Epilator Vs Waxing: Which Is Better For Hair Removal?

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Hair removal became part of women’s lives way before today’s most popular devices and methods were discovered.

It started as organic as possible until modern times gave birth to more efficient ways like waxing and epilation.

Let’s admit it, no matter how empowered and liberated women are when it comes to flaunting their natural bodies, having flawless, velvety-smooth, hair-free skin, does give the extra boost of confidence.

side by side photos of woman using an epilator and wax

If you want to achieve better hair-removal results, start diving deeper into different methods, and let’s give these two the ultimate face-off: epilator vs waxing.

Read on to find out which one is the better hair removal method for you.

What is An Epilator?

If you prefer lesser side effects and a cheaper alternative overall, epilators might be the right tool for you. It works just like tweezing, is almost as fast as shaving, and provides results as long-lasting as waxing.

If you have a lower tolerance to pain, you should consider this over waxing.

The brand Epilady was considered a “revolutionary” change in the industry. This compact electrical device does some clacks and buzzing, but it precisely removes unwanted hair directly from the roots without much risk of skin irritation.

If you’re planning to epilate, keep in mind that exfoliation is your best friend to keep the smooth skin that’ll last for weeks.

To know the basics of using epilators, watch this video:

Types of Epilators

Since epilators came into existence in 1986, it has evolved in different shapes and forms to save us from every hairy situation. 

There are manual and electric, corded and cordless, wet and dry, and everything in between.

It’s undeniable that epilators are one of the go-tos when it comes to hair removal, and here’s a quick guide to getting to know your epilators.

Spring Type

Epilators were first introduced in the form of manual spring-type devices. From a simple coiled spring wand with handles on both sides, this epilator type evolved into a compact device with a curved spring coil. 

Both are capable of doing the job by trapping strands of hair into the twisted spring and plucking them as the tools glide through the face.

The only difference is that the electric one is motorized while the manual type needs to be folded into a downward curve. 

Rotating Disc Type

This type of epilator works in the same context as the electric spring type, but instead of a coil spring, it uses multiple metal discs that rotate simultaneously to pull out portions of hair by the roots. 

Unlike spring epilators, rotating discs are more durable and less painful to use. 

Tweezer Type

By its name, you can tell how it works. It’s a more advanced version of the rotating disc type. 

woman's hand holding a white epilator

Multiple metal plates rotate in such a way that the ends meet together, pulling the hair just like tweezers do.

The minimum number of tweezers a device can have is at least 10, and goes up to a maximum of 72 — the more tweezers it has, the better it does the hair pulling.  

Must-Try Epilators

Panasonic Cordless Shaver & Epilator for Women
Editor’s Choice
  • Comes with 7 snap-on attachments for whole body hair removal
  • Cordless
  • Can do both wet and dry shaving and epilation
Braun Epilator Silk-epil 3 3-270
Budget Pick
  • It has smart light feature
  • Has 2-speed settings
  • Comes with 2 additional head attachments for trimming and shaving
Braun Epilator Silk-épil 9 Flex 9-300 Beauty Set
Premium Pick
  • The perfect all-in-one epilator
  • Comes with 8 attachments that shave, trim, and massage the face and body
  • It is waterproof, has SensoSmart technology, and is equipped with smart light

What is Waxing?

Since the ’80s, waxing has been patronized by more women, but this trend initially began back when the Egyptians practiced sugar waxing in 1150 BC. 

Waxing is the fastest way to remove hair. It provides light exfoliation as well, since the top layer of dead skin cells is removed with the wax.

The results from waxing are proven to be long-lasting, and when done consistently, you’ll be able to notice that hair grows back less and finer.

Whether you wax at home or have it done by a professional, waxing may look painful at first.

Waxing works by having soft or hard wax directly to the skin and stripping it off all at once. Yes, waxing hurts, just like any other method, but all types of waxing are great hair removal options.

You should consider not just your hair and skin type, but also, your underlying health conditions. Some prescribed medications should be avoided if you’re into waxing.

