Our hair is undeniably fabulous, yet it often appears unexpectedly in areas we’d rather it didn’t – on the face, hands, feet, and bikini line. Dealing with unwanted hair is a common cosmetic concern for many women. While various hair removal options exist, it’s crucial to acknowledge that some can be expensive, painful, and time-consuming. Pursuing a silky, smooth, hair-free body has long been synonymous with feminine beauty, a concept embraced even by ancient Egyptian women who devised numerous procedures for body hair removal.
Waxing and epilation stand as the two most popular and widely adopted hair removal methods embraced by women worldwide in their quest for smooth, hairless skin. I am struggling to decide which approach is the best fit for you. Continue reading to determine which method aligns most seamlessly with your preferences.
Waxing vs. Epilator: Definition
Waxing is a temporary hair removal method with a sticky wax coating 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 remove unwanted hair in a concise period (2). Tweezing, waxing, and threading are all forms of epilation. The most recent in hair removal technology, the electric epilator device uses 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 is a versatile hair removal method applicable to various body parts. Let’s delve into two aspects: the applications and the techniques involved. Among the prevalent types of waxing, one stands out:
1. Hard Wax or Hot Wax
This widely practiced method involves the application of hot wax to the targeted area. The wax is spread in a thick layer and allowed to cool, subsequently hardening for easy removal. The hair is then extracted by peeling off the wax. Notably effective for sensitive areas like the face, stomach, and bikini line, hard wax is a popular choice in waxing.
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 on the part and quickly pulled off in the opposite direction of hair growth. This can remove unwanted hairs from larger body areas, such as the legs, back, and hands (3).
Using an Epilator
There are different types of epilators available in the market today. Some 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 toward 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 your chosen features, 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, the costs add up even though it’s only required every few weeks.
The best option is epilators
2. Long-lasting finish
- The epilation results will last approximately 3 to 4 weeks since it removes hair from the root, contrary to other surface removal methods 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 more extended 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, wait for the hair to grow to ¼ of an inch or more.
The best option is epilators
- While both options can be painful at first, they can be less painful once your skin gets used to it.
- Speed and efficiency are essential when it comes to reducing pain while waxing. Consider removing a band-aid – you want to get it off immediately. When removing the wax strip, it’s also essential 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 is both (Depending on your skin’s sensitivity)
4. Quickest Process
- Waxing at home can be daunting to most of us as it is messy and requires additional time to heat it. While getting a professional wax might be quick, waxing at home could take up to an hour or two to have your arms and legs done, depending on your skill.
- On the other hand, it is pretty 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 is an epilator
5. Skin Irritability
- While some of the most commonly noticed after-effects of both procedures are skin redness, tightness, and itchiness, it’s pretty standard and usually goes away within a few hours. However, if these side effects last a few days, you’ll likely 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 hair removal method scrapes dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and pulls out your hair.
The best option is 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, using an unclean epilator or waxing spatula could cause skin irritation.
- We know it’s tempting to examine your skin’s newfound smoothness. However, waiting at least a day before touching the area would be best. This is due to the risk of bacteria entering the newly sensitized area through your fingers.
- Don’t forget to moisturize your skin daily 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.
- Consult your dermatologist before waxing or epilating if you have sensitive skin, skin issues, or acne problems.
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?
An epilator can remove coarser hair, such as facial bikini or pubic hair.
How often should I epilate?
It depends on your hair growth. However, you could undoubtedly epilate weekly or whenever you notice new hairs grow to roughly around 1/8 inch 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 moisturizer 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