The first time with an epilator is the hardest. This is the only time you'll be shaving all of the hair of the area at once (next time only some of the hair will have grown back), and your skin nerves are not yet used to it.
Epilating is probably the least time-consuming and practical form of hair removal, so it's worth taking the effort and time to get over the initial learning curve. Here are some tricks to make that first time doable:
First time epilating for the chicken:
For those scared and with a low pain threshold, this brilliant technique is from Mark Twain (no, no the Mark Twain, besides she's a female).
- Do not attempt this just before or on the first days of your period. That's the time when the skin holds water and it's more painful.
- Take a long, hot bath, if this helps you to relax the skin. For me, the opposite is true: epilation hurts more after a bath.
- Start with your legs, they are usually the easiest to do.
- Be prepared to have hair all over the place, so do it in the bathtub or spread a towel.
- Use an ice-pack to numb the skin. Dust legs with talc (or better: cornstarch).
- Use the Epilator on just shaved skin. Yes, there will be hardly any results, but there won't be any pain either, and your muscles will relax; it's important to get into the habit of relaxing while epilating, this reduces the pain greatly.
- Maintain flat, taut surfaces by straightening the legs and stretching your skin. Otherwise it might pinch !
- Repeat next day (except, of course, no shaving). Heck, repeat later same day. You will achieve the results gradually while staying within your comfort zone as far as the pain goes. Do it every day until you feel in control, then gradually reduce the time interval between epilations to up to a month.
- When you begin feeling pain on one leg, switch to the other. Somehow that reduces the pain.
- Use long, quick strokes until you are comfortable.
- Holding the device so that it rotates in the direction of the hair growth makes the process much more gentle on you and more time consuming.
- If you feel like giving up at any point, remember the 2nd epilation will be nothing like the first; the 3rd will be a breeze.
Brilliant ! Yes, this does take more time, but you won't get traumatised and discouraged by a hard first time. If you're not chicken, I'd still suggest epilating stubble (2-3 days after shaving) rather than long hair (which is way more painful).
What ? Blood ?
Yes, you might see some blood drops. That's quite normal the first or second time, and after that it usually doesn't happen any more.
My legs are all red and irritated !
That will go away after some hours or a day. After you've got used to epilating, you skin won't get irritated anymore.
Can I use soap, spray tan or real tan ?
After the first time, don't use any of these for at least 24 hours.
It snagged my skin !
I told you to hold it taut.
After you've gotten used to epilating, it's time to change your technique ! Often the painful and clumsy epilating at the beginning forms bad epilating habits. My next post will deal with how to epilate for that smooth effect, and deal with ingrown hair.
Photo by tear.drop.