There are different types of hair removal techniques, such as plucking and tweezing for facial hair and waxing for body hair. However, you have to agree that no matter what kind of waxing you choose it is chaotic and messy!
No more compromising because you deserve the same finish as waxing does, without that tacky feel, with the use of epilators.
What is an epilator?
An epilator is a device that pulls and removes your body hair out of the root.
Sounds painful, doesn’t it? Well, waxing does the same. However, there’s a slight difference in using an epilator and waxing for hair removal. Unlike waxing, an epilator doesn’t remove cells from the epidermis.
Categorising epilators based on-
- Plates and discs
- Wet and dry
- Men & women
- Spring epilator:
Epilady, an Israeli company, was the first one to manufacture epilators in 1986. The company designed a device with an inside coil spring. The spring was curved and given the shape that one part of the spring was tightly squeezed and the other part was spread apart. As a result, when the motor rotated the spring coil, it would grab each of the hairs and pull those out from the root.
Watch the video below to get a better idea of how it worked:
Spring epilators are difficult to maintain. The coil tends to become damaged soon and has to be replaced multiple times. It often pinches the skin at times, which is painful and may lead to injury.
As with anything else, epilators also have gone through major changes. Now there are many advanced epilators available. As a result, spring epilators are not really used anymore.
- Manual spring epilator:
Manual spring epilators are still used by many. For some people, bringing the motor epilator very close to their face can end up being scary. Therefore, they prefer using manual spring facial epilators that give them some control and ease of using.
Manual spring epilator is nothing but a tightly squeezed straight line of coil spring. You can grab the end of the spring with both hands and bend it over to create an inverted ‘U’ shape.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/35muZNL
While gliding the coil spring over your face, you have to rotate your hands in outward and inward movement. This will help the spring to grab and pull your hair. Especially good for facial hair only, i.e. peach fuzz. It is not much of a help when you are targeting large areas.
The video below will explain the process even better:
- Rotating disc epilator:
Remington Products, popularly known as Remington modified the concept used by Epilady in 1989. And voila! A new epilator in the market.
What change did Remington bring?
It replaced the spring head with rubber discs. The rubber heads didn’t pinch the skin, so it was way less painful.
The video below is a commercial for the Lady Remington Smooth & Silky rotating disc epilator. Video:
As soon as Remington brought a rotating rubber disc epilator, it became a huge success. The German company Braun (now a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble) (link to https://ae.braun.com/en) launched its epilator Silk-épil in 1990.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2paDDyj
Instead of rotating rubber, the company used a rotating metal head on the epilator. It made the epilator even more durable and the epilator would work faster as well.
Here is a commercial of Braun Silk-épil:
- Tweezers type epilator:
It is how the modern epilators work! Companies have modified the metal disc and the modern design works like tweezers. Instead of using one or two metal discs, the manufacturers use several metal plates. The head of the epilator rotates to make the plates come closer and move apart from each other.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2nGe1cb
When rotated continuously, the motion creates a tweezing effect, as a result, the hair removal epilator removes your hair from the roots.
The video below shows how the rotating plates create a tweezing effect to remove hairs effectively:
You can also check out another video that shows precisely how the tweezers type epilator can be used on your face, body and even on your bikini line.
Apart from the type of the plates and discs, epilators can also be classified depending on how it works. Here you go –
- Dry and wet epilators:
When the epilator first came, it was for dry use only.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/35spqgQ
Wet epilators are waterproof and hence, you can use those in showers or with some gels and creams. Wet epilators make the process of epilating much easier. The hair follicles become soft because of the cream or gel or water that you use. So, pulling out the hairs inflicts less pain.
- Corded and cordless (battery-run) and dual epilators:
These are of three types depending on the connectivity.
Some of these devices are corded, which means they can run only when the cord is plugged in to an electric socket. Cordless epilators come with replaceable batteries. These are generally smaller in size and have less power. They can be used with gels and creams.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2IKNrWF
The modern epilators are generally dual epilators. They are like your cellphones. These come with rechargeable batteries and cords.
