How to Use an Epilator

Last update February 15, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

This site is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to its visitors. Please be advised that the operator of this site accepts advertising compensation from certain companies that appear on the site, and such compensation impacts the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented, and in some cases may also impact the scoring that is assigned to them. The scoring that appears on this site is determined by the site operator in its sole discretion, and should NOT be relied upon for accuracy purposes. In fact, Company/product listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement by the site operator. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information which appears on this site is subject to change at any time. More info

If you want a silky-smooth skin and look for an alternative to waxing, look towards an epilator. Using an epilator is not only very easy but will also provide you with long-lasting results. Hopefully, you'll find many useful tips in this guide and learn how to use an epilator properly so that the procedure of hair removal causes you minimum pain and discomfort.

What Is an Epilator?

An epilator is a popular household appliance that is designed for removing unwanted hairs by grasping them at the root. The appliance is equipped with rotating discs or tweezers that pull out hairs effectively to provide you with a super smooth skin for a long while. And the next hairs that break through your skin will become much thinner and rarer. That’s why people worldwide prefer using this mini electronic device instead of shaving and waxing.

What Are the Main Types of Epilators? How Do They Work?

Basically, there are three types of epilators: spring epilators, those with rotating disks, and models with multiple tweezers.

A Spring Epilator

This type of epilator uses a spring coil built into the head. The electric motor causes the spring to flex, thereby creating tiny gaps in it. These gaps open and close to rip out hairs from the root. It’s the first-generation epilator and currently, you can find spring-based epilators designed for face only. Yet, the main drawback of this type is that the spring wears out rather quickly.

A Disk Epilator

The principle of operation of disk epilators is the same, yet they use discs instead of springs.

A Tweezer Epilator

Tweezer epilators work in a similar way to that of the spring and disk models. However, they are fitted with small metal plates which move together and apart, thus creating a tweezing effect and pulling hairs. They work from the mains or are equipped with rechargeable batteries. Many people consider this type as the best epilators nowadays. Most tweezer epilators have 1 - 3 speeds: the first speed is good for short and thin hair, while the highest speeds are used for long, thick, and coarse hair.

Extra Attachments. What Are They For?

A shaver head. This nozzle will be really helpful if you have extremely sensitive skin in delicate areas and find it hard to tolerate pain.

A trimmer cap. Long hairs are rather painful to pull out. So, trimming them before the epilation is a good idea.

A gentle cap is especially useful for bikini zone. Some tweezers are hidden under the plastic casing for a bit gentler epilation.

A precision cap is intended for processing face and detail areas.

A massaging cap can improve blood circulation and soothe your skin during the epilation.

How to Use an Epilator?

  • Before the first epilation session, you should let your hair grow a little. Two or three days will be enough for your hairs to get easily caught by the tweezers of the epilator.
  • The first procedure must be performed at the minimum speed. Thus, the epilator will grasp even the smallest and finest hairs, causing minimum pain. We also recommend you to use a massaging cap to ease pain.
  • It’s better to perform a hair removal session after a hot shower or bath. Your pores expand when exposed to hot water, which makes removing of hair follicles less painful.
  • We recommend you to glide the epilator against the direction of hair growth. This way, you can pull out all the hairs and not run the epilator again over the same place.
  • Don’t press down too hard, as this might lead to irritation. The epilator should feel natural in your hands and its movement should be smooth. Hold the appliance at a 90-degree angle.

Do Epilators Work on Thick Hair?

Yes, and they work very well on thick hair! The point is that the tweezers grasp thick and coarse hairs even easier than normal hairs. Moreover, after some time, your thick hairs will become much thinner and weaker. The more you epilate, the thinner your hair becomes.

Can You Use an Epilator on Your Face?

Yes! Some epilators come with precision attachments for epilating eyebrows or upper lip area. Moreover, you can find epilators designed especially for face hair removal. However, if you are going to remove hairs on your face, you should exfoliate your skin with a face scrub brush beforehand.

How Long Does an Epilating Effect Last?

Probably, the main question everyone asks before purchasing an epilator is “For how long will I be smooth after epilating?” Most manufacturers claim that their epilators leave skin smooth for up to 1 month. Still, it depends on your personal growth cycle and, unfortunately, it’s possible that you can experience hair regrowth sooner than after 30 days. This is not a shortcoming of a particular epilator, it’s just your hair structure. But we can say for sure that as you continue using an epilator, your hair follicle will get damaged over some time, which will result in much finer hair and even slowing down of the hair growth.

