Shaving Vs Sugaring: Which One Should You Choose?

Learn about sugaring and shaving as methods of hair removal for women.

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Discover the differences, pros, and cons of each technique, and find out how to choose the right one for you.

What is sugaring?

Sugaring for Upper Lip Hair Removal

Sugaring is a form of hair removal for women that pulls out hair from the root. A ball of sugar wax is spread over the skin before being pulled away, taking the hair with it.

The sugar wax paste is made using just three ingredients: lemon, sugar and water. You can prepare the sugar wax at home or go to a salon for professional hair removal.

How is sugaring different from waxing?

Female hand holding a waxing strip with wax dripping from it

Sugaring and waxing both remove hair from the root. However, there are some key differences between the two ladies’ hair removal methods.

Firstly, the waxes have very different ingredients. Sugar wax is made from three natural ingredients, whereas wax is often made from resin, rosin, oils, beeswax and other additives.

Secondly, the application is different. Wax is applied in the direction of hair growth and removed against it, whereas sugar paste is applied against the direction of hair growth and removed with the grain.

Sugaring tends to be less painful than waxing and is better suited to sensitive skin.

What body areas can be sugared?

Woman with a hat smiling

Sugar waxing is suitable for anywhere on the body you want to remove hair. The most common places women choose to remove hair are their legs, underarms, bikini area, arms and face – and sugaring can be carried out safely in all of these areas.

Pros & cons of sugaring

Women smiling beneath the sun

Like all methods of hair removal for women, sugaring has its pros and cons – let’s take a look.


1. Lasting results
One of the main perks of sugaring hair removal is the lasting results – your skin will remain hair free for four to six weeks, like with waxing. This means you need to carry out sugar wax hair removal much less often than you need to shave.
2. Exfoliates your skin
Sugaring is one of the only hair removal methods that exfoliates your skin at the same time. The paste sticks to dead skin cells and removes them as you sugar wax, leaving your skin smooth and fresh.
3. Less ingrown hair
As the hair is removed from the root, there’s less chance of ingrown hair with sugar waxing than shaving.
4. Reduction in hair growth
If you sugar wax regularly, you’ll find that your hair grows back finer over time. The hair follicle gets weaker every time the hair is removed, so eventually, it may stop regrowing hair at all.


1. Slightly painful
Sugaring can be slightly painful as the hair is removed from the root, unlike shaving. However, compared to waxing, sugaring hair removal tends to hurt less as the paste only sticks to hair and dead skin cells rather than healthy skin.
2. You need to let the hair grow back
Before you can sugar wax, you need to let your hair grow to at least 5mm long so the paste has enough to grip onto. This means there will be a period every month or so where the hair is visible.
3. Hard to find a salon that offers sugaring
If you want to get a professional sugar wax, it can be a challenge to find a salon that offers it. Most salons offer traditional waxing – the most sought-after method of hair removal for women – but not all offer sugaring hair removal.
4. Challenging to get the paste right
If you’re sugar waxing at home, it can be tricky to get the right paste consistency at first. It can also take a few attempts to master the technique of sugaring, which is why some women prefer to go to a professional for hair removal.

What is shaving?

Shaving Stomach with Venus Razor

Shaving is the most widely used method of hair removal for women. It involves using a razor to cut hair at or below the skin’s surface. You can shave your legs, underarms, bikini area, arms and face, but it’s important to prep your skin first to avoid irritation.

Before shaving, gently exfoliate your skin and apply a shaving cream. Make sure you use a sharp razor, as dull razors can irritate the skin.

Pros & cons of shaving

Manual and Electric Razor

Shaving is a fast and easy way to eliminate unwanted hair, but is it the best hair removal method for women? Let’s explore the pros and cons.


1. Quick
The main pro of shaving for women is the speed – it’s a quick hair removal method. If you’re rushed for time, you can quickly shave your legs or underarms to remove hair before you go out.
2. Painless
Another benefit of shaving is that it’s virtually painless. Unless you nick your skin accidentally, shaving should be pain-free as hair is just cut, not removed from the root.
3. Can be done anywhere
Shaving can be done anywhere – just one more reason why shaving is one of the best hair removal methods for women. Not at home? No problem – you can remove your hair wherever you are, so long as you have a razor.


1. Cuts & nicks
You can cut or nick your skin with a razor when shaving, especially in prone areas like your ankles and knees. Using shaving cream will help the razor glide smoothly to prevent this.
2. Razor bumps
Shaving can irritate the skin and cause razor bumps. With proper skin prep and aftercare, you can reduce the likelihood of razor bumps.
3. Hair growth is fast
When women shave, hair isn’t removed from the root, so it will begin regrowing immediately after shaving. You’ll typically get a day or two of smoothness before stubble reappears. This means you need to shave every few days to maintain smooth results.

Shaving vs sugaring: What should you choose?

Woman wearing loose clothes

How (and if) women choose to remove their body hair is a personal preference. If you’re weighing up shaving vs sugaring, here are some points to consider when choosing the best hair removal technique:

1. Process
Shaving is a more straightforward, whereas sugaring takes a little more practice to get right. So, if you’re a beginner, shaving might be a better choice for you.
2. Length of results
How long the results last is an important factor to think about. Smoothness after shaving lasts a few days, whereas the results of sugar waxing can last up to six weeks, but this may differ depending on your hair growth rate and skin type.
3. Pain
How much pain can you tolerate? Shaving is a pain-free hair removal method, whereas removing hair from the root with sugar wax will cause some pain.
4. Effects on skin
Sugar waxing is great for your skin as it exfoliates, too, leaving your skin smooth and radiant. Shaving can irritate your skin – especially if you don’t prep properly first, use shaving cream or replace your razor blade regularly.


Does sugaring cause more ingrown hairs?

No, sugaring causes fewer ingrown hairs than other hair removal methods, like shaving. The sugar paste removes hair from the root and exfoliates dead skin, resulting in less blocked pores.

What happens if you shave before sugaring?

If you used to shave frequently, your hair might have uneven regrowth cycles, so stubble may appear after your first sugaring session. Hair must be a certain length before sugar wax will adhere to it.

What are the disadvantages of sugaring hair?

Some disadvantages of sugaring hair removal include pain as the hair is pulled from the root and possible skin irritation if too many skin cells are removed.

Is sugaring better than shaving?

Sugaring is better than shaving in some ways, including longer-lasting smoothness, exfoliation and reduced hair regrowth. However, shaving is easier for beginners and is less painful than sugaring.