Well — it has been a while!  Apologies for the long absence.   I’m so thrilled to see how you all have been helping each other on the comments of previous posts.  🙂

I have a confession to make.  I strayed from sugaring briefly.  I tried epilating.  Now, don’t fret, dear readers; I returned to sugaring.  I always do.  But here’s my adventures in Epilator Land.  I learned a lot there, so I hope this’ll be helpful to you.

epilator

This is the Braun Series 7-7181 Silk Epil Wet & Dry Epilator.  I was tired of those awkward weeks before my hair got long enough to sugar.  I read a lot of reviews of different epilators and users seemed to think this one worked well, so I figured I’d give it a try!

Epilating hurts — a lot!

I haven’t waxed in years, so I can’t remember how much it hurts.  But epilating hurts a lot more than sugaring.

Imagine that your nervous system is like a post office that throws mail in the trash if it can’t find a postman to deliver it.  (This is not a good postal system.  I wouldn’t recommend it.)  When you sugar, something like this happens:

Hair follicles: OW!  (100x all at once)

Nerves: (Drop 99x on the floor)

Brain: (Receives) OW! (1x)

This… probably isn’t how it actually works, but I find this a helpful way to think of it.

When you epilate, instead of everything being pulled at once, each hair is pulled individually, spread out over several seconds.  Your nervous system will happily deliver every. single. ouch.  D:

But this brings up an interesting trick that epilators use, and that you can also use when sugaring.  The Braun Silk-Epil 7 comes with a little attachment that fits over the tweezers.  It massages the skin around the area being epilated.  This sends extra “rub, rub” messages over your nerves.  Some of those crowd out the “ouch” messages and the end result is: it hurts less.

You can do this while sugaring!  After pulling the sugar off, briskly rub the freshly-sugared skin with your clean hand.  The tingly echoing “ouch” feeling is replaced by the “rub” feeling.  Try it yourself!

One other note: some areas hurt more than others, and this may vary from person to person.  For me, the tops of my legs above the knees hurt like the devil with the epilator.  Without the massage attachment, it’s unbearable.

The epilator is slo-o-ow

If you make your sugar correctly and use it correctly, you can get almost all the hairs in a given area in a single pull.  There may be stubborn hairs that have to be tweezed.  But overall you can cover a large area quickly.  This is fairly independent of how long it’s been since you last sugared.  Even if it’s been a while and you’ve got a lot of hair, sugaring will get it in one go.

The epilator is very, very slow.  As mentioned above, it hurts a lot, so there’s incentive to go faster and try to get it over with.  But the faster you go, the more hair it misses.  And the more hair you have, the more passes it will take to get all of it.  Even if you go slowly, you will have to make multiple (painful) passes over the same area before it’s smooth.

The epilator works even when hair is short

This brings up an important difference: for sugaring, you need to wait for the hairs to grow long enough to grip.  This means you’re generally working with fairly long and evenly grown hair.

Epilators can grip very short hairs, under 1mm.  With an epilator, you can work with almost-smooth skin — much of your hair hasn’t grown back at all.  In this case, since there’s not much hair to pluck anyway, it doesn’t hurt.  And it does work.  If you examine the plucked hairs, they are pulled from the root not broken off at the surface.  That’s definitely a plus.

The epilator works even in your left hand, even at odd angles, even moving away from your body…

Let’s face it, there are some areas that are hard to sugar.  I can do anything with my right hand where the hair is growing away from my body.  (This makes it easy to pull with the direction of hair growth.)  Left hand?  It’s a problem.  Swirly hair growth patterns?  Tricky. Right underarm?  Impossible.

The epilator is a machine.  It does not require dexterity.  You can turn it around in your hand and voila!  It will pull in the opposite direction.  This is a huge win.

Conclusions

In the end, I’m sticking with sugaring for large areas (read: legs).  It’s faster.  It hurts less.  Sugaring is work, but compared to making multiple slow passes with the epilator, it’s not that much work.

But I kept the epilator.  I use it for touch-ups between sugarings — sometimes you just can’t wait!  And it’s a lifesaver for underarms and other hard-to-reach, funny-angle places.

How about you all?  Have you tried epilating?  How did it go?

(Next post: I’ll return to tips and tricks for sugaring.) 

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