Epilating means removing the hair, so removing it together with the hair root. Of course, this is far more sustainable. It is a temporary, so only temporary epilation, which can last up to several weeks, distinguished from a permanent, that is, at best, final, epilation.

For more information see the main article depilation.

Temporary epilation

Epilating the legs

The temporary epilation has been used for a long time and requires only simple utensils, such as tweezers or Epiliergerätes. The use of warm or cold wax and various sticky pastes is also included in this group. All of these methods do the same thing in the end. Properly applied, pull out the hair together with the root. You can tell by the fact that the hair gets brighter in the direction of the skin. If the hair looks unchanged and dark, it is probably only demolished instead of being pulled out. The time it takes for new hair to grow depends on the period of growth in which the hair is at the time of epilation. A hair that is already in the final phase of its development, that is just about to fail, will soon be followed by a new hair. However, it is also possible that after several applications, the hair follicle is irreversibly damaged. Especially if a hair is currently in the growth phase, this may be the case. The methods of temporary epilation are as inexpensive as those of depilation, but are somewhat more difficult and often uncomfortable or even painful to use. Cooling of the skin before epilation, for example, helps to combat mild pain. The depilation may persist for a few weeks.

Permanent epilation

In permanent hair removal (epilation), it is important to reach the hair in the right growth phase. This is best suited to the first phase of hair growth, since in this the hair is still connected to the onion and it is thereby possible to irreversibly damage them, so that regrowth of the hair is impossible. However, the individual hairs of a certain body region do not go through the same phases at the same time, so that after a single application only about two-thirds of the hair follicles (= bellows) will have become desolate. This requires several treatments, the number of which varies according to the procedure (epilation).

Laser and light treatments

These methods include laser and epilation. In both methods, it is advantageous if the hair to be treated as dark and thick as possible, the surrounding skin, however, is as thin and bright. This is because the hair root and onion must absorb the light of different frequencies. Dark absorbs better than light. The more light is absorbed, the higher the resulting heat. Everyone knows this effect (epilation), who has ever walked through the summer sun in a black T-shirt. The different light and laser technologies, which differ in the treated surface and the physical properties of the light used, are therefore not applicable to all hair types and equally successful. Although people with thin, slowly growing, light body hairs are less likely to be motivated to permanently remove hair (epilation), there is a general need for women to have complete depilation in particular parts of the body, for example eyebrows.


These individuals can be helped by electroepilation ( epilation ). In these methods, the success is independent of the color of the hair to be removed. When using alternating current (thermolysis), the cells are melted down inside the hair follicle. The hair follicles become desolate and can no longer form hair. The use of direct current produces chemical substances that cause irreversible damage to the cells from which hair would later have been created and make regrowth impossible (epilation). If both DC and AC are used, it is called the blend method.

Pain when epilating

Epilating is painful compared to other hair removal methods ( shaving, chemical hair removal with creams, ...).

Classically, three major supergroups are irritating to receptors of pain perception:

  1. thermal stimuli (warm, cold)
  2. mechanical stimuli (pressure, bruises) and
  3. chemical stimuli (poison, inflammation, acid).

During epilation, the nociceptors, which in the case of the skin lie in their second major layer, the dermis, and are mostly free nerve endings (= nerve fibers that terminate blindly without a firm structure), respond to the tearing out of the hair, respectively the root of the hair, which are also anchored in this middle skin layer between the epidermis and subcutis.

The pain that results from epilation is therefore predominantly mechanical.
Characteristic of pain receptors is that they need a relatively strong stimulus to send their signal, and in fast consecutive similar irritations not become insensitive or dull (no adaptation of the nociceptors). That's why the beginning of a hair removal epilation is as painful as the end of this session.

However, over a period of time, in most cases, epilation becomes less painful. What is the reason for this development?
Several factors play a role here:

  • On the one hand less hair grows after repeated epilation. For hair that has been caught during the epilation process just in the growth phase of their life cycle, the chances are good that the hair does not grow back at all. Because of this, fewer and fewer hairs will follow each time that need to be removed.
  • Second, the hair grows, which regrow after epilation, usually finer and thinner than before. The reason for this is the damage to the hair roots caused by the tearing of the entire hair including its anchoring. When re-epilating, these thinner hairs cause less pain.
  • Finally, both the skin gets used to the stress of epilation and the psyche.

An extremely important component of the sensation of pain is always the cognitive assessment of what is happening in the brain. When the procedure of depilation is known and practiced, and conscious or unconscious fears no longer play a major role, when epilation has become routine, the pain becomes more habitual and the perception of it becomes much weaker.
Noteworthy in the assessment and observation of the above factors is always the different individual perception of pain of different persons:
Thus, both pain threshold and perceived pain intensity are highly variable. What is unbearable for one, is for the other only a gentle Ziepen and at most a little uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, after a painful first attempt to try epilation at least once again, it is worthwhile for those who are interested in medium-term hair removal.
In most cases, the procedure is not as painful as before.

