Our hair is gorgeous and fabulous, but it has a habit of showing up in the most awkward areas. Unwanted hair on your face, hands, feet, and bikini line is one of the most common cosmetic issues women experience. While there are quite a few hair removal options, it is essential to note that some of these are a little expensive, painful, and time-consuming. A silky, smooth, hairless body has been the perfect combination for feminine beauty. The ancient Egyptian ladies developed numerous body hair removal procedures.
Waxing and epilation are the two most popular and widely utilized hair removal procedures used by ladies all over the globe to obtain smooth hairless skin. Having a hard time choosing which approach is best for you? Keep reading to identify which method suits you the most.
Waxing vs. Epilator: Definition
Waxing is a temporary hair removal method wherein a sticky wax coating is directly applied to the skin. The coating is removed, thus resulting in the uprooting of hair follicles. (1)
An epilator is a battery-powered device that removes hair from its roots. Unlike waxing, it can quickly get rid of unwanted hair in a very short span of time (2). Tweezing, waxing, and threading are all forms of epilation. The most recent in hair removal technology, the electric epilator devices use a spinning, tweezer-like head.
Women’s body hair removal is not a new technique; it can be dated back to ancient Rome and Egypt. Egyptians, such as Cleopatra, began the tradition of using oil and honey as early as 60 B.C. and regarded hairlessness to be appropriate hygiene. This was eventually imitated by the Romans, who considered hairlessness to be a sign of prosperity and dignity.
How it’s done?
Waxing can be done to any part of the body. We’ll look at two ways – how waxing is used and how it’s done. The most common types of waxing are listed below.
1. Hard wax or Hot wax
This is one of the most common procedures in which hot wax is applied to the area to be waxed. The wax is applied in a thick coating and then allowed to cool so that it hardens and can be easily removed. The hair is then removed by peeling off the wax. This can remove unwanted hairs of sensitive areas such as the face, stomach, and bikini line.
2. Soft wax or Strip wax
This approach involves applying the wax in a thin layer over the region where the hair is to be removed. A paper strip is then placed to the part and quickly pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. This can be used to remove unwanted hairs of larger areas of the body, such as the legs, back, and hands (3).
Using an Epilator
There are different types of epilators available in the market today. Some of them are specifically designed for specific body parts and are water-resistant, which can be used in the shower. So let’s explore how we can use this electronic gadget.
- Start by holding the epilator at a 90-degree angle to your skin.
- Avoid pressing the gadget to your skin. Instead, press it lightly on your skin.
- Pull your skin tight to reduce the pain and make the process more effective, then glide the epilator gradually in the direction of hair growth.
TIP: Try to use an epilator during the nighttime as it will heal your skin overnight, minimizing any redness and irritation caused. On the other hand, avoid using an epilator during your period as you’re more sensitive towards pain and discomfort during that time.
Which Option is Best? Waxing vs. Epilators
- Depending on the features you choose, epilators can cost anywhere from $40 to $200. However, epilators are a one-time investment, and if you care for them properly, you won’t have to buy replacement heads or other parts in the long run.
- While getting a professional wax done by an expert can be pretty pricey, you could also opt for at-home waxing kits. However, even though it’s only required every few weeks, the costs add up.
The best option – Epilators
2. Long-lasting finish
- The results of epilation will last approximately 3 to 4 weeks since it removes hair from the root, contrary to other surface methods of removal like shaving and depilatory creams. And some say that the longer you do it, the slower your hair will grow back. To epilate, your hair should be roughly around 1/8-inch in length.
- Waxing removes the hair straight from the root, which results in a longer period for new hair to grow back. The time it takes for new hair to grow varies from person to person and skin type, but it usually takes 3-4 weeks. However, if you want to wax again, you’ll need to wait for the hair to grow back to ¼ of an inch or more.
The best option – Epilators
- While both options can be painful at first, they can be less painful once your skin gets used to it.
- When it comes to reducing pain while waxing, speed and efficiency are important. Consider removing a band-aid – you want to get it off as soon as possible. When removing the wax strip, it’s also important to keep the skin taut to reduce pain.
- Remember that if an epilator hurts too much, it might be due to increased skin pressure. So don’t press the device down onto your skin; instead, carefully hold and guide your epilator across the skin, pulling the skin taut (4).
The best option – Both (Depending on your skin’s sensitivity)
4. Quickest Process
- Waxing at home can be a daunting task to most of us as not only is it a quite messy task, but it also takes up some additional time to get the wax heated up. While getting a professional wax might be quick, waxing at home could take you up to an hour or two to have your arms and legs done, depending on your skill.
- On the other hand, it is quite simple to use an epilator. It is either plugged in or battery-operated and ready to use. Epilation usually takes less than an hour to get your hands and legs done, and the best part is that there’s no need to clean up afterward, which saves time and effort.
The best option – Epilator
5. Skin Irritability
- While some of the most commonly noticed after-effects of both procedures are skin redness, tightness, and itchiness, it’s quite normal and usually goes away within a few hours. However, if these side effects last for a few days, you’re likely to develop ingrown hairs – A condition in which hair curls back or grows sideways into the skin (5). However, proper hygiene and aftercare could help you avoid this condition.
- Waxing has several purposes. This method of hair removal scrapes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, in addition to pulling out your hair.
The best option – Waxing
Before waxing or using an epilator, start by exfoliating the skin. Exfoliation is essential for painless hair removal and avoiding skin sensitivity.
- For the first 48 hours after hair removal, keep your legs clean and dry, and avoid anything (exfoliating, direct sunshine, saunas, synthetic clothing, and steamy hot baths) that could irritate your skin.
- Clean your devices and applicators to ensure proper hygiene. For example, the use of an unclean epilator or waxing spatula could cause skin irritation.
- We know it’s tempting to examine your skin’s newfound smoothness. However, you should wait at least a day before touching the area. This is due to the risk of bacteria entering the newly sensitized area through your fingers.
- Don’t forget to moisturize your skin every day to keep it smooth and encourage new hair growth. We recommend applying Aloe Vera gel or a gentle moisturizer daily to soothe and relax the skin. This will rehydrate your skin and help alleviate any skin irritations you may be experiencing.
- If you have sensitive skin, any skin issues, or acne problems, consult your dermatologist prior to waxing or epilating.
Both epilation and waxing are effective hair removal treatments that last a long time. Waxing is still popular among women because of its proven outcomes, however, epilators are gradually gaining popularity and may soon overtake waxing as the most popular form of hair removal. However, you may prefer one quality or characteristic over another, and only you can determine which method of hair removal is ideal for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it OK to epilate your pubic hair?
Yes, an epilator can also be used to remove coarser hair, such as facial hair and bikini or pubic hair.
How often should I epilate?
It depends on your hair growth. However, you could certainly epilate weekly or whenever you notice new hairs grow out to roughly around 1/8-inches in length.
Is it better to epilate wet or dry?
Epilating wet skin is often more effective and less painful than epilating dry skin.
What to put after waxing?
Avoid using scented perfumes or moisturizers in the waxed area. Use a mild moisturize to soothe your skin instead.
- “Waxing” – en.wikipedia.org
- “Epilator” – en.wikipedia.org
- “What’s the Difference Between Soft Wax and Hard Wax?” – healthline.com
- “Do epilators hurt? Epilating tips for pain-free hair removal” – philips.co.in
- “Ingrown hair“- en.wikipedia.org