With a variety of hair removal choices, some women may want to know the key differences and advantages/disadvantages between shaving and waxing. In this guide, we summarize our findings from our extensive research and directly compare shaving and waxing. In addition, we’ll present an unbiased discussion of the pros/ cons of each hair removal technique, share insightful advice, and facilitate the process of helping you make a more informed decision when choosing between shaving and waxing. Our structured analysis incorporates several important considerations in removing unwanted hair: Hair Regrowth Time, Convenience – time to complete and ease of hair removal, Pain, Smoothness of Skin, Practical Areas of Use, and Price.
- Most Convenient
- Quickest To Perform
- Easiest To Perform
- Least Painful
- Can Perform Individually
- Great For Underarms/Legs
- Hair Regrows Thicker/Quicker
- Requires Daily/More Maintenance
- Post-Shave Results Can Leave Prickly Feeling
- Post-Shave Can Leave Stubble Look
- May Cause Nicks, Cuts, Bumps, Ingrowns, Skin Irritation
- High Total Cost Of Ownership Due To Costly Blade Replacements
Hair Regrowth Time
After shaving, hair typically grows back very quickly – within a day or so. Of the three hair removal techniques (shaving vs. waxing vs. epilating), the regrowth time between sessions is the fastest for shaving.
By far and large, shaving is the most convenient of the various hair removal methods. The reason for this is quite simple – shaving is quick and easy and not as time-consuming as some of the other methods. Plus, you can do it anytime in the convenience and privacy of your home without the need for involving anyone else nor ever leaving your home. If you have never shaved before, the process is very easy to learn and perform.
Most users don’t experience much pain – if any – while shaving. Perhaps the only pain felt may be due to a nick or cut. Compared to the other hair removal methods, the level of discomfort experienced with shaving can best be described as little to none.
Smoothness of Skin
Initially, shaving will leave your skin smooth without any redness or bumpiness associated with the other techniques. After a prolonged period of shaving, it may cause nicks and other minor skin irritations. After shaving be sure to moisturize the shaved areas to maintain healthy looking and feeling skin. Apply a touch of oil to shaved legs to achieve the celebrity look. Since hair is removed at the skin’s surface, it tends to grow back quicker and thicker into stubble. Be aware that if you don’t shave everyday, you get that prickly feeling and unsightly stubble look. You may be able to get away from not shaving a few days in the winter but probably not in the summer.
Practical Areas Of Use
Our research indicates that most women prefer to shave their underarms, bikini line, and legs. This may be the case since the process is much quicker, easier, and convenient than the other hair removal techniques. It also may be due to the fact that the underarms are a very sensitive area. Be aware that shaving the underarms can cause embarrassing dark shadows since hair it not removed at the root as with epilation and waxing. With that in mind, if you dare to go sleeveless, shaving may not be the best option.
Of the various hair removal techniques, the total cost associated with shaving is higher than an epilator ($40 – $100) but can be less than waxing, considering all of the replacement blades required and the initial investment in the razor itself. Shaving does not come cheap. Consider that the replacement blades for the popular Venus Embrace women’s razor cost roughly $24 (subscription price) for a pack of 6 at Target.com. Considering that blades eventually become blunt and wear out over time and Gillette’s recommended replacement schedule of changing your blade every 10 shaves, you could easily spend hundreds of dollars ($144 to be more precise) a year. Of course, the total cost of ownership may vary depending on the cost of the razor and replacement blades for your particular razor as well as the replacement schedule.
- Best Long-Term Hair Removal Solution
- Longest-Lasting Results (2-6 Weeks)
- Hair Grows Back Slowest, Thinner (2-6 Weeks)
- Effective Means Of Removing Larger Areas of Hair
- Eliminates Prickly Feeling/Stubble Growth
- Pain Is Bearable/Diminishes Over Time
- Painful At First But Gets Better Over Time
- Not Exactly Comfortable
- Professionals Can Get Expensive
- DIY Kits Can Be Messy with Burn/Skin Damage Risks
- Few May Experience Ingrowns, Red Bumps, and Minor Bleeding
- Process May Be Time-Consuming (Waxing both legs = 1 Hour)
- Hair Needs To Grow Out A Bit Prior To Service
- May Press Hairs Against Skin, Making It Hard To Lift/Remove
Hair Regrowth Time
Waxing is known to provide the longest duration between hair regrowth sessions among the various hair removal techniques (shaving vs. waxing vs. epilating). In fact, with waxing hair generally grows back the slowest within 2-6 weeks and it tends to grow back soft, thin and barely noticeable.  Due to varying hair growth cycles, it is possible for hair to regrow within a week. 
