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? ›

An epilator works by grabbing the follicle and pulling out hair from its root, thus providing you with a long-lasting result. It prevents clogs while passing over your skin. Most epilators come with two rotation speeds, out of which the slow speed makes epilating sensitive areas more comfortable.

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.

Is it better to epilate wet or dry hair? ›

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.

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.

Who shouldn't use an epilator? ›

If you're more sensitive or prone to pain, epilation might not be the best for you. On the other hand, if you're willing to stand some pain for less side effects, epilation might be better than waxing for you.

Is it safe to epilate pubic hair? ›

You can also use an epilator to remove coarser hair such as heavy facial hair and bikini or pubic hair. These epilators have more tweezer heads and stronger motors to help manage thicker hair. If you use an epilator for pubic hair, test out a small area first to be sure it doesn't irritate your skin or cause a rash.

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.

Should you epilate first or shower? ›

Having a warm bath or shower before you epilate will soften the hairs on your body, whilst gently opening your skin's pores. One of the best things about the Satinelle Advanced Wet & Dry epilator is that you can use it in the bath or shower, an instant way to make epilating hurt less.

Should you moisturize right after epilating? ›

Treat your newly smooth skin to the care it deserves after epilating. Gentle exfoliation will clear the surface of the skin again to prevent any ingrown hairs. Then, apply your favourite moisturiser to get your skin super-soft and glowing.

How do I prepare my legs for epilating? ›

The secret to effective epilation is exfoliating the skin two days before, which facilitates hair extraction. Choose between an exfoliating glove, an exfoliating cream or even an exfoliating brush… Prepare your skin for epilation by reducing ingrown hairs and removing dead cells.

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.

Is it better to epilate fast or slow? ›

Slow equals sexy.

Going too fast risks breaking the hair which may lead to ingrown hairs.

Can 2 persons use the same epilator? ›

If you share the same epilator with your friend or sister, the same dirt or germs can cause skin irritation to the other person. Thus, it's advised not to share epilators.

Can you do a Brazilian with an epilator? ›

You can do a Brazilian with an epilator — but you should know that using an epilator may not be the best choice for doing a full Brazilian. An epilator may be better for maintaining a Brazilian wax. You can use it to make sure your bikini line stays smooth.

Why is epilator not removing hair? ›

4. Not exfoliating regularly: Regular exfoliation can help prevent ingrown hairs and ensure that the hair is growing in the right direction. If you have not exfoliated in a while, it can make it harder for the epilator to remove hair effectively.

Does hair grow back thinner after epilating? ›

Epilation provides lasting smoothness

Plus, when it does grow back it's softer and finer than before.

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".

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.

Does epilator give you ingrown hairs? ›

“Epilators remove hairs by the roots without exfoliating the stratum corneum, so when the hairs start to grow back there is a higher likelihood of them getting trapped underneath the surface of the skin, curling under, and becoming ingrown.”

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