With various hair removal solutions to choose from, women often want to know what are the main differences between epilating and waxing. In this hair removal guide, we summarize the results from our extensive research and compare the various hair removal methods, namely epilating vs. waxing. We’ll present a balanced discussion of the pros/cons of each technique, provide beneficial advice and tips, and help you make a more informed decision when faced with choosing between epilating or waxing. Our in-depth analysis takes into consideration several key aspects, including hair regrowth time between sessions, convenience – time to complete and ease of hair removal, pain, smoothness of skin, best areas of use, and price.
First, we’ll begin by examining the pros/cons of epilating followed by the pros/cons of waxing.
- Hair Grows Back Thinner, Slower, Less Noticeably
- Skin Looks and Feels Smoother than Shaving
- Long-Term Hair Removal Solution – Provides Lasting Smoothness Up To 4 Weeks
- Cost-Effective Solution
- No Prickly Stubble Since Hair Is Removed At Root
- Tolerance To Pain Gets Better Over Time
- Can Perform On Own
- Don’t Suffer From Embarrassing Dark Shadow
- Not Just For Legs – May be used on Arms, Upper Lip, Sideburns, Bikini Line, and More
- Suitable For Sensitive Skin
- Can Be More Efficient Than Waxing
- Painful Initially
- May Cause Ingrown Hairs
- May Initially Cause Redness and Bumpiness
- Need Time To Perform
- Devices Can Be Difficult To Clean
- Noise Levels Can Be Intimidating For First-Time Users
Epilation is a relatively new long-term, cost-effective hair removal solution, invented in the late 1980s by Epilady. Epilation may be painful at first but the pain subsides over time just like with plucking your eyebrows and many claim to feel no pain after awhile. After all, epilation involves removing hair at the root underneath the skin’s surface. Epilation can be performed alone in the privacy and convenience of your home, and it can be used on sensitive skin and by first-time users. The epilating process is known to take longer than shaving but it can be more efficient than waxing.
With epilation, skin looks and feels smoother than shaving and results are comparable to waxing for a fraction of the cost. In fact, based on independent testing, the results can last for a few weeks and hair grows back thinner and is less noticeable. With the regular use of a good epilator, you’ll need to remove less hair, resulting in time savings. It is quite common to experience redness and bumpiness when first beginning with epilating. Unlike shaving, you don’t have to worry about prickly stubble regrowing on treated areas. What you get is smoothness for weeks at a time and, best of all, you don’t have to worry about shaving everyday.
Recommended Areas Of Use
Contrary to popular belief, epilation is not only meant for the legs, but also it may be used on the arms, face, sideburns, bikini zone, and more. It can also be used on the underarms to eliminate that embarrassing dark shadow under your arms – typically associated with shaving.
- Longer-Term Hair Removal Solution
- Hair Grows Back Slowest (2-3 Weeks), Thin
- Longest-Lasting Results
- No Prickly Stubble –Removes Hair At Root
- Pain Wears Off Over Time and Is Bearable
- Hurts But Not As Bad As People Say
- Not Comfy
- Pros Can Be Pricey
- If Not Done By Pro, Can Be Messy/Horrible, Burn/Skin Damage Risks
- Need To Allow Hair To Grow A Bit Before Session
- May Press Hairs Against Skin, Making It Difficult To Lift/Remove
Much like epilation, waxing also involves removing hair at the root. In order to achieve optimal results, you have to allow hair to grow out a bit longer than epilation prior to waxing. Waxing lasts the longest but it can be messy, especially with inexpensive do-it-yourself (DIY) waxing kits, not to mention it’s not exactly a comfy process. However, if performed correctly and with the use of quality products, it’s not all that messy and bad at all. In fact, many women admit that waxing hurts but it is not as bad as people say, especially over time, and, more importantly, the results are worth it.  For all these reasons, some argue that waxing is one of the best long-term hair removal techniques. 
Waxing yields smooth and professional results, as hair is removed at the root. This assumes that waxing is performed by an experienced professional. There is no pricky stubble that regrows and you don’t suffer from the embarrassing black shadow effect. Rather hair grows back thinner and slowest, typically regrowing in about 2-3 weeks. DIY waxing kits can yield varying results depending on your experience and there is an increased likelihood of missed hairs and the possibility of damaging and/or burning your skin.
Professional Waxing vs. DIY Waxing Kits – Do I Really Need A Pro?
With waxing performed at a salon by a beautician, hair grows back the slowest (approximately 2-3 weeks) and it grows back thin and sparse. Waxing can get a bit pricey. In fact, a trip to the salon or spa for waxing can cost upwards of $200 (full legs – ankle to thigh, not including bikini zone and not including gratuity of 15-20% of base service price) . Of course, ultimately the total cost depends on the area(s) that you need waxed and the frequency of salon visits.
Some people who have skimped on paying for it done professionally have suffered with a messy and horrible experience and you do run the risk of burning yourself and damaging skin if not done by a pro. Further, with DIY kits, there is a tendency to miss hairs or encounter hair breakage either above or below the skin’s surface. For instance, one lady shared her negative experience where all the sticky stuff on the DIY waxing kit pad stuck to her legs and made it “all horrible”.  Clearly, waxing is a longer-term hair removal solution that should be handled by the pros if you can afford it.
Of the three hair removal techniques (epilating vs. shaving vs. waxing), waxing results last the longest. There is definitely pain associated with waxing; however, it should be noted that the pain subsides overtime and it is bearable much like epilating or plucking your eyebrows. Waxing may press the hairs against the skin, making it difficult to lift and remove hair.  Many women prefer to wax their upper lip, bikini line, and legs. Another best practice shared by other ladies is to wax first and then subsequently epilate the area to reduce the total cost of hair removal and any discomfort.
Epilating vs. Waxing
Both hair removal techniques (epilating and waxing) cause discomfort initially but the pain subsides with regular treatment. The important takeaway is that solutions exist for being smooth and stubble-free in epilating and waxing. Based on the previous discussions regarding epilating and waxing, it is evident that the initial investment in an epilator ($40 – $100) pays for itself typically within one waxing visit to a salon or spa, yielding similar long-lasting results while allowing you to collect major savings over the long-term. When you consider multiple visits to a salon, there is simply no comparison cost-wise.
Clearly, epilation is the most cost-effective, affordable solution, considering the total cost of ownership (razor + replacement blades) and total cost of services (waxing + gratuity). As discussed previously, DIY waxing kits are affordable – sometimes saving double the money compared to professional waxing services; however, there are some major shortcomings and risks associated with their use. If money is no issue, professional waxing is one of the best, longest-lasting hair removal solutions. However, for the rest of us with tighter budgets, an epilator is a worthwhile investment for achieving similar long-lasting results with the added convenience of being able to do it in the privacy of your own home without the need for any assistance.
Furthermore, epilation can be more efficient than waxing. Waxing can press hairs against the skin’s surface, making it difficult to lift and remove hair. There are epilators on the market that can lift and remove even short or flat-lying hairs. In fact, the Braun Silk-épil 7 is capable of removing even shorter hair than waxing, resulting in a more efficient hair removal solution.  Lastly, with epilation rest assured that there is no risk for burns and damaged skin as is true with waxing. In fact, epilators leverage several technologies, making them gentler on your skin. 
 Leg Waxing – At Home Versus Salon http://hairremoval.about.com/od/waxing/a/leg-waxing.htm
 Shaving vs Waxing or Epilating? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071228145745AADUcXi
 Waxing, Shaving, Epilating or Hair Removal Cream? Which Works Best For You And Why? https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080405110143AAuFo8P
 6 Reasons To Epilate – Did You Know?