Laser vs. Waxing vs. Shaving – who’s the real winner?

by Laser Clinics Team on April 22, 2024

Laser vs. Waxing vs. Shaving – who’s the real winner?
Laser Hair Removal vs. Waxing vs. Shaving At A Glance
Long-term results ✔️
Immediate ✔️ ✔️
Precision ✔️ ✔️ ✔️
Pain/discomfort Medium Low High
Risk of ingrown hairs ✔️ ✔️
Frequent maintenance needed ✔️ ✔️
Long-term cost effectiveness ✔️
Skin irritation Low High Medium
Suitable for sensitive skin ✔️
Time-saving ✔️

Options seem endless in the battle for smooth, hair-free skin, and choosing the proper hair removal method can be as frustrating as the stubble that reappears all too quickly. 

Each method comes with its own set of promises and pitfalls, from the precision and longevity of Laser Hair Removal to the immediate results of shaving and the thoroughness of waxing.

Laser vs. waxing vs. shaving – which one wins? We weigh up the pros and cons of each hair removal method in this guide.  

Laser Hair Removal: What It Is And How It Works

Laser Hair Removal is a sophisticated approach to eliminating unwanted hair, relying heavily on the interaction between light properties and the skin’s optical characteristics.

Laser Hair Removal operates on the principle that light, when directed into the hair shaft and bulb is absorbed by the melanin, creating heat. This heat is crucial, as it modifies the hair follicle and prevents future growth.

Successful Laser Hair Removal hinges on several factors, like the energy level, wavelength, pulse duration, and laser spot diameter. 

The Doctor calibrates these factors to ensure the treatment is safe and effective. But on average, the hair in treated areas falls out within 2-3 weeks, with individuals experiencing minimal pain.



  • Long-Term Results: After completing the recommended sessions, many individuals experience a significant, long-term reduction in hair growth.
  • Precise: The laser can remove dark, coarse hairs without damaging the surrounding area.
  • Quick: A pulse lasts a fraction of a second and can treat many hairs all at once. Small areas like the upper lip can be treated in less than a minute, and large areas, like the back or legs, may take up to an hour.
  • Predictable: Most patients see permanent hair loss after an average of 8 to 10 sessions.
  • Minimal Side Effects: Laser Hair Removal has minimal side effects, like temporary redness. These tend to go away after 1-3 days.
  • Cost-Effective: Over time, laser hair removal can be more cost-effective compared to the ongoing expenses of alternative hair removal methods like waxing, shaving, or depilatory creams.
  • Time-Savings: Eliminates the need for daily shaving or monthly waxing.

Laser is optimal for long-term hair reduction and removal. Laser hair removal does not damage the dermis. It's a safe method even for those with sensitive skin.



  • High Upfront Cost: Laser Hair Removal may have a higher upfront cost than other methods, but its positive long-term benefits make it cost-effective.
  • Multiple Sessions Needed: Effective results require several sessions, typically spaced weeks apart, which can be time-consuming.
  • Skin Reactions: Some people may experience redness, irritation, or slight swelling in the treated area, though these side effects are usually temporary.
  • Varying Effectiveness On Certain Hair Types: Laser hair removal is less effective on light-coloured hair (blonde, grey, red) because the laser targets the hair's melanin (pigment).
  • Requires Patience: Patience is necessary, as it can take several weeks after a session to observe the full effects.

If you’re worried about these cons, especially the temporary redness and pain, Laser Clinics Australia’s Laser Therapists offer  Laser Aid post-treatment to remove heat from the skin. We also use an advanced cooling system to maintain optimum comfort levels.

Further, we tailor each session to the hair type, ensuring the method is as effective for them as for others. 


Average Cost Of Laser Hair Removal

Prices can start at $10, depending on the treatment area, with an average of 8-10 treatments for optimum results. Several treatments are recommended to capture the hair follicles at different hair growth cycle stages.



How It Works: 

Hot wax is applied to the treatment area and removed in the opposite direction of the hair growth, pulling hairs out from the root. *1, 2 ,3 hold your breath and think good thoughts*.  



