Last updated on August 15th, 2018 by Garrick Dee
As any woman can attest to, one of the toughest parts of their grooming regiments would be getting rid of body hair.
They will have four different options – laser, waxing, shaving and epilating. Each of these have varying levels of cost associated with it with laser and waxing being the most expensive.
This leaves two other options that are more cost effective.
The most cost effective option would be shaving. But the problem with this method would be the frequency of which you’ll need to do it. A razor will only cut hair follicles above the skin which means you’ll see hair grow back a few days later.
Another issue with shaving would be the potential for ingrown hair and razor burn if you aren’t careful.
Why not try an epilator?
Epilating is another option what will have better results than shaving but it isn’t as expensive as a laser or waxing treatment.
There’s no denying that epilators work great at plucking hair follicles from the roots but the big issue would be the discomfort it brings.
If you’re having second thoughts about trying epilators please take a few minutes to read this guide.
I’ll talk about the “best practices” that’ll help you get the most out of an epilator minus the unnecessary pain.
There’s no way around it, using epilators is painful since it plucks hair out from its root thus delaying hair growth for weeks on end. It’s like using a row of tweezers to remove body hair.
So expect a level of pain when you’re starting out.
Once your skin gets the hang of it, there’s no turning back. You’ll have hair-free legs, armpits and bikini lines in no time. The best part, you don’t have to do it every day.
Before you start here are some tips…
Tip 1: Get a Good Epilator
This is a no-brainer. We’re talking about using a device that’ll pluck out hair from skin. Getting something that’s good is a wise choice.
Consider this an investment girl, poor quality epilators will cause more harm than good. Trust me on this.
Before buying one, list down the areas you’ll be using it on. This will help a great deal in what variant to buy, whether or not it has to have attachments for the pubic or armpit area.
The design of an epilator would be best used on arms and legs that have lots of flat surfaces.
Tip 2: Shave 1 to 3 days prior to epilating
Shaving a few days before epilating may sound redundant but hear me out.
An epilator works best and is most comfortable on short hair.
It’ll take a bit longer but you’ll thank me for it. Shaving prior to epilating removes long strands of hair that will be more painful to pluck out.
The days in between shaving and epilating gives time to grow back a little before the epilating process.
Tip 3: Exfoliate
Experts say that exfoliation is a necessary step that will prevent ingrown hair.
The process of exfoliation will remove dead skin cells, unwanted dirt and clogged pores that contribute to nasty ingrown hair according to DERMAdoctor.
You’ll have myriad of options to exfoliate – exfoliating scrub, loofah, mitts or even a dry towel depending on your preference and budget.
Tip 4: Epilate at night time
The best time to epilate is at night. There’s no scientific explanation. Epilating will leave reddish bumps on your skin that’ll take some time to subside. So unless you’re wearing a pair of jeans, epilating during the day time prior to work is a bad idea.
Lastly, night time is when you’re usually at the most relaxed state which makes epilating much bearable.
Tip 5: Set aside time
Epilating is not something you want to rush. This process will take a lot longer than shaving.
Doing both legs takes typically will take around 30 minutes more or less (more so if you’re starting out).
So block a time in your busy schedule for this and allot between 30 minutes to an hour.
Tip 6: Optional stuff
Since epilating will cause some level of pain, you can use a numbing cream such as Aspercreme.
Take note that this is optional and will depend on pain tolerance.
Please do consult with your physician prior to buying such just to be sure you don’t have any allergic reactions to it.
Others in the reviews section even suggest drinking a shot of whiskey but I wouldn’t go that far to numb the pain.
Here are the steps on how to use an epilator
Step 1: Don’t forget to charge the epilator full
This will apply to cordless epilators. There’s nothing worse than an epilator running out of battery with your legs half-done. So make sure to charge it prior to epilating.
Step 2: Prepare for the imminent pain
There’s no way around it, there will be a level of pain that comes with using an epilator. So you’ll have to psych yourself up for this.
