The Ultimate Guide to Epilating

If you are looking for an at home hair removal solution, you may consider buying an epilator. Epilators are a popular method of hair removal amongst men and women. By the end of this article you will know all there is to know about epilators and and epilating and you will be much better equipped to decide which is the best epilator for you.

What is an Epilator?

You may have heard of an epilator but have no idea what one is. So, what is an epilator? An epilator is any electronic or manual device which is used to remove hair from the skin by means of grabbing and pulling many times, simultaneously and in quick succession. This form of hair removal is similar to the waxing form of hair removal, however with epilators, no cells are removed from the surface of the skin.

An epilator is an electronic device which removes hair from the skin by the root. Epilators get their name from the verb ‘to epilate’, which means to remove hair from the skin. Epilators remove hair from the skin in a tweezer like fashion. Most epilators feature many small metal plates housed in a plastic casing. When the epilator is switched on the metal plates revolve, come together tightly and move apart. It is this tweezing motion which removes the hair.

Types of Epilators

Spring

Epilady Spring Epilator Head
Epilady Spring Epilator

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The first electronic epilator was the Epilady which was first released in the country of Israel in 1986 by the company Mepro. This first epilator featured a coil spring within the plastic housing of the device. The spring was bent into a bow making the coils squeeze together tightly on one side of the spring while they splayed away from each other on the other side of the spring. Within the device was a motor which rotated the spring while it was still bent in a bow. This created a numerous tweezing action. Running the spring over an area of unwanted hair would allow the spring to catch the hairs and pull them from the skin as it rotated.

Though electronic epilation techniques and technology has progressed a great deal since 1986, The Epilady, the very first electronic epilator, is still available today. There are other spring based epilator brands and models available on the market today also.

While just about every epilator is electronic or battery operated, there is one form of epilator which is manually operated. The Bellabe facial epilator, the only manual epilator, is also a spring based epilator. It consists of one coil spring which a handle on each end and is used primarily from removing hair from the face. To use, the spring is held in both hands by the handles, one handle in each hand. While holding the spring horizontally the spring is bent into a bow. To remove hair, the spring, while bent in a bow shape, is brought to rest on the area of hair to be removed. Both handles are then twisted inward, one clockwise and the other anticlockwise, while the whole spring is moved gently upwards (see image).

Disc

Column 1

With the success of the Epilady, there soon came a rival epilator on the hair removal scene. The Lady Remington Smooth and Silky by Remington was another product which was designed to operate in a very similar way to the Epilady, however it used rotating metal discs instead of a rotating spring. This new form of epilator lead the way for a new wave of epilators featuring metal discs.

Tweezer

Column 1

Modern epilators no longer feature complete metal discs. Instead, the heads house a series of metal plates which are not completely round. As the motor rotates head inside the casing, the plates are rotated close to each other and then apart from each other very quickly which creates an effect similar to tweezing.

Epilator Features

Wet/dry

Some epilators are designed for dry use only while other epilators, which are called wet/dry epilators, are designed for wet and dry use. Wet/dry does not just imply wet or dry skin. Wet/dry epilators are cordless and completely waterproof meaning you can take it into the bath or shower and actually use it

under

the water. Pretty convenient!

Attachments

Most epilators come with extra attachments which extend the functionality of the epilator. The following is a list of attachments which may come with an epilator and a description of their purpose of use.

Hair Lifter

Hair Lifter

A hair lifter attachment lifts the hairs including short hard to catch hairs in order for them to be easily reached by the epilator. Hair lifters also relax the skin making the epilation process gentler.

Active Hair Lifter

Epilady Esthetic - Delicate Facial Epilator

An active hair lifter attachment does the same job as a hair lifter except it uses vibration to help lift any hairs that may be lying flat against the skin so that they may be reached by the epilator for removal.

Efficiency Cap

Efficiency Cap

An efficiency cap attachment helps the epilator to make the perfect contact with the skin as well as helping you position the epilator at a perfect 90 degree angle to the skin. This allows the epilator to remove as many hairs as it can in one stroke.

Sensitive Cap

Sensitive Cap

An efficiency cap attachment helps the epilator to make the perfect contact with the skin as well as helping you position the epilator at a perfect 90 degree angle to the skin. This allows the epilator to remove as many hairs as it can in one stroke.

Facial Cap

Facial Cap

An efficiency cap attachment helps the epilator to make the perfect contact with the skin as well as helping you position the epilator at a perfect 90 degree angle to the skin. This allows the epilator to remove as many hairs as it can in one stroke.

Massager

Massager Cap

An efficiency cap attachment helps the epilator to make the perfect contact with the skin as well as helping you position the epilator at a perfect 90 degree angle to the skin. This allows the epilator to remove as many hairs as it can in one stroke.

Active Massager

An active massager attachment uses vibration to simulate the skin prior to epilation to reduce pain. When used post epilation the active massager helps to sooth the skin and reduce irritation.

Shaving Head

Massager Cap

A shaving head attachment turns an epilator into a shaver. This is a particularly useful attachment as it mean you can have a epilator and a shaver in one item and do not need to buy a separate shaver.

