Sunday, May 8, 2011

Epilation - the act of removing hair

Let out a warrior howl and yank those bad boys OUT!  Summer is here and we want to bare our legs.  We do NOT want to waste time shaving every single day to keep our legs smooth.  Enter the Epilator – one of the greatest inventions known to womankind – mankind too as it seems many men are choosing to forgo the chest hair these days.  (Such a shame really - I love a man with some HAIR on his chest!). 

Epilators have come a long way since the first one of years ago.  Epilady was launched in 1986 and was the FIRST electric hair epilator.  In my opinion it was one of the greatest inventions EVER!  I notice on the Epilady website that this model still exists!  Though it works well I would recommend one of the newer designs if you wish to epilate more sensitive areas.  Easier to control where IT goes if you get my meaning.

You will read that your results will last for 4 weeks.  Well, I will tell you that you will not wait 4 weeks to epilate again.  Currently, you are accustomed to perfectly smooth legs that are devoid of hair.  Seeing just one hair that escaped epilation will drive you to pull out your epilator or a pair of tweezers.  The Epilator is a tool that you will grow to love once you get the hang of it.  Over time, the hair grows in so much finer and there is less of it.  My mother in law's legs are like SILK!

Using an epilator is cheaper than waxing and much cleaner.  You won’t nick yourself however, you can pinch your skin if you do not hold looser skin taunt (like behind the knee).  If you do get your skin pinched TURN THE EPILATOR OFF….then you will be able to release the skin.

The very first epilator that I ever saw was the Epilady shown at the top of this page.  There was a commercial on TV and they showed this nasty looking spring (see photo) attached to the bottom of what resembled an electric shaver.  As this spring moved it yanked out hair.  My mother had one of those.  It was passed down to us after she gave up on it.  My mother in law had one as well and she loved it.  To this day, even with all the new variations of this clever little machine, there are those that love it and those that can do without.  Some say it is painful.   It can be painful much in the same way that when you first tweezed an eyebrow it stung a bit.  Remember though that after doing it a few more times you didn’t feel much discomfort?  It is the same with the epilator.  The first couple times you notice it but I would not call it painful.  Childbirth – THAT’S painful.  Actually, I got to the point where when I would notice the epilator grab a hair I would cheer it on “Yeah, you go!  Tear those fuzzies OUT!”  It takes some dedication.  Over time, you will see that you can go for longer and longer periods of time without bothering to epilate your legs.  It’s very freeing. 

The newer designs allow for better control/ease of use.  There are many different brands and most of them are great.  These do produce a bit of noise so do not expect them to be quiet.  In this writing I am focusing on the original brand Epilady brand as this is how I came to know about epilators.  There are other great brands like, Braun and Emjoi as well.  These are very affordable these days.  You can find Emjoi on HSN on clearance for 39.95 as of today but the original Epliady style shown at the top of this page still retails for about 99.00 (and worth every penny!).  Read reviews if possible on the model you select for purchase and you should do very well on a model in your price range.

A few things to remember:

*ONLY Epilate skin that is clean and free from lotions and oils etc.

*Epilate AFTER your shower and after having exfoliated.

*Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!  Everyday, in the shower as you wash, use a micro-fiber washcloth and wash your legs as you normally would but be sure to give them a nice scrub to lift those hairs up to attention for easy tweezing when you epilate.  You can also use a body scrub but I find a micro-fiber wash cloth is much less messy and takes away dead skin just as well as your favorite salt scrub.

*If you are having problems with folliculitis (this can happen sometimes when you epilate and get an infected follicle.) Do not moisturize immediately following epilation – rather wait until the next day.  Also, to aid in healing, grab a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide and dab it onto the sore areas a couple times a day – it should clear up quickly.

“Folliculitis is inflammation of one or more hair follicles. It can occur anywhere on the skin. Symptoms: Common symptoms include a rash, itching, and pimples.”

*CLEAN your epilator after each use.  Cleaning your epilator will prolong its "life" and protect your skin from infections.  Turn off and/or unplug the Epilator.  Brush out the hair with the brush that accompanies the Epilator.  That is the info that will come with your Epilator.  I have added the following procedure to my Epilator cleaning/maintenance – It really made a difference for me but I cannot guarantee that your particular epilator might not appreciate it.  That said, I have used many different models and have not had issue with the following:

Turn it off and brush out the loose hair – (remove the top section per your instructions enclosed with your particular model and brush inside that area too to prolong the use of your Epilator – you don’t want hair building up in there).  Use a Q-tip or brush to apply peroxide or rubbing alcohol lightly to the tweezer disks as you spin the top manually. (Remember to unplug and turn off first)  Do not over soak it…just apply a light film.  Then I turn the Epilator on and as it spins I just blow air into it to be sure it is good and dry prior to storing.  (Close your eyes while blowing into it to keep any further loose hair from flying into your eyes.)

