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To Shave or To Epilate?

Updated on July 24, 2014

This question has always been a balancing act to trouble women when it comes to easy or convenient hair removal at home. We use the razors to shave the hair off as well as the epilators to completely rip the hair from the roots. Still, there is always a razor and an epilator at our house and they are both meant for the same purpose, but adopt different means. To weigh up the two here is an investigation into the comparison of the two that will help you in choosing the right alternative.

  • How do they work?

There are two methods of hair removal, epilating and depilating. Epilators remove the whole hair plus the root and depilators remove the section of the hair that protrudes from the follicle. So technically waxing, using tweezers and threading are all forms of epilation whereas shaving and cream hair removers are forms of depilation. Generally, hair grows from a small shaft in the upper layers of the skin and grows out of the skin through small pores. If you shave, you will cut the hair follicles at this very opening. It is like chopping down a tree. In epilating, the whole follicle will be removed.

  • Pain

This can be the most important factor for most women while making this choice. Unless you cut yourself, shaving is more or less pain free, certainly in relative terms to epilation, there is no pulling out hair in delicate areas for example. Epilators can cause some considerable pain, especially if there is much hair growth or if you are using it for the first time. Though, there are epilators in the market that cause less pain and don’t cause hair removing nightmares. Tips to avoid the pain:- A sauna or steam room beforehand would be ideal but a hot bath will do. Its best not to wait until the hair is too long especially on your first time. Don’t go against the grain i.e. sweep in the direction the hairs grow for example from knee to ankle in the case of legs.


Take a look at the following video.

Its takes her a while to get to the point but she compares good and basic quality epilators.

  • Financial considerations.

Epilators are electrical devices so the initial outlay is obviously far more costly than in the case of shaving but as time goes by razor blades need replacing or the whole razor in the case of disposables also any shaving creams unless you use soap. Electrical devices are generally cheaper than they once were so although you’d have to have the epilator quite a long time until the cost of shaving was offset, the difference is probably less than you’d think.

  • The method

Firstly clean the body part that you want to remove hair from, this helps in removing any foreign unwanted particles and makes the hair follicles a little softer, which helps in clean removal of the hair. After this you can use the chosen hair removal tool. If you are using a razor, then wet the area lightly and lather with the help of a shaving cream or soap. After this, gently keep the razor on one area and move your hands upwards. This is quite helpful in getting the right kind of depilation without any cuts. Make sure that you don’t apply too much pressure. You might have to apply the razor on the area twice so that smaller follicles are also removed.

While using epilators, you have to follow the same cleansing method. Clean the skin and pat it dry. Now you can turn the epilator on and it will gently remove all the hair by the root. Some epilators have to be moved slowly in a straight line while the others have to be moved in circular motions. In either case be slow. Again, don’t put too much pressure on the skin and let the epilator head touch the skin gently in order to get the best results.

  • The Result

The instant results are always great for both of the methods. You get clear skin free of unwanted hair. However, epilating can result in a little swelling or redness in some areas which will normally go in a few hours. This is the reason why razors are better for super short notice hair removal while epilators need a bit of a cooling off period. Apply a soothing body lotion applicable to your skin type to the areas where you had shaved or epilated.

  • The side effects

If you don’t use a razor carefully obviously you will get very small cuts here and there on the skin. At places like your underarms, the inner parts of the arms and the back of the legs, it becomes a little tricky to shave as they are a little contoured. In the case of you may find that there is some itchiness or redness to the treated area especially if you are a new user. This redness goes in a few hours, if you use an epilator in the evening, the redness will be gone by the morning.

In conclusion epilation is the most efficient, long lasting, smoothest all round best way to remove unwanted body hair but is it worth all the pain and aggravation? That depends on what lengths you are willing to go to for smooth legs.

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    • profile image

      Antonymous 5 weeks ago

      I always go against the grain, as I want smooth skin, no shadow and black dots after I shave anywhere I feel like. If you are gentle, keep a wet hot towel for a minute where you're gonna shave, it will be almost as pain less and hassle free as going with the grain, then worth it.

    • Ailenne Smith profile image

      Ailenne Smith 8 months ago

      I really like my Karmin electric epilator :)

    • Nancy Pellot profile image

      Nancy Pellot 9 months ago

      Best I have ever used is the electric epilator of Karmin =)

    • profile image

      Janice 16 months ago

      Depiladora electric

      I personally love my Karmin !! ;)