One side close up waxing leg, on the other shaving leg.

Shaving Vs Waxing: Comparing Hair Removal Options

Do you wax your body hair or shave it off? Today Caley-Beth is exploring two popular hair removal options and answering some of the biggest questions about these two methods. Which is better? Is one more gentle than the other? How sustainable are these options? Get ready to discover all there is to know about shaving and waxing!

What's the Difference Between Shaving and Waxing?

Waxing and shaving are both hair removal methods, but each approaches making your skin smooth in a different way. For waxing, the process involves removing the hair's root. It damages the hair follicle which means the hair needs to completely regrow. Shaving, on the other hand, simply cuts the hair away. It trims the hair to achieve a silky feeling but does not disturb the growth beneath the surface.


Waxing a woman's leg.



Is Waxing Bad for Your Skin?

Waxing is not gentle on the skin, but it's not entirely damaging either. It's important to know the side effects as well as the positives of this hair removal method before making a decision. While waxing does not cause any long term harm to the skin, it can be pretty painful and causes many to experience increased irritation or sensitivity.

On the other hand, waxing is suitable for most skin types and is a good way to get rid of varying amounts of hair all around the body. Since the strips can be tailored to different sizes there are no areas that are too difficult to reach. Plus, you can book in to see a professional or by at home kits making it a versatile option.

Benefits of Waxing

  • Less time between hair removal sessions
    Waxing removes the full hair, so regrowth takes longer than other hair removal methods. On average, you can expect the results of waxing to last up to three or four weeks.

  • Avoid nicks and cuts
    Since waxing uses soft or hard wax and strips to pull out unwanted hair, there is no blade involved. This means no nicks or cuts, and issues with razor rash will be a thing of the past!

  • Suitable for large and small areas
    Waxing uses cloth or paper strips coated in a sticky substance (typically a soft or hard wax) to remove hair from the body. The strips can be tailored to different sizes which means there are no areas that are too difficult to reach.

  • Hair grows back thinner
    For anyone who is waxing regularly, you can anticipate the hair growing back sparser and thinner. That is because the follicle is damaged in the process of waxing.

Negatives of Waxing

  • Painful
    Waxing is not for the faint of heart. The process can be moderately painful as the hairs are being forcefully ripped out from the root. Plus, if you are using hot wax you could easily burn yourself if you are not careful.

  • Not always done in one round
    Yes, you read that right. If the hair is too long, waxing can cause it to tear before being fully removed. That means you will need to have a second painful session to get smooth.

  • Messy
    Unlike shaving, waxing can be pretty messy so expect a bit of cleanup. The wax can stick to anything and everything, meaning you will need to spend time dealing with the aftermath.

  • Not ideal for the face
    Facial skin is delicate and needs to be treated with care, so waxing is not recommended for this area of the body since it is too harsh. Waxing your face can lead to scarring, blistering, or even infection. It also pulls the skin which can cause premature aging.

  • Can cause irritation and sensitivity
    Waxing can cause redness, friction burn, and break outs as well as extended sensitivity. Some people also may experience an allergic reaction after using this method of hair removal.

  • Costly
    Not only does waxing have a higher upfront cost, the materials need to be repurchased every four to six weeks. A single appointment can cost up to $70, whereas a safety razor costs around $30 and does not need to be replaced.

  • Potentially harmful ingredients
    Many waxes include synthetic fragrance as well as other potentially harmful ingredients like parabens and oxybenzone. Additionally, the strips often are made from plastic. The single use aspect of waxing isn't sustainable, and the formulations pose a danger to the environment as well as human health.

Woman shaving her underarm with a pink razor.


Is Shaving Better Than Waxing?

Shaving offers a different experience to waxing. It is more hands on which can be a mindful experience, it doesn't cause pain, and it can be done quickly at home or when traveling. This method of hair removal does need to take place more regularly, however it is more affordable and kinder to both you skin and the planet.

That being said, shaving does still have its own unique benefits as well as negatives, so examine both before choosing which is better for you.


Caley-Beth moisturizing Shave Balm Bar with rose gold safety razor.


Benefits of Shaving

  • Painless
    When using an appropriate razor and nourishing lotion like our Shave Balm to lubricate the skin, shaving is pretty gentle and should not cause any pain.

  • Zero cleanup
    Most women and men choose to shave in the shower, meaning there is no need to clean up after the hair removal process. Since all you need in a razor and lubricant, the need to tidy is kept at a minimum.

  • Suitable for all areas of the body, though larger areas are easier
    Unlike waxing, shaving can take care of coarse hair, facial hair, and more. While smaller areas are difficult to navigate, it can be done with a bit of maneuvering.

  • Cost effective
    Shaving is kinder to your wallet, as the tools required are pretty affordable. If you're using a safety razor, you can save even more money since this sustainable swap is even more cost efficient!

Negatives of Shaving

  • Takes time
    While waxing can be done in a few quick strips, shaving requires a bit more patience. You need to apply your shave balm so you do not irritate the skin, then shave each area slowly so you do not miss any hair.

  • Needs frequent attention
    The results of shaving only last a handful of days, so it needs to be done at least once a week to keep the smooth feeling and hairless appearance.

  • Razor burn, bumps, and cuts
    If you are not careful and do not prepare your skin properly, you can run the risk of cutting yourself or ending up with a rash. To avoid this, be sure to use a moisturizing treatment to lubricate the skin and follow up with a soothing balm.

Caley-Beth Nourishing After Shave Balm Bar on pink towels with a rose gold safety razor.


Shaving VS Waxing Summary

Shaving and waxing both bring their own benefits as well as their own unique issues. While waxing provides results that last up to a month to six weeks, it can be harsh on the skin, create a mess, and it comes with a regular cost. On the other hand, shaving is gentler on the skin, better for the environment, and affordable, but hair reappears more quickly.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to take the steps needed to reduce friction and to follow up with the right aftercare to maintain your skin's health and reduce the chances of prolonged irritation.


If you want to stay in touch you can follow us @CaleyBethBeauty on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

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Waxing vs. Shaving, which is better for you skin.

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