Using an Epilator: Before and After

Epilating can not only make your skin hair-free for a long time but also slow down or even stop the hair growth at all. In the picture above, you can see how thin and rare the hairs become after only a few epilating sessions.

Wet or Dry Epilation?

Both these types of epilation have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Dry Epilation

Dry epilation is the most efficient way of removing hairs, as the water doesn’t weigh the hairs down and push them against your skin. Therefore, the epilator can pick up every hair with ease and allow you to finish the epilation procedure quicker. Yet, dry epilation is a bit more painful than wet epilation.

Wet Epilation

Wet epilation is much slower compared to dry epilation, however, it’s far less painful. Plus, the ability to epilate right in the bath makes the process more convenient, as you won’t need to soak in the bath before epilation and then towel dry your skin. Warm water will make your skin more relaxed and the sensation of your hair being pulled less noticeable. Combined with a comfy bath pillow and a glass of wine standing on a bath caddy, epilation may turn into an enjoyable process.

First-time Epilating Tips

The exfoliation is an essential procedure before epilation, which can help you avoid those nasty ingrown hairs. Take a warm shower, relax, and use a body scrub, glove, or a special loofah sponge to exfoliate your skin. Some epilators come packed with exfoliating brushes that give much better results compared to manual scrubbing. Before the epilation, make sure that your epilator is fully charged (unless you own a corded epilator) so that you don't find yourself in a situation where an appliance dies halfway through an epilation session.

We recommend you to epilate your skin in the evening, as you might experience irritation and small bumps after the procedure.

If you epilate for the first time, get ready for some pain. And try to stay calm during the epilation. Don't stop as soon as you feel pain! You can even take a small painkiller if you can’t tolerate pain.

After the epilation, hydrate your skin. You can apply a moisturizing body lotion for smooth and silky results. If you're a novice user, try to epilate once a week.

How to Prevent Ingrown Hairs After Using an Epilator?

The answer is simple - try to scrub your skin as frequently as possible before and between epilation sessions. As we have already mentioned, the more you epilate, the thinner and weaker your hairs become. That’s why it’s difficult for them to get out. So, try to get rid of dead skin cells each time you take a shower or bath.

Epilation of Different Parts of Your Body

Here’re some useful tips that will make it clear for you how to use an epilator on your body.


Using an epilator on legs will be the easiest and the least painful procedure. Though, don’t expect that you will epilate both your legs in less than half an hour. Don’t be tempted to go fast, as this might cause your hair to break. Be very careful with the areas behind your knees. Stretch your legs and hold your skin taut.


Here your skin is very very sensitive and requires gentle care. Don’t shave your armpits 2-3 days before the epilation so that the hairs become longer and can be easily grasped with tweezers. To reduce pain during the procedure, you need to stretch your skin a little. You might need to make several passes in different directions, as the armpit hair grows in all directions. After the epilation, cool down your skin with an ice cube and apply some soothing oil to reduce irritation. Don’t apply deodorant for a few hours afterwards.

Bikini Area

Oh, you’re really a brave person if you’re going to epilate your bikini area. The bikini line is the most sensitive part of your body. Epilation here should be performed with special roller attachments and some cooling solutions (sprays or special gloves). As epilating, you must stretch loose skin. And after the epilation, you need to treat your skin with a soothing cream.

How Do You Clean an Epilator?

Over time, the epilator head picks up dirt, grease, dead skin, and bacteria. And to prolong the service life of your epilator, it’s important to maintain it properly and clean it regularly. It’s recommended to clean the appliance after every use.

  • Switch off and unplug the device.
  • Release the epilator head and remove all the stuck hairs with a cleaning brush (usually included in the set). Rotate the head and manually open/close tweezers for a better cleaning.
  • Wash the head with hot water. Several minutes under the running water will be enough for a thorough cleaning.
  • To eliminate bacteria buildup, run an alcohol-soaked cotton ball on the whole surface including tweezers.
  • Let it air dry. Leave it on a clean towel until the water evaporates.

By following these maintenance rules, you’ll be able to get the most of your epilator for many years to come.