I have recently discovered a not so new form of hair removal. As a dark haired lady, I have struggled with stubborn dark hair my entire life. In my everlasting battle against my dark body hair I have tried every hair removal method under the sun including shaving, waxing, bleaching, laser hair removal, tweezing, and chemical depilatory cream. The depilatory cream burned me, the bleach left visible hair only now white, waxing has ripped my skin off with it, tweezing can't cover my entire body, shaving still shows the black hair under my skin creating the illusion my legs still need to be shaved, and laser hair removal was insanely painful and expensive. I have since stumbled across epilators and my world has changed. To any dark hair or excessively hairy women listen up. I have won my war against my body hair and here is my secret little weapon.
What Is An Epilator?
An epilator is a hair removal or grooming device that mechanically pinching multiple hairs and ripping it from the root. Think of a powerful Franken-tool that looks and sounds like a woman's electric razor, gives results similar to waxing by removing the hair all the way to the root, through a process of high volume tweezing. It was created in Israel in 1986 as the original spring or coil model. The coil spring would pinch and pull the hair out as it moves along. The second generation was a rotating disk type that was similar to the rotating spring but a metal disk instead. The third and final generation is the tweezer type that is mainly used today.
How Does An Epilator Work?
The epilators are filled with around 72 mini tweezers. The tips of these rotating plates move together and apart once per revolution, which then creates a tweezing effect when the hair gets caught in between the plates, and pulls the hair out from the root in a constant cycle. To fully remove all the hair from one section you may need to go back over that section to get every last bugger. That is fine because it is only removing the hair, and not the skin cells from the epithelium of the epidermis, like waxing does. That means so more skin ripping for us sensitive ones or anyone on medications that can cause lifting/ripping.
Benefits Of Using An Epilator?
I'm glad you asked! An epilator is a more cost effective tool than other options, as it is a one time purchase that doesn't need any replacement parts and a long lifetime. It is also a process that is easily done by oneself requiring no professionals or well meaning friends. That means no more fighting to book that waxing appointment way overdue. I mentioned above that it only removes the hair and not the skin like waxing does. There isn't as much regrowth because the hair cycle has to start all he way from the beginning again. Also it is causing some damage to the hair follicles that lead to it coming in more sparsely over time. It also removes the invisible peach fuzz. There are less ingrown hairs with regular epilating as well. There is also accessibility to removing hair in places you wouldn't normally due to not a lot of hair or just embarrassment. Last but not least there is a strange satisfaction with seeing the hair removed similar to popping a zit.
Does It Hurt Using An Epilator?
Of course it is going to hurt to rip the hair out of the follicle. It is a hybrid of tweezing and waxing, both of which are painful. Also it takes longer than the quick one and done action that waxing does so the pain is longer lasting. Why would someone do that to themselves? Well it's really not that bad. The more you do it the less it hurts. I have also found that the shock of it sort of numbs the surrounding areas, making the process less painful. To help ease the pain it is recommended to take a hot shower before to open the hair follicles/pores, also pull the skin taught. Some people use a numbing cream or take some Tylenol beforehand. I haven't done any of these and have been fine.
Now because I am not a weak quitter, I decided I am going to use the epilator on my entire body and document the pain per body part on a basic 1-10 rating scale. Full Disclosure: Nothing hurt enough to prevent me from epilating from now on. Like I mentioned, I mean my entire body so don't judge some of the parts you see on the list. It was for... educational purposes... I have now achieved my dream of feeling like a hairless dolphin.
Epilator Pain Per Body Part:
2| Toes and Feet- These were not painful at all but I think it might be due to the fact there just isn't a lot of hair there. Sorry I don't have Frodo worthy feet for this experiment. It is similar to the feeling of someone snapping you with a rubber band.
2| Fingers and Hands- I did my toes and feet so might as well get the peach fuzz adorning my fingers and hands. This was also not painful. It is rated a 2 because it is not completely painless or pleasant. The most difficult part here was trying to manipulate my hand into different angles and positions to try and get every last hair.
4| Arms- My arm hair is not terrible. I got lucky there that the hair is thin, regular length,and bleaches out translucent from the sun. Look down at your arm now. That is the amount of hair I ripped out. This was the first area I tried epilating.I believe the pain was lower because the hair on my body is not thick. I was not prepared for the angry rash looking irritation on my arms after the process. This is why people recommend to do it at night to give it a chance for the inflammation to go down before you need to be publicly presentable. I have never shaved or waxed my arms and was so obsessed with how soft my arms were after. 10/10 would recommend.
