Epilator VS Waxing Hair Removal & Whats The Difference

Sometimes the best shave is the one that removes the hair from the root - leaving the skin smoother and softer than ever.

We reckon you have heard of two different tools for the job - waxing and epilators when exploring these options. So, what’s the difference here? 

Well, the basics are that waxing is a manual process that you do by hand, whereas an epilator is an electronic device.

Both are excellent tools for the task, but which one is going to work for you? That’s why we’re here with our comprehensive epilator vs waxing comparison guide. 

Comparison Chart 

To make things more concise, we have a quick comparison table that allows you to see what each technique is capable of before you buy. This is a great summary of every aspect of both epilation and waxing. 

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EPILATOR

WAXING

TOOL

Epilator

Soft/hard wax, paper/cloth strips

METHOD

Plucks hair alongside the grain while electric current zaps hair

Wax hardens on the skin before being pulled against the grain

BEST FOR

Large areas, e.g. arms/legs

Entire body and face/biking area

PAIN OR DISCOMFORT

Moderate - intense

Moderate - intense 

SIDE EFFECTS (Potential)

Tenderness, redness, irritation, and ingrown hairs

Redness, irritation, rashes, bumps, sun sensitivity, allergic reaction, infection, scarring, and ingrown hairs

Result Longevity

3-4 weeks

3-4 weeks

Cost (Average)

£20-£100

£20-£100 depending on home kits or professional services 

Suitable Skin Type

All

May not be suitable for sensitive skin

Suitable Hair Type

All

All

Suitable Hair Length

1/8 inch to 1/4 inch

1/4 inch to 1/2 inch

How Does it Work?

Epilation and waxing work in different ways, as we touched on before. Waxing is a purely manual process, whereas epilation is mechanical. 

Epilation uses a device known as an epilator, and this mechanical device plucks hair while working alongside the grain.

It can be done wet or dry; it all depends on your personal preference. It also uses electric currents to zap the hair - removing it efficiently. 

Waxing is a more manual process; the wax is heated until it becomes a liquid and then applied to the area. Once it hardens on the body, the strips of wax are removed, and the hair comes with it - always against the grain. 

However, soft wax, as well as paper and cloth waxing methods, are laid down and removed very quickly for a faster process overall.

They are becoming increasingly popular ways of waxing as opposed to the traditional hardening wax method. 

hair removal wax

Which Areas Does it Work Best For?

If you are using an epilator, this is best for large areas of tough skin such as the arms and the legs.

It can also be used on sensitive areas of the body, such as the bikini line, face, and underarms. However, this can cause some pain as it does tend to tug more here. 

Waxing is a very precise form of hair removal, which is why it can be used on every area of the body. This makes it very versatile, but it can definitely hurt when you need to rip it off.

Waxing the bikini area also creates longer-lasting results which is why it is the preferred method. 

On the whole, waxing gives a close shave with longer-lasting effects, but it can also cause more pain and discomfort when used.

An epilator can still provide that smooth finish, but you may have to undertake the process a little more frequently. 

Are There any Side Effects or Risks? 

There are some side effects with both methods, and it’s essential to keep them in mind. Equally, you should remember that you’re not guaranteed to have any so don’t let it deter you from trying them out. 

With epilation, the process is similar to using tweezers. Therefore, you may experience some tenderness after use. The other potential side effects are:

  • Redness
  • Irritation 
  • Bumps 
  • Ingrown hairs

Waxing can be a little riskier, especially if you are not experienced or choose a professional that hasn’t had much practice or training. With waxing, the potential side effects are:

  • Redness
  • Irritation 
  • Rashes
  • Bumps
  • Allergic reactions 
  •  Sunlight sensitivities 
  • Ingrown hairs 
  • Infection 
  • Scarring 
  • Burns

What Hurts More Epilator or Waxing? 

The simple truth is that both of these methods are uncomfortable, and you won’t find a technique that is completely pain-free. 

However, it is also important to remember that the pain levels can depend on your own tolerance as well as how frequently you do it.

It has been shown that your sensitivity to bot epilation and waxing decreases over time for a less uncomfortable experience. 

