If you’re looking into hair removal processes that would work well for your schedule, you’ve likely narrowed your top choices down to two different products - an epilator vs waxing. There are benefits for both of these options, though the best really comes down to a personal choice.
If you’ve been struggling to choose between these two different methods, read my guide to help determine which option is best for you.
The Basics of Epilating
So, what is epilating? If you’ve never heard of epilating before, you may be confused by the appearance of the device. Most epilators simply look like a pair of trimmers, but they’re actually much more complex.
To put it simply, epilators take the idea of waxing and turn it into a mechanical process. However, instead of being forced to pull or rip the hairs off yourself, the many tweezers inside the epilator take care of everything for you.
Every epilator is composed of lots of tiny tweezers that are able to pull hair out from the root. The number usually varies between 20 to 100 tweezers depending on the brand and model you decide to go with.These tweezers pull hairs out simultaneously - though not nearly as much hair as waxing strips.
Epilating typically leaves your skin sensitive and a bit red; however, these effects will wear away within a few hours and the results are well worth it!
Is Epilating Painful?
This is one of the first questions that comes to mind of many who are hesitant to try waxing. The answer, unfortunately, is yes.
Like all hair removal processes, there will be pain involved. However, many women prefer the sensations caused by epilating over other hair removal methods.
These tweezers cover less ground, but are better for more sensitive skin and cause fewer irritations overall. Additionally, using an epilator vs waxing for ingrown hair is less likely to cause issues - so long as you remember to exfoliate.
Can the Pain Be Reduced?
Contrary to what you might hear, an ibuprofen before you epilate will not reduce the pain - though it will help keep inflammation down afterward. Likewise, numbing cream will only numb the area under your unwanted hair, rendering it useless.
When it comes to reducing pain, I’ve found that the best solutions are simple. Putting on your favorite show in the background or singing along to a good playlist will work wonders. When I was first starting to epilate, I also enjoyed sipping on a glass of wine to dull the sensations. As you continue to epilate, your skin will grow more accustomed to the feeling and you won’t experience as much pain.
The Basics of Waxing
Waxing is a much more popular method of hair removal, although it is surprisingly similar to epilating. Waxing is a form of hair removal that requires you to layer a wax mixture over your legs and then quickly rip it off. There are several forms of waxing, though the most popular are hard waxing and sugar waxing.
Many people who are looking for a longer-lasting hair removal system turn to waxing as the ‘tried and true’ method that will guarantee them smooth legs for days. While waxing is very efficient, there are several factors that need to be kept in mind before you commit long term.
The first, and perhaps most important consideration is the time that must pass between waxes. The hair on your legs needs to be at least ¼ inch long before you are able to wax it off, making it less ideal for those who can’t stand to have hairy legs.
Waxing can also be a less ideal method for those with sensitive skin. While hard wax is more accommodating, the majority of wax mixtures can cause irritation because of the additives that are usually mixed in.
Does Waxing Hurt?
Yes, waxing will hurt. However, some people report that the pain from waxing is more bearable because it happens all at once and doesn’t take as long (especially if you’re getting waxed at a salon).
It is also worthwhile to note that many women prefer a Brazilianwax over using an epilator to rid themselves of unwanted pubic hair - even if they do prefer epilation for everything else.
Waxing the pubic area tends to cause less pain. Even if you do decide to use an epilator to give yourself a Brazilian, I’d recommend having it professionally waxed at least once beforehand. This will help to reduce pain and accustom your body to the treatment.
Epilator or Waxing - Which is Better?
In the end, the decision of whether to choose an epilator or waxing will come down to your personal preferences and pain tolerance. However, there are several distinctive categories for these two methods that will help to separate them and show which one is the clear winner.
#1 - Pain
As the topic that tends to generate the most questions and concerns, it is only logical that pain is addressed first. Both epilators and wax pull the hair out from the root which means that the pain is usually equivalent. There are, however, several ways in which the pain levels will differ.
The biggest way that pain levels differ is simply determined by preference. Women who have a higher pain tolerance often prefer epilating because it gives them more control over the hair removal process. They also appreciate being able to go over one area more than once without irritating their skin.
Women who have lower pain tolerances tend to appreciate waxing. Waxing allows more hair to be removed in one pass which makes it faster and easier to bear. Waxing also tends to be the better alternative for sensitive areas like the underarms, face, and pubic region.
