There are a whole lot of hair removal products available in the market. But for as long as we can remember, the age-old debate of shaving versus waxing has been buzzing in beauty circles.
Should you bring out your at-home waxing kit or pick up the razor? This depends on a variety of factors—your skin, budget, routine, and so on. In this blog, we will be reviewing two of the most common hair removal methods—shaving and waxing. We will pit them against each other to settle it once and for all, which one is better for you.
Let’s get started!
The Science Behind the Hair Removal: Shaving vs. Waxing
Shaving is quick and easy. You just need to grab your razor and your shaving cream and you’re good to go. It removes the hair from the surface of the skin.
Step-by-Step Shaving with a Razor:
1. Prep Your Skin:
Start with clean, dry skin. A warm shower beforehand can soften hair and open pores.
Apply a quality shaving cream or gel to the area you want to shave. This helps the razor glide smoothly and reduces the risk of irritation.
2. Choose Your Razor:
Select a sharp, clean razor. Dull blades can lead to nicks and ingrown hair.
3. Shaving Technique:
- Hold the razor at a 45-degree angle to your skin.
- Begin with light, gentle strokes in the direction of hair growth. For most areas, this means downward strokes.
- Keep the skin taut with your free hand to create a flat surface for the razor. Rinse the razor frequently to prevent clogging.
Waxing requires you to use cold wax strips or pour warm wax on your skin. This method usually rips off your hair right from the root or the hair follicle. With an at-home waxing kit, waxing becomes a breeze.
Step-by-Step Waxing with an At-Home Waxing Kit:
- Ensure your hair is at least 1/4 inch long for effective waxing.
- Cleanse the area thoroughly and ensure it's completely dry.
2. Heat the Wax:
- Follow the instructions for heating your wax in your at-home waxing kit. Set the temperature of your wax warmer to 150-175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Your wax should have a thick, honey-like consistency.
3. Test Temperature:
- Before applying the wax to your skin, test a small amount on your wrist to ensure it's not too hot and won't burn your skin.
- Using the provided applicator or a wooden spatula, apply a thick layer of wax in the direction of hair growth.
5. The Pull:
- Hold the skin taut with one hand and use the other hand to grip the edge of the waxing strip.
- Pull the wax against the direction of hair growth, keeping it close to the skin and parallel to it for a cleaner removal.
Be swift and confident in your pull for the best results.
Who’s the Ultimate Speedster: Shaving vs. Waxing
The time it takes for the hair removal method to work totally depends on your hair growth and the area that you are working with. For instance, your bikini line is sensitive and the hair in this region is usually coarse. So, no matter what method you are using, you need to be careful and give it some time.
Shaving usually gets the job done pretty quickly. You lather yourself up with shaving cream or soap and glide your razor a few times and you’re done. But it is also easy to miss out on a few spots that you need to go over a couple of times. Here’s how long it takes to shave different areas of your body.
- Legs - Approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Underarms - About 2-3 minutes.
- Bikini Area - Roughly 5-7 minutes.
- Arms - Around 5-7 minutes.
- Face - 2-5 minutes, depending on the area.
Waxing generally takes up more time than shaving. Waxing smaller areas like the face and eyebrows takes up little of your time, but waxing arms, legs, back, chest and any other body part is pretty time-consuming.
Here’s how quickly you can wax different body parts with an at-home waxer:
- Legs - Typically 15-20 minutes.
- Underarms - About 10 minutes.
- Bikini Area - Roughly 15-20 minutes.
- Arms - Approximately 15 minutes.
- Face - 10-15 minutes, depending on the area.
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Remember, these times can change depending on how familiar you are with the process, the products you choose, and your hair growth. It's all about finding what works best for you. Waxing might take a bit longer, but the results often last longer, too!
Standing the Test of Time: How long does it last? Shaving vs. Waxing
Depending on your hair growth, shaving can last somewhere between 4 days to a week until you start seeing stubble on the surface of your skin. Since the razor cuts the hair from the skin’s surface, it does not take the hair a long time to appear back.
Waxing can last you a good 3-4 weeks. Since the hair is uprooted from the follicle, it takes some time for the hair to grow even beneath the skin’s surface. After a few weeks, it starts appearing on the surface and takes a week or two to grow out.
Frequency Guide for Waxing Different Body Parts:
- Eyebrows: Every 2-3 weeks.
- Upper Lip: Every 2-3 weeks.
- Underarms: Every 2 weeks.
- Legs: Every 4-6 weeks.
- Bikini Area: Every 3-4 weeks.
- Arms: Every 4-6 weeks.
- Back and Chest: Every 4-6 weeks.
Depending on the area you are waxing, waxing can last you almost a month or more.
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Cha-ching! The Pocket Pinch of Shaving vs. Waxing
Shaving costs you about $20-30 for a good razor and a can of shaving cream. Shaving regularly also uses up your supplies pretty fast. You might need to invest in multiple replaceable blades and a few bottles of shaving creams per month.
