But epilation has always been the underdog of hair removal, if you ask us. It may be associated with a fair amount of pain, but the results are seriously impressive and long-lasting at that, meaning the humble epilator is still a desirable device. If you're new to epilating, we consulted experts at hair removal brand No!No! who answered all our questions, before trialling seven of the best epilator devices on the market.
What is an epilator?
"An epilator is a beauty device that uses a tweezing mechanism to extract hair from the root so the regrowth is slower than a razor or shaver."
Do epilators hurt and what can you do to make it less painful?
"Sometimes yes – it all depends on the type of hair you are trying to remove. However the more you remove hair by this method the less painful it gets.
You can reduce the pain through a couple of methods, using heat or cold. First, you can have a hot bath or shower beforehand, as this warms the skin, gets the circulation moving and opens the pores so the hair removes a lot easier. Secondly, you can actually “numb” the skin slightly by using ice packs."
How does an epilator work?
"When you switch on your device, the wheel with the tweezers built in spins round, with the tweezers opening and closing at speed. This grabs the hair and removes it quickly. The number of tweezers can vary from device to device."
How do you use an epilator?
"Epilators are easy to use. You turn the device on, place the head against the skin and then move the epilator upwards. The tweezers grab the hair and remove at speed."
How long does epilating last?
"Dependant on the hair regrowth of each particular person, you can epilate once a week or sometimes once every other week. Over time the hair regrowth can become less frequent, and sometimes stop altogether."
Where can you use an epilator?
"People mostly epilate on their arms, legs, back, and toes. You can use epilators on the face, but usually you will get a specific epilator head. You can in theory use an epilator at the bikini line, but as this hair is a lot courser than anywhere else on the body it is a lot more painful!"
See the seven best epilators, tried and tested.
Braun Silk-epil 9 Flex 9-010 Epilator
The favourite of our tester, this epilator has a lot going for it. Firstly, it has a sensitive setting as well as full power, meaning if you’re new to epilating, you’ll feel slightly less intimated and can ease into the process. The moveable head is a really big plus, making it far easier to use on areas such as knees and ankles. It definitely becomes less painful as you use it, and it is notably less noisy than other devices tested.
Philips Wet & Dry Epilator Series 8000 BRE740/11
As its name suggests, this can be used on both dry and wet skin, making it a versatile buy. We found the curved head a huge help when using on the legs. Overall, it gives smooth results, despite not picking up slightly finer or shorter hairs. A notable con is the loud noise it makes, but this certainly isn’t a deal breaker.
No!No! Excellence Epilator
There are several features that make this a fine choice, from its handy stand (none of the others tested came with one) to the purse-friendly price tag. The epilator did provide impressive results given that it is so affordable, but there are certain design elements that could be improved. These include the tough on and off button, which is certainly not easy to use one handed, along with the fact there is only one setting. The curved head is also more of a hindrance than a help, as it prevents super close contact needed for shorter hair.