Epilation is becoming more and more popular as a hair removal method. While it doesn't completely eliminate future hair growth like laser hair removal, it is a fantastic way to quickly and easily remove unwanted hair that also slows down the growth cycle a bit.
The most common tool to use for epilation is called an epilator. This is a small, shaver-like device that can get rid of hair on the face, arms, legs, underarms, sensitive areas, and more.
Epilators are great because they're inexpensive, easy to operate, nowhere near as painful as lasers, and they're very effective at keeping you hair-free.
Learn More: Are Epilators Really Worth the Money? Find Out Here.
Below, we reveal what we believe are the 3 best epilator models all-around, then we take it a step further and talk about which models are best-suited for taking care of hair on different areas of the body.
If you're looking for the cream of the crop you can't go wrong with the Braun Silk-epil 9. This is, by far, the most popular and highly recommended epilator on the market today.
This model can do both wet and dry hair removal, can be used while in the shower, it's fast, it's gentle enough for practically ANY area of the body, and it's extremely easy to use.
The Silk-epil 9 features a wider head than other models which allows it to pick up more hairs in one pass than any other brand. It has built-in MicroGrip technology which makes it possible to remove even the smallest of hairs, too.
This is also a cordless model which makes it easier to use. It can even be used while taking a shower or bath. Plus, cleaning the unit is super simple.
On a full charge this epilator has a running time of about 40 minutes. The Silk-epil 9 features an incredibly fast recharge battery that takes just one hour to reach a full charge capacity.
This particular version of the Braun Silk-epil 9 comes with a bonus facial cleansing brush, an actual shaver head, a cap for easier and gentler use on sensitive areas, a massage cap with high frequency, plus a charging stand. It's an everything-you-need package.
In our honest opinion, this is the fastest, most precise, gentlest epilator available. It's an absolutely marvelous little device that is perfect for removing hair anywhere on the body. This is why we have labeled it the best epilator overall.
Our next favorite model is the Philips Satin Perfect Deluxe Epilator. This is a hypo-allergenic model that's great for getting rid of even the hardest-to-get hairs.
The Philips HP6576 is capable of picking up even hairs that are lying flat against the skin using its patented hair-lifting vibration technology. This, coupled with the active massage system, makes for fast, painless epilation.
On top of its epilation capabilities this Philips epilator also has shaver, trimming, and styling attachments which allow the user to get an incredibly close cut, leaving the skin silky smooth after just a couple strokes.
Similar to the Braun Silk-epil 9, this device is cordless and has fast-charge capabilities. The epilator is fully charged after just an hour and can last for roughly 30 to 40 minutes on each charge.
The Philips Satin Perfect Deluxe Epilator is fairly easy to clean as well. The head pops off without much effort and can be rinsed out under running water. It takes just a minute to do and it's ready for another round of hair removal right after.
This model is NOT designed for use in the bath or shower. It is not, in any way, waterproof. So, you'll definitely want to avoid getting it wet.
Finally, wrapping up our selections for the best epilator overall category, is the Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual Opposed 72 Tweezer-Head Epilator.
While the sheer number of tweezers within the device may make it sound terrifying - don't let that fool you. It's actually a somewhat gentle, yet highly effective hair removal machine that can eliminate unwanted hair quickly and give long-lasting results.
Unlike the two epilators mentioned above, the Emjoi AP-18 is a corded model. While this does make it a bit more difficult to use as cords have a tendency to get in the way, it's still moderately easy to use and gets the job done well.
This epilator removes hair very quickly. It can grab and pull out hairs of practically any length - even short or flat-lying pieces.
The Emjoi Ap-18 Emagine Epilator isn't quite as gentle on the skin or simple to use as the Braun and Philips models mentioned above, but it still beats other epilators in terms of performance by a long shot. Still, it's not for everyone.
Sick of having those random hairs pop up on your face? Want to remove them as quickly and painlessly as possible? An epilator is definitely a great tool for this.
Your face is sensitive and always in the spotlight out in public so you want to make sure you get a device that's gentle enough not to irritate the skin, but still good enough to remove the hair. Some epilator models are far too rough for facial hair, but there are some that work well for it.
All three of the models mentioned above are great for removing hairs on the face. Some people have reported, however, that the Emjoi Emagine epilator is a tad too rough to use on the face. A couple individuals even stated it caused a good bit of irritation after using it on sensitive facial skin.
For that reason, we suggest going with either the Braun Silk-epil 9 Wet and Dry Epilator or the Philips HP6576. Considering a good wet-shave is almost always far more comfortable, it may be wise to stick to Braun's epilator since it's the only model that can be used while wet.
For most women, the legs are the most important aspect of hair removal. Every woman wants sexy, silky smooth legs to show off in a great dress, shorts, a skirt, or even a bikini.
