How do you know what hair removal method is the best for you? You can do your research or try them all. But we’ve been there. It is time consuming and it hurts, especially when it comes to waxing. While we have already established that laser hair removal is better than electrolysis, where are we at with laser hair removal vs waxing?
Speak the word “waxing” and the first thing people think about is… pain. Because that is essentially what it is, no? Waxing hurt. Contrary to the popular misconception, laser hair removal does not. It is nothing compared to waxing. But enough of this, let’s get into laser hair removal vs waxing and see which way is the best.
How does waxing work?
Waxing is a very popular hair removal method. Basically, people who are tired of shaving every other day, will move onto waxing. After all, the legend wants that you will be hairless for a full four weeks before hair grows again. While shaving cuts the hair flat at the surface of the skin and depilatory creams dissolve the hair, waxing will remove the hair and the root altogether.
This will force the hair follicle to produce a complete new hair and basically reset the hair growth cycle for that particular hair. The esthetician will apply wax along the desired area. The wax will stick to the skin and cover the hair from tip to end. When the strip of wax is swiftly removed, the hair, sticking to the wax, will be removed as well.
After a wax, the skin is smooth and hairless. It should stay that way for a couple of weeks before the hair grows back. Like laser hair removal, waxing qualifies as a hair growth reduction method. The difference is the time that it will take. Patients will indeed need to repeatedly wax for years and years before hair growth actually slows down.
The hair will grow light and thinner after each wax. Eventually, patients will see a reduction in hair growth as well as patches of skin that no longer grow hair. Again, this will take a lot of time. Furthermore, growth can be itchy and incur ingrown hair outbreaks.
How does laser hair removal work?
Just like waxing, laser hair removal is a hair growth reduction method. It can indeed reduce hair growth by up to 95%. Difference is, it happens over a year. Laser hair removal uses a concept called selective photothermolysis. According to this, matching a wavelength with a pulse duration will allow the laser to target a desired object without damaging surrounding skin tissues. When it comes to laser hair removal, the target is the hair follicle.
The light energy emitted by the laser gun will target the pigment in the hair. Once the hair absorbs the light, the latter will travel down to the follicle. There it will change into thermal energy and anchor itself to the follicle. The heat will damage or even destroy the follicle, thus preventing any further growth.
That is because of the hair growth cycle. Each hair goes through three phases of growth. Laser hair removal only works when the hair is in the anagen phase. That is the only time hair and follicle connect, allowing the energy to travel from the former to the latter.
Since 20% of your body hair is in the anagen phase of growth at any point in time, one session can only treat up to 20% of your hair. This is why you need a session every six weeks. To give time to the hair to go through their own unique cycle so that they can be targeted each in turn. Then only will each single hair be treated.
Pros and cons of waxing
Each hair removal method has its pros and cons. Waxing, just like laser hair removal, makes no exception. The point is to know when the benefits outweigh the cons, and vice versa. No point investing in a hair removal method that is inconvenient and that does not work for you.
Pros of waxing
It lasts. Waxing has that sharp advantage over shaving. It lasts much longer. Patients usually wax once a month or every four weeks. Waxing removes both the hair and the root. Therefore, the follicle needs some time to produce a new hair. Because you wax less often than you shave, you also ensure your skin is not damaged. Shaving does make the skin more sensitive.
The hair grows light and thinner. One big advantage of waxing is that repeatedly pulling off the root contributes to weakening the hair follicle. It is also possible that the progressive attack on the follicles eventually leads to permanent hair removal. However, that will take a lot of time. In the meantime, the hair will grow back lighter, thinner and less dense.
It removes dead skin. Waxing does more than removing the hair along with its root. It also removes dead skin and other detritus. Have you ever noticed when you wax after a holiday? How will each stripe of wax also remove a layer of tan skin? Waxing will give the skin a healthy sheen.
Inexpensive… in the short term. Depending on where you go, you can wax at a very low price. It may seem that paying around $100 each month is not much in the short term. The wax used will ultimately change the price but after years of waxing you will have spent a lot of money.