Types of Waxes

Before purchasing your waxing kit, or booking a waxing appointment, know that there are 7 waxing methods available:

Warm Soft Wax

Warm soft waxes are cream- or resin-based warm waxes used for strip waxing. Whether you’re using a stick or roller for the application, only a thin layer is needed to reliably pull fine hairs on areas such as the arms or legs.

Once it has been applied evenly, a strip is placed on top of the wax. Then, do a gentle rubbing motion to make sure everything has stuck already, then pull to the opposite direction of hair growth.

beautician applying wax on woman's leg

Warm Hard Wax

Warm hard wax is also applied warmly, but preferably on smaller and more sensitive areas with either thicker or thinner hair like on your nose, lips, underarms, and bikini area.

There are no strips needed for this one as it does the job for itself once it hardens. This change in its consistency is its vital property as it clings to your hair and not to the skin.

It’s thick in consistency, so once it dries, you only need to remove the hardened layer of wax.

But, here’s the tricky part, it may or may not get rid of every strand with just one strip. So you might have to repeat this as needed. 

To visually recognize the difference between a soft and hard wax, this video is useful:

Cold Wax

Cold soft wax is either applied like warm soft wax but not heated or it’s pre-applied to strips (see pre-made wax strip below).

Not only do you keep your skin from being burned, you also skip the step of having to heat the wax. It’s easy to use and is best applied on fine hair. 

However, because it’s not melted, it can be a bit difficult to apply evenly and you may need to reapply and strip off several times.

Pre-Made Wax Strip

If you’re looking for a quick waxing technique, grab yourselves some pre-made wax strips. These are the beginner-friendly ones, the grab-and-go variant in waxing. 

Just take it out of the packaging, no need to wait for the formula to the melted or warm. Split the strip until the wax is revealed, apply, and wax off all the hair.

Sugar Wax

For avid DIY people, sugar waxing is the way to go. This organic method uses ingredients you can find in your pantry. Using the concoction of sugar, lemon, and hot water, sugar wax can pull your hair off without clinging to the skin. 

It’s extremely gentle so it’s perfect for all skin types.

Other types of waxes in the market:

  • Fruit wax — applied as warm hard hard wax or cold wax and with the skincare benefits of fruit extracts
  • Chocolate wax — applied as warm soft or hard wax; the least painful wax method with nourishing benefits of oils and minerals

Must-Try DIY Waxes

Bliss At-Home Waxing Kit
Editor’s Choice
  • Formulated with soothing chamomile oil
  • Fragrance-free
  • Made with cruelty-free sourced beeswax and lanolin
Nad’s Sugar Wax Kit
Budget Pick
  • 100% natural
  • Easy to use and to clean up
  • Ideal fo face, body, arms, bikini line, and legs
Lifestance Waxing Kit- L2 Digital Wax Warmer Hair Removal Kit
Premium Pick
  • Comes with a digital wax machine with a 3-year warranty
  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested
  • Comes with pre-wax tea tree spray and  after-wax oil for before and aftercare

Epilator Vs Waxing: The Face-Off

Cost$20 to $150 per device$15 to $180 per whole body appointment or DIY kit
PainIt may vary depending on the user’s pain toleranceIt may vary depending on the user’s pain tolerance
ProcessUsing an epilator, gentle glide the device through the skin, and let the caps do the workApply wax of your choice to the skin, once it sets, pull it or pull the strip away to the direction of hair growth
ToolsEpilator; different attachments (if needed)Waxing formula (soft or hard wax), stick, waxing strips
Risks and Side-EffectsRedness, inflammation, bumps, and ingrown hairBurns, rashes, irritation, tenderness, sun sensitivity, bleeding, scarring, bumps, and ingrown hair
ConvenienceCan be used in wet and dry circumstances; compact and travel-friendly; grab-and-goTakes a lot of preparation; salon and spa appointments can be time-consuming
Frequency of UseCan be done at least weekly, especially for beginners; or, until regrowth starts appearing. For beginners, it’s possible to have it done within 2 weeks; or until the ideal regrowth is reached
Ideal Hair Length⅛ inches¼ to ½ inches


The cost of an epilator depends on the features and add-ons it comes with. On average, it costs around $20 to $150 per device. 

