The likelihood is that for those who have never tried epilating, the prospect of individually tweezing out every hair on your body sends shivers down your spine. However, although this is what an epilator does in theory, I promise you it is very different in practice.
I have to be honest, the first time I used an epilator was far from a pleasant experience. I was fresh out of primary school (you know, the age when you start noticing body hair is a thing) and I used my mums god-knows-how-old epilator on my little legs. I’m not going to lie, there were tears. Quite a lot of them. And yet, nearly ten years later and I am still using this little device (although thankfully I have finally upgraded to a newer version). The point of this post isn’t to scare you out of epilating, but rather to help you avoid the tearful experience I had by showing you how to epilate properly, so that hopefully it can be as pain-free as possible.
I have extremely dark, thick hair, so hair removal has always been a lot of effort for me. Shaving not only gave me awful rashes and ingrown hairs, but I had a five o’clock shadow almost as soon as I put down the razor. Whilst a Hollywood bikini wax is probably still up there with one of the worst experiences of my life. As I have grown up, I have tried lots of different hair removal methods, but I think I have finally found a combination that works for me. For my legs, I simply use waxing strips from the supermarket for ease. For my bikini line and underarms, I use my trusty epilator, and have done for many years. Whilst this may sound horrific for some of you, I’m here to tell you why it’s not, and that if I (with the lowest pain threshold ever) can do it, then you certainly can.
After using my mum’s old epilator for years because I was too lazy to buy a new one, the decision was finally made for me when I dropped its unnecessarily big plug on the floor and smashed it into tiny little electrical parts. It was finally time to upgrade. So, this Christmas I received the Braun Silk-Épil 7 as one of my presents!
This epilator comes with 6 different attachments including a shaver head, a separate bikini trimmer, a massage head and caps for different areas of the body! One of the main, and best difference between my old one and this one is that it’s cordless. Finally, no clunky plug to drag around with you! The device has a decent battery life and comes with a charger so you can charge it up whenever you need. What’s more, it can be used wet or dry so you can take it into the shower or bath with you if it’s easier! Overall, so far I have found that this epilator gets rid of even the smallest hairs and really helps for long lasting results!
Overall I do love this product, it is great quality, effective, and I know it is something that is going to last me such a long time!
To sum up all of the good points of this epilator:
- It’s cordless: gives ease of use and portability
- It has a good battery life
- It has a light on it so you can see the skin you are epilating easily
- It comes with lots of different attachments
- It comes with a travel bag
- It can be used wet or dry
- It pulls out really short hairs
- It gives you the option to shave with the different attachments
I would like to think now that I am somewhat of an epilating connoisseur, and I’ve learnt a few things in the past about what works well and what doesn’t. Luckily for you guys, you don’t have to experience all of the not-so-good times to figure out the best method, because I have acted as guinea pig for you, in order to give you a comprehensive guide to epilating. By following these tips, you should have the least painful and smoothest experience possible, leaving you as smooth and hairless as the day you were born…
STEP ONE: PREPARE THE SKIN
With most hair removal, a lot of the success relies on the preparation. You can’t just expect to go in all guns blazing and come out with perfect results, these things take time. But I promise you, you’ll be thanking me later.
Start off by exfoliating the skin in the shower with a rough cleanser. This will get all the ends of the hairs away from the skin and remove any excess dead skin cells that might interfere with the process. I would do this the night before to avoid irritating the skin too much.
My showers are usually hotter than the depths of hell anyway, but this is especially useful when you are going to epilate. By having a hot shower or bath just beforehand, it loosens the hair follicles and opens the pores making it much easier to remove the hairs! I am yet to use my epilator in the shower but this is certainly something you can do with the right epilator. Wet epilating is said to be much less painful so this could be a good place to start for beginners.
Lastly, if you are really nervous about it hurting, you can take some paracetamol about half an hour before you epilate. This tip was told to me by a waxing therapist once before and she said that it just takes the edge off, making for a more pleasant experience.
