There are now a large number of products available to manage hair growth on the body. There’s shaving, of course. And laser hair removal and IPL hair removal. And of course, there’s waxing. But one of the most popular options is the epilator. In this article, we’ll be looking closely at epilators, specifically the Disadvantages of Epilator use.
Is this device a good choice for your body? Should you choose it over waxing, Laser Hair Removal, etc? Let’s take a look!
A “Hairy” Situation
It may be hard to believe it, but there was once a time in the not so distant past where women did not shave at all. It wasn’t until the early-1900s that ads first started airing for a special type of powder designed to get rid of underarm hair in women.
By the 1920’s it was commonplace for women to shave, and today over 98% of all women surveyed regularly shave as part of their hygiene routine. This cultural shift happened almost overnight. It quickly spread around the world, all because of the power of advertising.
100 years later, though, and surprisingly most women are still shaving the old-fashioned way, despite more effective, modern methods of getting rid of hair. Today, there is a wide range of laser hair removal tools, home waxing kits, and more.
In this article, we’re going to be taking an in-depth look at one of the most innovative new shaving devices on the market- the epilator.
Although to call it a shaving device would definitely be an understatement; it’s more of a total body hair removal solution. See this article for a look at some of the best epilators around.
What Is An Epilator?
The word “epilator” comes from the term “epilation” which refers to the process where hair is removed from the body by the root. This is exactly what you’re doing when you take a pair of tweezers and use them to pull your hairs out.
The only problem with using tweezers is that it takes forever because you can only pull one or two hairs at a time. This is why tweezing is usually reserved for eyebrow care and facial hair, where there isn’t a lot of hair that needs to be removed.
Waxing your hair is also a form of epilation. Your hair is coated with a wax that hardens and traps your hair. The hardened wax is then quickly pulled away from your skin’s surface which rips all of the treated hairs up by their root.
The process is painful… but effective.
The main advantage of removing your body hairs from the root is that they take a lot longer to grow back. When you shave with a razor, you’re just cutting the hair off at the skin’s surface, which only encourages the hair to grow back thicker and stronger. A couple of days later and you’ll need to shave again.
When you remove hairs at the root, your body needs time to grow the root of the hair back first before it starts growing past your skin’s surface. This process can take several weeks at a time, meaning that you won’t have to spend 10 minutes regularly dragging razors across your skin and irritating your skin’s surface.
When the hairs do start to grow back, they’ll be thinner, lighter, and even easier to remove since they’re brand new hairs!
How Epilators Work
At first glance, epilators kind of look like a men’s electric razor. But there are differences between razors and epilators. You’ll notice that the epilator head has a strange ridge-like design. Essentially, an epilator is a “tweezer machine.”
The rolling head is full of V-shaped ridges which are designed to trap hairs and pull them out of your skin just like a pair of tweezers. Only, instead of having to pull each hair out individually and taking hours, you can epilate your entire leg in a matter of minutes.
You’re supposed to hold the device at a 90-degree angle to your skin’s surface and slowly move it across the areas that need hair removal. If your hair is thicker, you may need to run the epilator across the skin’s surface a couple of times, but most of the time one pass is all it takes!
Disadvantages of Epilator Use
Despite the growing popularity of epilators, there are still some common complaints by both skeptics and the people who regularly use them. At the end of the day, almost nobody likes hair removal, but it’s an important part of modern hygiene. Most people just bite the bullet and get it over with.
Now that you know a little bit more about hair epilation and how epilators work, let’s take a few minutes to discuss some of the most common complaints that people have regarding these small devices so you have a better idea of what to expect when using one.
If you watch some of the videos made by YouTube influencers who’ve tried the epilators, the consensus is almost always the same- “It worked great, but it hurt like hell!”
The pain associated with using an epilator is easily the top complaint that most people mention. There are, of course, those who have higher than normal pain tolerance and claim that they barely notice the pain. But if you think about the act of tweezing multiple hairs at the same time, it sounds pretty painful.
That being said, most users say that after they use the epilator a couple of times, the pain is lessened. This is most likely because as the hair is repeatedly removed, it grows back thinner and weaker than before.
After using an epilator for a year or so, your hair will grow back so slowly that you may not have to use this device more than once every 5 to 6 weeks!
The upfront cost of epilators can be enough to turn some people away from buying them. Mid-range epilators typically cost anywhere between $50 and $80, while some of the fancier models on the market can cost upwards of $100 or more.
However, if you compare the price of an epilator to the amount that you would otherwise spend on new shaving razors or a monthly wax appointment, then the price really isn’t that bad.
For example, a full wax treatment at a spa can easily cost $100, and you’ll have to go back every month or so. Over the course of a year, you’ll pay $1,200.
Contrast this to purchasing a nice epilator that can last you for years, and you’ll actually save quite a bit of money. Just think about what you could do with an extra $1,000 every year!
This is a big one.
Epilator use can sometimes cause ingrown hairs. Since you’re pulling up the entire hair by its root, the hair follicle can often become clogged or close up on its own since there’s no longer a hair there to keep it open.
As the hair begins to grow back, it may have trouble pushing back through the skin. When this happens, it will continue to grow under the skin, causing small pimple-like bumps that can be painful, unsightly, and irritating.
While epilation can cause ingrown hairs, so can shaving and waxing. In our opinion, using an epilator won’t cause any more razor bumps than other popular hair removal treatments.
Minimizing Ingrown Hairs
In order to minimize the number of ingrown hairs you get, it’s important to have a good skin treatment routine to go along with your epilator.
First, you should always make sure that your epilator is clean before using it. This will prevent dirt or bacteria from getting trapped in your follicles and pores.
Second, you should always wash with a good soap before epilating. This will ensure that you’re working with a clean surface.
Lastly, you should use an astringent or toner on your skin (such as Witch Hazel) to close up the pores, followed by your regular moisturizing routine.
If you follow all of these steps, your skin, pores, and hair follicles will thank you!
One of the other common complaints about epilators is that they can take a bit more time than using a standard shaving razor or a waxing treatment.
This is mostly true, especially for the first few times that you remove hair.
As long as you remain consistent and use your epilator every time that you see new hair growth, your hair will eventually become thinner and easier to remove. This, in turn, will make hair removal a lot quicker.
Another common trend is to epilate your body one section at a time if you’ve got a busy schedule. For instance, you could epilate your legs in the morning, hit your underarms later that night, and then take care of your bikini line the next day.
Some people are also proponents of this method because they don’t have to go through the pain for as long for each session. The pain is a lot easier to manage if you can get it over with a few short 5-minute increments.
Epilators are the future of personal at-home hair removal. In the long run, you’ll save a ton of money that you would otherwise spend on razors and expensive waxing treatments at the Brazillian spa. Now you can do a Brazilian at home with an Epilator.
While there are some significant disadvantages of epilators, many of the negatives are no worse than the other options out there for hair removal. If you’re going to remove the hair on your body, an epilator isn’t the worst option in terms of price, pain levels, time, and cost.
Another great reason to use epilators is that they’re 100% all-natural and are better for the environment. Epilators don’t require you to put any chemicals or waxes on your skin like traditional Brazillian treatments. With over 2 billion disposable razors thrown away each year, epilators can greatly help reduce your household’s carbon footprint.