All products recommended on have been chosen by our editorial and research team. We may receive a commission on qualifying purchases made through our affiliate links.

Waxing Vs Shaving: What’s Best?

The desire to rid our bodies of unwanted hair is pretty normal and it’s becoming increasingly common to go shaved or even bald on certain areas of our bodies. From our legs to our armpits and bikini line, and for some of us our toes and even our arms, we work daily to get smooth skin that makes us feel good.

 The two most common hair removal options are waxing and shaving but it’s not always clear which is the best and the answer isn’t as easy as just picking one and hoping it works out. The answer really depends on your skin type, your pain tolerance, the areas of your body you’re focusing on, and what results you are looking for.


Waxing Vs Shaving: Side Effects


  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Rash
  • Bumps
  • Infection
  • Ingrown hairs
  • Burns


  • Razor burn
  • Folliculitis (infection/inflammation)
  • Ingrown hairs (razor bumps)
  • Itching
  • Nicks or cuts


Waxing Vs Shaving: Time

Shaving can take just a few minutes or up to 20 depending on what part you’re shaving and how close a shave you want. Waxing is a fairly fast process but a session might last up to 30 minutes depending on the location. If you’re visiting a spa the time required to heat the wax to the right consistency will take time but if you’re using a DIY kit then the whole process may be done in just a minute or two, again, depending on what part you’re waxing.

Overall, if you’re waxing yourself then it’s generally a quick process as is shaving. The two both vary and so neither option is guaranteed to save you a great deal of time.


Waxing Vs Shaving: Pain

No matter what you do to prepare, waxing is painful, it removes hair from the root. It’s even more painful to wax your pubic hair as you not only remove hair but you’re pulling on the surface of the skin which is especially sensitive in your pubic area. Naturally, pulling the hair out of the follicle physically is not a pleasant experience, but it also acknowledges the wax’s unbearable temperature and the resulting residual tenderness of the skin.

On the other hand, shaving is relatively painless when done right. If you take the time to exfoliate the area properly, use a sharp razor, followed up with a moisturizer, the chances of nicks and razor burn are greatly reduced meaning shaving is the better option if you want to avoid pain.

Waxing Vs Shaving: Cost

For a few bucks, you can buy a pack of disposable razors, or splurge on a $10 reusable, good-quality razor. If that’s still not enough then you can also get an electric shaver for $40-80. Add a can of shaving cream for less than $5 which will last you many uses. Once you get past the initial investment, shaving is one of the more economically friendly options as you save money in the long run.

An at-home wax kit can cost you up to $10, but usually, you can get at least a few uses of it. The price of a professional wax appointment depends on the hair removal area and your venue, but this can be very costly, especially if you include the tip in your estimate meaning waxing is by far the most expensive option of the two.

Waxing Vs Shaving: Convenience

For shaving, it is as easy as going in the shower whenever you need it or whenever your schedule is best suited. However, a good amount of preparation is required with waxing. Whether you choose to use a product at home or go to a salon, you must first grow your hair to about a quarter of an inch, which takes time and requires an uncomfortable grow-out process. If you choose to go to a wax salon, you’ll need to book an appointment in advance and make a consideration in the amount of time it takes to drive to and from the spa. So when it comes to the convenience of shaving and waxing it’s no doubt shaving that wins.

Waxing Vs Shaving: Hair Growth Recovery

Hair growth is complex and depends on a number of variables, including the removal location. For example, hair on the bikini and underarm grows faster than the arms and legs, so when comparing shaving vs waxing it is important to use similar areas.

Hair grows in cycles, so at any given time you only remove any amount of hair. On average, a wax can last for up to two weeks before it regrows. Through waxing regularly you can extend the time in between appointments.

Waxing Vs Shaving: Pros And Cons

Waxing Pros

  1. Hair doesn’t grow back very quickly. 
  2. Regrowth will be finer
  3. Exfoliates the skin
  4. Avoid shaving rash, irritation, and ingrown hairs


Waxing Cons

  1. Waxing can be painful depending on who you ask. Because the hair is removed at the root, some people say waxing is more painful than shaving as it will not only remove the hair but dead skin and it often feels like it’s taking your skin away.
  2. Waxing can cause inflamed hair follicles, pain, redness, ingrown hairs, and skin irritation, especially on sensitive skin.
  3. Removing female facial hair while using retinoid anti-aging or acne products can lead to abrasions, infection, and even scarring, so be sure to do your homework before trying a wax. 


Shaving Pros

  1. Shaving is a great time saver, as you can get rid of all the unwanted hair in less than 10 minutes.
  2. All you need to have is a new sharp razor, shaving cream, or even shower gel and you’re ready to shave.
  3. If you’re doing it right then the whole process should be painless.
  4. It’s cheap and will cost you much less annually.
  5. You can shave while on the go and pretty much anywhere there’s a mirror.


Shaving Cons

  1. The worst con to shaving body hair is that it leaves ingrown hairs which can lead to razor bumps.
  2. The effect of body hair removal by shaving can only last for a week, maximum. After shaving, hair tends to crop up again fast.
  3. Shaving is not always suitable for all skin types. Extra sensitive skin can get easily irritated right after you shave since shaving removes a very thin layer of your skin along the process.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to shave when you normally wax?

It might be tempting to give up on a waxing routine and pick up a razor instead for instant gratification. Luckily, this is totally fine and you can shave after a wax. Shaving also affects your individual hair’s growth cycle, which can lead to different lengths of hair and uneven results, even stubble, when waxing.

Why does my pubic hair grow back so fast after waxing?

Breakage happens when the wax doesn’t pull out the entire hair at the root, and instead, it breaks it off at surface level. This means that the hair will grow back faster.

Can you get a Brazilian wax if your hair is short?

The hair should be at least 8-15mm for best results. If you have coarse hair it should be closer to 15mm for the first few waxes. Once the hair becomes finer it can be waxed at a shorter length. If your hair is longer, we recommend shaving the area and booking your waxing appointment for two to three weeks later.

Can I shave my stomach hair?

There is nothing wrong with leaving this hair the way it is. But if you feel self-conscious about the way it looks, you can remove it by shaving, applying a cream or waxing. Before you shave, make sure that you exfoliate the area and use warm water and a new razor to avoid any nicks or bumps.


Shaving Vs Waxing: The Final Verdict

So we’ve looked at waxing Vs shaving and how they each weigh up against one another. But which is the better hair removal method? Waxing and shaving both have their pros and cons so there’s no clear-cut answer.

Both shaving and waxing remove dead skin cells and exfoliate the skin meaning neither are bad for your skin or health.

However, a professional wax can be better than shaving when it comes to removing the hair as waxing pulls hairs straight from the roots whereas shaving only trims the hairs.

Shaving on the other hand is much quicker and cheaper. Overall, if you want convenience and aren’t interested in the highest quality then shaving is the way to go, otherwise, go and get a wax.

Latest guides
Best Rodan+ Fields Products
Best Rodan+ Fields Products

[Review] in 2022  written by nail expert Jess RowleyCheck out the results fast - here are our review winners[dica_divi_carousel item_width_tablet="400px" item_width_phone="345px"...

Related Post: Best Hair Brushes For Every Hair Type