Epilators work by removing hair from the root, instead of cutting them to the skin like razors do. You can use epilators on every part of your body, even sensitive areas, especially with modern epilators that take the often painful, plucking motion that epilators use. A big benefit to epilators is that when you remove a hair by the root, it takes 4-6 weeks to grow back. You do not have to use an epilator as often as you would a razor, and studies have actually shown that people who use epilators see less hair regrowth because a root can only grow back so many times.
Epilators come in both corded and cordless models, with many offering the choice between the two. Most battery-operated epilators use two AA-batteries, while the rechargeable ones provide 40 minutes after a 1-hour charge. Cordless models are convenient because they’re so portable and you can use them anywhere.
Most epilators use a system of tweezers on discs to remove hair from the root. The number of tweezers vary from model to model. Some have as many as 48, which is ideal for catching long and fine hairs. Less expensive models have fewer, around 9 or 10, with 20-tweezer systems falling in the middle. Discs that are hypo-allergenic and ceramic are better at catching very fine hairs, and irritate the skin less.
Most epilators only have two speed settings. The slower speed is gentler on the skin, though it isn’t as efficient. It is probably best to use the slower setting if it’s your first time using an epilator. When your skin and hairs have gotten used to the epilator, the higher speed will get the job done faster.
There are several features that an epilator can have that results in smooth, painless operation. Like a razor, many epilators factor in the contours of your body into their designs. Many epilators have pivoting heads that minimize skin irritation. Wide heads designed at an angle are also good, because of how they target hair roots. Some even design features that lift flat hairs up so the tweezer can grab a hold of them. Epilators can remove very short hairs from the root, though you should not let the hair grow out too long. 3-4 millimeters is considered the “perfect” length, and many epilators can remove hair as short as .5 mm.
You clean a epilator much like you would a razor. It is very important to keep your epilator clean, or you could encounter dangerous bacteria that leads to skin irritations or even infections. Many epilators have fully removable heads that you run under water. For added safety against bacteria, some epilators even include antimicrobial protection right in the epilator’s design.
Philips Norelco’s history goes back to 1948 when they released their first electric shaver and just went by Norelco. A few years later, they produced the two-headed electric shaver and cemented their position as the leading company for electric shavers. Since then, they have made both rotary and foil electric shavers, high-speed shavers, and epilators. They also bought Philco (in 1981) and were able to add “Philips” to the brand name, since the original Philco company had been preventing Norelco from using “Philips.”
Emoji is credited as the first brand to transform tweezing from a painful, manual process to something fast and painless. They have won several awards for their epilators, which are sold in stores like Target, Ulta, CVS, and more. Emoji is owned by Soft Lines International, which produces personal care products (like epilators, razors, etc).
In 1921, Max Braun established a workshop and began creating radios. In the 1950’s, the company branched out and created their first electric shaver, which would soon become their signature product. In 2005, Proctor & Gamble acquired Braun and over the next three years, phased out all of Braun’s US products except personal grooming tools and toothbrushes. Braun produces several series of epilators, including wet/dry ones and ones designed specifically for facial hair.
Epilady is responsible for the world’s first electric epilator, which came out in 1986. Their other products include trimmers, shavers, and other personal grooming tools that are specifically geared toward hair removal. With such strong technological innovation behind their name, Epilady epilators can be more expensive than other brands, but they are considered extremely effective.
Wet or dry
Some more advanced epilators are completely waterproof, which means you can use them in the shower or dry in front of the bathroom mirror when you’re in a hurry. The benefit of using an epilator in the shower is that you can add gel to your epilation routine, which results in increased comfort.
Many epilators come with extra grooming tools, like a shaver and bikini trimmer. Some luxury-brand epilators (which can be very expensive) even include a tweezer set for eyebrow grooming. Getting this kind of all-in-one hair removal package might initially cost more, but you don’t have to spend a lot of time shaving and plucking every week, or purchasing new razors all the time when they get dull.
The epilation process can be uncomfortable, especially if you aren’t used to plucking. Features like an efficiency cap help reduce that tugging sensation, so you can use the epilator in very sensitive areas without wincing in pain. The cap results in a hair-removal experience that is gentler than waxing, razors, or hair-removal creams, even if your skin is extra tender. Some advanced epilators are designed with a “massaging” stimulator that helps reduce any pain from the tweezers. This motion essentially rubs your skin before tweezing, which results in smoother, gentler epilation.
Fine, short hairs can be very difficult to see, even under the bright lights of a bathroom. Facial hairs are especially tricky, and it is all too easy to miss strays that hide in the shadows. Some epilators include mini-spotlights that shine a targeted beam on the area you’re working on, so you don’t miss any hairs.