One of the toughest and most frequently asked questions when it comes to hair removal is “what to choose between epilator vs shaving”. And being indecisive AF collectively (as women) doesn’t help. Which also explains the presence of one hundred thousand articles attempting to answer the same question. Well, no promises, but I’ll take a shot too, for I’ve tried both epilating and shaving (and then some more). And I do have a few insights to offer when it comes to “Epilator vs Razors”.
Epilator vs Shaving – What Are The Pros & Cons Of Each Method?
Epilators and shaving are two of the most popular hair removal methods today. Now, before addressing the age-old question of which among epilators and shaving is better, let’s evaluate both the hair removal methods on a few important criteria. But before we do that, let’s understand a bit more about both the methods.
What Is Shaving?
Shaving is the removal of hair, using a razor or blade, and primarily works by slicing down the hair to the level of your skin. This is important to understand, since, with shaving, the stubble would be much more pronounced, compared to epilation or waxing.
What Is Epilation?
Epilators are electric devices that remove hair from the follicle, just like waxing. They are comparable to electric tweezers, and work by pulling out the hair from the root.
Shaving vs Epilation – Which One Should You Prefer?
Let’s evaluate both shaving and epilation on a few important criteria. Once we have done that, you will have all the information needed to make an informed decision on the much-debated question of epilator vs shaver – which should you prefer.
1) Which Is More Painful?
I’m not really the sugar-coating type, epilating is hella painful (I swore to myself I’d rather chop my arm off, than touch the demonic device again). But then it gets better (or maybe you just get used to the pain). Also, pain tolerance varies from person to person. Some ladies (read “aliens”) don’t find it that painful even the first time.
Since shaving just trims down the hair, it is not at all painful. You need to be careful with the curvy parts though. (You’d know if you’ve ever misjudged while shaving your ankle). So, when it comes to a lady shaver vs epilator, epilators are clearly the more painful of the lot!
2) Which Results In More Ingrown Hairs?
Any person who regularly shaves his/her body hair is not new to ingrown hairs. It seems no matter how careful we are about shaving or waxing, ingrown hairs are inevitable. Shaving in the wrong direction causes even more ingrown hairs!
I have seen ingrown hairs show up while using epilators too, although to a far less degree when compared to shaving. In any case, the incidence of ingrown hairs can be greatly reduced by exfoliating your skin thoroughly before any hair removal. You can read more about preventing ingrown hairs here.
Hence, in my experience atleast, epilators cause less ingrown hairs when compared to shaving.
3) Which Gives Smoother Skin After Hair Removal?
Shaving is the process of cutting down the hair to the level of the skin. It doesn’t involve plucking the hair out from its root, unlike in the case of an epilator or waxing. Shaving just slices down the hair to a shorter length. Right after you shave, you will find that the area that you removed hair from feels smooth. But since it doesn’t pluck the hair out from its roots, hair growth will be quicker and a stubble is usually visible within a day or two.
The stubble will be clearly visible if you have black hair and fair skin, less so in case of blonde hair. And within a few days, they go right back to feeling like a cheese grater. Whereas for someone using epilators, this does not happen. To see why exactly this happens, we need to know the working mechanism of each hair removal technique.
Epilators work by pulling the hair right from its roots, whereas razors only cut hair at the skin’s surface, leaving a blunt tip. It is precisely due to this reason, epilators offer a more lasting smoothness when compared to shaving.
4) Which Is More Effective At Removing Hair?
No discussion for epilator vs shaving is complete without discussing the relative effectiveness of each form of hair removal. As discussed above, epilators work by pulling hair from the roots, which results in the hair talking a much longer time to grown when compared to shaving. Razors cut hair at the skin’s surface, and hence hair grows much faster to its full length. Epilators also offer a much longer lasting smoothness when compared to shaving. Hence, in this section of epilator vs shaving, we have a clear winner.
Epilators offer a much longer lasting form of hair removal, as well as longer lasting smoothness, when compared to shaving.
5) Which Among Shaving Vs Epilators Is Faster?
Speed of operation is an important factor to take into consideration when it comes to shaving vs epilator. When epilating, one has to make sure that the device is held perfectly perpendicular to your skin surface, lest you risk the hair breaking mid-way.
Shaving is a comparatively faster process, as you just have to be careful not to cut yourself accidentally. As a result, epilating often takes longer than shaving. So when it comes to speed of operation, shaving offers a relatively faster form of hair removal when compared to epilating.
6) Which Is Cheaper – Shavers Or Epilators?
Now we move onto another important factor in this epilator vs shaving showdown. Epilators range from $15 to $150, depending on the brand and features offered. It is best to get a body epilator with extra caps for other areas. Epilator devices from brands like Braun works for a considerable period of time without much deterioration in performance. Plus, you don’t have to give an arm and a leg for it! (Would be weird if you did though, what would you epilate then?)
Normal razors are pretty cheap when compared to epilators. They range from anything under $10 to $50. However, unlike epilators, they don’t work for years. You need to replace the blades or the razor itself after a few rounds of shaving.
Thus, epilators are one-time investments and work properly for years before you notice a drop in their performance, and hence are more cost-effective in the longer run when compared to razors.
Epilation Vs Shaving – Results
Let’s summarize the strong and weak points of each form of hair removal.
Epilating – Pros & Cons
- Results in much longer lasting smoothness
- Hair grows back thinner and smoother
- More cost effective in the longer run
- Comparatively less messy to use
- Cost of the epilator device is high as compared to shaver/razor
- Unlike shaving, epilation is painful.
- Time-consuming compared to shaving
- Sometimes causes ingrown hair, bumps, and redness
Shaving – Pros & Cons
- Quick and convenient
- Easy to do; does not need any assistance
- Not painful
- Cheaper products
- Hair grows back in no time
- Continuous investment needed
- Leaves a stubble
- Causes more ingrown hairs
- More chance of causing skin irritation
Verdict – Is Epilator Better Than Shaving?
Well, I personally prefer epilators to shaving. But it totally varies from person to person. When it comes to epilator vs shaving, both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing between epilating or shaving depends on your personal preferences. If you don’t want to invest so much time on hair removal and would rather invest once and be done with it, go for an epilator. If you can’t bear the pain and don’t mind putting in those extra hours in the shower every few days, opt for shaving. Also, whether it is an epilator or shaver, there are a gazillion options available and you need to choose the right one.
Hopefully, I’ve covered all your queries and confusions and you’ve found your winner in the epilator vs shaving battle! If you enjoyed reading this article, do leave some positive comments below! If you didn’t, well still leave some positive comments below!
I have also consolidated the parameters above in the form of an easy to read FAQ below.
Since epilators work by pulling hair out from the roots, they are painful, especially the first time you epilate. Epilating in a shower reduces the amount on pain involved. Also check out this post on how to reduce epilator pain.
Both the methods have their pros and cons, as highlighted in this article. Epilation, however, produces more lasting results compared to waxing, since they work by actually pulling out the hair from your root.
It’s always recommended to epilate in the shower, since the pain involved is a lot less compared to epilating dry. Check out this post for some of the best wet dry epilators we have shortlisted.
Facial skin is extremely sensitive, and if you plan on epilating your facial hair, we recommend using one of the facial epilators from reputed brands like Braun.