When you search for underarm waxing vs shaving, you’re seeking more than just options—you want the best hair removal solution for you. Direct and simple: waxing offers a long-term smooth but can pinch your skin and your wallet, while shaving is easy and cheap but requires daily diligence. This guide illuminates the real pros and cons of each method, equipping you with the knowledge to make a choice that matches your personal needs and lifestyle. Dive in to unravel the details.

Key Takeaways

  • Waxing removes underarm hair from the root, leading to slower regrowth and extended periods of smoothness, while shaving offers immediate results but requires more frequent maintenance.

  • Waxing can offer additional benefits such as reduced hyperpigmentation, decreased odor, and improved skin texture; however, it may be more painful and carries risks like irritation or infection.

  • Although the initial cost of waxing can be higher compared to shaving, it can be more cost-effective in the long run due to its longevity, with sessions recommended every four to six weeks.

Underarm Hair Removal: Waxing and Shaving Explained

When it comes to hair removal methods, two techniques for underarm hair removal reign supreme: waxing and shaving. Both are widely embraced for their effectiveness in battling underarm fuzz and helping us achieve that coveted smooth and clean appearance. But which one truly has the upper hand?

For many individuals, waxing is favored for maintaining a hairless underarm look. It has a reputation for effectively eliminating unwanted hair, and compared to shaving, it goes beyond the surface. Waxing extracts the hair from its root, leading to slower regrowth and prolonged smoothness. Interested? Let’s demystify waxing and see what it involves.

Waxing Process

Here's how you wax your underarm step-by-step:
  1. Choose Your Wax: Decide between soft wax, which requires strips for removal, and hard wax that can be removed without strips.

  2. Heat the Wax: Melt your chosen wax type until it reaches a safe and workable temperature. Optimum temperature for melting hard wax is 150-175 degrees fahrenheit.

  3. Prep the Skin: Clean the underarm area to remove any oils or deodorants and ensure the skin is dry.

  4. Apply the Wax: Spread the melted wax over the underarm hair in the direction of hair growth.

  5. Let the Wax Set: Wait a few moments for the wax to cool and harden - this duration will depend on the wax type.

  6. Remove the Wax: If using hard wax, lift the edge and quickly pull off the wax against the direction of hair growth. For soft wax, place a strip over the wax, press down firmly, and then pull the strip off against the direction of hair growth.

  7. Post-Wax Care: Apply a soothing lotion or aloe to the waxed area to calm any irritation.

  8. Repeat as Needed: The entire process takes about five to eight minutes per underarm, and can be repeated on the other side.


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Shaving Process

Turning our focus to shaving now. Using a razor, this method trims hair at the skin’s surface, resulting in immediate smoothness that can endure several days. It serves as a quick solution, but what’s the process behind it?

The primary tools for underarm shaving are razors, with safety razors, straight edges, and electric razors being the top contenders. These tools glide over the skin, cutting the hair in their path. The process is straightforward, quick, and accessible, but does it measure up to waxing? Let’s compare.

Comparing Underarm Waxing and Shaving: Pros and Cons

It’s time for a face-off: waxing versus shaving. While both methods have their staunch supporters, how do they compare? To find the answer, we must examine the advantages and disadvantages of each method. This will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of both waxing and shaving, aiding you in making an informed decision about your preferred underarm hair removal technique.


Pros of Underarm Waxing

Starting with the advantages of underarm waxing:

  • For those seeking a method that yields long-term results, waxing is a viable option.

  • The smoothness you achieve post-waxing can last up to two to three weeks before regrowth.

  • That’s right, you can wave goodbye to daily underarm maintenance!

Moreover, regular waxing sessions can have the following benefits:

  • Slows down hair growth over time

  • Hair that does grow back tends to be finer and softer

  • Subsequent waxing sessions become less uncomfortable

  • Investing in a less hairy future

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Cons of Underarm Waxing

Regardless of its multitude of benefits, underarm waxing also has its shortcomings. For starters, the process can be quite painful due to the nature of underarm hair. It’s coarser than the hair in other body parts, which can ramp up the discomfort during waxing.

Waxing might cause a quick sting, but it's over fast and leaves your underarms smooth for a long time. It's a small pinch for a big reward. Using hard wax can make the process gentler and smoother. The Bikini Star Beads by Tress Wellness is ideal for coarse underarm hair. It removes the hair effectively while being gentle on your skin.

Pros of Shaving Underarms

  • Accessibility and Affordability: Shaving is known for its cost-effectiveness and easy accessibility. It doesn't require a salon visit or a home waxing kit—just a razor and some shaving cream.

  • Quick and Convenient: The process of shaving underarms is swift, often taking just a few minutes, making it a practical choice for those with a hectic lifestyle.

  • Immediate Smoothness: After a quick shave, many people report feeling cleaner and more comfortable with the immediate smoothness of their skin.

  • Ideal for the Busy Bee: If you're in search of a hair removal method that's quick, affordable, and accessible, shaving might just be your perfect match.

Cons of Shaving Underarms

Similar to waxing, shaving armpit hair comes with its own set of drawbacks. The method comes with potential risks such as razor burn, razor bumps, and infections. These can result from improper shaving techniques or using a dull or dirty razor.

Other negative consequences of shaving include:

  • cuts

  • pimples

  • ingrown hairs

  • bleeding

  • infections

Moreover, if you want to maintain smooth underarms, you’ll need to shave regularly. This could mean daily or every few days, depending on your hair growth. This regular maintenance can become a hassle and potentially lead to more skin irritation and redness. So while shaving might be quick and easy, it’s not without its challenges.

Waxing's Impact on Underarm Skin Health

Having compared the advantages and disadvantages of waxing and shaving, let’s now investigate the effect of waxing on underarm skin health. This includes its effect on hyperpigmentation, odor, and skin texture.

