Pros and Cons of Tweezing, Threading, Waxing, or Shaving Facial Hair

Updated on April 18, 2019
mypleasurefantasy profile image

Angel enjoys self-care and loves to give advice to others about grooming.

There are multiple ways to remove hair without paying a fortune. The most common methods are tweezing, threading, waxing, and shaving. I am going to explain the pros and cons for each one.

With the exception of shaving, I have used all of these methods to remove unwanted hair from my face (which no woman ever wants to admit, but it's reality ladies, so don't be ashamed!). Out of the three, threading was the best investment. I had my facial hair threaded over a period of two months and found amazing results.

But you need to decide for yourself which method will work best. Read on for detailed reviews of each method.

Comparison of Tweezing, Threading, Waxing, and Shaving

Method
Price
Time It Takes for Hair to Grow Back
Is it Painful?
Time for the Procedure
Tweezing
High-end tweezers should cost around $20 to $40, though cheaper ones are available.
Around two to six weeks.
Can be painful since you are pulling hair out from the root.
Can take a while since you are removing individual hairs one by one.
Threading
A session at a salon can cost around $25.
Roughly two weeks.
Can feel painful since multiple hairs are being pulled out.
A full facial threading should take 15 to 20 minutes.
Waxing
Can vary depending on what is being done. Can range from $40 to $100, though it is cheaper if only a small portion like the brows are waxed. Wax for use at home can cost between $15 to $75.
It usually takes two to three weeks for hair to return.
Facial waxing can hurt since the skin on your face is sensitive. Irritation and redness is common.
A facial waxing should generally be around 15 to 20 minutes.
Shaving
It's relatively cheap for a pack of disposable razors. You could shave money over time with a high-end razor.
Hair may grow back as soon as a day or two since shaving only removes hair above the surface of the skin.
Can be painless if done correctly.
Can be very quickly done, especially if not much hair has to be removed.
Soft wax is used on legs, faces, and underarms to remove hair.
Soft wax is used on legs, faces, and underarms to remove hair.

Waxing

Waxing is a quick and cost efficient method of removing unwanted hair, especially on the face. There are two widely used types of wax; hard and soft. Hard wax is used on more sensitive areas, like on the lips of your vagina when getting a Brazilian wax. Soft wax is used on legs, faces, and underarms—areas that can handle more tug and pull. One of the most common ingredients in all waxes is pine rosin, which helps the wax harden and bond not only your skin but to the hair follicles and paper as well. When you go in to get waxed, whether facial or body, you always leave with red areas and occasional bleeding. This redness normally subsides about an hour or two after the waxing. The reason for this is that the wax not only pulls out the hair from the follicles but also takes off the top layer of the skin.

Tips for Waxing

  • Exfoliate before a wax. This will open up hair follicles, which will make hair removal easier and less painful.
  • Wait for hair growth. You should have two to three weeks of hair growth before getting a wax. It is more difficult to remove shorter hair.
  • Pick the right wax for your pain threshhold. If you are really concerned about pain, you can use hard wax for your face.
  • Wash and dry your skin before a waxing. The wax will not cling to any oil or moisture.
  • Get the right temperature for wax. If you are waxing yourself at home, make sure you have heated wax to the the proper temperature. It should ideally be warm. If it's too cold it won't spread, and if it's too hot it will scald.

Pros and Cons of Facial Waxing

Pros
Cons
Quick.
Can be painful and tender the whole day after waxing.
Inexpensive, especially for upper lips and eyebrows.
Hair has to be 1 cm before it can be rewaxed.
Hair grows back finer than before.
Causes redness and sometimes bleeding.
Lasts 6 to 8 weeks.
Some are allergic to wax ingredients.
Can be done easily at home.
May lead to some patches forming on the skin.
Threading eyebrows takes about five minutes and doesn't leave the skin red or swollen.
Threading eyebrows takes about five minutes and doesn't leave the skin red or swollen. | Source

Threading

Threading is rapidly becoming one of the world's best and fastest hair removal methods. This technique, developed in the Middle East, is an ancient method. A cotton thread is pulled along unwanted hair in a twisting motion to trap hair in a mini lasso. The hair is then lifted right out of the follicle. Sound painful? Well, to tell you the truth, if it is your first time, it can be a little painful. It's not that bad. I honestly think waxing hurts more. Threading gets rids of the finest and smallest hairs with ease and doesn't leave the area extremely swollen or red. It also allows for the sharpest eyebrow form and definition, more so than with tweezing and waxing alone. When you draw lines from the arch to each end, in accordance with your eye, they are perfectly aligned.

