Leg waxing vs. shaving

Read on for a quick overview of the pros and cons of both shaving and waxing for hair removal.

Waxing or shaving? This is the question before us. As warm weather descends, thoughts turn naturally to summer. And what do thoughts of summer consist of? Beaches, bike riding walking in the park or at the shore. In all of these there is one common denominator. An increase of shorter, looser, and lighter clothing naturally exposes more skin, and (alas!) more body hair. In winter, one may get away with a little flexibility in the leg-shaving department, but spring is here, and all eyes will (hopefully!) be upon you.

So, now that the question of why and when to undertake hair removal has been resolved, let us now move on to our methods. For the purpose of this article, we will focus upon the hair removal involving the leg and bikini area.

Waxing is a process in which hot wax is prepared by melting down special wax for this exact purpose (found in most pharmacies), applying the wax to an area of the body containing unwanted body hair, covering said hot wax with a piece of gauze or cotton covering, and whisking the hair off the body by pulling it off with the gauze. Sounds simple enough, right? One wonders what all the fuss is about, when the process sounds so cut and dried. Let's take a more objective look.


Many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of a stranger doing something as intimate as removing their body hair. A recent informal survey taken among people in their thirties showed that most people preferred that very little conversation take place during their waxing sessions. "Somehow, it's easier when it's impersonal", one woman remarked. Another woman observed that being serviced by members of the opposite sex was slightly embarrassing, especially when removing the hair in the bikini area, or on the buttocks. One young man felt that waxing carried a stigma of femininity. However, he endured it, since he had never been properly taught to shave his own legs, and felt that his excessive body hair was unattractive. Interestingly, not many men will admit to having their legs waxed, while a conversation with a local salon owner shows that the opposite is true. "The guys love it the most", he stated, adding that they were most appreciative, and much better tippers, according to his workers. "We have guys who make standing monthly appointments with specific waxers", he reported, "They have their favorites, and work it so they get serviced when the place is quiet, like when school gets out at three." "And," he added, "It's not just legs they're getting waxed. Eyebrows, backs, even armpits and chest hair. It all goes, and they love it!" American women, on the other hand, have been raised in a culture which regards hair removal as a requirement for acceptance in society. If a woman does not remove her body hair, she is often looked upon as a social outcast. Women are taught from an early age to endure the pain and sting of eyebrow plucking as well as leg and biking shaving and waxing.

Shaving is a process in which a razor blade or an electric shaver is used to remove unwanted hair. While using a razor shaver, a cream is applied to the area first to moisturize the skin, and then the hair is removed by carefully applying pressure and gliding the razor over the hair to remove it from the skin. This is another process that sounds easy enough, though in practice, many people are taught from a young age, or as soon as the first hairs begin to sprout. The onset of adolescence brings with it not only responsibility and romance, but a renewed interest in personal hygiene. None of the people used in out informal poll admits to enjoying overly hairy partners. Leg shaving is a practice which requires skill, precision, and safety. Extreme care must be practiced in the removal of hair from the bikini area, as it is highly sensitive and easily irritated. The use of shaving cream or gel is highly recommended, as is a new razor or blade (if the blade is replaceable). Most people prefer to shave in the bathroom, either with one leg up on either the tub or toilet, or else in the shower, so that the hair is easily discarded down the drain. When shaving the bikini area, it is preferable to shave against the direction in which the hair is growing, giving a closer shave. It should be noted that, with the growth of new hair in the region, some itching may occur when short hairs or stubble appears. Either repeated shaving in these "╦ťfaster growing' areas, or else a little sprinkle of talcum powder will take care of this problem. Shaving, while giving one more control and privacy, is apt to be less precise than waxing, and is limited to only those areas which one can see and reach.

Whichever method you choose, be sure and practice safe hygiene with both razors in your home, and waxers in your neighborhood shop. Often, a salon will offer personal equipment, for a fee. Rarely will a professional allow a customer to furnish their own tools, but doesn't have to be expensive to be sanitary. Disposable razors work just fine, and the purchase of a personal shaver might be made online, where one may compare prices. Waxes tend to keep your legs hairless for longer, since the root of the hair follicle is removed with the waxing method, but for many, the sacrifice of their modesty is too great to negotiate.

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