Tips for pain prevention

To relieve the pain of epilation, you can also take advantage of some tricks:

  • So it is recommended to bath before hair removal, but not with too hot bath water. Warm water softens both the skin and the hair and opens the pores. The hair can thus be easily pulled out of its anchorage. Strong heat (eg from very hot to hot water) actually intensifies the pain. Much better recommended since cooling the affected areas, for example, with the help of an already pre-cooled epilator or with the help of cold wipes or the like.
  • It is also helpful to stretch the skin a bit and pull it tight, as this leads to a direct tear on the hairline during epilation and prevents unnecessary stretching and pulling on the skin.
  • In the end, the pain eases off more quickly if, before and after epilation, for example, with the flat of your hand, gently pushing gently over the depilated area or massaging the lot. On the one hand, this results in a kind of " distraction " for the pain sensors, which already respond to the slight pressure, and on the other hand, the blood circulation is promoted, which can also have a pain-relieving effect.


As with most cosmetic treatments, the duration of epilation naturally depends on many different factors.
The size of the area to be depilated is self-explanatory. Thus, an epilation of the legs is usually tedious than the depilation of the bikini area.

The time required also depends on the individual pain sensation of each person; If you feel very painful, you may need a little break for recovery more often and stop epilation more often.
It is also important to note the different sensitivity of different body parts:

While the legs are likely to be depilated in one swing, the bikini area needs more time, just like other sensitive areas.
The total time needed depends not least on the working speed. This is of course also a matter of routine:

  • How often has it been epilated?
  • Is the optimal technology already found?
  • How effectively is treated?

All in all, frequency is also an important factor. As explained above, less and finer hairs grow after every epilation run. For the first depilation with many, relatively thick hair, it takes a longer period of time than at a later date, when only a few remaining hairs have to be removed.
In general, one can assume that as a beginner for the depilation of both legs to about knee height takes about 30 minutes time. With any preparation ( take bath or something similar, see above ) you should plan accordingly more time.

The result of the epilation, however, also lasts for a few weeks: usually, about four to six weeks pass before new hair grows again. Nonetheless, a little patience is required from this moment on. Since the optimal length of hair for epilation is about 3-5mm ( shorter hair can not be detected by a single tweezers or the device safely ), the waiting time is delayed until the next epilation by a few more days.

Epilation of ingrown hair

Ingrown hair can develop after shaving as well as after epilation. After a shave they usually show up faster than after an epilation. If ingrown hairs are present, the skin must not be re-epilated at the affected area until the ingrown hair has healed. Otherwise, infections and major inflammation may occur.

By epilating ingrown hairs can not be removed because the epilator can not reach. The ingrown hair is located under the surface of the skin, where it can not reach the small tongs of the epilator. Epilation can therefore only lead to irritation or injury to the affected area. High-quality epilators, good preparation of the skin and regular peels after epilation reduce the likelihood of hair ingrowth.

Pimples after epilation - What to do?

Epilation is an effective method of cosmetic hair removal that can be performed at home. However, many people shy away from epilation, as it is usually associated with pain and unpleasant pimples.

In fact, skin irritation and small pimples often occur after epilation. Especially sensitive skin, such as the genital area, are quickly affected by such pimples and redness. There are some things that you can already consider before epilating to avoid pimples. Epilators should always be used on clean, non-greasy skin. The best time is after the shower, when the skin has not been creamed. Oily skin can cause the epilator can not grab the hair properly and so pimples occur. Chilled skin is also easier to epilate and shows less irritation or pimple after epilation. With a cooling element, the skin can be well pre-cooled, a chilled towel or similar works well.

Even after epilation, there are some things you can do to prevent the appearance of pimples. A well-tried trick is the use of baby powder immediately after epilation or shaving. Also nourishing moisturizers or lotions prevent pimples and nourish the skin. Incidentally, cooling not only helps before, but also after epilation. It also continues to counteract swelling or redness.

Anti-inflammatory skin care products, such as Bepanthen, or ingredients such as aloe vera, are particularly good for post-epilation care. If pimples should still be there, you should be careful not to scratch or irritate them, otherwise inflammation may occur.

  • Cream for inflammation
  • Avoid red spots after epilation

Epilating in the genital area - What should be considered?

About the epilation in the genital area are different statements and recommendations. Most manufacturers of epilators do not recommend the epilation of the genital area. The genital area has a very sensitive skin and can be irritated very quickly. Inflammation may occur and, if the epilator is used improperly, it may also cause injury.

If you still want to epilate the genital area, you should take some precautions to perform the epilation as gently as possible. The skin should be free of grease, cleaned and dry. The epilation of the genital area is still more painful than on other parts of the body. To reduce the pain somewhat, it is also recommended to cool the skin with a cooling element or a cooled towel. Even after epilation cooling helps to calm the genital area and avoid irritation.

For a smooth result, you should stretch a small area of ​​skin between two fingers and epilate this quickly. If you are sweating and your skin becomes moist again during epilation, you should dry it off before you continue to multiply. After epilation, the skin must be moisturized with creams, such as Bepanthen, to prevent irritation.

