For what it’s worth, many men have debated this very question before you. Chest hair removal is a simple pursuit, but there are several ways you could do it. So, which is better – shaving vs waxing chest hair?
Waxing chest hair is definitely better than shaving chest hair in terms of aesthetic outcome and maintenance requirements. Its DIY cost is also surprisingly low, although professional visits can be expensive. The act of shaving may be “easier”, but it’s maintenance requirements are so high that it consumes a lot more time than waxing does. Shaving is definitely more comfortable than waxing, but the itchy, stubbled aftermath can’t be overlooked. Overall, waxing does win. It just has fewer downsides.
Although this holds true for the vast majority of men, you may find yourself disagreeing.
Perhaps waxing is unacceptable to you for a reason more personal. That’s fine. It’s just important that you’re fully informed before you make your decision.
Men have a much patchier understanding of body hair removal than their female counterparts. They just didn’t grow up with it at the top of their priorities list.
In fact, lots of men don’t even consider it until their late twenties, thirties, or older.
Having a full understanding of these two methods of removal is crucial. I’m going to compare shaving vs waxing chest hair in terms of five factors; comfort, ease, cost, looks, and maintenance. I had a feeling you’d want more detail.
Shaving Vs Waxing Chest Hair: The Analysis
First of all, what’s the difference?
Shaving refers to the process of cutting the hair at the level of the skin using a blade.
The device used is usually either a manual razor or an electric shaver (foil or rotary). The blade cuts very close to the skin, to the point where it’s barely visible.
Waxing refers to the process of applying wax to the skin, allowing it to grip onto the hair, and then pulling off both the wax and the hair using cloth strips.
Unlike shaving, the hair is pulled out at the root-level.
The wax could be either hot or cold, and the pros and cons of each would be the topic for another article. Pre-made wax strips are also available at most drugstores.
Let’s talk through those five factors and see which one comes out on top for each.
I’m referring to comfort during the procedure itself, as well as how comfortable the aftermath is.
This is important because it isn’t the same winner for both.
Waxing is undoubtedly less comfortable during the removal itself. It can be quite painful, especially when done by inexperienced hands. This is why it’s usually best handled by a professional, at least for the first few times.
Once you’re more comfortable with the act itself, and maybe even picked up the technique, you can then try and DIY it if you really want to.
Things you can do to make waxing more comfortable include trimming down to a short, even length first. If you were getting it done professionally, they would most likely help you with this.
Also, exfoliating your chest the day before should help the hair release easier.
Shaving isn’t as painful. The feel of a blade running down your skin is never comfortable though, especially if the device you’re using isn’t up to standard.
Lubricating well with shaving cream, using clean, fresh blades, and ensuring the battery is well-charged (if electric and cordless) will make it more comfortable.
But overall, waxing would definitely be less comfortable than shaving.
When it comes to the aftermath, however, waxing would certainly win. Yes, it’ll feel pretty sore and inflamed for a day or so. But once that settles, the smoothness is unbeatable.
Removing hair at the root-level is always going to be superior to shaving.
Once you’ve shaved, it’ll feel smooth for a few days. But after that, chest stubble will start to sprout. This is always itchy, uncomfortable, and unfortunately, an inevitability.
With shaving, you’ve also got the direct skin irritation from the blade to deal with as well. Nicks and cuts are a common problem, especially when trying to shave such a large area of the body.
Winner – It’s a tie. Waxing is definitely the less comfortable procedure, but the result is far more comfortable than what you’d achieve with shaving.
Shaving might seem like the easier option, but that really depends whether you’re using a manual razor or an electric shaver.
A good electric shaver is efficient, powerful, and effective. But using a manual razor to shave the chest is difficult. As I said, it’s a large area to cover, and a manual razor is solely powered by you.
Getting your chest waxed at a salon is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is book an appointment, turn up, and let them do what they do best.
If you choose to DIY with premade drugstore wax strips, you’ll be taking on the work. This is hard. Plus, you’ll probably be far less efficient at doing it than a professional would be.
Overall, due to the fact that razors and shavers are easily accessible and DIY-friendly, I’d say that shaving wins this one.
Winner – Shaving
It can be difficult to estimate the average cost of shaving chest hair. This really depends on what you use, how often you shave, and how much shaving cream you use.
You could shell out a few bucks on a bag of disposal razors, or splash out on a nice reusable one for $10. It depends.
An at-home wax kit you could buy for around $10 and get at least a few uses out of it. Plus you’d have to use it much less than you would have to use a razor. Each waxing effort should last you around 6 weeks.
So, DIY waxing may actually turn out to be cheaper than shaving.
But if you were looking to get waxed professionally, the cost would start to add up. A single session could cost around $40. So, without a doubt, professional waxing would be the most expensive option.
