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Brazilian Wax vs Laser Hair Removal: Which is Better for Unwanted Body Hair?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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There are various ways available to remove unwanted hair. You can use plucking, shaving methods, and depilatory creams. There are also more advanced methods, including Brazilian wax and laser hair removal. Both of these are easily accessible and have become popular among consumers. They’re also more convenient than using rusty razors that could cause ingrown hair.

But which of these methods is better for removing unwanted body hair? Brazilian wax is better suited for those who want temporary smoothness, while those looking for a permanent hair removal solution may find laser hair removal a better fit for their concerns. It helps to know the process, effects, and possible contraindications of each procedure before making a decision. 

How Brazilian Wax and Laser Hair Removal Compare with Each Other

Brazilian wax and laser hair removal are widely used to remove unwanted body hair, especially in the bikini area. In a Brazilian wax treatment, a special type of wax is applied to the skin to remove hair from the target area. On the other hand, laser hair removal treatments work by exposure to light rays that destroy the hair follicles.

Precautionary Measures

For both treatments, doctors may ask you to trim your hair down at a certain length (usually at ¼ of an inch). Additionally, Brazilian hair removal patients should avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages a day before the appointment. Tanning activities should also be halted since they contribute to skin sensitivity. Patients may also be advised to wear cotton-based undergarments for added comfort. 

Those undergoing bikini laser hair removal procedures will be asked to avoid other hair removal methods, including plucking and waxing. However, shaving 1 day before laser treatment can help minimize any thermal injuries. 

Laser patients should also avoid blood-thinning medications as these can affect how their skin reacts to treatment. Make sure to tell your medical provider about any medications you’re taking. 


Brazilian wax treatments are generally short. They take about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the target areas. The volume of hair will also affect how long the waxing treatment will go. To begin the procedure, the wax technician will ask you to remove your lower garments and lie down on a table or bed. The technician will then clean the area to allow the adhesive to better grip the skin and pubic hair. 

After cleaning the area, a pre-wax treatment will first be applied to the skin. This part usually involves the use of oil or powder to prevent skin irritation. The technician will then apply a thin layer of wax directly to the target area. A paper or cloth will be used to remove it from the skin. Depending on the size of the area, the technician may use a larger strip for better results. Once the hair is removed, a soothing serum will be applied to the area to prevent ingrown hair. 

Laser hair treatments work differently. The laser technician will use a handheld laser instrument to apply pulses of light onto the skin. A cooling gel will help numb the area and prevent pain. Once activated, the instrument releases heat that damages the hair follicle. It may take 2 to 6 treatment cycles before all the hair disappears from the treatment area. 

Treatment Outcomes

Brazilian WaxLaser Hair RemovalNeeds 1 session only for hair removalTakes 2 to 6 sessions for hair removalRecurring procedure; effects last up to 4 weeksLong-term; effects can last up to 6 yearsLess irritation than waxing or shavingRedness and swelling are commonRisk of ingrown hairsIngrown hairs are unlikely

Brazilian wax is known for providing smooth skin after a single session. It’s very popular for those who want to remove hair around the lower abdomen and pubic region. As the wax pulls the hair from the roots, the hair also grows back softer and thinner. Brazilian wax also removes the possibility of a razor burn. 

Laser hair removal needs 2 to 6 treatment cycles before full effectiveness, but it’s more long-term. It may take up to 3 weeks before the hair falls out from the treated area. Some side effects, such as redness and swelling, are more common due to the intense heat from the lasers. Your provider may advise you to use a cold compress to help with any discomfort. 

Which Hair Removal Procedure is Better for You?

Brazilian wax treatment is best suited for those who want short-term treatments. If you’re aiming to have hairless skin for a particular event or occasion, this procedure may be the better choice. But if you want more permanent reduction, then laser hair removal treatment is the more appropriate procedure. You can also look at the ideal candidates and estimated total costs for each treatment before you decide which one is better for you.

Ideal Candidates

Almost anyone can undergo a Brazilian waxing treatment. Make sure that you don’t undergo any other hair removal procedures before and after the treatment. Otherwise, your skin may become more irritated. Hair strands longer than ⅛ an inch are the only ones applicable for the hot wax treatment. 

For laser hair removal, the best candidates are those with a pale skin tone and dark hair. The contrast enables the lasers to better target hair in a specific body part. The procedure may be less effective for those who have blonde and light-colored hair. 

Total Costs

Brazilian waxes cost around $50 to $100 per treatment session. The exact pricing depends on the location of your med spa, as well as the credentials of your technician. Laser hair removal treatments cost around $250 to $400 per session. The total costs can quickly pile up, depending on how many treatments you’ll need to achieve the best results. 

Duration of Effects

The effects of Brazilian wax last for 2 to 4 weeks. Most people are advised to undergo another session once the hair reaches ¼ inch in length. Laser hair removal treatments can last for years once you’ve finished a cycle—in some cases, the effects can last for up to 6 years. In the long run, both of these treatments need additional sessions to maintain their effect. 

Aftercare for Brazilian Wax and Laser Hair Removal

Woman Depilate Legs with Wax or Moisturizing with Cream

There is minimal downtime for both Brazilian wax and laser hair removal treatment. It’s best to follow your technician’s aftercare advice to manage any pain and discomfort after the procedure. Some side effects can manifest around the treatment areas, although these typically resolve within a few days or weeks. 

Common Side Effects

As with other hair removal treatments, Brazilian bikini wax is associated with a few side effects. These are visible around the waxed area and have very little discomfort. The serum applied after the wax procedure can also help soothe the sensitive area a few hours after the procedure.

Some common side effects include:

  • Acne
  • Ingrown hair
  • Mild pain
  • Skin irritation (redness and post-waxing bumps)
  • Swelling

A cold compress can help with any pain and swelling. In rare cases, some women develop vulvodynia or chronic pain in the vulva. If you experience recurring shooting pain in the pubic area, contact your provider right away.  

Laser hair removal is less prone to ingrown hair, but it also has its fair share of side effects. These usually resolve on their own within a few weeks. However, some people may develop a harsh reaction to the laser, resulting in blisters or scars. Your doctor may provide you with a topical cream or medication to help resolve these.

Other side effects of laser hair removal include:

  • Dry and flaky skin
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmentation
  • Itchiness and redness

Laser patients with darker skin have a higher chance of developing side effects. Redness and skin irritation usually go away after 1 to 3 days. You can get some relief from applying a cold compress or a prescribed moisturizer. 

Recovery Period

The recovery period for Brazilian wax is short. It takes about 24 to 48 hours before you can return to your regular routines, although most people won’t have trouble resuming work. A cold compress can help with any mild pain. It’s also advisable to exfoliate the area with a washcloth free of any chemicals. Additionally, avoid any strenuous exercises for the 1 to 2 days to minimize skin irritation.

After a laser hair removal session, use the numbing cream that your doctor may prescribe for pain and irritation. You should also refrain from undergoing any tanning procedures during the recovery period. These may cause extra stress to the skin, resulting in dryness and redness. It’s recommended that you wear a sunblock with at least 30 SPF for daily usage. Expect full recovery within 3 to 7 days.

Achieve Your Aesthetic Goals With High Quality Services from Ethos Spa

It’s important to have a team of professionals who can assist you with your hair removal needs. At Ethos Spa, we offer laser hair removal treatments that can help you achieve your desired look. And if you have other skin concerns, there are also injectables, dermal fillers, and other procedures available at our center. 

Our highly-trained specialists have administered thousands of quality treatments to clients in the New Jersey area. If you have any questions about our products and services, don’t hesitate to visit our website or call us at (908) 628-1916. 

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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