Epilation 101 For Those Scared To Try


Why it's worth a try, regrowth and ingrown hair, pain and body parts, and other epilator FAQs

Why should I try epilating ?

    You won't be a slave of daily shaving, and you never ever have sandpaper legs. Epilating is greener than shaving or depilatory creams, and much cheaper in the long run. It's less messy than waxing, and I suspect it's more throughout (I never did get the hang of waxing).

What are the main downsides of epilating ?

   The pain and irritation in the beginning. Also, you might develop ingrown hair if you're not careful.

Does it hurt ?

    It's mostly just the first time, since that's the only time you'll be epilating all the hairs of the area at once. Hair regrows gradually, so the next time you'll be epilating the one-third that grows back by that time. Also, nerves get numb already after the first few strokes (you might notice starting each area is more painful, then it gets better). With time, the nerves on epilated areas learn to ignore the depilator and you'll be doing it without the slightest grimace.

So, how bad is that first time ?

   What's your pain threshold ? Think waxing/tweezing. People who wax don't find epilating tolerable even the first time. People with low pain thresholds have a much harder time. My next post will deal with tips on making the first time less painful.

Does the hair have to be of a certain minimum length ? Do epilators deal with the finest hair ?

   If someone tells you that epilators need the hair to be a minimum length, or that it misses finer hairs is either doing it wrong or has a crappy depilator. My ancient Braun Silk-Epil grips with even the tiniest and the finest hair (although I do need a few passes to get complete smoothness)

Does the hair regrow coarser, or finer ?

   If the hair is regrowing coarser (hint: the tips are blunt, not pointed) then your epilator is breaking the hair instead of pulling it out. You're either doing it wrong, or your gadget is crap. My upcoming posts will tell you how to deal with this problem.

What about ingrown hair ?

   You might get it, it depends on your skin. The trick is to exfoliate often, and moisturise the area.

Which part of my body can I treat with an epilator ?

   Legs and arms is standard and easy, but it's also possible to do your armpits, chin (for intermediate users) and even back and front bikini area (experts only ! I still cringe even at the idea.)

What type of epilator should I get ?

   If your pain threshold is low and you have serious doubts, try borrowing one at first. When buying, go for Braun or Phillips, EpiLady products are much lower quality. Cordless is less green than ones with cord, and usually the cord is long enough to use comfortably. You also don't have an additional chore to remember (keep the batteries charged), but then cordless may be handier while travelling. Read reviews on Amazon, and remember that you don't need the latest and most expensive one to get the best results.

   In my experience, most people who get their fingers burned during epilating get discouraged by the hard first time. Don't worry, it gets way better, and check out tomorrow's post for tips on dealing with your first time with an epilator !
   I realise I've said "doing it wrong" several times in this post. It's because I've been having problems with my depilation and I thought I needed a new epilator... but then I realised it's my technique that was causing the problems. My ancient Braun, I'm keeping you.

Have you ever tried an epilator ? Love it or hate it ? 

Photo by Brennana9    

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