Epilator: How to Use, Benefits, Risks, and Different Hair Types

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: February 13, 2023

Epilator: How to Use, Benefits, Risks, and Different Hair Types

There are many different techniques for removing hair, but one can realize from experience that certain methods are more effective than others. Unwanted hair can be removed with tweezers, by plucking, shaving, and waxing, however, the outcomes may not always be ideal. An epilator is a handheld electrical tool designed to pull out hair straight from the roots. As one moves the gadget along the direction of the hair development and zaps the hair with an electric current, the hair is plucked out by the root.

There are two types of epilators. First, there are dry epilators that don't require water while use. Second, wet epilators offer the advantage of eliminating hair during bathing or showering. It might sound uncomfortable to remove hair from the root and certain individuals indeed feel slight discomfort during epilating, mainly during first use. Certain areas of our body might be more sensitive compared to other parts. But the more epilations one does, the less discomfort one might feel.

For broader, tougher skin areas like arms and legs, epilators work best. Technically, it may be applied on the parts of the body that are more delicate like the face, bikini area, and underarms. However, based on how much pain a person can tolerate, it could hurt a bit more. Overall, moderate to severe pain is experienced while using an epilator. Epilators typically remove more hair than electric shavers in general.

Nevertheless, using them may require greater energy and time than using a razor, but it will ultimately reduce the time and effort in the long run. This is because an epilator helps in removing hair from roots due to which reuse is not required for several weeks. Everything is dependent on the body’s cycle of hair growth. Based on the kind of epilator, it can be operated at home or in a clinic. Removing hair involves reaching the hair follicle’s root, which is below the skin’s surface.

Epilation was a term used in medicine in the late 1800s to refer to all hair removal procedures. It originated from the French term ‘épiler’ which means to tweeze. In the early days, removing hair was more medically driven than cosmetic, frequently focussing on getting rid of hairs grown inside or hairs that hurt or have functional impairment. It resembles an electric shaver in appearance, but rather than shaving hairs off at the root, it tweezes several hairs simultaneously from the root. This is similar to how waxing works.

It essentially functions as a hair-plucking device for men as well as women. The use of an epilator, contrary to waxing, has less of an impact on the skin and typically results in less irritability. There are discs, spring coils, or plates in epilators that move together and apart. They grab hairs when they come into contact. Additionally, they are on a revolving head while grabbing hairs, which causes them to pull the hairs out of the body.

The unique quality of epilators is they resemble a hybrid between waxing and tweezing. The only distinction is that it provides faultless, smooth hair removal without straining every strand by putting it in danger of breaking at the surface rather. Many epilators can remove hair that is less than a millimeter in length. Epilation safeguards the skin cells by eliminating the hair from the root, as opposed to treatments like waxing, which unfortunately strips nutrients from the skin as well as the hair.

Based on the manner and where one chooses to use an epilator, they come with a variety of surfaces and caps. Most epilators have a unique attachment for the bikini and underarm portion. Specific epilators made just for the face can be used to get rid of hair on the upper lip, cheeks, chin, and eyebrows. The best thing about epilation is that it allows the removal of hairs as fine as 0.5 mm.

However, not everyone who epilates achieves flawless outcomes. After the application of epilators, a common issue is having stubble. This occurs as a result of hairs being snapped at the surface rather than being drawn out by the root. This can happen for multiple reasons, one being utilizing an epilator with excess power compared to a person’s hair type. Finer hair needs less speed. Also, epilation in the shower is a problem as hairs are more susceptible to breaking when they are weak.  

The following factors may be relevant while deciding which epilator to purchase and which one to avoid-

  • The number of springs or tweezers.
  • Several speed settings.
  • Different cap attachments.
  • Internal light settings.
  • Level of noise.
  • Models with and without cords.
  • Kind of epilator.
  • Rechargeable or interchangeable battery.

Epilators function in all other places as well as on various hair kinds. Different types of epilators are-

  • Needle Epilators- This sort of epilator contains a thin wire which penetrates the skin for reaching the hair follicle. It loosens the hair by sending an electric current to the hair root to kill it. The hair can then be pulled out using tweezers.
  • Tweezer Epilators- This kind has a spinning head with a lot of little tweezers. The hair near the skin is grabbed by the tweezers, who then pull it out.
  • Spring Epilators- Metals coils in spring-type epilators rotate and move in a manner that squeezes the coils collectively, pulls them apart, and then opens up for releasing the hairs. These springs frequently deteriorate and require frequent replacement.

Additionally, they often require more passes to remove all hairs and have a larger potential for pinching the skin. Spring epilators have largely lost favour as better models have been developed.

  • Rotating Disk Epilators- The design of spring epilators was modified by substituting a component consisting of rubber discs for the spring-based ones. These discs have more durability and strength. However, the discs function similarly to springs, spinning and coming collectively to hold and remove hairs, and then going away to release the hairs. However, the discs are more durable, less comfortable to use, and stronger than the metal coils.
  • Electrolysis Epilators- These are also known as medical electrolysis devices. These eliminate hairs using shortwave radio frequency. This sort of epilator can be used to permanently remove undesired body hair as they kill the hair follicle.