Tips for Threading

  • Threading should really only be done by an expert. It is recommended that you don't do it yourself (unless you happen to be an expert) since you will likely damage your skin, mess up your brown, and possibly cause an infection.
  • Go into a threading session with clean hands. When you are asked to pull back your skin during a session, any grime and bacteria will come into contact with your skin. This could lead to breakouts, or even an infection. Make sure to wash your hands prior to getting threaded.
  • Take preparation and aftercare seriously. It can be helpful to exfoliate the skin around your brows prior to a session. This can get rid of dead skin and ingrown hairs, which can help create smooth brows. You should avoid touching the threaded area after a session for about 24 hours. This is because your pores are susceptible to irritation since they are now open. Do not put on any makeup and avoid going to places like swimming pools or saunas.

Pros and Cons of Facial Threading

Pros
Con
Hair can be threaded out earlier than with waxing or tweezing.
Can be more painful than waxing.
No redness or swelling.
There can be a long wait in the salon as many don't take appointments.
Inexpensive (about $5 for eyebrows and $30 for full face).
Can lead to breakouts and infection if it's not done correctly.
Quick. Takes 3 to 5 minutes for eyebrows.
Not recommended if you have frequent or heavy acne since the procedure may trigger more acne.
Last 6 to 10 weeks.
May lead to a change in skin pigment.
Hair grows back finer than before.
May be difficult to find a skilled practitioner.
Tweezing is an inexpensive and fast way to keep your eyebrows in shape, if you're good at creating symmetrical lines.
Tweezing is an inexpensive and fast way to keep your eyebrows in shape, if you're good at creating symmetrical lines. | Source

Tweezing

We have all done this, and honestly, it gets rather annoying. The cost is the lowest (the price of a pair of tweezers), but it is extremely time-consuming and can be rather painful, especially if you have never done it before.

If you have never tweezed before, it can be quite an eye-opener. Tweezing takes patience, attention to detail, and some drawing skills. Usually, before you start, you have to first draw the shape you want for your eyebrows with a makeup pencil. From there, you pluck all the unwanted hairs around the drawn line. Now, if you're not symmetrical in your drawing, you will end up with quite odd-looking eyebrows because they won't be even.

There will be times, even for some of the best professional tweezers, when they miss the hair and catch the skin instead. This can be rather painful and you may even break the skin.

Tips for Tweezing Hair

  • Don't use an old pair of tweezers. They can be dull, which will make it difficult to grab hair.
  • Tweeze after a shower. Hot water will open your hair follicles and make it easier to grab hair. You can alternatively use a towel soaked with hot water and apply it to your brows.
  • Grab hair at the base. You can potentially break hair if you pull at the end. This could mean having to do multiple painful tugs. You should also try pulling in the direction that the hair is growing.
  • Use aftercare for irritation. If your skin becomes irritated after tweezing, use some aloe vera for relief.

Pros and Cons of Tweezing Your Eyebrows

Pros
Cons
Very inexpensive.
Time-consuming. Not the ideal method for removing lots of hair.
No appointment necessary.
Hair grows back the same texture within a week.
Ideal method for removing small amounts of unwanted hair and shaping eyebrows.
Difficult to achieve symmetry.
Can easily be done at home.
Can be painful.
Lots of control compared to other methods.
Can lead to ingrown hairs and puckered skin if done incorrectly.
A traditional facial shaving kit.
A traditional facial shaving kit. | Source

Shaving

We have all done it, whether it was our legs or facial hair. Shaving is probably the worst of these solutions, but it is quick.

If you are not careful, shaving can cause razor burn, a red rash along the shaved area. It's also easy to nick or seriously cut yourself. Shaving only cuts the hair above the skin, causing the hair to grow back faster and heavier.

The cost of shaving is basically just the replacement blades. This can run upwards of $15, excluding shaving cream. Blades last three to four weeks before they should be replaced. A dull blade is more likely to cut and cause razor burn than a sharp one.

Tips for Shaving Your Face

  • Use a man's razor. Men's razors are specifically designed for facial hair. They are built to cut through tougher hair and are more durable. This means they have less of a chance of causing irritation.
  • Don't shave during an outbreak. Shaving over acne will potentially cause an infection.
  • Don't use the same razor you use for your legs. Using separate razors is a good way to keep bacteria and dead skin cells away from your face. This will prevent irritation.
  • Use an oil for sensitive skin. Oil can work as a buffer for your skin. This will prevent your skin from turning red.