Here is a video explaining how to remove body hair at home using an epilator :
There’s no question. When it comes to using an epilator vs Brazilian waxing, the Brazilian wax is the clear winner. Epilating for a Brazilian can be a nightmare - especially if you’ve never had a wax in your pubic area before.
The hair in this region grows thicker and the skin is more sensitive, making for a painful combination. However, despite the noticeable pain level increase, epilating for a Brazilian isn’t impossible.
If you want to learn how to give yourself a Brazilian with an epilator, the first thing you need to do is get a Brazilian wax. It sounds counter-productive - I know - but the wax will help to prep your skin for epilating. Waxing will ensure that the hair in your pubic region grows finer, which will help to minimize the pain of epilating. You need to get at least one wax before you epilate ‘down there’, but I’d recommend getting two or three.You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve invested in an epilator for private areas.
Many women forget to take the after-effects of waxing and epilating into consideration when they make their decision.
For both products, side effects and discomfort tend to go away within 24 to 48 hours. However, there are several considerations that should be made.
Women who wax are often frustrated by the limitations that waxing brings.
If you wax you’ll have to avoid scented products, alcohol-based products, sun exposure, and tight fitting clothing for at least 24 hours to get the best results.
Most red marks will go away within a few hours, but you’ll want to avoid any special events that require you to show skin after your wax.
As much as I love epilating, I do have to admit that there are some epilator side effects.
Epilating will leave red marks and bumps across the skin from irritation at the root. These bumps typically go away within a few hours, especially if a moisturizer is applied afterward.
Epilating is also more difficult when it comes to sensitive areas of your body, which sometimes makes it necessary to invest in more than one hair removal method.
Despite these epilator side effects, there are also several methods for how to epilate without pain.
Here is a video explaining how to epilate without pain :
#2 - Effectiveness and Longevity
When it comes to effectiveness, an argument can be made for both epilating and waxing.
While waxing has the potential to keep you smooth for a longer period of time in the long run, epilating certainly has its perks too.
With waxing, you’ll be able to go between grooming periods anywhere from two to four weeks when you first start. As time goes on and your skin becomes more accustomed to the process, you’ll be able to go up to eight weeks without a wax!
With epilating, on the other hand, you probably won’t ever exceed two to four weeks between your touch-ups. However, this is largely because you can do touch-ups sooner with epilating than you can with waxing.
So which is better? If you don’t mind waiting for your hair to grow out to the necessary ¼ inch every few weeks, you might enjoy waxing. If not, you’ll probably be better off epilating. Additionally, if you live a lifestyle that requires you to be in the sun consistently, epilating will be healthier for your skin.
#3 - Difficulty
You might be surprised by how simple it is to get the hang of both epilating and waxing. Both are easily done at home - though some processes (like Brazilians) require a bit more experience and patience than others.
To use an epilator, all you need is an outlet (or a fully charged battery) and plenty of time. Epilators work similarly to razors or trimmers, making them easy to use. Before using epilators however, you’ll want to trim your hair growth down to at least ½ inch. Keep in mind, however, that the lower you go, the less painful it will be.
Waxing is fairly easy once you get the hang of it, but it does still require a bit more precision and technique than epilating does. You’ll want to make sure you have a large area to work in that is lined with plastic/newspaper/etc. to ensure that you won’t have a big mess on your hands when you finish.
The most important thing to keep in mind while waxing is that you want to make sure that you pull the wax off in the opposite direction of your hair growth. This will help to ensure that the wax tears off quickly, cleanly, and doesn’t hurt your skin. You’ll also want to make sure that your hair is between the recommended ¼ inch to ½ inch length before starting.
#4 - Cost
Last but not least, cost is a major factor in determining which product is better for you overall. The cost of waxing has a larger variance depending on if you’re waxing yourself at home or paying to have it done professionally.
Waxing at home will cost anywhere between $80 and $100 for your first year. Getting waxed professionally however, could run you as much as $75 per procedure.
An epilator, on the other hand, will run you anywhere from $30 to $200 depending on what quality you invest in. The difference? You only have to make the purchase once if you take care of it properly. Additionally, a mid-range epilator (costing about $100) is more than enough to give you high-quality features to enhance your grooming experience.
So what do you think? When it comes down to it, do epilators or waxing kits work better for you? For me, personally, epilators will always come out on top - though there are occasions that I do prefer a wax.
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