Shave, Wax, or Tweeze – Which Hair Removal Technique Is Best?

Written by WD Staff, Skin Care Specialists on January 29, 2015 19 Comments

hair removal techniques

The demand for hair removal from both men and women alike has grown immensely over the last couple of decades; making it one of the fastest growing segments within the cosmetic industry. Today there are many options for getting rid of unwanted body and facial hair beyond traditional shaving. Alternatives like waxing, tweezing, and laser hair removal may actually be more effective for hair removal on different body areas or for people who have different skin types.

Here is a breakdown of today’s most popular hair removal techniques including their benefits and drawbacks.

Shaving (Razor)

Gaining popularity after World War II, shaving with a razor is by far the most prevalent and cheapest hair removal method available. While being relatively non-painful, the act of shaving can result in painful nicks, cuts, or razor burn (skin irritation) especially if it is done incorrectly. Recently we did a great post on how to shave the right way. Learn how to reduce razor burn and irritation here.

Shaving works best on the underarms and legs, but it’s not the best choice for facial areas (upper lip, chin, brows) or the bikini line as shaving results in the quick development of stubble (usually within 1-3 days of shaving). Shaving is also a short term solution as most individuals will experience complete hair regrowth within a week.


Waxing removes hair by pulling it from the root. The process consists of applying a resign to the skin which binds to both the hair and a strip of cloth. The cloth is then pulled off (typically in the opposite direction of hair growth) removing the hair.

Waxing is a great alternative to shaving for the legs and bikini area as hair takes longer to regrow (and when it does its usually thinner). With waxing there is no stubble development. Best of all most people will be hair free for 3-6 weeks.

The downside to waxing is pain: especially your first treatment. However many people report that subsequent treatments, especially if regularly done, tend to hurt far less.


Tweezing is mostly used for shaping the eyebrows; in fact it’s a less painful and just as effective alternative than waxing. Be sure to use a professional set of tweezers, which will minimize pain. Another great tip is to have a professional perform your first tweezing in order to get an optimal brow shape. Then you can perform regular maintenance tweezing following their lines.


Threading is an ancient Middle Eastern hair removal technique that has gained recent popularity. A strand of thread is doubled-up and then twisted around individual hairs before being pulled from the root. The procedure is best for the eyebrow area, chin and upper lip. Threading is converting a lot of individuals away from waxing as it provides the result in less time (sessions usually take 5-10 minutes compared to 20 minutes for waxing).

Laser Hair Removal

Laser based hair removal is a great alternative for people looking for a long term solution. With laser hair removal infrared light targets the pigment in the hair follicle and converts it into heat, which causes follicular destruction. The result is the removal of current hair and the prevention of hair regrowth.

Laser hair removal can be performed on all parts of the body including the cheeks, lip, legs, arms, underarms, and back, as well as sensitive areas like the bikini line and chest. For optimal effectiveness we recommend patients getting 6 treatments spaced 6-10 weeks apart.

Laser hair removal is less painful than waxing; patients usually compare it to the feeling of a rubber band snap on the skin. The treatments are usually quick with sessions taking about 10 minutes.


WD Staff

A united group of skin care specialists from Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Austin's leader in Dermatology and Plastic Surgery. Articles posted under WD staff are authored through combined contributions from our entire team, including Plastic Surgeons, Dermatologists, Aestheticians, Physician Assistants, Aesthetic Nurses, and Patient Coordinators.

19 Responses to “Shave, Wax, or Tweeze – Which Hair Removal Technique Is Best?”

  1. Avatar Megan says:

    Plenty of information and advice on different types of hair removal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Avatar Kaya says:

    There is no doubt that Laser Hair Removal is one of the best solution to get rid of unwanted hair!

  3. Avatar Marianne says:

    The hair on my face is blonde. Can the laser be used for me?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Marianne, thanks for your question and for reading our blog. While light colored hair does make laser hair removal a bit more difficult (and it may necessitate more sessions compared to darker colored hair) it is still very possible.

