Difference between Epilating and Waxing


These are two very popular hair removal methods. In this article we take a look at the differences between the two.

The Very Short Answer

If removing hair from the roots is what you are after, you have probably heard of waxing and epilating being grouped together. While they both do that, remove hair from the roots, however, there are a few differences in how they achieve that result.

When you epilate, you are using a machine that is run by electricity called an epilator. Whereas when you are waxing, what you are basically doing is to use strips of warmed-up wax that is pulled off very quickly by hand to remove hair. Both the methods pull out hair from the roots. That is the main thing that is common between the two, how they go about in achieving that goal varies a lot.

In order to learn more about each type of hair removal method and to know exactly the key differences between the two, please read the rest of this article.

The Process

When you epilate, you are basically using a device that is mechanical and is called an epilator. The way this works is that the device removes hair by plucking it from the very root as you move it along the direction in which the hair is growing.

On the other hand, when you wax your body to remove hair, what you are doing is essentially using heated-up wax and applying it in the same direction as the hair is growing in. If the kind of wax you are using is soft, cloth or strips of paper will get laid on top and then removed very fast in the direction that is opposite to the hair growth.

When you use wax that is hard, the person performing the waxing will have to wait for it to harden and then take off the strip itself completely and it is also done against the direction in which the hair is growing.

Areas they work best in

When you are trying to remove hair from larger areas that have tough skin such as the arms and legs, epilating is the way to go. Technically speaking, it can be used on the more sensitive areas of the body, the bikini area for example or maybe the face and underarms, but we do have to point out here that it may very well hurt a little more. It all depends on the level of tolerance for pain that you have.

On the other hand, when it comes to waxing, due to the fact that it can be applied much more precisely, it normally works on all areas of the body. This includes the torso and arms and legs and the face and bikini area as well.

A lot of people do in fact prefer waxing for bikini areas as the results obtained is sustained for a much longer period of time with this hair removal method when you compare it with other types of hair removal methods.


When it comes to benefits, they both have their specific benefits and advantages. When you epilate for example, you will be able to get rid of the shorter hairs that you may not be able to reach with waxing. This will result in skin that is smoother.

When you wax on the other hand, the hair removal process does more than just that, it also provides light exfoliation in order to remove dead skin cells. This is because the wax adheres to the top layer of the skin.

One thing to mention here is that with both these types of hair removal methods, the results you will get will be much more long lasting than with other methods of hair removal. Plus, there is the added benefit of being able to do these things by yourself at home. That is a big advantage. Many other types of hair removal methods need in-office treatments.

Any Side Effects?

Two side effects that are common to both of these two methods are pain and irritation. The pain is considerably more than that of shaving.

Epilation is kind of like tweezing. It has the potential to leave the skin feeling tender to the touch. Some of the most common side effects of this hair removal method are redness, bumps, irritation, ingrown hairs. However, the thing to note here is that there are considerably less risks associated with epilating than it is with waxing. The side effects of waxing are much more extensive and some of the more common ones include irritation, redness, bumps, rashes, sun sensitivity, allergic reactions, scarring, infection, ingrown hairs and burns,

How often can you do it?

Both of these methods do provide results that do last a very long time. Because of this reason you will not have to epilate or wax that often. With other hair removal methods like shaving, you would have to perform the procedure much more often. With epilation, the results obtained will last you a good three to four weeks. Some claim that the longer you epilate, the slower you will notice the hair growing back. Very much different than waxing, the hair of your body can be pretty small, around ⅛  inch long in order to successfully epilate.

With waxing, the results that you will get from the process can be also maintained for a period of about 3 to 4 weeks. However, if you are the type of person whose hair grows back a bit slowly, your results from waxing can last even longer. Once again, there are a lot of people who believe that with consistent waxing also results in hair growing back slower and also less densely.

So, in conclusion, we have to mention that both of these are excellent hair removal choices. They are both effective in keeping your body hairless for about 3 to 4 weeks with just one procedure. This is a huge benefit as it saves a lot of time that would have been spent removing hair otherwise.


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