That’s why I usually recommend starting out with a couple of professional chest waxes, before venturing out into DIY.
Winner: DIY waxing would turn out cheaper than shaving in the long run, although it may not feel like it upfront. But professional waxing would certainly lose this battle.
There isn’t anything that could beat the ultra-smooth look of a freshly waxed chest. It’s a significant benefit of actually removing the hair at the root-level.
It’ll look clean, sleek, and meticulous. If you’ve got some muscle tone, it’s an ideal way to draw attention to it. Not a single hair to distract or blur the definition.
An often forgotten benefit of waxing is also its ability to exfoliate the skin. It removes dirt and dead skin cells inadvertently, and this actually gives it a significant glow. Plus, it makes it feel even softer.
Although it’ll look a little sore for a day or so, it’ll all be worth it once it settles down.
Looks is a remit in which shaving really does fall short. Although it’ll look smooth for a few days, it starts to deteriorate pretty soon after that. In fact, even on the day of shaving, you’ll be able to see super-short stubble.
That’s the problem with cutting a thick, healthy hair at the level of the skin. It’s still there, and it’s still thick. It’s just very short.
You can’t really say you’ve “removed it” unless you’ve done so at the root-level.
After a few days chest stubble will be on show. My main issue with chest stubble is actually how it looks. It’s even more of an issue to me than how it feels.
Chest stubble looks obvious and unnatural, and you’ll find yourself shaving every few days to try and get rid of it. It’s a treadmill you don’t really want to be on.
The nicks, cuts, and inflammation caused by shaving can also impact how it looks overall.
Winner: Definitely waxing.
Once again, waxing wins hands down. Another wonderful benefit of removing hair at the root-level. The results stay attractive for a lot longer than what you’d get with shaving.
You’ll probably have to wax every 6 weeks or so. That stubble just takes a lot longer to sprout. Plus, when it does come, it’ll look thinner and finer.
But as I mentioned above, you’ll find yourself shaving every few days. It’s really the only way of managing the itch and the look of chest stubble. When those hairs start to stick through that shirt, you’ll think “enough is enough” and furiously reach for that razor.
This is why men choose to put up with chest waxing. They just need to do it much less than they would need to shave. The pain is temporary, and the results are long-lasting.
If you want to maintain a certain look with shaving, you may find that it starts to preoccupy a significant proportion of your time.
Winner: Definitely waxing
I’d say this paragraph was more of a personal opinion than an objective answer. The reason I say this is that each factor may hold differing levels of importance to different men.
Some men may prioritize comfort, and others cost. A lot of men care about looks, whereas others just want to keep things in check for prolonged periods of time.
For me, waxing wins. The smooth finish, the surprisingly low DIY cost, and the low-maintenance requirements really win it.
Hopefully, this analysis has helped you determine your own winner.
What’s The Current Trend?
Male waxing is becoming more and more common. There are waxing salons that market heavily towards men, and some that exclusively cater to men.
More and more men are becoming aware of the poor results from chest shaving – it just isn’t as common anymore.
But everything comes in waves. At the time of writing this article, there does appear to be a resurgence of chest hair.
I’m not talking about a 70s style rug. But having a small amount of neatly trimmed, well-groomed chest hair is more popular than ultra-smooth right now.
Trimming may be the solution then. It allows you to achieve a neat look while remaining natural. Read this article on trimming vs shaving to learn more.
But getting back to the topic at hand, waxing chest hair is more popular than shaving at the moment.
What About Other Body Hair?
Waxing is painful. There’s no sidestepping that issue. Doing it to chest hair and back hair really isn’t too bad.
But in certain areas, it may just not be worth the discomfort. For example, the pubic area.
This is a very personal decision to make. Some men would be perfectly OK to go through with it. But others may just choose to trim in that region.
Getting all areas of your body waxed regularly can also become pretty expensive if you were getting it done professionally.
That’s one reason why men choose to prioritize their chest – it’s front-and-center. If you were going to spend money on an area, it would probably be the chest.
With the rest of it, it’s up to you. Do you really need to get your armpits waxed, for instance? Probably not. Trimming would most likely be fine.
Each area warrants its own decision. Many men who choose to wax their chest and back choose to trim the armpits and pubic hair. There’s no science to it – it just makes sense to them.
My aim with this article wasn’t to make it sound like an opinion piece. I wanted it to read like an in-depth analysis of two extremely common methods of chest hair removal.
A way of truly deciding which method you’d prefer would be to try them both out.
As with most grooming habits, there isn’t much downside to just giving it a try. If you don’t like it, don’t do it again, and move on to the next one.
Shaving vs waxing chest hair is a surprisingly poorly covered men’s grooming topic. Hopefully, by now, you’ve got a much better idea of what you might want.