Epilation on the face

Epilation on the face is a great way to remove unwanted hair over a long period of time. Shaving is not good, especially for women.

But not every epilator is suitable for epilation on the face and especially the sensitive upper lip. Special epilators for the face, or epilators with special attachments should be used. These essays are smaller than the body attachments and thus allow a more precise work.

For the epilation on the face, a good preparation of the skin is very important because the result is otherwise not so satisfactory or irritation occur. The face should be well washed and dried before use. Warmth or cold can help soothe the skin and make epilation more comfortable. Whether one prefers warmth or rather cold to prepare, depends on the individual preference. A warm steam room can help open the pores and facilitate epilation. By contrast, cooling with a cooling element reduces redness and irritation after epilation. For epilation on the face, a special epilator facepiece or a facial epilator must be used. It should always be epilated only a small spot. The epilator is then placed on the taut skin at a 90 ° angle. After epilation the skin of the face should be cooled. This is even more important than in other areas of the skin, as redness can be seen directly here and can not be concealed. Subsequently, it is recommended to apply a moisturizing care. However, epilation should not be performed on very sensitive facial skin or acne.

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Epilation under the armpits

Many women, but also men, shave their shoulders, both for aesthetic and hygienic reasons. After a shave, however, stubble on the armpit can be seen again quickly, which is why epilation leads to long-term satisfactory results.

Similar to the genital area, the skin on the armpits is very sensitive. The epilation is therefore spared by many people initially. With good preparation of the skin, however, the armpits can also epilate well. Also, the rumor that an epilation of the armpits could lead to inflammation of underlying lymph nodes, is not true. The epilation of the armpit is not dangerous and can therefore be carried out without hesitation. Before epilation, the armpit should be cleaned and freed from cream or fat residues. For epilation, raise the arm above the head and bend it at the elbow so that you can stretch the skin of the armpits with your hand. With the other hand you lead the epilator to the armpit and epilated carefully from outside to inside. For a smooth result you should epilate against the direction of hair growth.

After depilation, deodorants should not be used as they can cause irritation. Even tight clothing can irritate the sensitive skin. A moisturizing cream for the care of the epilated armpit is highly recommended.

Epilation on the legs

The epilation of the legs is very popular because it provides long-term hair freedom as a common shave. The skin on the legs is also not as sensitive as, for example, the face or genital area, and therefore easily accessible to epilation. Unfortunately, the epilation is not completely painless. With a good preparation of the skin and a good care after epilation, however, larger irritations can be well avoided.

Most epilators promise a hair-freedom of 4 weeks. The hair growth is individually very different, so that many people have to epilate after 2 weeks for smooth legs again. The pain sensation decreases in most people after repeated epilation, so that the epilation is often preferred to shaving. The best time to epilate the legs is after showering. The warm water opens the pores and facilitates the epilation. However, many people also find that cooling the skin beforehand is very beneficial. It is important, however, that the skin is in any case free of fat residues and dirt. To epilation of the legs you put the epilator at a 90 ° angle on the leg and begins the epilation on the ankle. Then you work your way up to your thighs. Epilation is further simplified by tensing the skin between 2 fingers. This makes it easier for the epilator to grab the hair.

The hairs on the legs should not exceed a length of 5 mm, as the epilator can not easily grip the long hairs. After the epilation a good care is very important.

How often can one epilate?

Epilation should only be performed when the hair has grown back to the affected area. This takes between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on individual hair growth. A more frequent epilation therefore makes no sense and brings no benefits. In the course of a lifetime, however, one may epile oneself as often as one wishes. Epilation does not lead to a lasting stress on the skin.

While some people only have to epilate every 4 weeks to get a hair-free result, others have to repeat the epilation at shorter intervals. This has nothing to do with the epilator, but is dependent on the individual hair growth.

Epilation in pregnancy

Most women do not necessarily want to go without smooth skin during pregnancy. Epilation also provides a good option for long-term hair removal during pregnancy.

Some product information has contraindications to pregnancy. If in doubt, you should not use such a device then. Basically nothing speaks against the epilation.

The skin is more irritable in some pregnant women than during pregnancy. Also bruises or small bleeding can occur preferentially. Furthermore, the sensation of pain can be more sensitive than usual. However, this is individually very different. On skin that is easily inflamed, or immediately after infection of the skin, but should not be epilated.

The epilation of the genital area is possible in principle, but should not necessarily be performed. Small injuries can easily lead to infections there and are extremely unpleasant. Especially in the last trimester of pregnancy you should do without the epilation of the intimate area. In contrast, epilation of the bikini area is usually not a problem. Pregnant women should pay particular attention to their well-being and their skin. If the epilation is well tolerated, it can be done. However, if severe irritation occurs, it is recommended not to re-epilate the skin. As well as outside of pregnancy, a care of the epilated skin is particularly important.

I tried an Epilator Hair Removal Device for 3 Weeks...My Experience, Results, Will I Continue? (August 2020).

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