*I recommend that even though you may see hairs pop up again in a couple of days (as they are not all in the same growth cycle) refrain from epilating again for at least a week especially if you are having issues with folliculitis or clogged follicles.  Let them heal.  Also, realize that a little bit of hair isn’t that noticeable.  The hair will grow in soft and will not scratch as you cross your legs or touch them.  They will feel smooth.  If they feel sharp (as they do when they grow back from a shave) you will know that you are eplilating on too high a setting.  This will break the hair instead of pulling it out at the root.  You use the lowest setting for the thickness of the hair.  You may start out with a heavier setting if you have course hair and end up after some time on a lighter or slower setting.  Pay attention to this and you will have a much better result.  Pull the skin taunt as you move about the area you are working on - especially inner thigh.  This will help to prevent skin pinching and more effectively remove the hairs.  If the epilator pinches your skin, quickly turn it off and it should release.  

These can be used on areas other than the legs and I will leave that up to you!  I will give you one example though.  UNDER the arms!  WARNING epilating under the arms does sting more but still does NOT come close to child birth pains!  You must hold the skin very taunt.  Takes a bit of practice but you will get it.  Also, as I mentioned before, with repetition the pain will not be an issue.  Best to start while the hair (in all cases) is not so long.  The longer the hair – the bigger the pain.  It will be worth your effort epilating your armpits though.  Ever notice that dark shadow that some ladies have when they raise their arms?  That will be a thing of the past.

One more thing.  Though some of the regular models can be used on the face there are specialized models for this.  

Epilators are great!  It will take time to get the results that you are looking forward to.  Be patient with yourself.  It will take longer to epilate than it takes you to run a razor up and down your legs.  Your smooth legs, however, will last for days.  They will be smooth even when the hair starts to grow back in because it will NOT be prickly and uncomfortable.  You will feel like a EPILADY!

For additional information on Epilation and my newest Epilator review please visit this link: Revisiting Epilation - The Act of Removing Hair


  1. I can do everything to remove my hair except waxing. I hated waxing that I use tweezer to remove each hair of my leg, that take very long time. But now I have epilater (around 40 tweezers), which look like a harvester that take shorten time.

  2. An epilator is also my favorite equipment that it help me to shorten hair removal time. It's also small that I can bring it when I go upcountry.

  3. I need a new one now. Finally wore mine out. If anyone has a favorite please let me know by posting here :-) please and thank you.

  4. I have a phillips epilaltor and i love using if for my underarms!! It works really well for my underams, and honestly it never even hurt very much for me. It works a lot better than shaving, because when shaving, my underams got stubble in only a few hours, but not with epilating stubble and darkness is not a problem!! :) However, it does not work well on my legs. It NEVER feels smooth, even after just epilating, and i have to go over the places o bunch of times but it still does not work well. I feel like it may be breaking the hair instead of pulling it out. It hurts a little but not very much, considering how a lot of reviews say they kill, but for me the pain is not that bad. Is there a special technique I can try? I want to epilate my legs but its not working out right now! :( Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. Heh there. Thank you for writing. I have had the experience that you are speaking of and, yes, I believe those are broken hairs. Do you have a speed setting on your epilator? If so, for your legs, use the lower setting. It sounds like you have fine hairs and the high setting that would work well under the arms, will break off the finer hairs. I have also found that those hair removal discs, they are oval an slip onto your hand and finely sand the skin, helps to get rid of any rough areas and when done regularly, eliminates ingrown hair issues. One more thing. I was ill for over a month, did not epilate at all, and then when I resumed epilating I had such a smooth result and the hair stayed away so much longer. After that, I waited at least two weeks and during the two weeks I would periodically use the removal disks I mentioned just on areas prone to ingrown hairs. After a few cycles of this I am now enjoying much longer periods of hair free and SMOOTH SILKY legs. Also, I rarely need to use the disks because I have virtually eliminated the ingrown hair issue. As a bonus, the same result for under the arms, where I used to have to touch up there more often. Now, it stays clear as long as my legs do with just a few fine hairs popping up now and then. I hope this info helps, if not, please write again. Also, I am using a double headed epilator that I didn't like so much originally due to broken hairs. Now, I love it. I think it is from Emjoi.

