Eh. Yeah, probably.

Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash

Man, Western Beauty standards, am I right? Such a shame I’m choosing to run what feels like an angry clump of ants over my leg once a week. 

What’s that? I could stop any time and I don’t need to care what other people think about my body or its hair? 

Well… yes. But I don’t feel like it’s true, okay? That’s a deep, load-bearing neurosis, and for the purpose of this conversation we’re going to have to accept that I’m taking the hair off my leg one way or another. So why not use an epilator?

What did you say? This article is nothing like my other content, which is usually about writing, relationships, or personal growth? My reader base won’t be interested in this, and I’m already sending a confused enough message by pretending there’s a correlation between those three topics? 

What reader base? 

Why am I pretending to be a beauty blogger when I haven’t even figured out the purpose of lotion or chapstick? Using something does not make you an expert. 

That’s true, but it’s really bothering me anyway, and I want to talk about it. Come on, ask me real questions, hypothetical reader! 

Okay. You made it the title and I clicked here, so I guess I’ll ask. What is an epilator?

I’m so glad you asked. I’m guessing a fair number of people don’t know, given that I didn’t until a few months ago, and that Medium keeps putting a red “you spelled this wrong” line under the name like I made this up. 

Essentially, an epilator is a rotating set of tweezers. It pulls your hair out by the root (when used properly, of course. It’s not overly complex though), so it take a lot longer to grow back. In addition, there’s a decent chance the hair won’t come back at all, or will come back finer, like with waxing. Epilators won’t irritate sensitive skin, as wax can, and the chance of ingrown hairs is much lower than using a method like shaving. 

If you want an example of an epilator, check out a pretty popular one here

That sounds painful.

It is. 

Why are you doing it then?

Because you can’t let pain be the boss of you. 

Also, because:

  1. Your hair won’t grow back for a week or more, depending on your body/hair type. I was shaving my legs every other day before, and it was getting annoying. 
  2. It hurts a lot less after the first time you use it. I run an epilator over my legs more often, about once or twice a week. I do this because not all the hair has grown back right away, the growth is sort of staggered. If there’s less to grab, it’s not really painful any more. 
  3. I’m cheap and lazy.

Does an epilator cost less? 

It does! While you’re probably going to spend $50-$80 for an epilator, maybe $100-$150 if you want something fancy, that epilator may very well be with you for life. There’s no replaceable parts to an epilator, and they rarely break. They don’t require maintenance, other than rinsing off any removed hairs that may be hanging around. Even if you’re in a dollar shave club, getting razors for a dollar a month, in just over two years the epilator will pay for itself. Plus, you don’t have to use it as often. 

What’s the best way to use an epilator?

The best advice I was given before starting epilation was to spring for a wet/dry model. This is a waterproof epilator that you can use in the bath or shower. That’s important, particularly on your first usage. Warm water can relax your skin, allowing the hair to be removed with less pain than you’d experience dry. Taking a bath is the most recommended method. 

If, hypothetically, I wanted to use an epilator, what are some tips?

There are three major things I’d want to pass on. 

  1. You’re probably going to have some red bumps right after using the epilator. That’s normal. Your skin should go back to its usual color within a few hours. 
  2. Like I said, the first time will hurt so much more than it regular upkeep will. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and I struggled with it. Admittedly, I have really thick, black hair on my legs. Lighter, finer hair will hurt much less, to the point where there may be little to no sensation at all. I did a quarter of each leg per evening for about a week to get started, because I could not do more. It was a huge relief to discover that it did not bother me nearly as much after that. I think I persisted through sheer stubbornness. 
  3. Pull your skin as flat as possible while using an epilator. This is important, so the hair is yanked cleanly out on the first try. I’ve found that shorter hairs and flat skin are the keys to minimum pain. It’s going to hurt a little more over thin skin, like an ankle bone. I use one hand to push the skin flat and then run the epilator after it (always going in the opposite direction the hair grows, like from ankle to knee), that way the skin is as flat as possible when the epilator passes. Go slowly, and make sure it is done right the first time, so the hair comes all the way out, and isn’t yanked around. You won’t feel anything if an epilator goes over an area without hair, but you will feel a lot if it goes over something without really getting it. 

Anything else you wanted to get off your chest? 

No, not really. That’s it, I promise. I know epilators aren’t going to be for everyone, but I feel like it’s an option not everyone knows about. Always know your options. Epilators work great for me, as I’m a person who loves a good bath, has a high pain tolerance, and whose hair grows back annoyingly rapidly. Do what works for you!

I’d like to formally apologize to my usual followers for having to read through this extended tangent. I’m sorry, and it will happen again. You told me to write honestly. I’m sorry you didn’t realize I’m so easily distracted. 

If you want to see what I usually do, you can follow my blog here, or click anywhere you see my face to follow me. I also write on Medium. Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to read. — Cait (FrayingPages)

Disclaimer: Article contains Amazon Affiliate Links

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