Many of us will go to any lengths in the pursuit of smooth skin and we can spend hair-raising amounts of money in the process. An epilator is a fuss free way to get rid of fuzz. We get to the root of how one works:

The Knowhow

The epilator is a hand held device, similar in size to an electric razor, which is used in the home to remove unwanted hair. The definition of the word epilate is: to remove a hair from a part of the body by forcible extraction - which is exactly what the epilator does.

While that sounds painful - and many people report discomfort at first - it's said to get easier the more times you carry out the process.

Epilators can either be battery operated or come with a power socket - although many have the option to use as a cordless device.

Is epilation permanent?

No. When you epilate you pull out hair at the root but you are not removing the root itself so it's not a permanent solution. Hairs grow back at different speeds so it's impossible to say how often you will need to use the epilator but it should take two to four weeks before the hairs will noticeably grow back.

How much do they cost?

Epilators vary in cost. They start at around £30 and can go up to £130. It's worth reading reviews and doing your research before buying. The nature of epilation means it can be an uncomfortable process and the extra functions you get from a more expensive model might make the investment worth your while.


  • No creams or mess
  • Hair removal can last up to four weeks
  • Doesn't remove the skin like waxing does


  • Can be painful
  • Might not remove finer hairs
  • Can leave redness or slight irritation after use for a short time

Tips on epilating

  • Don't use lotions or moisturizers before epilating - make sure the skin is clean
  • Before using, make sure the hairs are at the shortest possible length as epilators don't work well on long hair and it can be more painful
  • Pull your skin tight while you use the epilator as it helps the device grab the hairs more easily
  • Try using talc on your skin before you start to epilate which can help the epilator glide over your skin more easily
  • Make sure the epilator is perpendicular to your body and not parallel
  • Don't forget to clean your epilator after every use. This can help reduce spots and is especially important if you suffer from sensitive skin.

Updated On:

Oct 03, 2011

How useful was this article?

Show all services

© DSG Retail Limited 2017. DSG Retail Limited, 1 Portal Way, London, W3 6RS. Registered in England No. 504877, VAT number: 226 6599 33