Yes, waxing does more than just remove unwanted hair. It can also contribute to healthier underarm skin!

1. Reducing Hyperpigmentation

One of the significant benefits of waxing is its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation in the underarm area. Regular underarm waxing can lead to sparser, softer, and lighter hair in the region. This contributes to a reduction in the visibility of hyperpigmentation, resulting in even-toned underarms.

Who knew laser hair removal could also double as a skin-brightening treatment for sensitive skin? By helping to remove dead skin cells and targeting the hair follicle, it prevents ingrown hair as your hair grows.

2. Decreasing Odor

Waxing can also play a role in reducing underarm odor. This is because the removal of underarm hair decreases body odor by eliminating the hair that traps bacteria and sweat. Moreover, less hair in the underarm area leads to decreased sweat production, further contributing to reduced body odor.

So, regular waxing could potentially help you stay fresh and odor-free longer!

3. Improving Skin Texture

Did you know that waxing can improve your skin texture? Here are some benefits of waxing:

  • Waxing acts as a body exfoliant, contributing to smoother and softer skin.

  • It leaves your underarms feeling soft and smooth by removing hair entirely rather than just trimming it.

  • The exfoliation from waxing helps in making the skin appear brighter.

So, not only do you get hair-free underarms, but you also get smoother and brighter skin. Talk about a win-win situation!

Cost and Frequency: Waxing vs Shaving

By now, you might be curious about the expenses and frequency of waxing and shaving. Indeed, it’s vital to select a method that aligns with your budget and way of life.

Let’s break down the costs and frequency of both methods to help you make an informed decision.

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Waxing Costs and Frequency

Waxing may appear to be a more costly option initially, but it provides longer-lasting results and can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to shaving. The average cost of an underarm waxing session typically ranges from $15 to $25, with some variations depending on location and salon. If you’re considering at-home waxing, the cost of a home waxing kit may also factor in.

As for frequency, estheticians generally recommend a standard interval of four to six weeks between to maintain smooth underarms. Depending on your hair growth, the duration between waxing sessions can even extend to six weeks. While waxing necessitates less frequent sessions over time, the cumulative costs may balance out or result in savings compared to the recurrent need for shaving supplies.

If you invest in a waxing kit like the Tress Wellness Waxing Kit then you have invested in months of waxing sessions under $40.

Shaving Costs and Frequency

On the flip side, shaving has lower initial costs. A mid-range pack of razors typically costs between $10 to $25, with shaving cream being an additional expense. However, these costs accumulate over time due to the need for frequent maintenance.

Shaving must be done regularly, often daily or every couple of days, to maintain smooth underarms. While this might seem convenient, the constant need for new blades and shaving cream can add up, leading to a final price that might be higher than initially anticipated.

Choosing the Right Wax for Your Underarms

Given our extensive discussion on waxing, you might be pondering how to select the most suitable wax for your underarms. The right wax can make a significant difference in your waxing experience and the results you achieve.

Hard wax is preferable for underarm waxing as it adheres to the hair rather than the skin, minimizing pain and reducing the risk of skin irritation. Soft wax, on the other hand, tends to stick to the skin as well as the hairs, which can lead to increased pain and irritation during waxing. If you’re looking for a gentler option, sugaring might be worth considering. It only adheres to the hair, not the skin, causing less irritation while improving skin texture.

The Bikini Star Beads by Tress Wellness is ideal for the coarse underarm hair. It removes the hair effectively while being gentle on your skin.

Preparing for and Aftercare of Underarm Waxing


If you’ve resolved to try waxing, there are certain things you should be aware of regarding preparation and post-care for your skin following underarm waxing. Proper preparation and aftercare can significantly impact your waxing experience and the results you achieve.

Before waxing, ensure your hair is at least a quarter-inch long. This typically requires 2 to 3 weeks of growth from a previous wax or 2 weeks from the last shave. On the day of waxing, reduce deodorant use or skip it entirely and consider taking a pain reliever 30 minutes before the session to ease discomfort.

After waxing, follow these steps for proper aftercare:

  1. Soothe tenderness with a cool compress or hydrocortisone cream.

  2. Avoid using deodorant on the waxed area.

  3. Avoid tanning and sun exposure for 24 hours.

  4. Avoid intense physical activity that may cause sweating.

  5. Avoid soaking in water, such as swimming or taking a bath, for 24 hours.

Proper aftercare will help you avoid any potential complications and ensure the longevity of your smooth underarms.


In conclusion, both waxing and shaving have their merits when it comes to underarm hair removal. However, waxing offers distinct advantages – from long-lasting smoothness to improved skin health. While it might require a higher initial investment and a bit of a pain tolerance, the benefits of waxing make it a worthwhile consideration. After all, who wouldn’t want fewer waxing sessions, slower hair regrowth, and healthier skin? It’s time to embrace the wax strip and enjoy the benefits of smoother, healthier underarms!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does waxing darken underarms?

Yes, waxing can contribute to darkening underarms due to overproduction of melanin and scarring from hair removal methods.

Is underarm waxing painful?

Yes, underarm waxing can be painful, but the discomfort often decreases with regular waxing as hair grows back finer and softer.

How often should I wax my underarms?

You should wax your underarms every four to six weeks to keep them smooth and hair-free. It's a good practice for maintaining the desired results.

What type of wax should I use for underarm waxing?

You should use hard wax for underarm waxing because it adheres to the hair rather than the skin, reducing pain and the risk of skin irritation.

How can I reduce pain during waxing?

To reduce pain during waxing, consider taking a pain reliever 30 minutes before the session and using a cool compress or hydrocortisone cream afterwards to soothe tenderness. This can help make the process more comfortable for you.

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