If you have a lot of hair over your body and find you regularly need to remove unwanted hair in some areas of your body, then you have probably heard of an epilator as one of the best options for hair removal.
It is indeed one of the most effective ways to get rid of those pesky little hairs for a longer period than just shaving, but it’s not as simple as using your good old razor. Not only that, epilators sound like a very complicated device. We hear you, so in this article, we will talk about everything you need to know about epilators.
What is an epilator?
An epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair from the roots. Just like tweezing or waxing, it rips the hairs out of the skin at the follicle level. If you think about it, it can be considered as a device that uses collective tweezers. Because of the way the hairs are removed, epilating ensures smooth, hairless skin for weeks at a time, depending on each individual’s hair growth.
Does it hurt?
Just like any type of hair removal that consists of grabbing body hair and ripping it out of the skin, the process of epilating hurts. Some say that you get used to it, while others claim that it never gets better and that it hurts every single time you use it. There are also people who have tried numbing the pain by taking painkillers or drinking liquor beforehand. Nevertheless, how much pain you will have to endure when using an epilator will depend on your personal tolerance level.
- Compared to waxing, which requires you to pay per session, epilating is cheap because you only have to buy an epilator once and it can last you for several years
- Because it plucks each hair out from the root, it makes for thinner hair regrowth over time
- Your hair won’t grow back for weeks at a time, unlike shaving which causes hair to grow back the next day (if you are especially hairy)
- Waxing requires at least ¼ inch of hair to remove because it can’t grab hairs shorter than that—epilators can remove the shortest and finest hairs you have
- It’s painful. There is no denying that using an epilator will hurt a lot, and some people have even reported drawing some blood during their first time
- No matter which hair removal method you use, you will likely have to deal with ingrown hairs
- It can leave red bumps because of the irritation of follicles
- It’s a trial and error when finding the right epilator and technique for you. Some epilators will not take all of the hairs at one go, making you have to go over the same area a few times, which can lead to irritation. You also have to find the right technique and pace that works for you.
The different types of epilators
There are also different types of epilators, depending on their mechanism and the way they pluck away hairs.
The spring type epilator was the first kind of this device. It uses multiple coiled springs, curved so that some parts of the spring were squeezed tightly together and others a few centimeters apart. When in use, the spring type epilator flexes on one side and then on the other, allowing the coils of spring to squeeze and catch hairs, then pull them out of the skin in one rotating motion.
However, because of all this flexing and rotating motions, the springs tend to give and need replacement every now and then. Epilator springs are sold separately and are not unaffordable, but it can be a lot of money once the costs of replacement add up.
Rotating disc type
The rotating disc type has a similar mechanism to the spring-type epilator, but instead uses small rotating metal discs mounted on the head of the device. The discs rapidly rotate and grab hairs when in contact with the skin, causing a tweezing effect. The hairs removed from the skin are moved out of the way due to the fast rotating motion of the discs, unlike the spring type which grabs on the hairs and keeps them unless you discard them yourself.
The tweezer-type epilator is like the improved, more efficient version of the rotating disc epilator. It still uses metal plates but they are discontinued in some areas to allow for better tweezing action. Instead of catching and pulling hairs at once, the tweezer-type epilator first catches the hair, pulls it out, and then releases it. This is considered to be the best type of epilator, so most modern devices you will see are using this mechanism.
The right method of hair removal will depend on each individual. We recommend experimenting and trying different techniques yourself before deciding which one is the most effective, efficient, and worth the pain.