- Women and men epilators:
There are epilators that are designed for both men and women. The only difference is the color. Epilators for women may have “girly” colors like pink, peach and other epilators may have neutral colors.
How will you use your epilator?
Hold the epilator in a 90-degree angle with your skin. Make sure that the area is taut, thus, ensuring a smooth glide. Don’t put too much pressure.
When you’re just starting, I would recommend using the epilator on your legs first, and then on hands, as these places are less sensitive.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/35sTfha
Glide the epilator towards the direction of the hair growth. If you glide in the opposite direction, it will not pull the hair out but break it.
Last, once you’re done, check to see if there’s any part that you have missed.
Can Epilation Reduce Hair Growth?
There hasn’t been enough study to prove that epilating thwarts hair growth. Some people say that they notice lesser hair once they continue epilating.
Besides, there are a couple of reasons that can make it appear that hair growth has reduced. They are –
- Damaged hair follicles
Firstly, some follicles may be damaged enough so that no hair comes out of it. Secondly, it may lead to finer hair. As a result, it will seem as if you have less hair growth.
- Optical illusion
Shaving removes the hair from above the skin surface. You can see hair growing at the same time. Shaving makes your hair appear coarse and thick, which makes hair growth visible.
Epilating removes hair from its root. When new hair comes out, it’s soft and fine. You end up thinking that the number of hair on your body has reduced! But in reality, it is nothing but an optical illusion.
- The Growth Cycle of your hair
Not every hair has the same re-growing time. Especially if you have continued to remove your body hair with an epilator, you will see a lesser number of hairs on your skin at the same time. It gives an impression that the hair growth has reduced.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/325tpxA
Is it safe to use an epilator?
Epilating is safe when you follow the safety measures.
- If you put too much pressure, it may nip your skin.
- If you have cracked skin, I would recommend waiting!
When it comes to using on the face and bikini line, be extra cautious. You can also use special facial hair epilators that are designed to remove the soft peach fuzz on your face.
- Long-term results
Unlike shaving, epilating gives you long-term result. Depending on the rate of your hair growth, you can enjoy a hairless body for as long as 4-weeks. Since the device can remove hairs that are as small as 0.55mm, you can keep epilating whenever you want to.
- Less pain
Yes, it is true that both waxing and epilating is pulling the hair out of its roots. Yet, I would say that epilating is less painful in comparison to waxing. You don’t have to endure putting hot wax on your skin nor do you need to go through the unnecessary tugging of your skin.
Although epilating is painful, you get used to it. Besides, regular epilating can make the hairs thinner, which in turn makes epilating the hairs easier. Result? Negligible pain.
- Decreases hair removal sessions
Epilating regularly makes your hair grow thinner. If you continue using your epilator frequently, chances are that you will have decreased hair removal sessions with time.
- No more waiting
You have to wait long until your hair has grown enough for the wax strip to grab and pull it out. Now you can forget that!
An epilator can grab a hair that is as small as 0.55mm. So, it’s easier to stay hairless.
- Remove unwanted hair from anywhere
When it comes to removing hair from the face or bikini area, you are recommended to use dedicated products. But with an epilator, you can use one device all over your body.
- Least time consuming
Why book an appointment with a salon for your waxing session? Why even bother waking up early in the morning to shave so that you can wear that dress to work?
Once you get used to it, you can remove unwanted hair anytime.
Using razors means you have to keep changing the disposable razor head from time to time. You have to buy shaving cream or gel too! If you are into waxing, you have to buy supplies for that too.
These are all recurring expenses.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/35qHjfP
But when you switch to epilating, the one and only thing that you need to buy is the epilator. Epilators last for years, which make it most cost-effective.
Be a responsible earthling. Reduce waste by stopping the use of razors and waxing strips.
