What is an epilator?

what is an epilator

Gone are the days when women had to rely on the antiquated tweezer to wrench individual facial hairs from their warm roots.

The ingenuity of technology has brought us epilators, automated tweezers that do the job in half the time.

No more spending half an hour locating errant hairs in a mirror; it’s now just swipe and snag!

But what is an epilator?

Epilators are basically electronic tweezers which work by pulling hairs out of their follicles. However, where tweezers require individual attention to each hair, epilators achieve the same effect on an industrial level. You can remove every strand of arm hair in under 10 minutes, if you so wish.

what is an epilatorSince their invention, there have been many different types of epilators on the market – but the prevailing version is the tweezer-type epilator. Some even have 24k gold plated tweezers!

The head of these epilators are a row of rotating discs, each having gaps along their circumference. Imagine the underside of a lawn mower, but with vertical discs arranged in a row instead of a horizontal razor.

You use an epilator by running the rotating discs along the desired skin area. When the discs rotate, the hairs get snagged in between the gaps, and are extracted in a clean, pulling motion. By running the epilator back and forth along the same area, you can quickly and efficiently remove a forest of small hairs.

Like tweezers, epilators can be used to remove hair from practically any part of the body – underarms, face, legs, back, etc. Their compact size makes them suitable for homing in on target spots, or clearing out hard-to-reach areas. Most epilators are shaped like little hair clippers, and are either battery-powered or plugged directly into an outlet. There are even underwater variants for more amicable epilating.

Do epilators work?

Yes! There’s no need to step into the shower – as you would when shaving – so that removes a step from the process.

Furthermore, the hairs tend to stay off longer, since you’re removing them directly from their follicles rather than clipping them.

Check out our guide on how to get the most out of your epilating experience!

Are they painful?

If you’re new to epilating, you’ll probably find it slightly more uncomfortable than shaving. This is because shavers only skim the surface of your skin, while epilators actually rip your hairs clean out.

However, like with most things practice makes perfect, and after a few rounds of use you’ll be better at anticipating the pain and blocking it out. Think about how as a child you found it unbearable when you scraped your knee; whereas you’re probably grown numb to it if it happens now.

Additionally, we’ve written a guide on the 9 best ways to reduce epilation pain!

If you’ve ever waxed before, using an epilator is child’s play. While the way they work is similar, you don’t have to suffer the agony of ripping out a batch of hair en masse with an epilator. Instead, you’ll just feel a slight twinge whenever each hair gets pulled.

Also, using an epilator is cost effective! Unlike waxing, there’s no need to buy a consumable each time you perform hair removal. Like a shaver, epilator heads can be replaced when they get old and gummy; and they typically last a long time – about half a year to one year is typical, if you’re pulling hairs twice a month. Plus, there’s no mess!

If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend the Philips Satinelle HP6401; it’s an entry level and very affordable model that will ease you into the routine. But if you’re looking to jump right into the deep end and want something with lots of bells and whistles, definitely try out the Braun Silk-Epil 9 (read our review here). It’s expensive, but the array of features it packs are astounding – microgrip tweezers, pivoting head, waterproof, massage rollers, etc.

In summary, every girl should think about incorporating epilators into their maintenance routine. They’re versatile, mess-free, cost-effective and easy to use! I hope this article has helped convince some of you!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Alison August 28, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Is it safe to epilate skin with varicose veins? How long to epilators last before you have to buy a new one? Thanks in advance.

    • asmoothlife
      Reply asmoothlife September 6, 2016 at 10:23 am

      Hi Alison!

      So for your first question, i’d really recommend you speak to a doctor about epilating with varicose veins. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but it really depends on the person and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

      Epilators normally last quite a long time. The device itself should last at the very least 1 year, and a lot of products have a warranty guaranteeing that. Its hygienic to change the head of the epilator every few months and these can be bought on amazon 🙂

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