Are there epilators designed for this? You bet'cha!
In fact, the vast majority of epilation devices work well for removing unwanted leg hair. Some are a bit more gentle than others, but aside from that nearly any epilator you find at the store or online is more than capable of trimming down leg hairs.
The models we mention above are still the best of the best, but even cheaper brands and models in the $30 to $50 range will get the job done.
Keep in mind, though, that you get what you pay for. Cheaper epilators have a tendency to miss some hairs, struggle to pick up fine or flat-lying hairs, and they often don't leave your skin as smooth as our top 3 picks do. They'll also require more passes over your legs to fully epilate the area which will take more time out of your day.
Keeping your private area trimmed up (or even fully clear of hair) can be a hassle. A good epilator can actually make the task of trimming the hedges a fast, easy process. Let's talk about what models work best for tidying up your bikini or even doing a full-on Brazilian.
For any sensitive-area hair removal project, we almost always suggest the Braun Silk-epil 9. Why? Well, it's one of the only epilator models on the market that actually comes with attachments designed to make removing hairs on or around intimate areas a more comfortable, painless experience.
Additionally, these areas often have smaller, thinner hairs. This requires a higher-precision device that can actually locate the hairs and trim them without issue.
The Silk-epil 9 is ideal for these kinds of situations. With it's on-board MicroGrip tech this epilator can pick up hairs as thin as 0.5 mm (that's less than your average grain of sand for comparison). Plus, its pulsating vibration features make it even more gentle for use on or around private areas.
Finer pieces of hair are often a real pain to deal with. For a lot of devices they're hard to pick up because they're so thin. Heck, even laser hair removal machines have trouble with this type of hair because the laser struggles to 'see' the hair.
So, what can be done about it? Because epilators use YOU as their eyes - they are perfect for cutting down fine hair.
Not all models have the technology to be able to grab such thin pieces of hair, though. To do that, you need a device with incredible precision. You won't find that in a sub-par epilator. That's why we recommend either the Silk-epil 9 or the Satin Perfect Epilator for this particular task.
Cheaper models tend to have lesser-quality tech in them and are a good bit less precise. This means they're likely to completely miss thin hairs on your body. They may be fine for long, thick hairs that are easy to grab, but the cheaper epilators tend to be awful at finding and removing fine hairs.
Dealing with stubborn upper lip hair and don't want to wax or bleach it? Well, guess what - epilators are fantastic for getting a buttery-smooth upper lip as well!
The upper lip, much like the rest of the face, tends to be pretty sensitive, though. This means you need to find a device that doesn't just rip hairs out of the follicle without any consideration of comfort. Not all epilators are designed to give you a lovely experience.
For upper lip hair, we highly recommend giving the Braun Silk-epil 9 (the best epilator of 2017) a try. Yes, it's one of the pricier models available, but it's also a high quality device that takes comfort very seriously. That model is perfect for removing lip hairs without making you cringe.
The Silk-epil 9 is able to gently remove even the smallest, finest hairs on the lip with a single, quick stroke that doesn't make you want to punch a wall afterward.
Have thick hair that's hard to remove? Everyone wants luscious, thick hair on their heads, but not anywhere else on the body!
Don't worry, though - it's still possible to tame those thick strands of hair on your arms, legs, and elsewhere. And, yes, epilation can solve the problem.
So, what devices are ideal for getting rid of thick hairs? All of our top 3 picks mentioned toward the beginning of this page are more than capable of removing beefy pieces of hair. The big thing here is considering your personal comfort. If you want a smoother, less painful experience, we suggest using the Braun epilator or even the Philips.
Got a patch of hair in your armpits that just won't go away? For most women, underarm hair is a HUGE no-no. It's embarrassing and, in many cultures, unattractive.
Luckily, there are some great epilators that work wonders are getting rid of that awful underarm hair.
Due to the fact that the underarms tend to be a pretty sensitive area - we highly recommend using the Braun Silk-epil 9 if your primary goal is to get smooth underarms. That epilator provides a much more comfortable hair removal experience than ANY other model.
In fact, you'll find that other epilation devices are simply too harsh to use on your armpits. They tug too snag hairs because they either don't have a strong enough motor or aren't too precise. Epilators such as the Silk-Epil 9 or the Philips Satin Perfect have features specifically designed for dealing with hair in sensitive areas to make the process as comfortable as possible.
The name 'epilator' actually just refers to the device itself. The name does, however, derive from the term "epilation" which simply means removing hair directly from the root.
An epilator accomplishes this by literally pulling the hair straight out of its root. Its highly effective and one of the most affordable ways to get silky smooth, hairless legs, arms, and face. It saves you from having to spend absurd amounts of money on things like laser hair removal treatments.
Epilation is also more effective than shaving or waxing. A single session with the best epilator available can leave you smooth and hairless for up to 4 weeks in many cases.
