What to Know About Hair Removal With an Epilator (2024)

An epilator is a device designed to remove unwanted body hair. Like waxing, it removes hair directly from the roots.

An epilator is an electronic device that removes body hair from the roots.

In general, epilators remove more hair than electric shavers do. Although they can take more time and effort to use than shavers, they can save you time and energy in the long run. Because an epilator removes hairs at the root, you won’t have to use it again for several weeks.

Epilators can be used at home or at a clinic, depending on the type. You can buy an epilator for home use for as little as $25. More elaborate ones can cost more than $100.

Types of Epilators

There are three different types of epilators: needle, tweezer, and electrolysis.

Needle epilators. This type of epilator has a fine wire that goes under your skin to reach the hair follicle. It sends an electric current to destroy the hair root, loosening the hair. You can then remove the hair with tweezers.

Tweezer epilators. This type uses a rotating head containing many tiny tweezers. The tweezers grab the hair close to your skin and pull it out.

Electrolysis epilators. Electrolysis epilators, also known as medical electrolysis devices, destroy hair using a shortwave radio frequency. Since this type of epilator destroys the hair follicle, you can use it to get rid of unwanted body hair permanently.

Although this type of epilation is effective, it’s riskier than the other types. You also can’t do it at home. You need to book several appointments for the procedure. Consult a licensed professional for this kind of treatment.

You may need to undergo topical anesthesia for electrolysis.

Differences Between Waxing and Epilating

Epilating and waxing remove hair by targeting the follicle. However, there are some differences.

Hair removal method. Waxing is more low-tech since you don’t need any electronic tools. All you need is wax and some cloth strips. You can get waxed in a salon or use a home kit.

Before you wax:

  • Look at the hair you want to target. It should be around 1/4 to 3/4 of an inch long. If it’s too long, trim it to the proper length so waxing will be easier and less painful.
  • Make sure you haven’t used skincare creams with prescription retinoids or retinol in the past two to five days. Otherwise, you might remove skin along with the hair.
  • Wash the area you’re going to wax to remove dead skin cells, dirt, and skincare products. Then, dry your skin as thoroughly as possible since wax won’t stick to wet skin.

Where to get treated. You do either waxing or some types of epilation at home or the salon. But you’ll need to book an appointment with a trained electrologist to get electrolysis.

How long the treatments last. Waxing is not permanent, and the results typically last three to six weeks. However, the length of how long a waxing session will last depends on many individual factors, such as your hair growth rate and how often you wax. It also depends on your age, since someone younger may grow hair faster than someone who’s older.

Like waxing, the effects of epilating with a tweezer or needle epilator will typically last a couple of weeks.

While electrolysis epilation is permanent, you’ll probably need multiple electrolysis treatments. Ask your electrologist to determine how many sessions you’ll need, since it’ll differ from person to person, depending on how much hair you have and how much you want to remove. You typically would have appointments are typically for up to a year and a half every week or every other week.

Effectiveness. Compared with electrolysis epilation, waxing may be less effective although not by a lot. According to research, hair growth decreased by 46% when treated with wax versus 60% when treated with electrolysis.

Body areas for use. ‌Electrolysis epilation is fine for use on sensitive parts of the body, such as the bikini areas and nipples.

Hair removal waxes aren't suitable for nipples, but like waxing, they can be used on bikini areas.

Risks of epilating versus waxing. Waxing comes with risks in some cases. Not only should you never wax very sensitive or sunburned skin, but you should also avoid waxing if you’ve taken isotretinoin in the last six months.

There isn’t much information on the risks of using needle and tweezer epilators, but there are some minor risks with electrolysis epilation:

  • skin redness,
  • swollen or inflamed skin,
  • tender skin,
  • scarring,
  • keloid scars, and
  • changes in skin color.

There’s also a slight risk of infection and scarring if the electrolysis isn’t done properly. It's best to get electrolysis done by a certified professional.

What to Know About Hair Removal With an Epilator (2024)


What to Know About Hair Removal With an Epilator? ›

Depending on your hair growth, the effects of epilation last for 3-4 weeks. It's also believed that the longer you epilate your skin, your hair might grow back at a slower pace. This would increase your epilating window and give you hair-free, smooth skin for more weeks.

