7 Tips You Need to Know Before Trying This Buzzy Hair-Removal Method
In the arena of hair removal, what's your choice weapon? For some, the preferred method is the razor. For others, waxing. For the permanent deal (and the brave), lasering. And then, there are those for team epilator — aka my secret to the silky, hairless skin of my dreams.
Long story short, the epilator is a device made of spinning tweezers that pluck hair from the root. It's also what my brother refers to as a "torture device" (which I can't exactly deny . . . ). Epilating may seem daunting at first, but with practice and a handy bible of tips, you'll be set for smooth legs and beyond.
Personally, I'm pro-epilating because I find that my hairs grow back at a slower rate, and it ensures a much more thorough removal. Some epilators can tweeze hairs that are less than a millimeter in length (my current one can handle strands as small as 0.5 mm). Back when I was shaving, I literally found myself resorting to my trusty razor-and-cream combo every day, mainly because stubble is the bane of my existence. While shaving merely removes hair from the skin surface, epilating grips hair directly from the root to prevent the inevitable stubble and pesky ingrown hairs — that is, if you are epilating correctly.
Now, the money question: does epilating hurt? Everyone's pain tolerance varies, but speaking as a weakling who has yet to summon the courage to even get a bikini wax, I did not find the pain to be of the blood-curdling, horror-movie-scream variety. Yes, it hurts in the beginning — and to be fair, it still does a little now — but your skin and hair follicles adjust to the tweezing sensation over time. That being said, I'm still about the epilating life because my sensitive soul just cannot handle waxing or lasering. Maybe one day!
Keep reading for the scoop on everything epilating.
Choose between wet or dry epilators.
Yes, there are two kinds of epilators, so do your research on which best suits your skin type and needs! Wet epilators are often cordless and waterproof and can be used in the bath or shower, while dry epilators are corded and not waterproof. Some models function both wet and dry, so it's a win-win situation.
There are pros and cons to both. Because wet epilators are waterproof, you can epilate in warm water where hairs are softer — translating to less pain on your end. However, epilating dry means that tweezers will have an easier time plucking hair vs. wet strands. It's your call whether you choose to go wet, dry, or perhaps even both.
The answer to avoiding ingrown hairs? One word: exfoliate beforehand. By scrubbing away the dead skin cells, you'll clear up your pores for epilating. Take a lesson from me: for a long time, I skipped this crucial step and paid for my sins. Not a very pretty sight.
Shave and trim hair, if necessary.
If you epilate on hair that is too long, you'll risk having the hair breaking instead of plucked out (also been there, done that). Make sure to shave or trim hair so they are of similar lengths before epilating.
Hold skin taut.
When epilating, hold your skin taut and the epilator at a 90-degree angle to ensure that the tweezers can precisely pull every hair. May I also mention that this trick can lessen pain and discomfort? A game changer for me.
Go against the grain.
Just like shaving, you'll want to run your epilator against the direction of hair growth so that you can most effectively pluck out the hair for a smoother finish.
Don't forget to moisturize after epilating to keep your skin nourished — after all, it's been through a lot. I personally recommend good ol' coconut oil for natural hydration.
It may be painful, and it might take you a few attempts until you get the hang of it. But as a wise Williams Sonoma employee once told me (advice applies to universally everything): "You have to go slow to go fast."