If you are going to the salon, waxing can be pretty expensive, ranging from $400-500 for a full-body waxing session. Ouch! The pocket pinch hurts a lot more than the actual waxing, doesn’t it? Waxing at home will get the work done as effectively but for a lot cheaper. Getting an at-home waxing kit is a long-term investment and costs you much less than a salon visit.
With an at-home waxing kit, you get a full body wax for months for under 60 bucks!
The Tress Wellness’s waxing kit is the best at-home waxing kit in the market. It comes with a wax warmer, reusable hard wax beads, waxing sprays and spatulas. Now, you don’t need to break the bank every time you wax!
Hair Removal Aftermath: Shaving vs. Waxing
Shaving is notorious for giving razor bumps and ingrown hair. That hair gets cut off at the surface and sometimes it curls up and grows inside the skin causing bumps and ingrown hair. Shaving makes your skin smooth and buttery, but in a couple of days, you get pokey stubble on your skin. It gets especially uncomfortable and itchy in your nether regions.
With waxing, you won’t get as many ingrown hair or bumps, but it might be a little painful if your pain tolerance is low. If you’re using hard wax and know the right techniques for waxing, then it won’t hurt you as much. Waxing does not have that many negative effects. Every time you pull out your wax, it exfoliates your skin by getting rid of dead skin cells.
Breaking the Curse of Ingrown Hair: Shaving vs Waxing
You need to master the right techniques and give your skin a whole lot of aftercare to break the curse of ingrown hair when shaving. Shaving makes you more prone to ingrown hair because it cuts the hair off the skin’s surface. The hair might curl up and grow back into your skin.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you keep those pesky ingrown hair at bay:
Step 1: Exfoliate before Shaving
Start by exfoliating the area you plan to shave. This helps remove dead skin cells that can clog hair follicles and lead to ingrown hairs. You can use a gentle scrub, exfoliating gloves, or a loofah.
Step 2: Use a Sharp, Clean Razor
Make sure your razor is sharp and clean. Dull blades can cause uneven cutting, which may lead to ingrown hairs. Replace your razor blades regularly.
Step 3: Shaving Cream or Gel
Apply a generous amount of shaving cream or gel to the area you're going to shave. This creates a protective barrier between your skin and the razor, reducing friction and irritation.
Step 4: Shave in the Right Direction
Shave in the direction of hair growth whenever possible. This reduces the likelihood of hairs being cut too short and growing back into the skin.
Step 5: Avoid Multiple Passes
Try to avoid going over the same area multiple times with the razor, especially if you have sensitive skin. Each pass can increase the risk of irritation and ingrown hairs.
Step 6: Rinse the Razor Frequently
Rinse the razor blade frequently during your shave to prevent hair and shaving cream buildup, which can hinder a clean shave.
Step 7: Post-Shave Care
After you've finished shaving, rinse the shaved area with cool water to soothe the skin and close the pores. Pat your skin dry gently with a clean towel.
Step 8: Apply a Soothing Product
Apply an alcohol-free, moisturizing lotion or aloe vera gel to calm the skin and keep it hydrated. Avoid products with fragrances or alcohol, as they can be irritating.
Step 9: Exfoliate Regularly
Continue to exfoliate the shaved area 2-3 times a week. This helps prevent dead skin cells from accumulating and trapping new hairs.
Step 10: Loose Clothing
For the first day or two after shaving, wear loose-fitting clothing to reduce friction on the shaved area.
Waxing as a hair removal method is really powerful in preventing ingrown hair. Unlike shaving, which cuts hair off at the surface, waxing uproots hair from the follicle. This fundamental difference makes it less likely for hair to become trapped beneath the skin's surface, reducing the risk of ingrown hair.
You can include a couple of steps in your at-home waxing routine to make it more powerful against ingrown hair.
Waxing acts as a natural exfoliator, sloughing away dead skin cells. But to make sure that the wax works properly, you must exfoliate your skin a day before waxing.
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Tress tip: Exfoliating twice a week helps your skin stay plump and smooth and makes waxing a piece of cake.
Following your waxing session, applying a gentle, alcohol-free moisturizer or aloe vera gel is essential. This not only soothes your skin but also ensures it remains well-hydrated, further diminishing the chances of ingrown hair.
But if you want a sure-shot after-wax soother, the Tress Wellness after-wax spray is the perfect solution. Enriched with aloe vera and chamomile, it instantly calms and hydrates post-waxing. Say hello to painless bliss with Tress Wellness After-Wax Spray!
Which one takes the cake? Shaving or Waxing
As we wrap up, it's time to consider what method aligns best with your preferences.
If you cherish the quick fix and the familiarity of shaving, it's a reliable go-to. But, if you're looking for long-lasting smoothness without the hassle of ingrown hairs, waxing may be your new best friend. With an at-home waxer, your home-waxing experience can get economical and convenient, giving smooth results from the comfort of your own space.
So, are you team waxing or team shaving? Tell us in the comments below!
Share this blog with your friends who are torn between waxing and shaving.