Pros and Cons of Face Shaving for Women

Pros
Cons
Quick and simple.
Expensive to replace blades regularly if you get a high-end razor.
Painless if done correctly
Only removes hair above the skin. This means you will have to shave frequently.
No strong chemicals are necessary.
Increases likelihood of in-grown hairs.
 
Can lead to cuts and razor burn.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Does the hair grow back darker when it's threaded from the face?

    No. It actually grows back fainter, creating almost a green tinge when it's time go thread again.

  • If each time I wax my lip, the hair will be thinner, will it eventually not grow back?

    That I'm not sure about. In some cases with threading, the hair eventually stops growing, but I'm not sure about waxing.

  • How often can you wax face as a woman?

    It depends on your hair growth. Usually, you can wax every four to six weeks, but in some cases, every two weeks is okay.

  • What do you think about using an electric trimmer for facial hair?

    As a woman, I wouldn't recommend an electric trimmer for hair removal. Especially as it only removes the hair in a similar fashion to a razor, but may not get as close to the skin to have a "hairless" appearance. If your goal is to "trim," for example, your bikini line or genital area, then an electric trimmer will prevent razor bumps and ingrown hairs. However, it won't be as close to the skin, or remove the hair follicle in whole, as the other methods listed.

  • How old should you be to start to waxing your upper lip?

    I would recommend 12-13 years of age for waxing, if and only if, the hair growth is noticeable and is something that bothers the individual.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Epilio 

      6 months ago

      Hi buddy i am working on it and your tips are really good keep going

    • profile image

      Jas 

      11 months ago

      Very helpful

    • profile image

      Jen 

      20 months ago

      Loved the summary of pros and cons! Helped outline the benefits of each and allowed me to choose what is best for me. Super helpful info!

    • profile image

      Alisha 

      2 years ago

      Your blog is not suggesting which is the best one there should be clarity ...it is the most common plm faced nowdays i pluck chin hairs but it has lead to more hair growth i think trimming excess hairs on chin is better

    • profile image

      Anto 

      2 years ago

      Hi, while it's a myth, that it grows back darker, however it's curious how our body hair seems to rest at an average length only to grow back when shaved or otherwise cut and they all try to reach back to their old length, to stop at it again, cool.

    • profile image

      Maryanne 

      2 years ago

      I did threading and out of all the options i used, it the best facial hair removal i used. I will never wax or shave my face again. On my body the shaving and waxing works fine. My confidence has improved and no longer the bearded lady.

    • profile image

      Jen 

      2 years ago

      first time eyebrow threading today, looks great, hurt a little bit but recovered fast; going for full face next time even though I know it will hurt. threading is a great solution! thanks for the summary here.

    • profile image

      Laine Joyce 

      2 years ago

      I had a full face threading for the first time. It really did hurt alot - but once it was done, I think it is totally worth it.

      However, my face really itches and seemed a little swollen. But that is understandable. I wish they had some kind of face number before the threading.

      But I will do it again when the time comes.

    • profile image

      Linda Samuelson 

      2 years ago

      If waxing (pulling out hair by the root) causes the hair to gradually reduce in 6-8 weeks, explain the logic that pulling hair out by the root with tweezers causes it to come back exactly the same in a week?

    • profile image

      Anto 

      2 years ago

      Shaving doesn't make your hair grow back thicker or darker. What's best is subjective, if you don't mind the upkeep but want much less pain and hassle, shaving is best. Waxing is more long lasting but it hair has to be a mile long :).

    • profile image

      Maureen 

      2 years ago

      Friday was my first eyebrows threading, I will never go back to tweezing And Waxing. Threading is neat and it takes less than 5 minutes and I paid 25 ZAR

    • profile image

      April 

      2 years ago

      Thank you buddy send message you're a good person to be a woman feel good makes me happy waxing is phenibut one day we're pretty dress and so beautiful you don't I love to put makeup on beautiful makeup

    • profile image

      kiran 

      3 years ago

      does tweezing leads to permerent loss of hairs

    • profile image

      7768868085 

      3 years ago

      hiii i tweezed my upper lips does it grow back same and how long does it takes to grow back please explain in detail

    • profile image

      Patricia 

      3 years ago

      Have tried waxing and threading my top lip etc but find threading is not as painful as waxing and think the results are better and last longer

    • profile image

      Logan 

      3 years ago

      yes you people are correct in that shaving does not make the hair grow back thicker but the hair appears to be thicker because when you shave the hair you are creating a blunt end on the hair and someone can see the blunt end better than a non-shaved thin end, so this is why it appears to grow back thicker

    • profile image

      Wendy 

      3 years ago

      just wanted to say that shaving does not make hair grow faster or thicker or darker. This is an old wives tale and it had been scientifically disproven. Might wanna get your facts straight.