The general consensus is that waxing tends to be more painful, especially as the strips are ripped off quickly.

However, even though epilation focuses more on electrical currents, it still has the ability to cause moderate to severe levels of pain - just like waxing. 

How Often Can You Do it? 

The good news is that you don’t have to do it very often at all. Both methods have fairly long-lasting results, creating less maintenance for you. 

For epilation, you will find that the results last between three and four weeks, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your smooth skin.

The more you do it, the slower the regrowth of hair tends to be as well - a huge bonus for lower maintenance. 

Your hair can also be pretty short with epilation, and you will only need to wait for it to grow ⅛ inch long before you can get rid of it all again. 

The results from waxing last a good three or four weeks as well, and you will find that it provides a really smooth finish.

With regular use, you should also find that the hair grows back much slower so that you can keep going for longer.

Waxing does require your hair to be a little longer before you go ahead with it - ¼-½ inch long for the best results and the least discomfort. 

leg waxing

What are the Benefits? 

The good news is that both processes do have benefits, which may help you when trying to decide which ones to use. 

With regards to waxing, the wax sticks to the top layer of skin as well as the hair. Once the strips are removed, it exfoliates the skin by removing dead cells and rejuvenating the area.

This light exfoliation process can be highly beneficial to the health and softness of your skin. 

Both methods can also be performed as home as long as you have the right tools for the job.

This saves you money but also means you have the freedom to take your time and learn the methods of hair removal you are most comfortable with. 

Each of these techniques also lasts longer than shaving, which means there is less maintenance for you and much smoother results for your skin. 

Read Here : How to remove hair removal wax from clothing

How Much Does it Cost? 

The prices really vary for epilators and waxing as it can depend on various factors. For an epilator, it is all dependent on the quality of the machine - you could find one as low as £20 or one closer to £100. 

Epilators will normally come with different heads so that you can achieve various results, and you should find that they also come with a warranty. 

The cost of waxing depends on if you are doing it yourself or decide to go to a professional to have it done.

Doing it at home is very cheap, usually costing around £20-30. However, you also have a higher risk of side effects and incorrect waxing as a result - not to mention burns. 

Going to a professional could easily cost up to £70, and there are places that may charge more or less than this. Generally speaking, smaller areas of the body that need waxing will cost a lot less and take a shorter amount of time. 

FAQs

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What should you do before you epilate or wax?

You should always exfoliate the area first to help open up the pores and soften the hair. This should be done a few days before as it helps to keep the skin soft for the epilation or waxing process. 

Some people recommend taking over the counter painkiller before it happens to reduce the discomfort felt. With epilation, it is also suggested that you do it at night so that any redness has a chance to come down.

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What should you do after you epilate or wax?

After you epilate or wax, you should rinse off to remove any lingering hairs so that you can avoid infections.

You should also moisturise the area as this will reduce inflammation. The moisturisation should continue for 24 hours after hair removal for the best results.

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How can you reduce the risk of bumps and ingrown hairs?

You can reduce the risk of bumps and ingrown hairs through exfoliation before your treatment.

This will also help to remove dead skin cells so that nothing gets in the way and potentially increases the risk. 

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Are epilation and waxing difficult?

No, epilation and waxing are not difficult methods to follow.

Whether you do it yourself or seek the help of a professional, the process can be undertaken in a few simple steps that you can easily do from the comfort of your own home.

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Does epilation or waxing produce more consistent results? 

Both epilation and waxing produce fairly similar results, which makes them equally good choices.

However, results can be inconsistent if your waxer is quite new to the role or you have not done it yourself before. So, make sure you wait for a few sessions for consistency. 

Final Thoughts

Epilators and waxing are great options for hair removal, and we hope that our epilator vs waxing comparison guide has been able to help you make an informed decision on which type is the right one for you. 

Both processes last for the same amount of time, although waxing can have longer-lasting effects on the bikini area.

Similarly, they both cause discomfort, but an epilator tends to be less painful and causes more of a tugging sensation. Waxing is also suitable for whole-body use. 

No matter which you choose, we know it will help you achieve smoother skin that you can feel proud of and comfortable with. 

Francesca
 

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