To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.Winston Churchill
The beauty world seems to have really embraced these words by Winston Churchill. What else could be the reason for coming up with new “changing” trends in everything from beauty products (did you know there’s something called a powder lipstick?) to skin care? Well, whether or not you’ve heard about the powder lipstick, I’m pretty sure you have heard somewhere about the word epilators and are looking to find out more about this new invention creating ripples in the world of hair-removal. We have tried to cover everything from “what is an epilator” to “how does an epilator work” and “where to use an epilator”. Let’s dive right in!
NOTE – If you are searching for a guide on how exactly to use an epilator, I urge you to visit this page. Promise, you won’t be disappointed! If you are interested in knowing what is an epilator, read on!
WHAT IS AN EPILATOR?
Epilators are electronic devices consisting of a bunch of electronic tweezers or a spring which pulls hair out right from the hair follicle. The tweezers or spring capture multiple hairs and pull them out from the follicle due to the rotating action of the head or the disc. It’s basically like tweezing, except that there are hundreds of tweezers working simultaneously, assisted by a rotating head.
DO EPILATORS REALLY WORK?
Like a charm. Well, except for the pain; there is nothing charming about that. But it is totally worth the silky smooth skin you get to enjoy (and show off) for weeks (or months). Epilators are quite effective as they pluck multiple hairs from the follicles simultaneously. So you get results similar to waxing, without all the mess. The hair growth also reduces over a period of time and the hair that grows back is usually found to be thinner.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EPILATORS?
Since you are interested in knowing what is an epilator, let’s get a bit technical now, shall we? Based on the working mechanism, epilators are of three types:
1) SPRING TYPE EPILATOR
These were the first ever epilators to appear in the market. First developed in Israel and released by a company called Epilady. These epilators simply consisted of a spring bowed into a curve. It was designed in such a way that the coils of the spring would come together on one side and move apart on the other side. The part that comes together would grab the hairs. As the motor rotates the spring, the hairs get pulled out and as the coils separate on the other side, these hairs were released.
Nowadays, manual spring epilators are used for facial epilation. It just consists of a spring with two handles. When the handles are turned, coil grabs and pulls the hair out.
2) ROTATING DISC EPILATOR
These work on a similar principle as spring epilators except that the spring is replaced by rotating metallic discs. As the discs rotate, these trap and pull hair out from the follicles. The hair is simultaneously discarded due to the centrifugal force of the rotating discs, which means you have to clean the epilator a bit less once your session is done. On the other hand, it means there is more hair on the floor!
The company Remington was the first to come up with rotating disc epilators.
These are the most common epilators nowadays. A tweezer epilator consists of a head, which incorporates a number of metal plates mounted in a plastic housing. As the head rotates, the disc tips of the metal plates come together and then move apart. As they come together, they trap the hair and as they move apart, due to the rotation of the disc, the hair gets pulled out thus creating a tweezing effect.
Now, coming to the different types of epilators available in the market these days. These can be corded or cordless epilators. While the corded epilators are usually more powerful, cordless and rechargeable epilators are preferred for facial or bikini epilation as these are more convenient to move around. Plus, there are many new powerful, cordless epilators in the market. Epilators can also be wet, dry or wet and dry. Dry epilators can’t be used in the shower. It is observed that the pain considerably reduces if epilation is done in the shower. However, dry epilators are found to be more efficient. Hence, most people opt for wet and dry epilators, as you get the best of both worlds.
Epilators can also be classified based on the body parts for which these are designed (whew!). Body epilators, facial epilators, and bikini epilators to name a few. Most people prefer body epilators which come with extra attachments or caps that can also be used for facial epilation, bikini epilation etc. Braun silk epilators have worked wonders for me and have most of the extra attachments I usually need. These are very efficient and worth every penny!
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU USE AN EPILATOR?
Usually, epilation lasts for a good 2-3 weeks minimum. For some lucky ones with lesser hair growth, it lasts for a month. It depends on a lot of factors such as the type of hair (thin or coarse), type of epilator used etc.
DO EPILATORS HURT?
Like a B**CH! I mean, we’re talking about a few dozen electronic tweezers pulling and ripping hundreds of hair fibers out from the root! It’s gotta hurt! But the silky smooth skin you get to enjoy for a month is totally worth all the pain you endure. Also, the pain tolerance increases with continuous usage.
HOW TO USE AN EPILATOR?
Even though it is a painful process, following the right steps can reduce the pain to a great extent and also lead to more efficient results. Once again, if you are interested in a full guide on how to use an epilator, I recommend you visit this wonderful page.
- Take a warm shower before using an epilator. The warm water opens up the pores and makes plucking out the hairless painful.
- Shave your legs 2-3 days prior to the epilating session, so that the hair is shorter when you epilate.
- If you’re using a dry epilator, make sure that all the water and any lotion/makeup is completely removed. Sprinkling talcum powder on the skin also helps to soak up any remaining moisture.
- You can either pop a painkiller an hour or so before you start the epilation, or you can apply a numbing cream to the area you want to use the epilator on.
- Choose the right epilator. It can make a lot of difference with respect to efficiency as well as the pain.
- Choose the right day and time. It helps if you are stress-free and relaxed. Epilating at night is preferred as epilating can cause redness of the skin, and epilating overnight will make sure that the redness of the skin will be gone by the time you wake up in the morning.
- Adjust the speed according to your pain tolerance level. If you are epilating for the first time, it is advisable to use a slower speed setting. If you are immune to pain, go for a faster setting as you’ll be done with the process quickly.
- Hold the epilator at the right angle and do not press it too hard. Holding the skin taut is also necessary.
- Follow it up by applying a soothing cream such as aloe vera gel to your skin, which helps in preventing irritation of the skin as well as ingrown hair.
WHERE TO USE AN EPILATOR?
Can you use an epilator on the face? Do epilators work on the bikini area? These are all questions that are frequently asked by first time users of these devices. Epilators work anywhere and everywhere on the body. There are epilators specifically designed for the face, bikini area etc. You can opt for these or go for body epilators which come with extra attachments or caps for specific body areas. The latter option would be cheaper if you are planning to use the epilator on multiple regions. If you are looking to epilate only specific regions such as the bikini area or face, going for a compact and efficient epilator such as the Emjoi Soft Caress Epiltor is advisable. Epilating sensitive areas with thin hair is a bit more trickier if you don’t use an epilator specifically designed for the task, since multiple passes to remove hair from your sensitive areas is really going to test your threshold for pain (ouch!).
WHICH IS THE BEST EPILATOR?
There are a lot of epilators out there. There is no such thing as “the best epilator” as the needs vary from person to person, and on the task at hand. As mentioned before, some epilators are specifically designed to be used on certain parts of the body. Apart from the Braun Silk epilator, a few good brands are Philips, Panasonic etc. This detailed guide we have made on how to choose the best epilator for women might help you!
That’s all about epilators, and we hope that you now know exactly what is an epilator! Hopefully, I’ve covered all your queries related to “what is an epilator and how does it work”. If you have any more doubts regarding epilators, working of epilators or anything else related to epilators, do let us know in the comments below!