Gone are the days when women had to rely on the antiquated tweezer to wrench individual facial hairs from their 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 epilator? An epilator is an electrical device similar to a shaver. Though instead of simply slicing the hairs it uses many small tweezers to pull hairs from the root. Between 20 and 100 of these tweezers rotate on the head of the device and grab multiple hairs at a time.
Sounds terrifying, right?
For first time users, it can be. But once you’ve epilated more than once, you’ll see exactly why these are very very popular. For one, the pain you experience after the first time epilating only gets better.
Many people report a significant drop in pain even on their second time as the hairs that grow back are super fine and hardly put up any resistance at all. Epilation actually results in faster hair removal and is both safer and cleaner than using hot wax.
The Birth of Epilators
Since their invention, there have been many different types of epilators on the market. The very first epilator was designed and produced in Israel in the 80’s.
It worked by the use of a rotating coil spring, but due to the continuous flexing of the spring they tended to break fairly easily. This led to the design of the rotating disc epilator, which was subject to much litigation due to its similarity to the original. The case was lost which allowed for a flourishing of innovation in epilator technology, and the fantastic hair removers we have today!
Today, 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! Modern epilators are very effective, safe, and designed to help reduce pain. They have hypoallergenic ceramic disks to reduce irritation, massagers to reduce pain and specialized devices for certain parts of your body.
There’s no need to step into the shower – as you would when shaving – so that removes a step from the process. Although many epilators allow for either wet or dry usage.
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!
Is epilating 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!
Which epilator is the best?
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 a bit more 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!