Shaving Vs Laser Hair Removal - everything you need to know
When it comes to body hair removal there are many different methods from waxing and plucking to laser hair removal, electrolysis and the traditional art of shaving.
What hair removal method is right for you?
In this blog article, we deep dive into two of the most popular methods for removing unwanted body hair - shaving for women and laser hair removal. We tackle the basics of each subject, bring you the pros and cons of both shaving for women and laser hair removal, and answer questions like 'Can you get laser hair removal while pregnant' and 'Is shaving the best method for ladies with sensitive skin'. This article is designed to help you determine which hair removal option is best for your skin type and personal care routine.
How does shaving work?
Shaving is a common method of hair removal that involves using a razor to cut the hair from the skin's surface. It is a quick and convenient way to achieve smooth, hair-free skin and can be done on various parts of the body, including the legs, underarms, and bikini area. The process typically involves wetting the skin, applying shaving cream or gel to create a smooth surface, and then using a razor to gently glide over the skin, removing the hair. Shaving is popular among women for its accessibility and affordability. However, it's important to note that shaving only removes hair temporarily, as it doesn't target the hair follicles. As a result, hair regrowth occurs relatively quickly, and regular shaving may be necessary to maintain the desired smoothness.
The benefits of shaving for women
Shaving is easy:
Shaving is one of the most popular methods of body hair removal and has been for centuries. It’s a simple, easy and cost-effective way to keep unwanted body hair under control when you choose. You don't have to search around for a clinic, wait for an appointment, spend hours of time on laser hair removal or pay a hefty sum for a treatment that may or may not work.
You're always in control of your hair removal routine:
Traditionally, shaving hasn't been associated with the term 'fun.' But times are changing, and with the right choice of razor, you can elevate your shave care routine to become an integral and enjoyable part of your skincare regime. You're always in control of how and when you want to remove your body hair.
Quick hair removal when you need it:
One of the major benefits of choosing to shave over laser hair removal is that it's a super quick way to rid unwanted body hair in any area you desire. If you're using a high-quality women's razor, that unwanted underarm fuzz, leg stubble or unruly hair around your bikini line can be gone in a matter of seconds.
The advantage of privacy:
Because there's no need for any special equipment, training or professional services, you can shave when you like from the comfort of your own bathroom. If you're someone who likes to keep your body hair sitch private, then shaving is a great option.
Shaving can save you money:
Shaving is one of the most affordable hair removal methods available. It’s a great choice if you're on a tight budget, but it's also a fabulous option for those of you who don't mind spending a little more on a quality razor that can go for longer. You can easily purchase your razor from your local supermarket or sign-up to receive the convenience and advantages of a women's razor subscription like Make My Shave.
No pain or discomfort:
Unlike other body hair removal methods such as waxing, epilation or laser hair removal, shaving is known to cause far less, if any, pain or discomfort. However, this does depend on your choice of razor, the freshness of your razor blades, and your skin type.
Unlike laser hair removal, which can cause some redness and swelling after treatment, shaving has zero downtime. This means you can go about your day or night as normal, without having to worry about any side effects.
Despite the benefits of shaving for women, there are naturally some drawbacks you should consider before making a decision about what body hair removal method is the best for you. These include:
Shaving exclusively targets hair on the skin's surface, necessitating regular upkeep for consistently smooth skin. Depending on individual factors like hair thickness and growth rate, the frequency of shaving may vary. Some women may find it necessary to shave daily or every other day, which can be time-consuming. Regardless of your hair type, the most crucial aspect is how you feel about your grooming routine and overall confidence.
Razor burn is a common and very normal side effect that can leave your skin feeling irritated and itchy after shaving. One of the primary causes of razor burn is shaving too frequently, as it doesn't give your skin enough time to recover between shaves. There are ways to prevent razor burn such as adjusting your shaving routine to allow for longer intervals between sessions. Additionally, using a dull razor can contribute to irritation. It's essential to regularly replace your blades to ensure a smooth and comfortable shave. By being mindful of your shaving frequency and maintaining sharp blades, you can easily minimise the risk of razor burn and enjoy a more enjoyable shaving experience.
Like razor burn, ingrown hairs can be a common concern when it comes to shaving, as hair can sometimes get trapped beneath the skin and grow back inward, leading to irritation and discomfort. To prevent ingrown hairs, it's important to prepare your skin before shaving by exfoliating gently to remove any dead skin cells and unclog the pores. Using a sharp razor and shaving in the direction of hair growth can also help minimise the risk. If you do experience ingrown hairs, resist the urge to pick or scratch them, as this can worsen the irritation. Instead, gently exfoliate the affected area and consider using products specifically designed to prevent and treat ingrown hairs.
How does laser hair removal work?
Laser hair removal is a process that targets the hair follicles with concentrated beams of light. The pigment in the hair follicles absorbs the light energy, which is then converted into heat. This heat damages the follicles, inhibiting future hair growth.
During a laser hair removal session, a handheld device is used to deliver the laser pulses to the desired treatment areas. The specific wavelength and intensity of the laser can be adjusted based on individual needs and hair types. The surrounding skin is usually protected with a cooling gel or device to minimise discomfort and protect the skin's surface. Laser hair removal is generally considered a safe procedure when performed by trained professionals. However, it's important to consult with a qualified provider and discuss any potential risks or side effects, which may include temporary skin irritation, redness, or pigment changes.