      Please give us a call to setup a consultation! Our cosmetic consultants can let you know exactly what to expect in terms of treatments and costs.

      Thanks again for reading our blog!

      — WD Staff

      • Avatar Dawn says:

        I was wondering if your office has any experience with the at home laser treatment Tria? I have had professional removal but still have stray hairs here and there so was wondering if Tria would help me get rid of those strays

        • WD Staff WD Staff says:

          Hi Dawn,

          Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We wanted to make sure to ask all our laser specialists for their input before replying. The consensus is that Tria can effectively (and safely) be used in-between laser treatments for removing stray’s.

          Between laser hair removal treatments you may experience sporadic hair growth as hair growth is cyclical. This is completely normal and using Tria can get rid of those strays.

          Thanks again for reading out blog!

          –WD Staff

  4. Avatar Matt says:

    Personally I prefer waxing. You do have to it periodically but you totally get used to it.

  5. Avatar Devyn says:

    How much does laser hair removal for the stomach/ bikini area normally cost?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Devyn, Thanks for reading our blog and for your question. While it’s hard to give you a good estimate without seeing you in person you can figure somewhere between $200-$500 per session. Then number of sessions needed is based on a few different factors such as hair color and skin traits.

      However, we have some discounts with packages and routinely have monthly specials. Also financing options are available. Please feel free to give us a call at 512.328.3376 for a consultation!

  6. Avatar lisa says:

    Karmin electric epilator is the best 🙂

  7. Avatar Amber says:

    I have recently begun waxing as an alternative to shaving. Is it still possible to receive laser hair removal if I continue to wax until the hair stops growing, or do I have to give up waxing and become a shaver, again?

  8. WD Staff WD Staff says:

    Hi Amber, thanks for reading our post and for your question. Unfortunately we would recommend that you refrain from waxing (or tweezing) in-between hair removal treatment sessions as it will reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. Waxing illuminates the root which is the target of the laser.

    However, you can shave between treatments to maintain loss. And obviously the goal of hair removal is completely nullify hair growth, which is possible for most patients after completing a treatment plan.

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions. You can also give us a call to talk with one of our laser specialists.

    WD Staff

  9. Avatar Elsa says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about several hair removal treatments, procedures, and benefits to anyone who chooses it. I personally like waxing as it completely gets rid of those unwanted hairs from root to tip using a piece of cloth where it sticks the mixture and the pulled hairs. I’ve heard about different types of wax and the recent type I’ve learned was soy wax. It’s a good idea that these services are available to massage parlors and salons in the area, so I better check them all out when I’m free.

  10. Avatar Will says:

    This may be a stupid question but I am new to this whole idea. I would like to remove the hair from the back of my neck. After the 6 to 10 treatments, is the hair removal permanent ?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Will,

      Thanks for your excellent question! While laser hair removal doesn’t get rid of hair forever, it does drastically reduce hair growth and makes the hair unnoticeable—to the point that you can stop shaving altogether.

      Please let us know if you have any additional questions. You can give us a call for a free consultation!

      WD Staff

  11. Avatar Darth says:

    I love all the information about removal and the steps, but I disagree that laser hair removal is less painful than waxing. I have done both and by far the laser hair removal hurt much more during the process. Most waxing doesn’t hurt at all in certain areas (natural wax vs wax & strips).

  12. Avatar Roberto says:

    Excellent. Absolutely loved reading and very helpful at the same time 🙂

  13. Avatar Sariah says:

    Shaving has been the cheapest method of hair removal I’ve tried so far. However, I don’t want to try it on my bikini line because it results in razor burns on my legs sometimes. Since there are hair removal treatments that are similar to waxing, I might try it as long as it’s safe.

  14. Avatar Walter says:

    hair is natural, I believe whatever you do it would pop up again, its part of our lives… personally razor is less painful but cost time! waxing was too painful!

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