The pricier, the better quality and performance it does. But, that’s a one-time payment for such a reliable tool that’ll last you a good amount of time.

Most epilators also come with a warranty and interchangeable head. 

Whereas waxing could go between $15 to $180 depending on the area to be waxed, and where you’ll get it.


Some say using epilators is less painful than waxing. The truth is, waxing and epilating can be equally painful, but this is a case-to-case basis. The pain threshold varies for everybody. What some people find painful, won’t be the case for others. 

The more you use these methods, whether it’s waxing or using epilators, the more you get accustomed to the feeling of having them done. It also allows you to explore different techniques on how to ease the pain.


Don’t let the two confuse you. Using epilators and waxing are both epilating techniques. Which means they remove hair from the root. The differences between the two are solely in how they’re done.

Epilators grab the hair by themselves and pull them by the roots as you sweep it along the direction of the hair growth. It induces little to no damage to the surface of the skin.

Unlike waxing, where you apply the product directly to the skin, wait for the wax to set, and pull it against the direction of the hair growth. 

This can be more painful when not done properly, that’s why it is recommended to have it done by professionals before doing it by yourself.


Whether you’re using an epilator or waxing, having side effects is something we cannot take away from the process. Different skin types and conditions react differently.

Epilation acts the same as plucking. And, even if it has no direct contact with the skin, the fact that it pulls several hairs simultaneously can also cause the following:

  • redness
  • inflammation
  • bumps, and ingrown hairs

The risks are fewer compared to waxing, where dead skin cells are also pulled along with the hair. But, if done aggressively, and with incorrect procedures, the side effects may be some of these:

  • burns
  • rashes
  • irritation
  • tenderness
  • sun sensitivity
  • bleeding and scarring
  • bumps and ingrown hair


If you’re someone who has extra time to spare for your pampering needs, then you’ll have no problem going through the entire process of waxing.

Epilators are pretty much as it is. Grab the device, and go.

With just one press of a button, you can glide it to your skin, and let it do the magic. It also has wet and dry, corded or cordless variants, which allows you to use it everywhere.

Not to mention the tiny amount of space it consumes, so it’s also travel-friendly.

But, with waxing, preparing your tools and heating your waxes will take more of your time than the hair-removing process itself. 

You may have the option of having it done in salons and spas, but the agony of setting appointments and traveling is pretty much time-consuming as well compared to epilating.

Frequency of Use

Almost all hair removal processes work best when the hair regrowth is long enough to cling and to be picked up by the tools to be used. 

Waxing and using an epilator are both hair removal methods for long-lasting hair-free skin that’ll last up to 4 weeks. But, there are still some measures to be considered before doing it often.

When waxing, the ideal hair regrowth should be at least 1/4 to1/2 inch long. Otherwise, the wax formula or the waxing method might not be able to remove all the hair completely.

For first-time users, the waxing interval could be two weeks, as the hair is thicker and grows faster.

If you’re using epilators, there’s no need for your hair to grow back as much. Epilation can be done weekly if you’re trying to get the hang of it.

Attractive young woman wearing white towel sitting on a Turkish-styled bathroom

The Verdict: Epilator Vs. Waxing

We can only assess the differences between the two methods according to different criteria.

No matter how much we argue, the only way to decide which is a better hair removal method for long-lasting effects is to be devoted to experimenting and exploring the different types mentioned.

The bottom line?

If you have sensitive skin and higher pain tolerance, stick to traditional waxing, or explore the different types of waxing.

But, if you’re always on the go and you want a more convenient way to get rid of unwanted hair with fewer side effects, the epilator is for you. 

You may also like these articles About hair and exfoliating:


  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

  • Kelly Goforth

    With ten years in the beauty industry, Kelly Goforth has mastered the art of hair and makeup. Trained at The Redken Exchange in NYC and mentored by industry legends like Sam Villa and Lauren Hagan, she's a sought-after bridal specialist in Colorado Springs. From managing a Denver salon to now offering bridal hair, makeup, and airbrush spray tans, Kelly's expertise shines.

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