Trimming Comb

Trimming Comb

A trimming comb attachment can be used on an epilator to shorten longer hairs to make epilation easier. Trimming combs can also be used to trim and style the bikini area.

Exfoliating Brush

Exfoliating Brush

A trimming comb attachment can be used on an epilator to shorten longer hairs to make epilation easier. Trimming combs can also be used to trim and style the bikini area.

Using an Epilator

When using an epilator you gently glide the epilator along the skin. As the epilator makes contact with the hair and skin, the metal plates come together, trapping stray hairs. As the metal plates continue to revolve in their casing, they pull the hair from its root and discard of the hair. This process happens very quickly. As the plates revolve at different times to each other, the grabbing, tweezing and discarding motions happen simultaneously.

It is advised to keep the skin taught while using an epilator. This prevents the skin from snagging and prevents any unnecessary pain. It is also a good idea to rub the skin and hair in the opposite direction to which the hair grows. This will help the hair to stand upright leaving them in easy reach of the epilator. When using an epilator, always move the epilator in the opposite direction of the hair growth.

Pain

Removing hair from the skin will always involve some degree of pain and epilators are no exception. However there are some things which you can do in preparation to using an epilator which can lessen the amount of pain experienced. Having a hot bath before epilating allows the skin to heat up and soften. This opens the pores so that the hairs won’t cling on as tight in their follicle which means removing them will be less painful. The hot water will also soften the hairs which can reduce the risk of the hairs snapping or breaking when being removed by the epilator. This means less pulling on the hair and skin to cause the breakage and so a lot less pain.

Many have claimed that epilating the skin while the skin is immersed in water (using a waterproof or ‘wet’ epilator) causes little or to no pain. Some epilators come with massaging rollers which awakens and stimulates the skin prior to epilation so that the hair removal is not cause as much as a shock to the system. Massaging rollers which soothe the skin post epilation are also available.

Pre-epilation wipes are wipes which, when used on the skin before epilation, can help to reduce pain. These wipes come which some brands and models of epilators.

As the first experience of epilation can be the most painful, some people opt to get the area waxed first, before trying hair removal with an epilator. The waxing reduces the returning hair’s size and strength allowing pain-free hair removal to be continued at home with an epilator.

In general, the more you epilate, the less pain is experienced.

Power

Epilators are available in a range of different power supplies allowing you to choose the power supply which suits your lifestyle the best. Epilators are available as battery powered, mains powered (with a mains adapter), chargeable via the mains, and manual.

Chargeable epilators are quite popular as they are the most convenient option. Being able to change your epilating device means you do not have to regularly buy new batteries to power it. Needing to buy batteries can be inconvenient, expensive and bad for the environment. A chargeable epilator is a great option if you plan to use yours in the comfort of your bathroom where there may not be an electrical outlet. Waterproof or ‘wet’ epilators are generally chargeable epilators.

Battery operated epilators may be a good choice for you if you travel a lot.

Wet or Dry

When looking for the best epilator for you, you may come across the terms wet and dry in relation to epilators. A wet/dry epilator means it can be used dry or in conjunction with water for example in the bath or with wet skin. Non water

Cleaning

Cleaning your epilator is quite easy and convenient. Most epilators are cleaned by detaching the head from the body of the epilator and rising it under lukewarm water and leave, preferably on a towel, to dry. Some epilators come with a brush which allows you to loosen and brush away any hair which may be stuck in the epilator head. It is a good idea to clean your epilator after each use to keep it in good working order. It may even be necessary to clean the epilator once or twice during the epilation process to ensure a quick and effective epilation.

Pros and Cons of Epilating

Pros

  • Hair removal lasts longer.
  • Epilators remove hairs from their root. This means that the hair will be slow to grow back and so hair removal with an epilator lasts for a few weeks compared to a few days when shaving.
  • Inexpensive
  • Unlike waxing and laser hair removal, home epilator kits are very affordable as there is an epilator for every budget.

Cons

  • Not completely pain free
  • Compared to other pain free hair removal options such as shaving and hair removal creams, epliators can cause pain, much like tweezing or waxing.
  • Time

It is advised to wait until the hair which is to be removed has grown to ¼ inch in length. This allows the epilator to grip the hair in order to remove it.

Price

Epilators are one of the most affordable hair removing options available. As long as you buy a good model from a reputable brand and look after your epilator, you will probably only ever need to buy one. Once you have bought your epilator you can remove unwanted hair in the comfort of your own home without needing to make repeat visits to your local beauty salon to get waxed or lasered which can both be very expensive.

Epilators come in many different shapes, sizes and price points. The price of an epilator depends on the quality of the model, the dependability of the brand, and the amount of extras which come with the epilator itself. An epilator can be bought for as low as £9.99 to as high as £155.99 and above so you are sure to find an epilator to suit your needs and your budget.

Epilator Tips

Epilator Tips

It is recommended to use an epilator on hair that is approximately ¼ inch long. Hair that is long than this can possibly get tangled in the epilator and cause unwanted and unnecessary pain.


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