Despite being successful, this technique of epilation has more risk compared to others. Moreover, it cannot be done at home. For this treatment, one must make numerous appointments and contact a qualified specialist. To have electrolysis, one might be required to give anesthesia.

For most epilators, maintaining smoothness requires only a few hair removal sessions per month. If one continues epilation for several months, the hairs may eventually start to grow considerably thinner and perhaps cease growing completely with time.

How to Use an Epilator

One should exfoliate the region they want to epilate beforehand to get rid of any dead cells of the skin and ensure the skin is completely clean. It will lessen the possibility of ingrown hairs. To get rid of any residue, washing skin with a gentle soap is necessary, and avoid using any lotion or powder. As certain epilators could be utilized in wet and dry circumstances, one should select an electric epilator with characteristics like an anti-slip handle that can be easily used even while bathing or showering.

Additionally, certain models provide a skin stretching cap which aids in pulling the skin taut, enhancing the epilator’s ability to take up hairs. Otherwise, one should physically stretch the skin in the vicinity of the area one is about to epilate. The epilator should be kept at a 90-degree angle and moved against the direction in which the hair has grown for the best outcome. One should take their time while epilation, slow down, and being careful will yield the greatest results.

Applying ice for numbing and calming the skin before and after the procedure can reduce pain. Choose an aloe vera cream for soothing the skin after epilation as it will lessen the redness and moisturize the skin, giving it a newly velvety finish. To ensure that the epilator can effectively capture hairs, one must keep it cleaned and well-maintained. The tweezers on an epilator can become slick from oil, dirt, cosmetics, and other substances.

One should either shave three to four days before using an epilator or let the hair grow out to an eighth of an inch. After shaving, certain individuals experience skin discomfort and redness. After a few hours, the redness should be gone completely. Keeping the skin away from the sun’s rays will hasten its healing process and stop further inflammation and redness.

Use an epilator at night and consider epilating after having a warm bath or shower if the stinging feeling is uncomfortable. The pores of hair follicles automatically open up when the roots of hair come into contact with warm water. The strands will become softer, as a result coming out more readily and with less discomfort.

First, one must choose whether to use the epilator on dry or moist skin. In case of dry skin, showering is recommended for removing oils and weakening the strands. After that, individuals should pat dry themselves using a towel while combing the hair up against its natural growth direction. For wet skin, one should dampen their skin in warm water for a minimum of 10 minutes. 

Then, there are various speed options for some epilators so they should turn on the device first and start with a modest pace. Then, progressively raise the speed to discover how much one can handle. One should put the device away from the skin and hold it a little looser next to the skin. To lessen the chance of developing a skin infection, one should remember to clean their epilator after every usage. Remove any remaining hair, then clean the device with alcohol.

Benefits of Using an Epilator

Epilation is an excellent alternative to both waxing and shaving with a regular razor. The main advantages that an epilator can offer are-

Provides Long-lasting Smooth Skin

One can acquire smooth skin with epilation which remains for 4 weeks. This is because when hair is removed from the root, it grows back more slowly than when it is removed using surface techniques like shaving and lotions. The newer hair growth will be softer, sparser, and finer than earlier. One can achieve smoother skin by using epilation to eliminate the shorter hairs that waxing can miss. The joy of having silky smooth skin is fantastic.

Efficient For Removing Shorter Hair

A sand grain-sized hair (0.5 mm) can be captured by an epilator. If one wishes to get rid of smaller hairs, epilation is a good option. Short hair can be difficult to wax since the wax might push the hair up against the skin. Due to this, when the wax paper is removed, the hair does not detach from the roots. In the case of epilators, unlike other hair-removing options, no certain length of hair regrowth is required before the technique works flawlessly.

It Is Versatile And Convenient

Epilators are available with a variety of attachments and functions, one for every hair removal need like face, underarms, legs, arms, or bikini area. The majority of epilators are no larger than electric razors. They are portable hair removal devices that fit inside small bags. It is always simpler to travel with an epilator, compared to wax, shaving creams, and pungent depilatory creams.

Can Be Done At Home

​​​​​​​Apart from having professional hair removal done, one will be pleased to find that an epilator can provide the same results at home. With epilators, one only needs to press once to remove all hairs. For becoming a pro, one doesn’t need to master difficult approaches and techniques, only one or two epilator sessions are enough.

They just need to relax, push a button, and let the epilator glide. Fewer visits to the salon are equal to more time for different work and more savings of money. Smooth, hair-free skin can be obtained after just one epilator session which will last for several days or weeks.

Suitable For Sensitive Skin

​​​​​​​Epilation grips hairs from the top of the skin and has no adverse effects on the skin, contrary to shaving, waxing, etc. One is therefore less prone to experience skin sensitivity, rashes, as well as breakouts. Epilation in the bath is advised for beginners because it aids in opening the pores for simpler hair removal.

When frequent hair removal might hurt the skin during cold or dry seasons, epilation is a great alternative. Waxing removes hairs and skin cells together and shaving creates excess friction on the skin, both of which might leave the skin extremely vulnerable and susceptible to sun damage. Also, epilation poses less of a risk for those having allergies and sensitive skin because shaving lotions can irritate the skin.

