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Shaving vs. IPL Hair Removal: Which is Better for You?

By Mariela
July 25, 2023
7 minutes

Do you ever feel tired of constantly having to remove undesired hair from your body making you look for some long-lasting methods of hair removal like IPL? Or does the price of a good IPL machine make you wonder if it is worth it when you can get through the year spending a few dozen dollars on safety razors.

Also, the convenience of carrying a razor anywhere in contrast to the whole IPL kit makes you more confused, right? There are several factors which can be considered while finding the answer to which of the both is more suitable for you.

The factors are mainly based on how much money, effort, and time you will have to spend removing the objectionable hair. So, let us know about the comprehensive details of both methods to finally choose the one you’d love aa your life.

1. Shaving vs IPL: How it Works

The first thing you should mind is what is the strategy of hair removal behind both methods. Shaving is pretty simple. It is the use of blades attached to a plastic body in the way that when moved over the skin surface, the skin is pulled taut and the hair is trimmed making it invisible above the skin. But remember that the hair cell is skin alive.

With IPL hair removal, you have to shave the skin normally. After that, the semi-long-lasting hair removal device comes into play. Just like you move the shaving razor over your skin, you can glide the IPL machine.

Also, there is a stamping mode for areas like armpits. Regardless, both modes flash a powerful beam of light that gets into the hair. Then it kills the hair follicles by heating them at the level of hair roots.

2. Shaving vs IPL: How Long its Results Lasts

Keeping the principle of hair removal with shaving and IPL in mind along with the level at which hair is cut, it is easy to determine how long the results can last.

As hair is just under the skin, they’d grow normally at a rate of 0.5 mm per day coming out of the skin and becoming visible in as little as 3 days. The growth rate remains the same whenever you shave them.

Although the hair is cut at the same level as that of shaving in IPL hair removal, the hair is acted upon by IPL light which puts them in a dormant phase. So, the hair regrowth is delayed.

Also, the hair comes back finer and softer because of the direct effect of rays on hair follicles. Thus, results last for 6 months to a year.

3. Shaving vs. IPL: Which Tools Are Needed

If you would like hair removal with fewer tools, shaving can be perfect. It is because a new and sharp shaving razor along with a skin-soothing gel or cream is more than enough. Soap can easily replace pre-shaving products.

In IPL hair removal, you need a whole set of tools so that you can do your salon-like laser hair removal session at home. So, this list includes a shaving razor and an IPL device of course.

Additionally, you need a charger to power the device, a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes from flashing UV light from an IPL device, and a box to keep these tools. So, here we have a few suggestions for the Best hair removal IPL devices in 2023 . Out of these, Ulike Air3 grabs the attention as it provides all necessary hair removal items in its IPL kit.

4. Shaving vs. IPL: Safety

As long as you do it right, both IPL hair removal devices are safe to use as they are cleared by IPL and shaving is also skin-safe as it does not impart any long-term risks or side effects to the skin.

On the other hand, unsafe practices like going reckless with a razor and wearing no glasses in IPL can leave you regret trying any of the two methods.

So, the safety of both is comparable. It is just that you might feel post-treated skin irritation with shaving while IPL devices Ulike have built-in technology to keep your skin cool and redness or irritation-free.

5. Shaving vs. IPL: Effectiveness

If we talk about making you hairless within minutes, both methods are effective. However, if we get into the details of efficiency in terms of the effect on hair regrowth, IPL hair removal is better because it eliminates hair while shaving just cutting it produces coarse-looking hair ends.

In addition, shaving also exfoliates the skin mildly while some IPL devices can be used for skin rejuvenation making IPL more efficient in terms of additional benefits as well.

6. Shaving vs IPL: Advantages

What makes shaving better than IPL or IPL better than shaving can be determined by looking at the advantages of both one by one. So, the following are the benefits of shaving vs IPL.

Pros of Shaving

  • Shaving is quick and easy. You need no skills to shave your hair at home making it a suitable method for beginners. Moreover, the full body can be shaved within an hour.

