Body hair removal is a money and time consuming personal hygiene ritual. For millions of men and women, it is among the top aesthetic priorities. In a race to meet the needs of such a large number of customers – manufacturers always keep coming up with better, cleaner and faster solutions for body hair removal. At times, this is confusing for potential users. That is why we’ve decided to bring you this comparison of laser hair removal vs. epilator and explain all the potential benefits and drawbacks of these two popular hair removal techniques.
Both methods include the use of sophisticated machines, such as at home lasers, IPL devices and epilators. We will explain how these devices work and point out their advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, in our epilator vs. laser comparison, we’ll see how they meet some basic body hair removal requirements.
How Do Epilators Work?
Epilators often look and sound like electric razors but they work on a different principle. Instead of just cutting the hair, epilators pull the hair out from the follicle (the root). To achieve this, they contain many small tweezers or rotating discs, capable of grabbing and pulling even short hair.
Nowadays, most epilators do not require you to use any gels, foams, wax or water. They work very well on dry skin. However, dry skin epilation can be an unpleasant experience for some people. That is why some newer models are made for use with shaving gels or in the shower to enable a smoother hair removal experience. Overall, epilators are “cleaner” than waxing and they provide longer-lasting results than shaving, but they also have a downside. Let’s take a look at all the pros and cons:
- Fast and effective. The hair gets pulled from the root with long-lasting results.
- Works well on short and fine hair
- You can treat all areas of the body
- Works on all skin types
- Compact and easy to pack and carry
- Epilation can be painful, especially in more sensitive areas.
- Some hairs are too small to be removed.
- Epilation can irritate the skin and cause redness, itchiness, hair ingrowth and bumps.
How Does Laser Hair Removal Work?
Laser hair removal uses modern technology. Its goal is the permanent reduction of hair growth. However, this requires multiple sessions performed by professionals in beauty salons or dermatology clinics and it can be expensive.
These devices use light to target hair follicles. The light gets absorbed by the pigment (melanin) located in the hair’s root and turned into heat that destroys the follicle, inhibiting hair regrowth.
That is the basic principle. However, laser hair removal devices and IPL devices are not the same. There are some differences in how they use light energy but the effects are almost the same, learn more.
Of course, one laser hair removal session is not enough to stop the hair from ever growing back again. However, multiple sessions can significantly reduce body hair in treated areas and increase the time window between two treatments.
However, there is a catch! Most lasers and IPL devices work best on light skin and dark hair. People with dark skin and fair hair may not benefit from laser hair removal and can even end up with minor burns or scars.
- Enables permanent reduction of body hair
- Works well on body and face
- No need for the hair to grow back
- Sessions become less frequent over time.
- “Cleanest” hair removal method. No need for gel, wax, water, etc.
- Not suitable for all skin types
- Can cause discomfort (stinging)
- Not the most affordable hair removal option
Epilator VS Laser Comparison
To see how well they fulfill basic hair removal requirements, we’ve compared epilator vs. IPL (laser) in five categories:
Hair growth reduction
Epilators remove hair from the root but do not prevent regrowth. On the other hand, laser hair removal destroys the hair follicle. That weakens the hair over time until it entirely stops growing.
With professional laser treatments, permanent hair reduction is faster but quite costly. At home IPL hair removal devices take more time but can be very convenient and budget friendly. Either way, laser technology is a clear winner in this IPL vs. epilator comparison when it comes to hair growth reduction.
Level of discomfort
Both methods can be painful. Epilators pull out multiple hairs at one time while lasers sting and cause a mild burning sensation. The level of discomfort is individual and it also depends on the sensitivity of the treated area.
Epilators will give you three to four weeks of smooth skin between two treatments. With laser hair removal, every session is one step towards being body hair-free. You do not need to wait long for the hair to grow back between sessions because laser treatments work best on bare skin.
There’s no denying the win to the epilators in this category. These devices are sturdy and affordable. If you make a smart choice, you are all set for years to come. Professional laser hair removal is expensive and quality at home laser hair removal devices cost much more than epilators.
Laser hair removal should not cause any side effects in people with light skin and dark hair. All others should be careful. Epilators can be very rough on sensitive skin areas and should never go near the face.
The Bottom Line
Laser hair removal vs. epilator is an easy choice to make if you have a good understanding of your personal needs. Laser hair removal is the best option if you want to get rid of body hair forever, cut down the grooming to a minimum and you don’t mind spending a bit more. But, if three to four weeks of smooth skin are all you need before paying for beauty with some pain again – then, by all means, go for the epilator.