Efficient And Low Cost

​​​​​​​Once an epilator is purchased, that is it. The cost of hair removal simply ends unless there is a need to replace the equipment. Nevertheless, the cost may vary based on the features of the epilator purchased.

One should keep in mind that they are making a one-time purchase of a dependable and long-lasting product. This is still much cheaper compared to the amount spent on depilatory treatments, razors, DIY kits, or weekly or monthly salon visits for years. Also, it generates less waste and is environmentally friendly as there is nothing to regularly purchase or discard.

Less Hair Grows With Time

​​​​​​​Epilation might eventually lead to less body hair, which is another advantage. Firstly, when hairs are plucked out from the root, they reappear with more soft, fine, narrow tips than when they are plucked out with a razor, making them feel gentler and smoother to the touch.

After the initial few sessions, less hair needs to be removed because hair regrows at various rates depending on the stage of the hair development cycle they are in. Slower hair growth is possible. One will see less hair on specific places of the body as they epilate for longer periods.

Less Pain Than Waxing

For those who are new to epilation, pain is one of the prevalent worries. The buzzing and clacking sound of epilators overwhelms and frightens many individuals, yet the pain is not as awful as they think. The majority of people initially perceive it as tingling as opposed to painful.

The reason is that the skin is not used to the sensation the epilator generates. However, once the skin adjusts to the sensation, the mild pain will only remain for the initial few seconds after epilation. One massager cap and one skin contact cap are extra attachments that some epilators provide to help with pain management.

Risks of Using an Epilator

Each person experiences epilating differently, as do the reactions and aftereffects. Even while epilation is thought to be safe, certain aspects that work against its advantages. Such as-

  • Development of bumps or ingrown hairs- The gadget may break the hair instead of pulling it away from the root if one moves it too quickly or in the opposite direction of how the hair grows. These thinner, damaged, damaged hairs could develop ingrown hairs or an infection.
  • Irritated and reddened skin on the surface.
  • A challenge in accessing difficult places.
  • The trouble of untangling cords and battery charging.
  • It could hurt or feel uncomfortable, mainly in the beginning- Epilators are painful especially in the beginning. Following the initial session, the body adjusts and the pain lessens. This method may not be suitable for one if they are extremely sensitive to pain. Otherwise, one may need to restrict the epilation to specific body parts. Some women experience too much discomfort in the bikini region and face, but not in the legs or arms.

Epilation might hurt more than waxing for certain ladies. Others might experience the opposite. Epilators remove hairs more slowly and gradually so the pain doesn’t hit one as hard in one go. The pain level depends on the part of the body, hair length, sensitivity to pain, anxiety, stress, and the kind of epilator used.

There are a few hazards associated with electrolysis epilation-

  • Redness in the skin.
  • Inflammation or swelling of the skin.
  • Changes in skin colour.
  • Keloid scars.
  • Sensitive skin.
  • Scarring.

If the electrolysis is performed incorrectly, there is a small chance of infection and scars as well. It is therefore recommended to have this procedure performed by trained specialists.

Different Hair Types

There are epilators designed particularly for soft or fine facial hairs, whereas not all epilators are for use on facial hair. One should check for gadgets that say they can be safely used on the face for removing hair.  Additionally, a person should try out the epilator on a small patch of skin in the beginning for checking how the skin is responding.

An epilator can also be used to get rid of coarser hair, like thick facial hair and pubic or bikini hair. For help in the management of thicker hair, these epilators contain more tweezers and stronger motors. It is important to test a tiny area first to make sure an epilator won’t affect the skin or result in a rash before using it on the pubic hair. Fragrance-free oils or moisturizers only should be applied to this area.


Epilators are simply one of the contemporary solutions to what appears to be our requirements. Since their introduction to the market in 1986, epilators have advanced significantly. Epilation could result in smooth skin, with effects lasting till 4 weeks. Despite the excellent results, this technique of removing hair is not without any pain. However, by improving the technique and frequency of using an epilator, one might experience less discomfort.

Besides that, epilation can become the desired method of hair removal for several women. It may be preferable to people than waxing if they are ready to endure some discomfort in exchange for fewer side effects. Since all the crucial aspects have been considered, one should be sure not to take those casually.

Thank you for reading!


  • ‘What Is An Epilator? How It Works & When You Should Use One’. We Heart This, September 19, 2022. Available from: < >
  • ‘Epilator FAQ and Beginner’s Guide’ by Heather. Epilator Authority, 2023. Available from: < >
  • ‘What to Know About Hair Removal With an Epilator’ by WebMD Editorial Contributors. Radiance by WebMD, November, 2021. Available from: < >
  • ‘How to Choose Best Epilator for Women?’. Braun, 2023. Available from: < >
  • ‘What is epilation and how does it work?’. Philips, 2023. Available from: < >
  • ‘What are the Different Types of Epilators?’ by Heather. Epilator, Authority, 2023. Available from: < >
  • ‘Too good to be kept a secret: The 8 nest benefits of epilation’. Braun, 2022. Available from: < >



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