“Should I use an epilator?”, “Is it better than waxing?”

For those looking for easy, pain-free hair removal – the question of whether epilating or waxing works best and which method is the least painful are probably two of the most common questions people have.

Hair growing in the wrong places can be such a drag, for sure! Worse still when you have tried many methods of hair removal, undergone all the pain and torture, but you still don’t feel like you have gotten the results you want.

OR, you’ve tried one method and the pain you felt taught you a lesson; now, you don’t want to try another until you are sure how they work and the level of pain that each may cause.

Let’s face it when we look for a hair removal method the first two things we consider are if it’s painful, and the rate at which the hair will grow back.

Here we’ll check out three hair removal methods – epilating vs waxing vs shaving and see how they compare with each other in terms of pain and which one lasts longer.


Epilating involves using a device known as an epilator. Conversely, if you haven’t used an epilator before – you might want to read how does an epilator work?

Essentially, however, it is a small hand-held device that pulls hair from the root in a similar way to waxing. As a consequence, pain or some discomfort can be felt, especially for first-timers, but the more you use the device, the less pain you’ll feel.

emjoi emagine ap18 epilator

There are two types of epilators – a dry and wet epilator.

The wet epilator is for people who like to shave during shower time. The process of hair removal is done by gently and slowly gliding the device over the area you wish to remove hair. The device gathers the hairs and plucks them from the root.

It is advised to exfoliate the skin before using the epilator to prevent in-grown hair and remove dead skin cells, which will give you a nice smooth finish.

After epilating, it is best to moisturize your skin to prevent irritation and redness. Compared to waxing, epilating removes short hair from the root and leaves a clean finish, whereas waxing doesn’t always work on very short hairs. Epilating can be used to remove hair anywhere on the body as it is safe.

Epilating Pro’s

• Continuously epilating will reduce hair growth as with every epilator session, hair grows back thinner and at a slower rate.

• Epilating is convenient since you can epilate anywhere – especially if you have a cordless device.

• Compared to other forms of hair removal, epilating leaves you with smoother, glowing skin.

• Enjoy smoother skin for 4 to 6 weeks with epilation.

• Nothing else required – no creams or strips, just the epilator itself.

Epilating Con’s

• It can be time-consuming to remove hair since one needs to glide the device over the skin slowly.

Epilators come with varying amounts of tweezers also.

• Epilation can be painful.

braun silk epil 9-990 sensosmart epilator skinspa
Braun Silk Epil 9 Epilator

If you’re interested in epilators, there are many brands and styles of epilators available.

There are corded, cordless, wet and dry and more. They come at various price levels also.

Braun epilators are some of the most popular with Emjoi being another.

No matter what your budget is, you’re sure to find something to suit if you’re thinking about giving epilation a try.

Waxing for Hair Removal

Waxing is a hair removal technique that involves the use of melted wax to remove body hair from the root. It is comparable to epilating in this respect.

The wax firmly adheres to the hair which is then pulled out of the follicle using strips or similar material.

epilating vs waxing
Beautician Waxing A Woman’s Leg

Epilating vs Waxing

Just like epilating and unlike shaving, waxing removes hair from the root, thus leaving a silky smooth skin with no hair for up to 6 weeks. However, unlike epilating, where one needs to exfoliate before hair removal to prevent ingrown hairs, waxing does the exfoliating while it is removing hair.

Is waxing more painful than epilating? Any method of hair removal where the hair is pulled from the root can cause some pain but its bearable.

Make sure you use a professional, someone who is sure of what they are doing – otherwise, you might experience more pain than is necessary. People with sensitive skin might need to think about using a different method of hair removal, as waxing may leave a lot of irritation and redness on their skin.

Waxing – Pro’s

• It takes less time compared to other methods as it is generally a straight forward process. Warm wax can be applied to a large area.

• Comparing waxing vs shaving, the results from waxing are better as hair will take longer to grow back and leaves the skin smoother.

• Waxing process removes dead skin cells along with body hair.

Waxing – Con’s

• The pain can be excruciating for beginners.

Inconvenience of having to book an appointment and make a trip to the salon.

• Continual costs involved.


Shaving is hair removal that consists of using a sharp blade such as a razor to cut down the hair to the skin’s level. The basic shaving technique is just gliding the blade over the surface of the skin and shaving off the hair.

razor for woman
Schick Hydro Silk Razor Disposable Razors for Women

For better results, however, there is a bit more to shaving than simply the blade.

Prepping the skin, for example, and using shaving gels and cream will give you better results as well as a closer shave. Shaving creams and gel should be appropriately applied to the hair and left to sit for some minutes to soften the hair and help shaving go smoother.

Is Epilating Better Than Shaving?

When asked which is best; using an epilator vs shaving, shaving has no pain whatsoever – unless of course you nick yourself with the blade! A razor can be used to remove hair on any part of the body comfortably.

Unlike its counterpart methods, shaving does not remove hair from the root, and therefore, the chances of in-grown hair forming are higher. Also, the rate at which hair grows back is high. Epilation definitely lasts longer than shaving.

Shaving – Pro’s

• No pain with shaving

• Easy to do from home or on the go

Shaving Con’s

• Hair grows back fast so shaving will be a frequent task

• Higher chance of ingrown hair

So Is Epilating Better Than Waxing or Shaving?

As can be seen, the easiest method of the three would be shaving because it’s something that you can do in the house if you are in a hurry. Results, however, are not as good as those to be had with epilating or waxing.

For someone who wants clear, smooth skin where hair won’t start growing back two days after the process, waxing or using an epilator is a better option. You will need to withstand the discomfort however that comes with either of these two methods.

Easy to doYesNoYes
Convenient YesNoYes
Fast hair regrowth NoNoYes
One time costYesNoNo
Pain or discomfortYesYesNo


Although all three methods of hair removal work and work well – in the long run, it depends on each individual as to what their requirements are.

Do you want easy, convenient hair removal from home? – Choose shaving or an epilator.

Do you want hair to stay away as long as possible? – Choose an epilator or waxing.

Do you want low-cost hair removal? – Choose shaving or epilation.


The author Sue

Sue Walker is the Editor and Chief at Just Talk Beauty, a website designed to help women in their quest to look and feel good.

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