STEP TWO: RELAX
One of the main things to remember when epilating is to just relax. If you start to tense up, it’s going to make the process a whole lot more difficult. Just start by approaching little bits at a time, and test it out on the least sensitive parts of the skin to begin with. For example, when using it on my bikini line, I use the epilator as far as I can, but then I use the razor for the more intimate parts (something that I would advise). You are in control of the device so can choose how you go about it, so find out what works for you.
STEP THREE: EPILATION
Epilating is similar to waxing in many ways. It’s important to pull the skin taut to ensure all hairs can be reached easily and effectively in the fewest swipes. I work my way round on small areas, taking my time as I go. Sometimes it may help to hold your hand on the patch of skin you just epilated for a second afterwards to calm it.
Ensure you work against the direction of hair growth, and trim the hair beforehand if it is too long so that the hairs don’t snap instead of being pulled out!
STEP FOUR: SOOTHE THE SKIN
Once finished epilating, I usually apply a cooling antiseptic cream to calm and moisturise the skin. You can use moisturiser for this too, but I often find it is best to use non-perfumed products to ensure the least irritation. It is perfectly normal to have redness and some little bumps after epilating, but this calms down by the next day. For this reason, I always epilate the day before the event I am doing it for.
So now you know the best way to epilate, but you probably still have some questions right? So I thought I’d put together a little FAQ of common questions people have about the process which might help you out:
Does it hurt?
Epilating is never going to be completely pain-free. However, the first time you do it will be the most painful it will ever be. After that, the pain reduces each time as your body gets much more used to it. By practicing all of the tips I gave today, you can make epilating a much better experience. Many have also said that using it wet makes it virtually pain free, so I would definitely recommend that to beginners.
Like I said at the start of this post, I have a very low pain threshold, and yet, I have managed to use the epilator for years. So I promise you, it’s really not as bad as you think.
Does it get all the short hairs?
Yes. I think epilating is much better than waxing at getting short hairs. They can pull out hairs as small as a grain of sand (according to the box), and I always feel very smooth afterwards.
Does it prevent ingrown hairs?
Epilating doesn’t prevent ingrown hairs, but you are much less likely to get them than you are if you shave. It usually depends on your hair type and how susceptible you are to ingrowns. I am very susceptible to them and I have found that epilating drastically reduced the amount I got compared to shaving. As long as you maintain your exfoliation, this will also help to keep the hairs growing up and out of the skin in the right direction.
How long does it last?
The effects of epilating last a long time. Even if your hair grows really fast like me. Similar to waxing, it can last anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on your hair type. The one major benefit compared to waxing though is that you don’t have to wait until your hair is grown out really long to get rid of it because it can catch much smaller ones than wax does!
Is it better than waxing / shaving?
When it comes to shaving, I think epilating is 100% better (at least for me anyway). The results last 10x longer, and it is far less irritating for the skin. For waxing, I would say both methods are similar in terms of effectiveness, however epilating has the edge when it comes to ease of use, and the ability to use it whenever you like, rather than waiting for all the hair to grow out before using it. Plus, epilating is more gentle than waxing, leaving you less likely to suffer from bruising or rashes.
Does it make the hair grow back much finer?
YES. This is a main benefit for me. I have really thick, dark hair and the epilator has made it so much thinner over time, and it grows back far more slowly. I can clearly see the difference in the hairs on the patches that I shave next to the part that I epilate. I also particularly recommend this for your underarms, because the hair grows back much less dark and thick, so you don’t have that awkward dark shadow that you get from shaving!
Can you use it all over your body?
Yes, you can use it all over. The epilator comes with lots of different attachments that make it easy to use on more sensitive, or smaller parts of the body. This is one of the reasons why the epilator is so good, because it is like multiple products in one!
And there you have it. For all those not taking part in JanuHairy this year, this was your comprehensive, informative guide to epilating. It took me a while, but I think I’ve covered every nook and cranny so that no hair has been left un-tweezed. Despite the horror stories, I do highly recommend epilating, and I think I will be doing it for many years to come! I hope that this post could help anyone out there who is nervous about trying epilating, and that it gives you the confidence to go for it, because we all want an easy way to silky smooth skin!
Have you every tried epilating before? What’s your favourite hair removal method? if you have any more questions about what I have written then feel free to ask in the comments below!
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