From one perspective waxing can be viewed as less convenient as shaving since it’s not such a quick and easy process. In fact, professional waxing of both of your legs can take up to 1 hour while DIY waxing kits can take up to 2 hours for those familiar with the process.  From another perspective, waxing can be seen as more convenient since you don’t have to perform any work if done professionally at a salon or spa and it need not be done every day (like shaving). The waxing process is more involved and it can get quite messy and things can go horribly wrong with DIY kits (i.e., burn risks, skin damage, broken hairs). The key thing is that you have to perform it correctly and be sure to use quality products or it could quickly turn into a nightmare. Our best advice is if you choose to have waxing done, do yourself a huge favor and have it done by a licensed professional.
There is no denying that for first-time participants, waxing can be a painful experience. When the strip is initially removed, the pain can be intense but doesn’t last for very long. The good news is that it does get better over time much like when you first begin plucking your eyebrows. It’s painful at first but you get accustomed to the pain and discomfort so it’s not as bad as some make it out to be. Many women agree that the perception of pain associated with waxing is somewhat overexaggerated, as it is bearable … it’s definitely not as bad as going into labor.
Smoothness of Skin
Waxing produces far superior results when compared to shaving since hair is removed at the root. If performed by a professional, skin looks smooth – without the prickliness, redness, bumpiness, and stubble associated with other hair removal techniques. Further, skin not only looks smooth, but also feels smooth to the touch, unlike shaving. What women love is the fact that this smoothness is long lasting, generally lasting anywhere between 2 – 6 weeks.
Practical Areas Of Use
Many women prefer to wax their legs, upper lip, chin, sideburns, face, arms, underarms, eyebrows, bikini line and bikini zone. Practically any area of the body can be waxed, including your pubic area (a.k.a. bikini waxing, brazilian waxing), back, abdomen, and feet. Nose and ear hair may also be waxed. Never attempt to wax your eyelids or eyelashes, as this may cause permanent damage.  The advantage of waxing over shaving these areas is that since you are removing hair at the follicle, you eliminate the embarrassing dark shadow effect as well as the rapid, thicker regrowth. Specifically, on your legs, arms and underarms – you’ll prevent prickly stubble from regrowing. Generally, hair needs to be at least ¼-inch long before being waxed to achieve desirable results. 
DIY waxing kits typically cost anywhere between $25 – $100, saving you almost twice as much as professional waxing.  However, the risks (e.g., burn risks, skin damage, broken hairs) and time-consuming nature far outweigh this benefit. With professional waxing done at a salon or spa, expect to pay a premium. For example, half a leg can cost $30 – $55, one full leg runs $45 – $100, and both legs $90 – $200.  Note that this does not include the bikini area nor any gratuity (typically 15-20% of base service charge) and taxes.  Now considering the fact that waxing results typically last 2-6 weeks, that means you could hypothetically visit the salon anywhere between 9 – 26 times/year, equating to approximately $810 – $5,200/year to have just your legs waxed. Of course, pricing may vary based on the salon or spa visited and the specific area(s) being waxed. Clearly, waxing can get expensive so some choose to wax first and then use a good epilator to maintain results and reduce overall expenditure.
 Waxing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waxing
 Leg Waxing – At Home Versus Salon http://hairremoval.about.com/od/waxing/a/leg-waxing.htm
 Shaving vs Waxing or Epilating? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071228145745AADUcXi
 Waxing, Shaving, Epilating or Hair Removal Cream? Which Works Best For You And Why? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080405110143AAuFo8P
 How Often Should I Wax? http://hairremoval.about.com/od/waxing/f/How-Often-Should-I-Wax.htm