  • Immediate Results: Waxing offers instant gratification as hair is removed right away.
  • Exfoliation: In addition to removing unwanted hair, waxing acts as an exfoliating treatment, stripping away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin
  • Suitable For Most Areas: It’s versatile enough to remove hair on legs, arms, bikini line, face, or underarms.
  • No Risk Of Laser Burns: Waxing eliminates the risk of burns associated with lasers.

Waxing offers temporary hair removal from the root and the effects last for about 3 weeks. While the results are far longer than shaving, it's nowhere near as effective as Laser Hair Removal.



  • Temporary Results: The results are not permanent. Hair starts regrowing within 3 to 6 weeks.
  • Can Be Moderately Painful: Pulling hair from the root can be painful, especially in sensitive areas. It can be more painful than shaving and Laser Hair Removal.
  • Ingrown Hairs: Waxing may lead to ingrown hairs, especially for those with curly or coarse hair types. This may lead to irritation, redness, and even infection.
  • Needs Hair Growth To Be Effective: Wax requires a few millimetres of hair to adhere to, for it to effectively grip and remove hair. This means tolerating some hair growth between sessions
  • Time-Consuming: You’ll need regular appointments every few weeks, and this can add up in time spent.

While waxing offers a quick fix for unwanted hair, it is temporary and painful. Further, the maintenance it requires highlights the advantages of Laser Hair Removal for a longer-lasting and less painful solution.


Average Cost Of Waxing:

It ranges anywhere from $35-80 for salon waxing, depending on the areas waxed and your salon of choice. Waxing costs really add up over time, particularly when compared to the permanency of laser hair removal. 



How It Works: 

Shaving removes hair at the surface by cutting it off with a razor. 



  • Immediate Results: Shaving delivers instant smoothness, as you can remove hair in a few minutes or even seconds.
  • Convenient: You don’t need to set an appointment or visit a salon. As long as you have a razor and some shaving cream or gel, you’re all set.
  • Cheap: Unlike waxing or Laser Hair Removal, shaving requires cheap materials and is an economical way to remove hair.
  • No Waiting Period For Hair Growth: Unlike waxing, you don’t need to wait for your hair to reach a certain length before removal. 
  • Flexible: You can decide when and how often to shave. You have full control over your hair removal routine.

It’s clear that shaving offers fast results and is relatively inexpensive than waxing or Laser Hair Removal. But weighing its benefits against the downsides is also important. 

Shaving can be the most irritating and temporary method of hair removal out of all the three.



  • Temporary Results: Regrowth happens immediately - the minute you put down the razor, that hair is growing back! 
  • Risk Of Cuts And Nicks: Using a razor can easily result in cuts, nicks, and razor burns, particularly in sensitive areas.
  • Skin Irritation: Shaving can cause irritation, dryness, and discomfort, especially for those with sensitive skin, due to the abrasive action of the razor against the skin's surface.
  • Ingrown Hairs: Shaved hair can sometimes grow back into the skin, leading to ingrown hairs.
  • Frequent Maintenance: Shaving must be done regularly to maintain smooth skin. This is time-consuming and hassling over the long term.
  • Can Lead To Darker And Thicker Appearance Of Regrowth: The blunt ends of hair that result in post-shaving can give the appearance of darker and thicker hair.

Shaving may be quick and convenient, but its drawbacks greatly outweigh its benefits. At this point, switching to Laser Hair Removal can be more cost-effective despite the higher initial cost.


Average Cost Of Shaving: 

Razors and shaving cream can be purchased at most supermarkets and pharmacies for around $20-$30, depending on the brand.

If you’re ready to give Laser Hair Removal a go then find your nearest clinic now. We are Australia's largest team of experienced Laser Hair Removal professionals.

Experience the Science of Feeling Good with our treatments designed to make you feel confident in and out.

Book your free consultation and join the thousands of Australians who are already loving their laser treatments!