The benefits of Laser hair removal
Laser hair removal pros:
Laser hair removal targets the hair follicles to inhibit future hair growth. While multiple sessions are usually required for optimal results, laser hair removal can lead to a significant reduction in hair growth. The exact duration of the results can vary depending on factors such as the individual's hair type, skin colour, and hormonal changes.
Unlike shaving or waxing, which only offer temporary hair removal and need to be done frequently to keep hair at bay, laser hair removal requires minimal maintenance. Although, depending on skin and hair growth factors, you may need touch-up treatments once or twice a year to maintain the results.
Generally a safe procedure:
Laser hair removal is generally considered safe when performed by trained professionals and using appropriate, approved equipment. The procedure has been widely used for many years and has a proven track record of safety and effectiveness. However, it's important to note that like any medical or cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks and side effects associated with laser hair removal. Common side effects include temporary skin redness, swelling, and mild discomfort during and after the treatment.
To minimise risks and ensure safety, it is crucial to choose a reputable and experienced provider who uses FDA-approved lasers and follows proper safety protocols.
If you are considering laser hair removal, here are some of the additional things to consider.
Laser hair removal cons:
Can be painful:
The level of discomfort experienced during laser hair removal can vary depending on individual sensitivity, the treatment area, and the specific laser technology used. While some people may describe the sensation as mildly uncomfortable or akin to the snapping of a rubber band against the skin, others may experience more significant discomfort.
To help manage any potential discomfort, cooling gels or devices may be used before, during, or after the procedure to soothe the skin.
It's important to note that pain tolerance varies among individuals, and what may be tolerable for one person may be different for another. If you have concerns about the potential discomfort of laser hair removal, it's advisable to discuss this with a qualified professional who can provide more specific information based on your unique circumstances.
Ultimately, while laser hair removal is generally well-tolerated by most individuals, it's important to have realistic expectations and understand that some level of sensation or discomfort may be experienced during the treatment.
The cost of laser hair removal in Australia can vary depending on various factors such as the treatment area, the number of sessions required and the provider's expertise. Generally, laser hair removal treatments can be relatively expensive compared to other hair removal methods such as shaving, but it can also be considered a long-term investment.
The cost of laser hair removal is typically determined based on the size of the treatment area. Costs can range from as little as $75 per session to $700 per session, depending on the area required. Smaller areas like the upper lip or underarms may cost less compared to a larger area like the legs.
Additionally, multiple sessions are usually required to achieve the desired results, which can further contribute to the overall cost.
Keep in mind that while cost is an important factor to consider, it's equally important to prioritise the reputation, expertise, and safety of the provider to ensure a successful and satisfactory treatment outcome.
While laser hair removal is generally considered safe, there can be some potential side effects that may include temporary redness, swelling, and mild skin irritation in the treated area. Some individuals may also experience temporary pigment changes, such as darkening or lightening of the skin, which typically resolve on their own over time.
In rare cases, more severe side effects may occur, including blistering, scarring, or changes in skin texture.
To minimise the risk of side effects, it's important to follow the pre- and post-treatment instructions provided by the laser hair removal professional. This may include avoiding sun exposure before and after treatment, avoiding certain skincare products or treatments, and protecting the treated area from excessive heat or friction.
It's also worth noting that laser hair removal may not be suitable for everyone, particularly individuals with certain medical conditions, skin sensitivities, or specific hair and skin types. A consultation with a qualified professional can help determine if laser hair removal is a suitable option for you and address any concerns or potential risks.
It’s important to note that the laser may cause minor side effects immediately after the procedure. Skin irritation and pigmentation changes are among the most common and dermatologists recommend protecting your skin from the sun after treatment.
You may still have to shave:
During the course of laser hair removal treatment, you may still need to shave the treated area in between sessions. This is because the laser targets and disables hair follicles in the active growth phase, but not all hairs are in this phase at the same time.
Even after your treatments have finished there may still be areas where shaving is required.
Answering Frequently Asked Questions:
Can you get laser hair removal while pregnant?
It is generally recommended to avoid undergoing laser hair removal treatments while pregnant. Although there is limited research on the safety of laser hair removal during pregnancy, it is considered a precautionary measure to prioritize the well-being of both the mother and the developing baby.
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can affect hair growth, and the skin can become more sensitive and prone to pigmentation changes. Additionally, the potential risk of the laser energy reaching the uterus or affecting fetal development is a concern. As a result, many laser hair removal practitioners prefer to postpone treatments until after pregnancy and breastfeeding.
If you are considering laser hair removal while pregnant, it's important to consult your healthcare provider and a qualified laser hair removal specialist for personalised advice based on your specific circumstances. They can provide you with the most accurate information and guidance regarding the safety and suitability of laser hair removal during pregnancy.
Is shaving the best method for ladies with sensitive skin?
Shaving can be a suitable hair removal method for ladies with sensitive skin, but if your skin is extremely sensitive it may require some additional care and precautions. To protect your skin during the shaving experience, recommendations include using a sharp razor blade, applying a moisturising shaving gel or lather to your skin to create a protective barrier between the razor and your skin and moisturising after shaving.
You may also find it beneficial to explore different types of razors including women's razors with moisturising lubrication cushions and multiple blades such as Make My Shave.
Consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional can also provide personalised recommendations for your specific skin concerns.
Do you have any further tips on laser hair removal?
If you're looking for further advice on the side effects of laser hair removal, check out this article by Healthline.
Whether you go for the razor or opt for laser hair removal, we hope this article assists your journey.
What's the best razor for women?
If you’re looking for the best women’s razor in Australia, don’t forget to check out the Make My Shave Starter Kit.