  • With the requirement of a single tool that cuts hair in one stroke, shaving can be done anywhere and anytime.

  • As the razor does not irritate nerves, hair removal is completely nearly painless.

  • Also, shaving is compatible with hair removal in any season.

  • A pack of shaving razors containing 5 or more razors can be bought for $5-20. Also, some disposable razors are available. So, shaving is both inexpensive and travel-friendly.

Pros of IPL

  • Hair removal with IPL devices is also fast and simple. In addition, it is effective as IPL devices work deeper than just the surface.

  • IPL hair removal is also completely nearly painless. And devices like Ulike Air3 provide a sapphire ice-cooling effect on the skin to make you chill as you remove unwanted hair.

  • Although a little costly at first, IPL is the most wallet-friendly method when the years to come are considered.

  • IPL devices show results within a few sessions and about 90% of your hair is gone in 3 weeks with Ulike. After 2 months of regular use, you can enjoy hairlessness for up to a year.

  • There is no specific downtime after IPL helping you stay bound to your routine.

  • IPL devices are even faster than shaving. You can have all the hair burnt with Air3 in 7-10 minutes.

  • IPL devices prevent skin redness, ingrown hair, and irritation.

7. Shaving vs. IPL: Disadvantages

It is important to know the disadvantages of shaving and IPL devices to prepare yourself mentally and physically for what is to come and take measures to avoid it. So, let us know the side effects of both below.

Cons of shaving

  • Although nearly painless, shaving causes skin redness, itching, and Ingrown hair. You can check the reason behind it by giving why my legs itch after shaving .

  • Although quick to do, shaving only lasts for 3 days at maximum making you get the razor often.

  • Blunt shaving blades can damage the skin and lead to razor cuts. And changing the blade every time you shave is not practical.

  • The blunt hair regrowth after shaving makes them appear thicker which is not a pleasing sight to women having dark hair.

  • Shaving can also lead to infection when your skin is not clean and the razor is not sterilized.

Cons of IPL

  • Having to pay over $300 for a reliable IPL machine at once might be out of budget. But fortunately, some IPL devices offer discounts and payment in installments.

  • Even after IPL provides long-lasting results, it is not the FDA-cleared method of long-lasting hair removal.

  • IPL does not work on dark skin tones and light hair colors.

  • Some IPL devices like Silk’N Infinity cause a stinging sensation during the session.

  • Keeping active products on hold for 24 hours and avoiding exposure to the sun after an IPL treatment can be a hassle.

8. Shaving vs. IPL: Contraindications

No method of hair removal can be used by every individual on this planet. So, let us see the limitations to shaving and IPL hair removal below.

Shaving Contraindications

  • Irritated or sensitive skin

  • Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

  • Dry skin

  • PCOS as hair regrowth might become thicker

  • Compromised skin barrier and skin lesions

IPL contraindications

  • Dark brown and black skin tone

  • Pregnancy

  • Artificially tanned skin

  • Blisters and models

  • Tattoos and open wounds

9. Shaving vs. IPL: Comparison Table

Now let us take a bird’s eye view of the features we have discussed in detail in the form of a table here.






$5 to $20 per pack

$300-400 for life


Time is taken in treatment

Up to an hour

10-15 minutes


Results lasting for

3 to 5 days

6 months to a year






Nearly painless




Compatible with

Full body and face

Full body and face


Hair regrowth

Blunt ends

Fine and thin hair


Skin and hair color


All except dark skin and light hair


Can be done during pregnancy




Can be done over tattoos




Shaving vs. IPL: Which One You Should Choose

If you are looking for a short-term, quick-fix, and inexpensive solution to hair removal, shaving is a suitable one. However, if you would rather spend some money on hair removal that lasts for a long term and have minimal to no side effects, IPL is definitely for you.

Especially with devices like Ulike Air3 , you can get results within 3 weeks, treatment within 10 minutes, nearly painless hair removal, and customized treatment for the body, face, underarms, and bikini areas. Additionally, check hair removals for summer-ready skin for more options.

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