Waxing, creams, plucking, shaving, sugaring….
With so many possibilities for hair removal, it can be challenging to determine which method is right for you. The idea of "right" comes with many questions. Which is most effective? How much do alternatives cost? Does it hurt? Does it provide lasting results?
Each method is effective, but how effective and beneficial it is depends on the person, the texture and thickness of their hair, and how often they want to address unwanted hair removal.
Laser hair removal, waxing, and shaving are three very popular hair removal methods, each work with its own pros and cons.
How Does Waxing Work?
Waxing is a simple and efficient process to remove unwanted hair. Three simple tools- hot wax, an applicator, and a fabric strip can help you remove unwanted and unsightly hair from anywhere on the body in a matter of seconds.
An applicator is used to apply wax to the skin in the direction of hair growth. After the wax is applied, a small fabric strip is pressed into the wax using firm, smooth strokes also in the direction of hair growth.
Finally, the fabric strip is removed from the skin in the opposite direction of hair growth, removing the wax and hair in one quick motion. When done properly, waxing removes hair at the follicle leaving skin smooth and hair-free for several weeks.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal involves using a high-power laser to destroy the hair and hair follicles. Before the laser is applied, a numbing and cooling agent is applied to the skin to reduce discomfort.
A trained technician then uses the laser on your skin to remove unwanted hair. Several laser treatments are often required to achieve optimal results; however, the final results of the laser removal process can last for years.
Pros and Cons of Waxing
All types of hair removal have pros and cons. When deciding which method is best for you, it is important to consider the positives and negatives of each technique.
Waxing, at least for a single session, is far less costly than laser hair removal; however, it is necessary to get regular waxing treatments to maintain smooth, hair-free skin. Over time, these treatments add up and may inevitably cost more than laser treatments.
Waxing is also suitable for all hair types, skin types, and skin tones. Regardless of your hair texture or skin tone, waxing can successfully remove unwanted hair, making waxing an excellent alternative for those who may not be suitable candidates for laser hair removal procedures.
Another benefit to waxing is that you can do it in the privacy of your own home. However, depending on your skill level, patience, and the body part you are trying to wax, having a professional do it for you is often far more convenient.
Waxing hurts! Although waxing can be done on virtually any part of the body, it can be especially painful in highly sensitive areas such as the underarms and bikini lines. Also, waxing only removes the hair, not the follicle, which means hair will eventually grow back. Although it may grow back thinner and finer than before, it still returns and requires ongoing maintenance every few weeks.
You can't wax short hair. For waxing to be successful, it must be at least a quarter of an inch long, so the wax has something to attach to. So, waxing may not be the best option if you are looking for consistently smooth and hair-free skin.
Pros and Cons of Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal is not without positive and negative elements.
If you are looking for long-term results that last, laser hair removal is the best choice. Because the process destroys the hair follicle, it significantly limits return hair growth. Many people who have laser hair removal see permanent results, while others experience lasting effects for many months or years.
Laser hair removal is also quick and easy. Even large areas only require a brief period under the laser, and laser removal is effective on any part of the body. Also, laser hair removal is safe and does not lead to long-term skin damage. Even if you have sensitive skin, laser hair removal is possible if a licensed and certified laser technician performs it.
Laser hair removal is also less painful when compared to waxing. Many people equate the sensation of the laser on the skin to the snapping of a rubber band. Although the process is not pain-free, many find the experiences far less unpleasant than waxing.
Laser hair removal is not as effective for some hair and skin types. Laser hair removal is most effective on people with light skin and dark hair due to the function of the laser. However, advancements in laser technology have increased options for those with darker skin or lighter hair.
The laser hair removal process is far more costly than a waxing session. Still, due to the long-term effectiveness of the process, it may be far more cost-effective in the end as the need for repeat treatments reduces over time.
Unlike waxing, you will not see instant results from laser hair removal. For the laser to successfully destroy the hair follicle, the hair must be at a specific growth stage. For this reason, multiple treatments are required to see results. However, the results will last longer.
Pros and Cons of Shaving
When people decide to remove unwanted body hair, they often turn to shaving as a first step. Shaving is easy and convenient, but also not without its fair share of drawbacks.
When you need to remove unwanted hair "right now," shaving is always an option. It does not require an appointment, and it doesn't matter how long your hair is. The products needed to shave are easily and quickly acquired and disposable.
Shaving only cuts the hair at the surface of the skin. Therefore, as the hair grows back, it often grows quicker and thicker when compared to other hair removal processes. It is often necessary to shave, at a minimum, every other day to keep your skin soft and smooth. Frequent shaving, especially in high friction areas such as along the bikini line, can lead to ingrown hairs and razor burn. Depending on the area you are shaving and the quality of your razor, shaving can also cause cuts and bleeding.
Why Laser Hair Removal is Better Than Waxing
If you are looking for long-term, lasting hair removal, laser hair removal is the best method available. The process is less painful and inevitably produces longer-lasting results than any other hair removal method.
Laser hair removal vs. shaving
A person uses 7848 gallons of water for shaving each year whereas 0 gallons of water is used when getting laser hair removal with Excel HR— Miami Skin Spa (@MiaSkinSpa) May 18, 2021
When looking at the differences between laser hair removal to shaving, there is almost no comparison. Although shaving is indeed more convenient because you can do it in the confines of your own home and the supplies required are easy to procure, that is where most of the benefits of shaving end.
Shaving is time-consuming, and the results are short-lived. In most cases, you need to shave every couple of days to maintain smooth, hair-free skin. On the other hand, laser hair removal produces results that last for months, years, or in some instances forever. In addition, laser hair removal is far faster.
If you shave daily, you spend far more time (and money) each month removing unwanted hair than the 30 minutes spent during the laser hair removal process.