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Epilators: An Excellent Alternative to Leg Shaving

Updated on November 30, 2010

What Are Epilators?

Epilators are personal grooming tools that remove leg hair at the roots. They resemble electric razors in appearance and may also come with a separate shaving head so they can be used as a razor as well.

Epilators are popular in Europe and are becoming more so in the U.S. as well.

Why Use an Epilator?

Epilators have several advantages over shaving:

  • The results last longer.  Since hair is removed at the roots, it may take 4 or 5 days before it starts to grow in again.
  • If your skin is too sensitive for regular shaving, epilators rarely cause burns, itching, and cuts like razors do.
  • Epilators lead to sparser, lighter hair growth, whereas razors can lead to thicker-looking hair


  • It's not entirely pain-free.  When you first start using it, it will sting.
  • Tweezers may not remove very fine, light hair, so your legs won't be as smooth-looking as if you had shaved.
  • You may occasionally develop ingrown hairs.

How They Work

Rotating heads have several sets of tweezers on them.

Hair is pulled out at the roots.

Some models have bumpy, textured rollers around the tweezers to "trick" the body into not feeling the sting of the hair being removed.

Tips For Use

  • Use on arms and legs only.
  • To avoid pain, shave legs with a razor first. The next day, run the epilator over the shaved area. This will pull out only a few hairs' worth of regrowth. Use the epilator every day for a week until you see hair regrowth has slowed. This will avoid your having to pull out all the hair at once, which would be far more painful.
  • The sting is tolerable. It feels hot, or like being snapped with a rubber band. It is not so painful that you'll rock back and forth and cry.
  • After regrowth has slowed, you can see how long you can go between epilation sessions. Usually, it's about 2-4 times as long as between shaves.
  • The most sensitive area to epilate is on the bottom of the calf, between the back of the knee and the Achilles. In sensitive areas, it helps to stretch the skin taut, which make hair removal easier and avoid skin-pulling.
  • You may want to start this in winter, when you may not be as picky about how your legs look because you're wearing pants more often. You'll have the hang of it by the time summer rolls around and you're ready to wear shorts or skirts all the time. 
  • The more often you use an epilator, the less sensitive your legs will be.  Eventually, you'll barely feel anything when you epilate.

Give It a Try!

Once you get the hang of it, epilating is easy, painless, and has great, long-lasting results.  Buy a cheap epilator to start off, and see if you like the results.  If you love it, you can get a better one with better tweezers, different heads, and faster results.  Try it out!

Epilator Poll

What do you think about epilators?

See results


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    • sammyfiction profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      All I can say is ouch! But then again I have never tried it, though I am not a big one for pain! Haha, very informative hub, thankyou :) SF


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