Smart Hair Removal: Wax vs. Laser


In life, one is daily bombarded with a series of choices. Those choices range from the significant (natural birth vs. C-section) to the nonsensical (boxers vs. briefs). The world of beauty and cosmetics has produced yet one more choice for the consumer to consider in the all-important arena of hair removal: waxing vs. laser. Just like with any major decision in life, one should do his or her due diligence in weighing the positives and negatives of each choice before ultimately settling on a selection. Let us then consider some of the pros and cons of both waxing and laser hair removal before coming to a definitive conclusion. But be sure to consult your dermatologist first.

Strengths and weaknesses of laser hair removal

First, the major benefit of laser hair removal is its permanence. Once the entire process is completed, one never has to worry about treating unsightly follicles again. However, a chief detriment to the laser procedure is the cost. Most laser removal surgeries cost hundreds to thousands of dollars and are not covered by major healthcare providers, meaning a major out-of-pocket expense for convenient cosmetics. Also, when one factors into the equation the fact that there is no laser treatment available on the market that is a “one size fits all” panacea for all skin types and hair colors and the fact that laser hair removal often requires multiple sessions to complete, the prospect of shelling out so much cash for not-so-certain results becomes an increasingly less appealing option.

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Nevertheless, if a consumer examines laser hair removal, with all its pros and cons, and says, “I still have to have it,” he or she should consult with a trained doctor, cosmetologist, or laser technician to inquire about the different types of lasers used for the procedure. Some lasers like the Alexandrite Laser use shorter wavelengths that penetrate the skin, allowing for swift treatment of large surface areas. Other lasers use longer wavelengths for deeper penetration into the skin like the Diode Laser. Yet others such as the Nd:YAG (Neodymium-yttrium-aluminium-garnet) target the deeper skin tissues, thus keeping the outer layers of skin unscathed. And only a select few perform like the impressive Alma Soprano, incorporating uniform dispensation of concentrated light energy in a sweeping technique to guarantee no skin surfaces are left unshorn. Each laser will potentially provide varying results dependent upon one’s skin tone and hair color; thus, it is imperative that one asks the appropriate questions about each laser technology before finalizing the decision.

Strengths and weaknesses of waxing

Now, we shall consider the strengths and weaknesses of waxing. The primary positive of waxing in favor of laser treatment is affordability. Whether one chooses to have the waxing done professionally or whether one decides to take home a do-it-yourself waxing kit, this option is much friendlier to one’s purse, wallet, or money clip than laser technology. Another benefit of waxing is personal control. The timing, speed, and environment of the procedure is much more controllable for the consumer with the waxing option.

The key and most obvious negative to waxing is pain. Though there is pain potential to both waxing and laser removal, the pain of waxing is more immediate and jarring. Just the thought a spatula saturated with hot, melted wax being applied to a tuft of one’s hair before being rapidly, forcibly, and mercilessly removed by a strip of unforgiving paper leaves many consumers faint of heart. Likewise, given the fact that customers must permit their unpleasant hair to grow to a certain, noticeable length before the waxing can commence and the fact waxing is by no means a permanent solution to their hairy dilemma, many choose to forego the option altogether. They rationalize that the relative affordability of waxing is not worth the repetition of such a painful process every four to six weeks.

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All things considered, waxing appears to be the more favorable option for the overwhelming majority of buyers. Though neither process is perfect or painless, waxing is far more affordable and requires far less inquiry and personal customization for favorable results. There is too much fluctuation in results between various skin tones, hair colors, and hair textures in laser hair removal for it to receive an unconditional endorsement as a whole. There are far too many variables at play than can adversely affect the results of any laser treatment; and for the kind of money that one of those procedures costs, consumers should have complete confidence in the reliability of the product.