Hair & Beauty

Hair Off | Shaving vs Waxing vs Laser

By Zo Zhou
10th Sep 2015

You may have stuck with your trusty razor for years, but is it really the best tool for the job? If you’ve ever experienced the horrors that are mismatched brows, cringed at an ingrown hair, or wondered what looked odd about that totally hairless forearm—it’s okay. We’ve got your back.  

With the weather warming up, we weigh up three of the most popular routes to being bare-skin ready. From the classic art of shaving, to having a pro take care of things at the best waxing salons in Sydney, here are the hair removal tips you wish someone had told you about earlier.


Best for: Legs and underarms

Pros: Cheap, quick and you can do it yourself.

Cons: You have to do this almost every day, and it means stubble (ew).

Pro tips

Shaving again so soon? To get an extra bit of growth out, use shaving cream and shave downwards in the direction of the hair. Going against the grain (only after you shave down), will result in a closer shave but increases the changes of cuts and irritation. If you want to cut down on irritation even more, pick a razor with a lubricating bar on it.

Hair removal Sugaring

Waxing & sugaring

Best for: All areas, especially brows and bikini

Pros: Longer lasting and gives you smoother result than shaving.

Cons: Can be a little (or a lot) painful depending on your threshold.

Pro tips

If traditional waxes have sent you screaming in the past[ZZ2] , sugaring might be for you. It’s not totally painless, but it does tend to be less irritating, especially for those with sensitive skin.  


If you’re brave enough to do your own bikini line, make sure your hair is long enough, or it’ll just be a very painstaking (and painful) process! You want the hairs to be half a centimetre if you have fine hair, or a full centimetre for coarser hair.

For underarms, choosing a stripless wax will keep stubble away for a little longer.

Pop a painkiller an hour before waxing, and keep the wine at bay (which will undo all the work of your painkiller)!

Avoid exfoliating a week before waxing to minimise pain.


Work in small sections to minimise pain.

Have some tweezers on hand to remove those stray hairs that escaped the wax first time round.


Take particular care cleaning your skin after (some use tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties), as those empty pores can be a magnet for infections.

Avoid public pools or spas for 24 hours afterwards.

Same goes with heavy exercising, as the sweat may irritate the skin.

Keep away from exfoliating products for at least 72 hours after your wax.

Best waxing salons in Sydney

  • Aleisha Jane Beauty in Surry Hills is an award winning salon and are known especially for their Brazilian services.
  • Esstudio in Chippendale are super friendly (and they have a resident dog!). More relaxing = less pain!
  • Kristen Fisher Eyebrows are the best in the biz when it comes to your brows.
  • Head here if you’re looking for more of the best Brazilian waxes in Sydney. If your brows need some love, get your brow game on point here.

Hair Removal Sydney

Laser & IPL

Best for: Underarms, lip, and forearms

Pros: Permanently reduced hair growth and smooooooth skin! IPL is also used for treating other skin issues, and is great for places you don’t want to be unnaturally hair-free (eg. forearms).

Cons: The process takes regular commitment. Plus it can hurt a little.

Pro tips

While IPL and Laser won’t necessarily remove your hair forever, they do help permanently reduce growth. The most important factor to getting your money’s worth is to find an experienced operator working under medical supervision, because otherwise you do risk getting burnt (both your skin and your savings!). Here’s our guide to getting the most out of IPL.

Avoid tanning after IPL—the pigments will likely increase complications. Yikes!

Top IPL salon pick in Sydney

  • Thaspa are in the CBD are professionally trained in using IPL for both hair removal and fixes for skin issues like broken capillaries. Plus, they’re handily located, and make appointments super convenient for you.

General tips

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Because the only thing worse than stubbly legs are scaly ones.

Sunscreen if you’re hitting the beach right after shaving or waxing. This is because your skin will have received a little bit of exfoliation. You don’t want to make that shiny new skin sad straight away, do you? With IPL, you really want to avoid the sun altogether.

Always go to a pro (except for shaving, as you’re doing it yourself). This is especially true if you’re trying something for the first time. Make sure the salon has good reviews and good hygiene. Don’t be that  bad wax or IPL story!

Image credit: Seafolly, Daniel Maddock at Brisbane's Inspiring Beauty MediSpa & Urban Retreat, Nicola Sevitt at ThaSpa 

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