Is Epilator Better Than Shaving?

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

You’ve heard of different hair removal methods, and maybe you’ve tried a few. From plucking, tweezing, shaving, waxing, and epilating, you can eliminate hair from places you don’t want them growing.

All hair removal techniques are either depilation or epilation hair removal methods. The former includes techniques that remove unwanted hair from above the skin’s surface. This includes shaving and tweezing. Epilation includes hair removal techniques that eliminate unwanted body hair by pulling the hair out by the root, giving you better results. This includes using an epilator device and waxing.

For decades, shaving has been the go-to hair removal technique for most people. However, the epilator is fast gaining popularity. Is an epilator better than shaving? This article will address this question and more.

Introducing Shaving and Epilation

Before addressing the main question, we need to explain the main terms and ensure you understand how they work.


Shaving involves using a razor to eliminate unwanted hair by moving the razor against the direction of hair growth. Shaving requires less time, but the results are short-lasting. Since you’ll only be removing the tip of the hair shaft that has grown above the skin’s surface, you’ll only have a day or two before finding new hair growth.


Epilating involves going beyond the skin’s surface and removing hair from the root. Epilation is usually done using a device called an epilator. The epilator is a handheld device that mechanically grasps multiple hairs and simultaneously pulls them out by the root. As you move the epilator over your skin, the roller rotates, and the tweezers pluck the hairs from the roots.

The result of epilating is long-lasting because the hair is plucked from the roots. Moreover, hair regrowth is slower. You can use an epilator for facial hair removal and other sensitive areas. It is best used when you’ve exfoliated your skin, as exfoliation can prevent ingrown hairs and remove dead skin cells.

Pros and Cons of Shaving

Although shaving is a popular hair removal technique, it has disadvantages and advantages. Let’s have a quick look at the pros and cons of shaving.


  • Unlike epilating, shaving is painless.
  • It is a quick and effective hair removal technique.
  • Shaving is efficient and cost-effective.
  • It is a great option for eliminating hair in the underarms and legs.


  • Unlike epilating, shaving does not have a long-lasting result.
  • You need to shave frequently.
  • Razor nicks, cuts, and burns can occur.
  • Shaving frequently can cause ingrown hairs.
  • Shaving requires regular cleaning and maintenance.

Pros and Cons of Using an Epilator

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using an epilator:


  • Using an epilator gives long-lasting smoothness.
  • Epilation can remove finer and shorter hairs.
  • Epilators are cost-effective.
  • Regular epilation reduces hair growth over time. In the meantime, the hair that grows back is softer and less noticeable.
  • It is an ideal option for sensitive skin.
  • Epilating doesn’t leave rough stubble.
  • There are no chances of being cut or burned.
  • Epilators can be used all over the body, including the underarms, legs, arms, face, and pubic area.
  • Epilators require no supplies or disposable parts, and they use little electricity.
  • Epilating doesn’t require any special skill. Modern epilators are easy to use; you’ll be a pro after one or two sessions.


  • Using epilators can be quite painful, especially first few sessions. However, the pain you feel reduces over time.
  • You can get ingrown hairs from epilating. This can be prevented by thoroughly exfoliating the skin before and after epilating and then at least once a week.
  • Epilators require regular cleaning and maintenance.
  • Epilating is more time-consuming when compared to shaving.
  • It may cause skin redness. To accommodate this inconvenience, we recommend epilating at night. This gives your skin adequate time to recover before you’re out in public.
  • It isn’t an ideal option for people with thicker or coarser hair growth.
  • Epilators are challenging to clean.
Beautiful young woman epilating legs while sitting on sofa at home

Should You Choose Epilating Over Shaving?

Now that we’ve considered the pros and cons of both hair removal methods, we can address the main question. So, is epilating better than shaving? You can answer this question yourself after we’ve discussed the necessary parameters.

Working Mechanism

Although an electric shaver and an epilator look similar, their working mechanisms are completely different. Electric razors eliminate the hair at the surface, often resulting in rough stubble. Alternatively, epilators eliminate the hair from the root, leaving soft and smooth skin.


Since epilators remove unwanted hair from the root, they leave the skin hair-free and smooth. Moreover, new hair growth is finer and thinner than before. On the other hand, shavers only eliminate hair at the surface level and give a rough stubble. Also, new hair growth is coarser and thicker than before. So, in efficacy, epilators take the prize.

Hair Length

While epilators can remove hair at least 0.25 inches long, shavers can eliminate hair of any length. Unlike epilators, shavers can successfully remove hair closer to the skin. Consequently, shavers win this round.

Pain Tolerance

Shaving is not as painful as epilating. Epilating can be very painful, and the severity of pain experienced by different people depends on their pain tolerance levels. People with a low pain threshold may find these handheld devices challenging. However, the pain reduces with frequent use.

Shaving is a method of hair removal that’s painless and easy. An individual’s tolerance to pain is not tested here. In this aspect, a razor is better than an epilator.

Smoother Skin

Whereas an election razor leaves rough stubble on the skin, epilators give you smooth skin as the hair is removed from the roots. An epilator wins for this category.

Hair Type

Epilating is ideal for women with dark hair. Since the hair is thicker and coarser, it is conspicuous, even after shaving. An epilator entirely removes the hair follicle, making it invisible. When the hair eventually grows back, it is finer and fewer.


The two hair removal methods require different lengths of time. Epilating is more time-consuming and the process requires more care. The epilator needs to be held at an angle perpendicular to your skin’s surface to ensure that every unwanted hair is pulled out. Shaving, on the other hand, is a quick process. However, you should be careful not to nick yourself when shaving faster.


Epilators are more expensive than shavers. Some can cost as much as $100. However, when you consider the maintenance costs of a shaver, an epilator seems reasonable and is worth the investment. Although shavers can be quite cheap, they require frequent blade replacements to ensure they remain effective. In the long run, the incurred costs can add up to a significant amount.

Helpful Tips When Epilating

  • Always position the epilator at a 90-degree angle.
  • Avoid pressing the epilator against your skin. Pull your skin taut and move the device in the direction of hair growth.
  • Do your epilation at night. Some experience skin irritation after an epilation session. Epilating at night will give your skin enough time to recover.
  • Epilators sometimes have different speed settings. At the beginning of a session, start with the lowest speed and gradually increase the speed to determine what speed suits you best.
  • Exfoliate before each session to raise hairs hiding underneath the dry skin.
  • To minimize the risk of irritation, moisturize your skin after each session.
  • Using an epilator requires patience. You should move the device slowly over your skin to get excellent results.
  • Moving it too quickly may result in hairs being left behind.
  • Clean your epilator after every use.


We’ve seen the advantages and disadvantages of shaving and epilating. This article has highlighted the necessary points and parameters to help you make an informed decision. Choosing between epilating and shaving is up to you. However, we recommend epilating, as it yields long-lasting results. The hair is pulled from the root, making your skin softer and smoother.