Is Waxing Better Than Shaving?

Esthetician waxing a woman's legs

As with any cosmetic procedure, hair removal is all about personal preference. The most common hair removal methods are waxing and shaving. We will take a more in-depth look at what each method entails as well as the pros and cons of each. Then we will talk about the other hair removal techniques including manual removal, electrolysis, and laser hair removal. Consulting with a professional esthetician is important to help you choose whether waxing or shaving is best for you.

How Does Shaving Hair Work?

Shaving removes hair by running a razor (or series of specially stacked razors) along the surface of the skin to cut unwanted hair follicles down to surface length. There are many razors to choose from if you decide to shave your body hair. Each razor offers something different. For example, electric razors are great for avoiding slips and cuts. Electric razors are also great for casual maintenance or those just starting out. However, they don’t necessarily cut the hair all the way down to surface level. So, they don’t always give the closest shave effect. They can also be abrasive and rough on the skin, depending on the model of electric razor you decide to use.

The other type of razor is a straight razor. While using a sharp, singular blade gets a very close shave, you need a high degree of skill in order to avoid cutting the skin. It may even require a professional. There are many shaving products that can help reduce friction and protect your skin, but it is best to get a professional esthetician’s advice before choosing which ones to use. An esthetician can guide you toward effective, gentle products and away from ones with harsh chemicals that can damage your skin. You can also discuss any skin sensitivities or challenges that might be an obstacle toward hair removal.

Pro/Con: Shaving is affordable and widely accessible on all economic levels, but you should be careful about the way you shave and what you shave with in order to avoid razor burn, ingrown hairs, cuts, and skin infections.

How Does Waxing Hair Work?

Waxing, like shaving, is another popular method of removing unwanted hair from the face and body. Warm wax is placed on the area of unwanted hair, smoothed out with special fabric, and then quickly removed. The wax adheres to the hair follicles as well as to the waxing parchment. When the parchment is removed the wax and the hair come with it. Using warm wax to remove hair removes the entire hair from the hair follicle rather than just cutting it down to the surface. By removing the hair completely, the smooth effects last longer because the hair takes longer to develop and grow out again.

There are home waxing kits available, but they can be risky and have some negative effects on your skin. An esthetician uses special equipment and specific tools to monitor and maintain the temperature of the wax used for waxing. If you attempt to do this at home you have a chance of either under heating the wax, thereby making it ineffective, or over-heating the wax, which can cause serious burns and skin damage. It is always best to leave the waxing to an esthetician, no matter how small the area.

Pro/Con: The smooth effects of waxing lasts longer than shaving, but it is not something that should be attempted by novices and should be taken seriously for the health and safety of your skin.

Which Hair Removal Technique Do I Choose?

At the end of the day, everyone has different body hair preferences. We also have different skin, hair growth patterns, and hair textures. Not to mention different kinds of lifestyles with varying demands that require different considerations. It makes sense that we would all need different procedures to get rid of our unwanted facial and body hair. No matter what you ultimately decide is right for you, be sure that you always make good cosmetic decisions with your health and safety in mind. Talk to your esthetician about different products and/or procedures that you are considering. Be open about any concerns you have or skin health challenges you might be facing. An esthetician can offer you informed advice about how to prepare and protect your skin for whatever you decide is right for you.

The Many Ways to Remove Unwanted Hair

Waxing and shaving are certainly the most common techniques used for removing unwanted hair, but they are not the only ways. There are more than two ways to get those unwanted hairs to disappear. Here are just a few of the many innovative ways that an esthetician can help you remove hair on your body.

Manual Removal

Manual methods of hair removal refer to techniques that employ a person’s hands and selected hand tools to remove errant stray hairs. This helps to create a much more uniform look. These processes deal almost exclusively with small areas, as removing hairs one by one is a time-consuming process. Tweezers or thread are used to remove the entire follicle from the skin to clean up edges, define lines, or create an entirely smooth area. These processes often follow other hair removal methods as a support. However, on small areas such as the eyebrows and upper lip, it is not uncommon for these manual removal techniques to be used. It all depends on the area and the situation.