What are the disadvantages of an epilator? ›

Side effects of Epilators
  • Pain. Epilation involves pulling out hair from the root, so it can hurt quite a lot, especially when done for the first time. ...
  • Redness. A big side effect of epilation is redness and inflammation, because the hair has been pulled out with some force. ...
  • Bumps. ...
  • Whiteheads. ...
  • Swelling.

How good are epilators for hair removal? ›

Epilation is more efficient than waxing on short hairs

While both epilation and waxing remove hairs from the root, waxing can press hairs flat against the skin, making them harder to lift and remove. Braun Silk-épil tweezer technology catches hair as small as a grain of sand (0.5mm).

How many times do you have to epilate before hair stops growing? ›

To prevent your hair from growing, you may have to perform between two and four cycles of epilation in conjunction with applying the FRÉNÉSIES cream. In extreme and very rare cases, the treatment may take up to 6 cycles to achieve the permanent results.

Does epilator remove pubic hair? ›

Epilation is a root-hair removal method that is done using an epilator. It is one of the best tools used for pubic hair removal at home. The results derived by epilation last for up to 3-4 weeks. As the hair is plucked from its roots, it can be a little painful at first.

Is epilator good for private parts? ›

Yes, you can use epilators in your bikini area. However, as the area down there is sensitive, it can irritate your skin and be more painful, if not used correctly. So, gently exfoliate the skin before using epilators and discontinue if irritation persists.

Is it better to epilate wet or dry? ›

We recommend that you use most products on dry skin, as wet hair tends to stick more to the skin. Also, if you are aiming to do an on-the-go session, try using the product on dry skin instead. Be certain that your skin is clean and completely dry before using the appliance.

Why is my epilator not pulling hair? ›

Clean the epilator

Before using your epilator always inspect its head to make sure it looks clean. If you see some hair or debris stuck in the epilating discs of the epilator remove them and wash the head before use. Also make sure your skin is clean and dry before epilating.

How often should you epilate pubic hair? ›

If you're a newbie, epilate once a week and each time you'll notice the discomfort drop and the satisfaction increase. If you're a pro, drop it down a notch and epilate once every three weeks.

Does epilating stop Strawberry legs? ›

While an epilator might be uncomfortable or even painful (like waxing), anecdotal evidence suggests that this form of hair removal can prevent strawberry legs from occurring. Skipping shaving cream may also be causing your symptoms, so be sure to carefully moisturize the area before it comes in contact with a razor.

Can leg hair be too long to epilate? ›

Let your leg hair grow to at least 0.5mm before epilating. However, don't let it grow too long, as shorter hair is less painful to remove. Exfoliation is key before all hair removal methods, and epilation is no exception. Exfoliate your legs gently before epilating to remove all dead skin, dirt and oil.

Can hair be too short to epilate? ›

Unlike waxing, your hair can be fairly short in order to epilate successfully, around 1/8-inch long. With waxing, the results will last around 3 to 4 weeks as well. However, if your hair grows back slowly, it could last longer.

How do you epilate your pubic area? ›

Remember to epilate against the direction the hair grows in, as opposed to trimming, which needs to be done in the direction of hair growth. Be sure to use the delicate area cap for bikini area hair removal to avoid irritation.

Are you supposed to epilate with or against the hair? ›

Position your epilator onto the surface of the skin at a 75˚ angle, and slowly move it against the direction of hair growth to remove the hairs. Epilation is much more comfortable when the skin is taut, so stretch the skin you're working on to tighten it.

Does hair grow back thinner after epilating? ›

Another benefit is that epilation may result in less body hair over time. With this method, hair grows back softer and finer. Hair may even regrow at a slower rate. The longer you epilate, the less hair you'll notice on certain parts of your body.

What happens if I Epilate too much? ›

epilating can cause trauma to the skin and hair follicles by ripping out the hairs from the root. any hair removal method can increase the risk of ingrown hairs and irritation to the follicles, hence the “strawberry legs".

Is it better to Epilate or shave? ›

An Epilator Doesn't Give You Ingrown Hair

One of the most common issues with shaving is that it gives you a lot of ingrown hair that can be itchy and irritate the skin. Since the epilator takes off hair by the root, there are no ingrown hair, saving you from the hassle of plucking each ingrowth separately.

Can epilator damage skin? ›

We do not recommend using it on your face or head, because you will not get desired results, and it may also damage your skin. Some products come with additional attachments to use on sensitive areas, like your bikini or pubic region.

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