Difference Between Waxing and Shaving

Hair is one of the most important parts of mammals. It is found in the dermis and rows of follicles. It is a protein filament that covers the body with its vellus and follicles hair apart from the skin.


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Haircare is essential for human beings as it involves hygiene and cosmetology. Haircare differs according to culture and one’s style.

Hair can be shaved, waxed, trimmed, coloured, or removed with treatments like sugaring, threading etc.

Waxing vs Shaving

The difference between Waxing and shaving is that the tools used for waxing are very different from shaving. In waxing, wax and waxing strips are used to remove the hair from its roots. In shaving, razors and blades are used to remove the top layer of the hair. Waxing can be done anywhere in the body. But shaving can be done only on larger areas like hands and legs.

Waxing vs Shaving

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Waxing is the process through which hair is removed using a sticky substance, i.e., wax, and then when it sticks to the follicle of the hair, it is pulled or removed from the body. After waxing, hair takes about four to six weeks to grow.

Anywhere or any part of the body could be waxed, including the face, pubic hair (called bikini waxing), legs, arms, eyebrows, back, abdomen, knuckles, and feet. There are many ways and methods through which waxing can be done.

Shaving is also a process where hairs are removed from the body. But the methods and tools are different here.

Razors and blades are used to remove hair from the body. Shaving is a technique that men than women most often perform.

Men use it to remove their facial hair, while women use it to shave their legs and underarms. If a man removes all his beard entirely, then it is called clean-shaven.

Head shaving is also another shaving prevalent among men.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWaxingShaving
Time15-30 minutes5-10 minutes
ToolsSoft or hard wax, cloth or waxing strips.Razors or any bladed instrument.
ProcessRemoves hair from the root.It only removes the top layer.
Pain levelPainfulPainless
Side effectsirritation, pain, redness, sun sensitivity, rashes, bumps, infection, scarring, etc.Itching, nicks or cuts, ingrown hairs, razor burn, folliculitis etc.
Results last4 to 8 weeks7-10 days

What is Waxing?

Waxing is considered an effective method when it comes to removing a larger part of the hair in one go. Its benefits are also more than any other process of removing hair from the body.

It can also be said to be one method that lasts long until hairs grow back into the body. Because after waxing, it takes about four to eight weeks so the hair can grow.

Areas that are waxed regularly over some time grow softer and smoother after regrowth.

Waxing has some disadvantages like it can be very painful when waxing strips are removed from the skin. Pain may be intense in sensitive areas, but it doesn’t last long.

Waxing can also be a little expensive if you want to do full body waxing because it will require a person who will charge accordingly. Although self-to-do waxing kits are available in all places, it is impossible to do it alone.

There are two types of waxing.

One is strip waxing, i.e. using soft wax, and the other is stripless waxing, i.e. using hard wax. In strip waxing, cloth or strips are placed in the body.

Wax adheres to the skin, and then it is quickly ripped against the growth of the hair. So wax is also removed along with the hair. There are different ways of soft waxing, like heated, cold or pre-made strips.

Stripless wax is where only wax is applied to the part of the body without using any cloth or strips.

After the wax gets hardened and cools, it automatically removes the hair. This method is best suited for sensitive skin types.

What is Shaving?

Even before razors were invented, history shows that the shaving method has existed since the beginning. Our ancestors used water and a sharp tool to remove the hair.

At the time of Alexander the Great, shaving was very prominent as he believed in personal hygiene. Egyptian people used shaving for aesthetic purposes.

Then safety razors were invented and manufactured in the 18th century in England. In the 19th century, shaving became more common with the invention of electric razors.

King Camp Gilette, in 1875 brought a revolution by inventing double-edged safety razors. It was so popular that during world war 1 and 2, the US military provided it to servicemen and used Gilette razors.

It sold almost 12.5 million razors and blades, giving a boom to its production. There are different types of shaving methods like Beard Trimmer, wet Shaving and Electric shaving.

Shaving can be done with any razor, be it straight, electric or safety razor. 

Shaving is also considered important in religions like Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and Christianity. In Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains, monks and nuns practice shaving the hair in temples.

In Christianity, tonsure is a practice in which head-shaving is done. In Judaism, some Jewish men are restricted from shaving their beards as written in their holy book.

Both men and women do shaving in different areas, including abdominal hair, leg hair, underarm hair, chest hair, pubic hair, or any other body hair.

Main Differences Between Waxing and Shaving

  1. The time taken for waxing is approximately 15-30 minutes. The time taken for shaving is approximately 5-10 minutes.
  2. Tools required for waxing are soft or hard wax, cloth or waxing strips. Tools required for shaving are razors or any bladed instrument.
  3. The process of waxing involves removing hair from the root. The process of shaving involves only removing the top layer of the hair.
  4. The pain level in waxing is moderate or painful. The pain level in shaving is painless or minimum.
  5. The side effects of waxing include irritation, pain, redness, sun sensitivity, rashes, bumps, infection, scarring etc. The side effects of shaving include itching, nicks or cuts, ingrown hairs, razor burn, folliculitis etc.
  6. The results of waxing lasts long, i.e., four to eight weeks. The results of shaving are short-lived, i.e., 7 to 10 days.
Difference Between Waxing and Shaving
  1. https://journals.lww.com/dermatologicsurgery/Fulltext/2017/04000/The_Effect_of_Waxing_Versus_Shaving_on_the.10.aspx
  2. https://search.informit.org/doi/pdf/10.3316/informit.741583439245306
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