    2. Those are great tips, thank you so much!!!

  5. Hi there. Thanks for this post. Are the oval removal disks called Smooth Away? I remember I tried using this product and it left me with a nasty rug burn. I think I used it for too long. It didn't work well for sanding hair away but I think you are right that it could help with exfoliation to prevent ingrown hair.

    I am wondering what you did to stop your hair from breaking. I know that with fine hair an epilator can break hair instead of pulling it out. As you mentioned, I know that using the epilator at a slower speed helps. Also, I find using a little baby powder helps the epilator grip the hair better.

    I think waiting between sessions absolutely helps. I have also tried experimenting with the length of the hair. I know when you get a wax if your hair is too short or too long, it can break. What works best for you?

    1. Hi there. Yes, Smooth Away, however there are generic types on Ebay. Yes, if you use it with too much pressure and/or for too long you will get a brush burn. To sand hair away you must use a circular motion and just the right amount of pressure. I use them to "tidy up" between epilations along with the exfoliation of those bumpy areas. It really does help with the ingrown hairs. You will still see them now and again in the usual areas. For me, the sides of my legs below my knees and bikini area. If you use the disks a few times or so a week during the times in between epilation, you will have a much better experience overall. Sometimes, I will just do my areas prone to the ingrown hairs and sometimes my entire legs. It really exfoliates the skin nicely and my lotion (cocoa butter) absorbs nicely that way too. (Don't moisturize after epilation! Wait at least 24 hours or your pores WILL clog and block hair growth causing more ingrown hairs.)

      The breakage rarely happens now because the hairs come out so easily. Sometimes I can pull them with using only my fingernails! That said, use the lowest speed available for the finer hair. For the thicker hair, underarms or bikini area, use the higher setting. I also find that you really must epilate clean skin only. In fact, use the disks before your shower. Take a shower and use your washcloth to exfoliate legs a bit too (gently, don't go nuts.) Dry off completely after shower and then epilate. Pull the skin tight as you go along. Use circular movement and almost a scooping motion as you press into the circle as if to lift the hair away. Keep the epilator very clean. Clean it after EVERY use. The skin and skin oils will coat the disks and make them less effective (have less grip) and may break your hair as a result. I'm not sure that I would use baby powder as that would surely coat the disks and perhaps get inside the unit itself. I find the double head model is fantastic and FAST. At first I didn't think it would work for under arms or bikini area but it does. I just lean/tilt it so only one head is used for those areas. If I must replace this unit, I will try to find another just like it. I think QVC has the double headed model!

      Yes, waiting between sessions by at least a week will help a lot. If you can go two weeks, even better. The more you can do this, the better. It really helps to avoid the ingrown hairs PLUS you catch more hair in the same growth cycle. As a result, eventually, you get to go longer and longer between uses!

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for taking the time to comment and share your experience. I hope that I have been of some help. If you have further questions, feel free to write. Have a wonderful evening!

  6. An epilator device is more convenient than waxing or tweezing. Waxing is a real hassle. Tweezing each individual hair can take forever, and it is painful process. Braun Silk epil is my favourite. It is very useful and seems the best in the market.

  7. I'd be terrified to use epilator.My sister bought for present and when I used it I shocked. Because I had no pain and ıt was an amazing experience for me. I have still it and I can have smoother skin and I have more relax for economically.

  8. That said, I'd love to try an epilator. I find shaving every other day and absolute chore and if it meant I got away with only doing my legs weekly I'd try and suffer the pain! ...although I still use Bonjela to numb my eyebrows before plucking, so perhaps I'm not that brave! lol

  9. I use an epilator for a long time because it is the best method to remove unwanted hair. I've tried just for a few times to wax my legs and it hurt so much that I promised myself that I will never use this method. Since I started to use an epilator, I loved it. Although at the beginning it was some pain, bearable, at this time, after a few years, the pain is so little that I can epilate wherever I want on my body, legs, armpits, bikini line.

  10. I personally love my epilator electric Karmin ;)

  11. The most affordable methods of removing unwanted hairs are with the use of disposable shavers or waxing. However, shaving can be not as effective and waxing is quite a painful process. So the next solution is using an epilator, which will provide you with a silky smooth skin for a couple of weeks or so. It’s not as painful as waxing and is definitely less hassle than shaving every day.