    • Denis Lubojanski profile image

      Denis Lubojanski 

      3 years ago from 7 Station Street, London

      Its a bit weird to see that a lady is shaving her face! Holy shit. But though, when it is necessary, it must be done. Okay ladies! welcome to shaving world!

    • profile image

      brandon 

      4 years ago

      "Okay ladies?" Weirdly didn't feel like reading it after those two words, maybe i'm too sensitive haha

    • profile image

      Fran 

      4 years ago

      Shaving does not make your hair grow back thicker and darker, that's an old wife's tale! I've been shaving my face for 25 years so I think I'm a good judge. Shaving actually exfoliates your skin by removing the dead skin, it makes your skin look more youthful! Razor's and shaving cream will only cost you around $20.00 every 3 months. Shaving is the quickest, easiest & best for your skin. Shave before moisturizing and make up application.

    • profile image

      tchapa 

      4 years ago

      Please stop saying that shaving causes hair to grow back heavier. If that were true, all the men would be really hairy ape like men. Hair that is shaved off is dead. Shaving in no way affects the folicle growing beneath the skin. Shaving is required more often because you are only removing the top portion (the end) of the hair, whereas other treatments remove the folicle.

    • mypleasurefantasy profile imageAUTHOR

      Angel Whisenant 

      7 years ago from Virginia Beach

      I'm not sure why your face reacted the way it did....mine had a similar reaction however I used witchhazel and the bumps went down within 48 hours. You may have sensitive skin.

    • profile image

      Diane 

      7 years ago

      I had threading done last night for the first time. I had my entire face

      done. I thought it was extremely painful. I can't imagine going back for another treatment. Today my face is covered with red bumps like acne, and although it has gotten better throughout the day, 24 hours later I can still see the redness & blotches. I have my upper lip waxed regularly so I am used to waxing. I also wax my legs during the summer and have never had a problem with that. Any idea why my

      face reacted the way it did? I'm sure I'll like the feel & look of my

      face after the bumps go down. Could age have anything to do with it?

      I am 63 but my skin is used to the sun, etc.

    • profile image

      mandie 

      7 years ago

      I still like waxing its super quick lasts and my skin feels softer

    • profile image

      Taylor Joyce 

      7 years ago

      I'm only 14 and I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time ! I got them done at a local mall and they turned out AMAZING ! At first , it hurt just a little but after a minute , I got used to it and it was a breeze ! It only took about 5 minutes , maybe shorter , to do both eyebrows and it only cost me $8 ! Plus , at the end , there was no pain -- nothing ! I highly recommend threading , its quick and easy , and if you're used to it , pain free ! I loved getting my eyebrows threaded and I will get them done again !

    • profile image

      Llrauntie7 

      7 years ago

      I have been having my eyebrows and lip threaded for years, although painful the first time once you learn to follow the techniques they recommend, holding your skin taught in the area they are working, it's a breeze and gives amazing results! I took the plunge today after buying a super powered magnifying mirror and discovering hair growth in new areas I'm sure another factor in my 50+ age had my entire face done! Although it hurt, I was told next time won't hurt as bad, the results were awesome and the difference in how makeup looks is incredible! You too will be amazed at the results!

    • profile image

      melazerie 

      7 years ago

      Threading works the best for me and honestly it doesn't hurt as much as waxing. Good tips :)

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 

      7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great tips! I like threading. It is easy to learn. I have learned it by watching some videos online.voted up!

    • profile image

      clothes for baby girls 

      8 years ago

      This is a good tips as a mom like me! love it.

    • profile image

      breathe waxing kidderminster 

      8 years ago

      This is a lovely summary that explains the options very well. One point , it is worth noting when you start waxing you will need to book your waxing hair removal appointments a little more frequently until you have established a routine. You will workup to 4-6 weeks but at first maybe 2-3 weeks.

      thank you

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