Cons of waxing
It hurts. A huge downside of waxing is of course the pain. How painful is it? Especially around the bikini area? What about when you are on your period and much more sensitive? Waxing pulls hair out of the skin. It is not pleasant, more akin to torture. There, we said it!
Ingrown hairs. Another con of waxing is that it facilitates ingrown hair outbreaks. Waxing pulls the hair in the opposite direction of growth, weakens the follicles and thin the hair. When the hair grows back, it can curl on itself or be unable to pierce the upper layer of the skin, then growing underneath.
Bump and bleeding. The thing with waxing is that it literally pulls the hair from the skin, forcing the root out. Not only does it hurt but it can also lead to bleeding and bumps. Regrowth can also be quite irritating.
Expensive… in the long term. In the short term, waxing may appear to be cheap or at least affordable. However, after years and years of waxing, you will quickly realize how big an investment it was. If you wax each month and spend $100 you will have spent $1,200 in a year and $30,000 after 25 years.
Pros and cons of laser hair removal
Laser hair removal vs waxing would not be complete without laying out both pros and cons of laser hair removal as well. Because it does have both and we must be transparent about it.
Cons of laser hair removal
Big upfront investment. One big argument against laser hair removal is the cost. When you need to pay it upfront before your treatment, you may not be inclined to spend that much money. It is indeed significant. However, remember that you are paying for a year worth of treatment and investing in your skin care.
Adverse reactions. It is possible that laser hair removal produces undesirable side effects. They can include hyperpigmentation, discolored skin, redness, blisters and scarring. Following pre and post-session care guidelines will help avoid those.
Photosensitivity. Laser hair removal is safe but will leave the skin more vulnerable to the sun damage. Whether before or after, it is always better to avoid direct exposure to sunlight. Sun damage includes sunburns, skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
Pros of laser hair removal
It is fast. Laser hair removal is a very fast treatment. The duration of a session will of course depend on the size of the areas you are treating. However, it can take as little as 10 minutes. You can literally do a session on your lunch break. Treatment of the full legs will take 30 to 45 minutes.
It does not hurt. Contrary to the misconception, laser hair removal does not hurt. Or at least, it is nothing compared to waxing. The sensation is akin to a rubber band snapping against the skin. It is quite tolerable.
It removes 95% of your hair. Laser hair removal will reduce hair growth by up to 95%. Up to 5% of your hair may remain but it will be lighter and barely visible. Most patients experience permanent hair removal.
It prevents ingrown hair. What do you need to get ingrown hair? Hair that grows in a curl or stays under the skin. Laser hair removal damages the follicle so that there is no new hair. Therefore, there cannot be ingrown hair.
It is cheap. The upfront investment may seem like a lot. However, in the long term, laser hair removal ends up being very cheap. A treatment of six sessions for the full legs, underarms and bikini front will cost $1,255 at Infinity Laser Spa. It is the same price for one year of waxing. You will wax once a month every year. You will undergo laser hair removal just for one year.
Laser hair removal vs waxing
We are reaching the conclusion of our laser hair removal vs waxing game. We have laid out pros and cons for each method. Who will be the winner? As far as we are concerned, laser hair removal is in for the win. Why? Simply because the benefits outweigh the cons.
If you think about it, the side effects of laser hair removal are very few and easily avoidable. Not so much when it comes to waxing. The cost is another argument. Sure, waxing seems cheaper at the beginning but it is the added cost that will end up into a huge sum. In the end, laser hair removal is much cheaper in the long term and much more efficient.
Indeed, you will be rid of 95% of your hair after your laser treatment. While you would have to wax for years and years before even reaching a 25% growth reduction. Pain is another factor. Laser hair removal is not pleasant nor comfortable but it is not painful. It pinches a bit sure, but it will seem like a walk in the park compared to waxing.
If you compared laser hair removal and waxing, it is clear that laser hair removal is the way to go. It is more efficient, cheaper, more cost-effective, less painful and more convenient. What’s not to love? If you are wondering how you can afford laser hair removal, fret not! We offer discounted packages that will allow you to be hairless at a tiny price!