensitivity
  • allergic reaction
  • infection
  • ingrown hairs
  • scarring
  • burns

The risk of adverse effects from waxing depends on your skin’s sensitivity, as well as the person performing the waxing and their level of experience.

Shaving has the following potential disadvantages:

  • itching
  • nicks or cuts
  • razor burn
  • folliculitis
  • ingrown hairs

The side effects of this method are occasionally uncomfortable, but they all have to do with your skin’s sensitivity, the sharpness of the razor, and how moist your skin is.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t do this?  

If you’re taking any of the following medicines, your skin may be more sensitive to waxing:

  • antibiotics
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • hormonal birth control
  • Accutane
  • Retin-A or other retinol-based creams

Shaving may be a good option if you believe that waxing is too harsh for your skin.

How painful is waxing?

This is mostly determined on your pain threshold. Waxing, however, causes more discomfort than shaving since the hair is removed at the root.

How often can you have waxing procedures done?

Waxing requires that hair be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch long. This implies you should generally wax every three to four weeks.

Shaving can be done as often as required, although frequent shaving may cause irritation in sensitive skin.

How much does it cost?

Waxing is more expensive than shaving. Waxing is done by trained professionals to remove the hair from the root, which explains why it lasts longer. A waxing session, on average, costs around $50 to $70. It is dependent on the area you want waxed.

You can expect to pay a lot less for smaller regions, such as your brows or armpits. If you decide to wax on your own, anticipate paying between $20 and $30. Although home waxing may not give the same effects as professional waxing, keep in mind that it will cost you much less money.

Shaving with razors can cost anything from a few dollars for a single-blade disposable razor to $50 for an electric razor. Unlike waxing, though, razors should last considerably longer than one use.

What should you do before your waxing treatment? 

Grow your hair out to at least 1/4 inch before a waxing session to prevent it from being shorter than necessary. If your hair is longer than 1/2 inch, you’ll have to trim it.

The day before, make sure you don’t exfoliate, tan, or dry out your skin with swimming. Avoid drinking coffee or alcohol and applying lotions and creams on the day of the procedure.

Take an over-the-counter pain medication 30 minutes before your appointment to reduce discomfort. Maintain your hair at the length you want it. Soften the skin and hair with a moistened area. Gently exfoliate ahead of time for a smoother, less irritated finish, but be careful not to irritate the skin or remove the hair.

How can you ensure your DIY or appointment goes smoothly?

Waxing and shaving have significantly diverse methods, although the aim is the same: hair removal.

For waxing, here’s what to expect:

  1. First, your specialist will clean the space and apply a pre-wax treatment to prevent any discomfort.
  2. Then, they’ll use a clean application tool — usually a popsicle stick — to apply a thin layer of wax in the same pattern as your hair growth.
  3. They’ll wrap a paper or cloth strip around the wax to break it down. If it’s a hard wax, they’ll take off the hard wax strip instead. Both will be removed in the opposite direction of your hair growth.
  4. The technician will apply a serum or lotion to soothe the region and prevent ingrown hairs after waxing is complete.

For shaving, here’s what to expect:

  1. Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and greatly reduce the change of razor burn or ingrown hairs.
  2. After you’ve prepped with water and shaving cream, use your razor in a long stroke against the direction of hair growth for a closer shave, and with the direction of hair growth for ingrown-prone skin or sensitive skin. The second method doesn’t remove hair as close to the root, but reduces sensitivities.
  3. Rinse your razor after each time you glide against the skin to remove hair from the shaving surface.
  4. Rinse the head with warm water to remove any remaining foam once all of the hair has been cut. After that, use a rinse of cold water to close up your pores.
  5. Finally, apply a hypoallergenic lotion or cream to your skin.

Shaving vs waxing: what to do after  

You may exfoliate again 24 hours after shaving or waxing. To avoid itching and discomfort, keep the region moisturized.

What can you do to minimize ingrown hairs and other bumps?

Ingrown hairs and moment bumps are possible with both approaches. To minimize, exfoliate ahead of time, and in extreme cases, be cautious and try going with the grain of hair growth, not against. Don’t worry if you get an ingrown hair. It’s a given that it will happen at some point. Picking and prodding at the hair is not a good idea, so apply a soothing oil to help relieve tension.

Which produces more consistent results and how long do they last?

Although the outcomes are comparable, there is one significant distinction: how long they last. Because hair is removed at the root with waxing, it typically lasts around 3 or 4 weeks on average.Shaving causes hair to grow back faster, albeit not as quickly as it did before. Shaving removes only the top layer of hair; therefore, after a few days to a week, most of it has regenerated.

If you’re interested in finding a more permanent solution to laser hair removal, check out Laser Hair Removal 101 for more details.

The bottom line of shaving vs waxing 

There are a variety of ways to remove hair. Waxing and shaving both have advantages and disadvantages, so try them all to see which one works best for your particular hair and skin type.

Ask your waxing technician for a second opinion at your next appointment if you want one. They’ve seen many hair textures and can provide fairly unbiased counsel.

Interested in learning how to give waxing treatments?

Waxing is a required service for every spa, salon, and resort. The more quickly you complete the procedure, the happier your clients will be. NIMA’s Advanced Waxing program focuses on waxing quickly and comfortably. You’ll learn the skills that will allow you to keep a customer happy while finishing a brazilian in less than 15 minutes.

While they practice to hone their waxing skills, students will work with both male and female models. This course includes a waxing kit worth $150 that contains everything you’ll need to start offering treatments. This training is ideal for students who already know the fundamentals of waxing and are legally allowed to perform it in their state.

If you’d like to learn more about this course at NIMA, visit our website for all of the details regarding advanced waxing courses.