4| Sideburns- This technically isn't sideburns but I didn't know what to call it so went with this. I have never been one of the girls who needed to wax their cheeks/sideburns too. I did it because I was reading about girls who shave their entire faces for makeup to look and stay better so for the sake of science I epilated some facial peach fuzz. I rated this a 4 as well just because ripping-hair-out-of-your-face-from-a-place-you-never-ripped-hair-out-before-and-there-are-lots-of-nerves sucks. No inflammation or redness from epilating here. Also saw no update on my makeup looking better from doing this.
5| Upper Legs- The pain of my thighs was very similar to the pain of my arms. The hair follicle itself was not thick but there was quite a bit of it. Like most females, I am super lazy when it comes to removing hair up here because it isn't that visible, and would only shave them maybe a few times a year. The only reason it got a 5 over the arm's 4 rating is because my thigh is a much larger area than my arms. Once again I have NEVER felt my body be so smooth in my entire life. It was about now that I started feeling like a dolphin and forcing everyone to pet my arm or thigh.
6| Lower Legs- The main reason the lower legs suck is because there are a ridiculous amount of nerves in the ankle area. Also the leg hair is much coarser and grows in thicker than other areas. The calf area is not bad at all but I do not grow much leg hair there. My legs looked like they had an angry rash on them and felt like someone poured lemon juice on them for about an hour after the process. The next morning they were soft but not as soft as my thighs and arms. The reason for this being is that the hair growth cycles are in different phases. Basically the more you epilate, the less the hair will grow back thus letting it all grow out for however long to get it all active and remove it simultaneously. Maybe I will try this when fall hits when I normally take a bear route to winter, and stop shaving my legs for the next 4 months.
7| Armpits- I have never waxed my armpits and if I had, I am sure I wouldn't be as surprised at the pain as I was. I am so happy I epilated here as the hair is so dark even when cleanly shaven, it still looks like stubble. I have that dark shadow from the hair under the surface so removing it from the bulb was so attractive to me. I. Was. Determined. I made sure to pull the skin taught here and got through it. My armpits bled from this I will tell you that, and then was afraid to wear deodorant that day on my micro-wounds. The results were glorious and I will continue to epilate them to death. My armpits are finally 5 o'clock shadow free!
7| Upper Lip- This was pretty bad once again due to the amount of nerves in that area. It definitely made my eyes water but was over quickly due to the size of my epilator. Boom. Boom. Boom. Done. Also totally worth it. Everyone needs to try this here I am serious. The few seconds of pain is well worth the results. Bonus: No burned or ripped skin, and no lady-stache-that-is-still-there-but-now-white bs either. I am thinking of investing in an epilator specifically for facial use, to I can see if a totally peach fuzz free face will have any effect on my makeup.
Feel free to stop reading here as it is about to get PERSONAL.
7-9| Bikini/Brazilian- As can be expected this was awful. I was originally not even going to attempt to epilate this area. I basically tweezed all of my pubic area so let that pain sink in. I got carried away being obsessed and trying to epilate everything and was high up on inner thighs; out of curiosity I started on the outside bits in an attempt to be slightly prepped for my upcoming tropical vacation. I think that the shock from the pain acted as a numbing agent to the surrounding areas. You know when you hear stories of people lifting cars like they're the hulk when pumped full of adrenaline? Pretty sure that's what happened. Because there is a lot going on down there I decided to break it up into a little more detail so you know exactly what to expect should you attempt epilating here. The outer edges and traditional triangle section was a 7. As I was starting this feat and doing these areas I thought this was definitely doable. Moving down towards the Brazilian area was also a 7 surprisingly. I was feeling pretty confident at this point. I was working from outer edges, and top to bottom inwards. Even when diving into the fold area the pain was still hovering between a 7 and 8 and quickly over. I had about 90% of the job done and feeling unstoppable and powerful. All I had left was a 1" section on the pubic bone. It was here that I almost gave up on life. I was just going to leave it like a weird pattern people get waxed in. Right there front and center was almost abandoned until I gave myself a pep talk out loud saying how tough I am and managed the last 30 seconds. So there you have it, the area around your butthole and lips of your vageen will not hurt, but the random chunk above it all will be the end of you.