Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Epilating
MP EDITION 048
No shame in your game if you want to keep it au naturale but if you’re looking to go smooth, we’ve got the details on all the different kinds of hair removal methods. The fifth and final blog post in our series is on epilating.
If you’re not a fan of waxing, want something that lasts longer than shaving, don’t want the financial commitment of laser hair removal, and want something more natural than depilatory creams, then an epilator might be your answer to hair removal woes!
An epilator is no joke - it’s a handheld device with a set of 20-100 tweezers on a rotating wheel that pulls hair out from the root. You’re probably wondering “does epilating hurt?” We’re not going to sugarcoat it, the first time you epilate will hurt quite a bit. And while it’s completely safe to use an epilator on your bikini line, it will likely hurt more as the skin is more sensitive down there. The good news is that it gets less painful each time you epilate because hairs get thinner as it grows back and you get used to the feeling.
If you have thick hair, you’re in luck: tweezers grasp thick hair more easily. There are also epilators that specialize in sensitive areas such as your bikini line. It’s best to epilate when hair is 3-5 mm long, about half your pinky finger for reference, any longer and you risk breaking the hair. Let’s look at the two types of epilation.
Wet vs dry epilation
- Wet epilation can be done conveniently in the shower. It takes more time but the warm water makes it less painful. So you might want to epilate for the first time in the shower. However, not all epilators can be used in the shower so if you’re going to go this route, make sure you buy one that’s water-friendly.
- Dry epilation picks up hair faster since the hairs are lighter when dry but the trade-off is that it tends to be more painful.
How long does epilating last?
Because hair is removed from the root, epilation lasts about 2-4 weeks. While epilating does not permanently remove hair, years of epilating can result in semi-permanent hair removal. At the very least, hair will grow back a little thinner which is a win in our book.
How often should you epilate?
Everyone’s hair grows at different rates and some areas grow faster than others. In particular, your bikini area is one of the fastest growth spots for hair. Some people epilate on the regular as they see hair grow back. Whether you do that or wait longer, the important thing is to stick with a consistent schedule so that your hair gets into a routine growth cycle.
How to epilate without pain?
You can pop a pain reliever beforehand or indulge in a glass of wine to dull the pain but unfortunately there’s no way around it - the first few times of epilating are likely going to hurt. But the more you epilate, the less pain you feel.
Do epilators cause ingrown hairs?
Those pesky ingrown hairs are caused by dead skin cells that force the hair to curl beneath the skin and grow in the wrong direction. Exfoliation gets rid of the dead skin cells and frees the hair. Epilating shouldn’t cause ingrown hairs so long as your exfoliate beforehand.
Tips for epilating
- Hair needs to be at least 0.55 mm but no more than 5 mm
- Patch test a small area first to ensure your skin won’t react badly
- Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate (it wards off ingrown hairs!)
- Take a shower or bath first to open pores and stimulate hair follicles
How to use an epilator on pubic hair:
- Go slow and steady so you don’t miss any spots or break hairs
- Don’t add too much pressure or the epilator may pinch your skin (ouch!)
- Go against the direction of hair growth for best results
- Keep your skin tight and taut
- Keep the epilator perpendicular to your skin
- Use a soothing lotion with witch hazel or aloe vera
- Avoid lotions with perfumes and chemicals as they may irritate your skin
- If there’s any irritation, apply some ice cubes to soothe the area
- If you see bumps or a rash forming that does not go after a few hours, consult a doctor
Waxing vs epilating pubic hair
Let’s break it down: is epilator better than waxing when it comes to hair removal down there?
- Longevity: Since epilating and waxing removes hair from the root, they both last about 2- 4 weeks. Because epilating is easy and convenient, you can epilate hairs right as they grow back. With waxing, you have to wait until hairs reach a certain length, usually about ¼ inch.
- Cost: Epilators range from $30-$200 but are a one-time purchase as long as you take proper care of it. Waxing will cost you $30-$50 each appointment.
- Pain: Both epilating and waxing pull hair out by the root but does epilating hurt more than waxing? Most people find that waxing hurts a little less than an epilator but keep in mind epilating gets less painful each time.
- Convenience: You can epilate practically anywhere, anytime but for salon waxing, you need to make an appointment.
Epilating vs shaving
Now let’s take a look at if epilators are better than shaving.
So is epilating right for you? It really depends on your individual preference, needs, and budget, but epilating is a method you should consider if you have a tolerance for pain and are looking for a quick and affordable hair removal method that lasts longer than shaving.