- Remove any type of hair
An epilator can literally work on any type of hair be it coarse, dark, thin, fine, light or anything other than these.
- Travel friendly hair removal
Would you like to spend your summer vacation inside the shower, shaving your legs.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2Mc45Rf
Remove hair at your own convenience. You may use a dry and wet epilator so that you have the option of using the epilators in or out of shower.
Using an epilator for the first time can cause so much pain that you may not even want to continue with the process anymore.
- Long learning curve
The learning curve for using an epilator is longer than any other method of hair removal. While you may get used to waxing because it removes hair from a large portion at a time, the same may not happen with epilators.
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2B7AiT7
Epilator grabs each of the hairs and pulls them out like a pair of tweezers. It may take a few times to get used to the feeling of epilating.
- Ingrown hair
Ingrown hairs are hairs that start growing under the skin instead of coming out.
Ingrown hair problem is more common in shaving, it may also happen in epilating if the hairs are broken from between instead of being pulled out
The problem can be avoided by exfoliating before and after epilation though. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and makes it easier for the hairs to come out of the skin.
- Epilator in sensitive areas
While many people overcome the first few painful sessions of epilating, for some it remains a painful experience to endure. Your skin is extremely sensitive in some parts of your body. As a result, many people end up using other hair removal methods for their sensitive body parts.
- Corded epilators are restrictive
If you are using a corded epilator, you can’t use it in the shower. While you have to use cordless epilator for dry epilating, it can get messy (though not as messy as waxing) as well.
- Charging and discharging time
The wet and dry epilators may take as long as two and a half hours to get fully charged. And the batteries may discharge within 15-20 minutes as you start using the device.
- Batteries of cordless epilators
There are small cordless epilators that are more travel friendly. These are generally dry and wet epilators. But these devices have less power and are used only to get rid of a few hairs here and there in between your epilating sessions.
However, the problem with this type of epilator is that the batteries may run out quickly. Most of these epilators don’t even come with charger or rechargeable batteries. So, you need to carry a couple of backup batteries with you always.
- Epilator is expensive
Image courtesy: https://bit.ly/2q7bfNY
Now, women’s razors with cartridges and shaving cream are available at a much cheaper price. Waxing is even cheaper. It might be difficult for many people to spend a huge amount on a single device that they don’t know will even work for them.
- Red skin
Even if you get used to the pain, the redness of your skin can be a drawback for you. Hence, if you have an event and you want to use an epilator right before that, it is not a good idea.
Epilating at night is an easy way to solve the issue. It allows your skin to cool down and the redness caused by the irritation also subsides with time.
Frankly speaking, there is no one particular hair removal method that will work for everyone. It depends on how much pain you can bear, how much money you can invest at a time, whether you are comfortable in using the hair removal method, etc.
If you ask me, I would say that I found epilating to be the most convenient way of getting rid of unwanted hair. Yes, it’s painful, no doubt about that. But if you have got your eyebrows done, you would know that you get used to the pain. The first couple of times it may cause discomfort. But once you have gone through the process, your hair becomes thinner and it hurts less.
Besides, you can remove the shortest of hairs from your body as epilators are designed to grab the hairs from the root and pull it out. So, no more in between sessions before you get your waxing done. Unlike shaving, you don’t even have to feel the stubble on your body as the hairs that come out are soft and thin.
For me, an additional virtue is that an epilator doesn’t create a mess like waxing. And you don’t even need to invest in shaving cream, replaceable razor heads waxing strips or anything other than the device itself.
If you are prone to having ingrown hair, it might be one of the problems that can aggravate while using an epilator. But still it’s not something that you can’t really manage. Exfoliating before and after the process helps to keep ingrown hairs at bay. And trust me, once you start using the device and it becomes a regular process and your body gets used to it.
So, if you want to make a wise, eco-friendly and cost-effective decision, I would suggest you go for epilators. You may choose an epilator that fits in your budget if you are scared to commit to it.
All the best gal.