Shaving vs Waxing

by Michelle LaRowe

If the skin is exposed, silky, soft and smooth skin is a must-have. While there are a few different ways to remove unwanted hair, it's important to consider the pros and cons of each before deciding which hair removal method is right for you. Some hair removal methods are time and labor intensive but don't require frequent treatments, while others are quick and easy but require you to keep up removing the hair almost daily. Shaving and waxing are two popular types of hair removal and there are benefits and disadvantages to each.

The Pros of Shaving

Shaving shortens the hair by trimming the length of it as you glide a razor across your skin. Shaving is quick and easy and can be done while you're in the shower or in the bathtub, saving you from having to schedule a separate time to remove unwanted hair. Shaving is also something you can do on your own, in the privacy of your own home without anyone's help.

The Cons of Shaving

Shaving should be reserved for removing hair in the areas that you can see and reach easily. Knicks and cuts to the skin are common when trying to shave areas that are out of sight or hard to reach. When you shave, the hair may also feel thicker and coarser, but it's not because shaved hair grows back differently. According to Dr. D'Anne Kleinsmith in a 2007 Newsweek article entitled "Does Shaving Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?" it feels this way because the end of each hair is finer than the middle and when you slice across the hair to shorten it, the middle, thicker part of the hair is now what you feel. When you shave, the hair continues to grow so in a few days, you'll need to shave and shorten it again. Shaving can irritate the skin, causing little bumps that are commonly called razor burn. To avoid irritation, shave at the end of a shower using a sharp razor along the grain of the hair and moisturize your skin as soon as you've finished shaving.

The Pros of Waxing

Unlike shaving, waxing doesn't shorten the hair; waxing removes the hair from its root below the surface of the skin. The wax used to remove hair can be cold or hot. Cold wax is the type of hair removal wax that is most commonly found in drugstores. It usually comes in pre-coated strips and is ready to use. Hot wax needs to be heated and is spread over the skin. With both cold and hot wax, after it's applied to the skin a damp cloth is pressed onto the wax and used to quickly tear the wax from the skin, along with the hair. According to, the effects of waxing can last anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. Waxing can be done on most parts of the body, including the face, bikini area, legs, armpits and eyebrows.

The Cons of Waxing

Waxing can be a bit painful and irritate the skin, but the result is super-smooth skin. If you need to remove hair in areas of the body you can't reach or see, you'll need to enlist the help of a friend or skin care professional. When you wax, you'll also have to be willing to tolerate a little hair growth in between treatments because for waxing to be effective, the hair has to be long enough for the wax to adhere to.


When deciding if shaving or waxing is right for you, it's important to consider how much time, money and energy you wish to invest in hair removal. While shaving only takes a few minutes every few days, waxing can take much longer, depending on what area of the body you are waxing. If you wish to have a skin care professional do your waxing, you'll have to schedule a time and make a trip to the salon to have it done. You'll also want to consider your personality type. If you're a private person and you wish to remove bikini hair, you may not feel comfortable having someone else do your hair removal. Shaving and waxing can both vary in cost, but most people can find razors, shaving creams and waxes that suit their budget. You can purchase disposable razors that cost a few dollars apiece and a generic shaving cream, or expensive razors, blades and designer shaving creams. You can also purchase wax from your local drug or beauty supply store for about $10 per package or pay a service fee at a salon to have a professional remove your unwanted hair. The service fee will vary based on where you live and the area you wish to have waxed.

About the Author

Michelle LaRowe is the 2004 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year and the author of "Nanny to the Rescue!", "Working Mom's 411" and a "Mom's Ultimate Book of Lists." LaRowe graduated from Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and holds a Certificate in Pastoral Studies from Global University.