Yes, laser hair removal actually works toward permanently reducing hair growth, but it's also far more expensive and you must adhere to a very specific schedule for it to work properly. This is because hair grows in precise cycles and if you have laser treatments done at the wrong periods of time, it can actually throw off the cycle and not be effective at all.
The effectiveness of laser hair removal also depends on other factors such as how dark your hairs are, sun exposure, and even the model of laser being used for treatment.
Epilation is more consistent, doesn't require your hair to be of a certain darkness to work, costs significantly less, and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Want to get the most out of your epilator? Be sure to follow the tips and tricks listed below for better, longer-lasting results each time you perform epilation on yourself. These tips will help improve your experience even with the best epilator money can buy!
Exfoliate the Area
Exfoliation is the secret to success with epilation. Due to how epilators remove hair (directly from the root), it's best to make sure you prepare the area prior to use.
For best results, it's highly recommended that you exfoliate the area you intend to perform epilation on the day before or at least a few hours before using your epilator.
This makes it easier for the epilator to remove the hairs from their roots in one quick motion. It also helps to reduce the amount of pain you'll experience while going through the process. For these reasons, we consider exfoliation a MUST - not optional!
Use a Numbing Cream
Are you very sensitive or have a very low pain tolerance? If so, you can significantly reduce the stress of epilation by simply applying numbing cream before your treatment. Remember, even with the best epilator possible you're going to experience a little pain.
For most products, you'll need to apply the cream about 30 minutes prior to when you plan to use your epilator. This gives the cream time to set in and numb the treatment area.
You'll want to use a cream that has a lidocaine base. Our favorite is HUSH Anesthetic Gel which is designed for multiple purposes including tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and more. Other good options include Aspercreme or UberNumb. Aspercreme contains a 4% lidocaine formula while UberNumb has 5%.
Go the Wet Route
By this we simply mean pick an epilator that can be used in the shower or bath. Not only is it more convenient, but performing epilation with a wet shaver is far more comfortable. It reduces pain and even helps with post-shave redness.
Don't Use Excessive Force
Just like with shaving - let the device do most of the work.
Pushing the epilator onto the skin too heavily can actually cause the device to pinch or tug at your skin, not just the hair. And, believe us when we say this - that's not pleasant at all!
Go against the flow of the hair and let the weight of the device itself do most of the heavy lifting. You want to apply a little pressure so the epilator can get level with your skin and remove the hair from the root, but don't push down so hard that it's grabbing at your skin, too.
Another great tip for making the process as painless as possible is to simply take your time. If you go too fast it's possible the epilator will skip over some hairs or not get enough grip on them and tug on them, causing mild pain.
Go slow with each stroke and give the device time to locate and remove each hair. This will reduce the amount of pain you experience and cut down on the number of strokes you'll need to make to finish the job.
If you find that you're in a bind for time - start planning out your epilation sessions in advance. Give yourself enough time to go slow and take it easy. The best way to ensure you'll do this is to use your epilator in the bath. Bath time is supposed to be relaxing anyway. Use it to your advantage!
Apply Moisturizer or Aloe Vera
After you've completed your epilation session your skin will likely be mildly irritated and it's also common for the skin to appear a bit red.
To alleviate these symptoms and make your skin presentable for going out in public you should definitely consider using a good moisturizer or aloe vera on the treated area. Doing so will help soothe and smooth the skin.
If you have redness after a treatment, moisturizing can do wonders for making the red coloring go away. It also helps reduce inflammation and is recommended for any post-shave related treatment anyway.
A great, deep-hydration moisturizer to consider is Obagi Hydrate. It's a little on the pricey side, but, trust us, it's worth every last penny.
Keep Your Device Clean
Finally, a hugely important tip that pertains to the epilator itself - keep it clean!
Seriously, much like any other tool it's extremely important to clean your epilator. Making sure its not jammed up with hair or other gunk ensures that your device will always be operating at peak performance. Plus, cleanliness greatly reduces the chances of nasty bacteria coming in contact with your skin.
Most epilators have a removable head that can be washed out with water. The Braun Silk-epil 9 is waterproof which actually makes it possible to clean the entire device without worry.
Be sure to take a minute or two to clean out your epilator after each use. This will expand the lifespan of the device, improve its ability to remove hair during each session, and keep it free of bacteria and other disgusting gunk.
Epilation is a great way to get rid of hair on your body without spending a ridiculous amount of money. It's also incredibly easy and perfect for people that want better results than shaving or waxing from the comfort of your own home.
Epilators are on the rise in popularity due to their high level of effectiveness, affordable pricing, and convenience. Using the guide above you should be able to find a great model for your personal preferences and needs.
We sincerely hope that our guide has helped you find the best epilator for yourself and given you a better understanding of the epilation process itself.