Electrolysis is a process that involves a highly trained advance practice esthetician using a needle to deliver an electric current to your hair follicles. The current kills and removes the unwanted hair from the area for a substantial amount of time. While this is not a permanent solution to unwanted hair, it is a long-term solution. The more electrolysis you do, the more effective it becomes and the longer it lasts. It can take some time and several appointments to build up the cumulative effects.

There are two different types of electrolysis for different skin and hair types. Galvanic electrolysis uses a process to chemically destroy the hair follicle while the thermolytic electrolysis method uses heat to destroy and remove hair. You will need to consult a fully trained professional to get a full understanding of the procedure, to understand each variation, and to determine which one would be best for you. It is also important that the electrolysis is performed by a certified esthetician to avoid damage and injury, as it requires special training.

Laser Hair Removal

Laser hair removal uses a pulse of light to destroy the follicle bulb below the surface of the skin. It is one of the longest lasting options available for long-term hair removal, but as with electrolysis there is a certain amount of build-up that is required in order to deeply disrupt the growth and regrowth of unwanted hair. These laser hair removal appointments should take place over a period of several weeks to achieve the best results. While electrolysis can be used on all hair colors and types, laser techniques are only effective on darkly pigmented hair follicles. You will need a professional evaluation in order to determine whether this treatment would be effective on your color and type of hair. Make sure to book your consultation appointment with an experienced advanced practice esthetician who is fully trained and has experience in laser hair removal equipment and procedures.

Areas of the Body Where Hair Removal is Common

We have hair on different parts of our bodies, but that hair doesn’t all grow the same way or in the same texture. Genetics, diet, lifestyle, and even clothing choices can have an effect on how and where hair grows on our bodies. The hair on your eyebrows is different from the hair on your legs. Some hair is fluffy and fuzzy like peach fuzz. Other hair is course and wiry. Some areas have thick, dense hair. Others have fine, whisky patches of hair. Let’s take a look at some of the most common parts of the body that people want hair removed.


Eyebrows, upper lip, and jawlines are all facial areas that can grow unwanted hair, and it’s different for each person. Each area can have different hair growth patterns and textures, even on the same person. There are also many different preferences on how people prefer to wear their facial hair. Some prefer thick, shaped brows. Others prefer thin or angled eyebrows. Some want the hair on their upper lip completely gone where some might just want it professionally shaped. Your face is a highly visible part of your body and an integral part of your personal style. Find an esthetician who is going to be supportive of your preferences, takes your health and safety seriously, and is fully educated in Esthiology.

Arms and Underarms

The hair on the exterior of your arm is often a different texture and color than the hair that grows in the pit of your arm. Typically, these areas are handled with professional waxing or frequent home shaving maintenance. These options allow for a smooth look to transition from hairy and back again. This means you can change your body hair based on your mood and/or current trends. However, it depends on how your skin and hair handle each method. It also depends on how often you like to change the style of your body hair. Laser and electrolysis are both more permanent options.

Intimate Areas

This hair removal subject is a sensitive one. How people present their most private parts is a highly personal choice. It is also one that needs a lot of consideration because of how sensitive and highly absorbent the skin in that area can be. That is why it is vital that you only seek the services of a qualified esthetician, if you decide you want to remove any of the hair from this area. It is important to get an esthetician’s advice and assistance for any hair removal. It is particularly helpful if you can consult an esthetician you feel comfortable with and who is already familiar with your skin and/or skin challenges.


Waxing and shaving are the most common ways to get rid of the hair on your legs, but they are usually prime candidates for the more elaborate, technical, long term solutions like laser hair removal and electrolysis. The skin on your legs is usually thicker and tougher than other delicate areas, so there are more options available to get rid of your leg hair. Talk over your options with your esthetician. There are quite a few options to choose from, with pros and cons to each.

Did learning about the different types of hair removal including waxing and shaving interest you? If you have a passion for skincare, you could begin your career as an esthetician at the Minnesota School of Cosmetology (MSC).  Our Esthiology Diploma Program is designed to be completed in under 5 months (600 clock hours) with full-time enrollment.  Our esthiology diploma program has been developed by talented, caring, real-world professionals, many of whom still work in the field.  We give our esthiology students experience in skincare, waxing, make-up, application of facials, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming an esthetician and starting a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

*Completion time for this program is defined by 35 hours per week.

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