Some would suggest taking stuff like Tylenol or Advil half an hour prior to epilating. Others would use ice to numb the pain (which may not be a good idea).
Women who are really afraid of pain would go as far as using numbing creams.
This option can be expensive and you’ll be better off going with a waxing procedure.
Step 3: Take a hot shower
This may be the most important step because it rids the skin of contaminants like excess oil, dead skin, lotion, dirt and moisturizers. Hot water also opens up pores and softens hair follicles.
Also use this time to exfoliate which I’ll explain in the next step.
Step 4: Exfoliate
I did mention this tip earlier and the reasons why. But I’ll say it again because it is important. You will need to exfoliate at least the area you’re epilating to rid it of dead skin cells, unclog pores and remove other contaminants that can cause ingrown hair.
Step 5: It’s time to epilate (best practices)
Now it’s show time but before rubbing that epilator on your skin please read these few tips to maximize its functionality.
Braun recommends holding the epilator at a 90 degree angle on the skin. This will give the epilator maximum coverage and will speed up the process.
Don’t put any weight on the epilator. Let the tweezers do the work for you. Putting too much pressure poses the risk of the tweezers pinching the skin.
Pull the skin tout
Much like in wet shaving, pulling the skin tout gives the epilator the best chance of pulling out hair while minimizing pain.
This is a technique that’s important on areas where the skin folds such as knees and calves.
On sensitive areas like the underarms, raise your arm up and try to pull the skin with the same hand.
Step 6: Always go against the grain
Going against the grain will help the epilator in plucking more hair follicles with less passes.
For example when epilating legs this means going from bottom up. If you’re unsure what direction hair grows, try using a circular motion.
Take some time to study the hair growth direction on different parts of your body using a bright light source like a LED.
Step 7: Don’t rush
Rushing the epilating process will result in hair follicles breaking at the surface – not good.
So you’ll have to go slow and allow the tweezers to pull the hair from the roots.
Always remember that the slower you go, the better the results. The less passes you need to make on the same area to pluck out hair.
Take your time and enjoy the process even though it involves some pain, the results will be worth it.
Step 8: You can stop any time
If the pain is unbearable, stop. Remember that you don’t need to go through the entire process in one sitting.
Do the legs at day 1 then the armpits at day 2 and so on. It will get better over time as your body develops better tolerance.
Step 9: Redness is normal
Expect some redness on your skin after epilating.
In fact, expect it to look like plucked chicken skin if you’re using an epilator for the first time. Don’t freak out. It’s normal and will get better on subsequent sessions.
Again, this is the reason why you should epilate at night – to give it time to subside.
To help speed up the healing process, you can apply witch hazel to soothe the irritation.
Step 10: Post epilation is important
To help soothe any irritation, apply moisturizer that contains witch hazel or Aloe Vera.
Doing this will help repair and moisturize skin. It’ll also add a layer of protection from infection because the skin will be exposed.
Don’t apply any alcohol, lotion or even cream.
Step 11: Clean the epilator
Make sure to clean the epilator after using it for hygienic purposes. Don’t worry, epilators are easy to clean because you can remove the tweezer for the body so you’ll have access.
For dry epilators, use a brush and alcohol to clean and disinfect.
If you use the epilator in the shower, rinse hair out with water then dry with a clean towel.
Do not share an epilator with others. This product is much like a toothbrush, it for your own personal use.
Step 12: Congratulations!
You’ve made it! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through.
Step 13: What’s next?
Depending on how fast your hair grows, you may need to do touch up sessions every other day in the first week. Check your legs and see if there are areas you missed.
Doing this also builds up your tolerance. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing this procedure less as you go along.
The next steps will depend on your preference. You can epilate once a week or every other week.
To wrap up
Using an epilator need not be something dreadful. With the proper technique and prep, this can be something to look forward to.
Enjoy hair free legs and pits in no time with these tips. If you have any ideas you’d like to share please comment below.
Garrick spends his days researching and writing about grooming. When he’s not in front of his computer, you can find him hanging around with his wife and son.