Hair removal can be a tedious and annoying task, and as a mom I’m always trying to save time on my beauty routine so I can spend more of it with my family.
Shaving every other day was definitely a bit time-consuming in my weekly routine, so last year I wanted to explore other hair removal options. I saw my main options as shaving, waxing, epilating, tweezing, and laser hair removal.
Let’s back up a little bit to summer of 2018. Prior to epilating, I had only tried shaving, waxing, and tweezing. I wanted to find the most time-efficient hair removal option for my lifestyle that didn’t require scheduling too many appointments. I generally prefer doing my own beauty treatments at home, but I could manage getting away for a few appointments here and there too.
That’s why I figured laser hair removal was the best option for me since it’d probably get rid of most of my unwanted hair for the next few years. Although I wish laser hair removal would get rid of all hair forever, from my research it seems like it lasts a number of years and then your hair tends to grow back a bit, especially if you go through any hormonal changes like getting pregnant, breastfeeding, etc.
So last year when I wanted to switch up my shaving routine I was set on laser hair removal since it was a good investment of both my time and money. I researched my local laser hair removal places in Orange County, and decided on SEV Laser. I made my first session appointment and was generally excited to start the process. However, when I read the fine print, I realized I wasn’t a candidate at the time and had to cancel! I was still breastfeeding my son but didn’t realize that that was an issue until I read it in their confirmation email. I wasn’t breastfeeding him much throughout the day anymore since he was a year and a half old and eating mainly solids, so I didn’t even realize I was still a nursing mom, to be honest. SEV Laser recommended I try their laser hair removal after I weaned him.
So that’s when I decided the next best option would be epilating. I could do it at home, and it only required the initial investment of the epilator itself. Next, I researched what the best epilator on the market was, and the main ones seemed to be the Braun Silk-épil 9 and the Philips Satinelle. I went with Braun since the reviews were better, and I loved that the Silk-épil 9 epilator also came with a trimmer. Plus, I can’t resist anything pink/rose gold!
What exactly is an epilator?
Think of it like a small, handheld device with ~40 little tweezers on a rotating roller. It’s essentially a giant rolling tweezer. Sounds and looks painful, but over time, it does get easier. It’s similar to waxing and tweezing in that it pulls the hair out of the follicle, so your hair takes longer to grow back, and when it does, it comes back finer.
Does epilating hurt?
My first time epilating was tough! If you’ve been through childbirth, nothing phases you, haha, but epilating for the first time still made me get a little teary-eyed, especially in the armpit and bikini areas. The legs were the least painful for me, while the armpits were more wince-inducing, and the bikini area was nearly impossible. I started with legs, and day after day I gained the courage to try more sensitive body parts. I still have a hard time putting an epilator near my lady parts, but I’m doing just fine everywhere else.
After epilating for the last few months, I feel like I’ve got the hang of it and can speak from experience. I would definitely recommend it from the time- and cost-efficiency perspective. If you have a low pain threshold, it’s not for you; however, it does get less and less painful over time as your hairs become thinner, so that’s something to look forward to. If your hairs are super fine to begin with, it may not grab them properly. If you don’t mind self-inflicting a bit of pain for a short period of time knowing that you’ll get less hair regrowth in return, it may be for you.
Besides the pain, there was one other con. I found that after exclusively epilating my legs for some time, the Braun epilator couldn’t lift up some of my hairs because they were growing so closely to my skin, essentially stuck under the top layer of skin from wearing so many tight leggings and pants in the wintertime.
I found that shaving occasionally in between epilating solved my ingrown hair issue since shaving is more exfoliating by nature. So exclusively epilating didn’t work out for me like I was planning, but I’ve now found the combination of mainly epilating and occasionally shaving to work like a charm. Occasionally shaving also helps me get all the “peach fuzz” type of hairs that an epilator can’t grab.
Tip #1: Epilate in the Shower
My number one tip is to epilate in the shower. Thankfully, the Braun Silk-épil 9 is waterproof, cordless, and works in the shower. Water is generally soothing, the droplets hitting your body are distracting from the pain, and your skin is more open from the heat. Start epilating once you’ve been in the warm water for at least 5 minutes.
Tip #2: Hold Skin Taut
My other tip is to hold the skin taut. This mainly applies to skin that can fold and isn’t pulled tightly across harder surfaces like bones — the knees, armpits, and bikini area.
Tip #3: Trim Hair
Lastly, make sure your hair isn’t too short or long when you’re ready to epilate. I found that 3-4mm was a good length for me. Shorter hair lets you see the direction of growth better too, especially in the armpit area, which grows in many directions.
Despite any cons, I’m really happy with my results from epilating. My hair grows back slower, and my skin doesn’t have as many dark spots/shadows from my brown hair peeking through the bottom of the remaining hair follicle when I would only shave. This has been especially true for my armpits, which are now softer and lighter in color since I don’t have those dark hairs growing back in a matter of hours, literally.
I’m spending less time on my beauty routine, so I definitely recommend epilating as another hair removal option.
I do plan to try laser hair removal later this year since I’m now done breastfeeding. I’ll have to stop epilating for some time before I do that, so that’s something to note if you’re thinking about laser (same goes for waxing prior to laser). If you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on that, please give my blog a subscribe.