Epilation removes unwanted hair by the root so it is one of the hair removal methods with longer results. Many women report feeling smooth anywhere between 2 and 6 weeks, depending on their natural rate of hair growth.
Feel like epilating is not giving you the long lasting results that you expected? Though everyone’s hair growth cycle is different, there are certain ways to make your skin feel smooth for longer.
These hair removal tricks have to do with understanding the hair growth cycle, some preparation before epilation and some aftercare.
Interested to learn more on making epilation last longer? Read on for more insight and tips on better epilation.
How Does Epilation Work?
An epilator looks like an electric razor except the head is different. Instead of blades, the little device has many tiny tweezers that close, pull and open automatically.
Rolling the epilator over your skin lets the tweezers pull out your unwanted hair by its root. This is why this method lasts longer than shaving which breaks off the hair from the surface of your skin.
Like using a tweezer, using an epilator lets you remove shorter hairs than with waxing. You can use this method for hairs as short as 0.5 mm compared to 2 mm with waxing.
Not using the right technique when epilating will not give you as smooth results, though. It is important that you place the epilator head at the right angles and hold your skin taut to remove all the hairs.
This is more difficult for certain body parts than others. For example, getting the right angle on your underarms is a lot more difficult than on your legs.
When you cannot get the right angle you risk breaking off the hair instead of pulling it out by the root. This gives you the same results as with shaving or using a hair removal cream – faster regrowth.
It may take a few practice runs to get the technique right but it is not difficult and just takes some getting used to. Plus, epilation is not painless so if you have a low pain threshold this may also prevent you from getting more precise hair removal.
Learning About Hair Growth Stages
Hair has 3 stages of growth and during which stage you epilate affects how long your results last. This is why timing your epilation sessions can help give you smoother results that last longer.
The 3 stages of hair growth are anagen, catogen and telogen which respectively mean hair growth, hair death and resting period. However, the hair growth stages are not synced meaning that while you have just removed some of the unwanted hair, other hairs can start to surface soon after.
You want to get more control over the hair growth cycle to get smoother results. You do this by trying to interrupt the anagen stage of as many hair follicles as possible.
How do you do this?
Do you use other hair removal methods before trying epilation for the first time? Then let your hair grow naturally for about 3-4 weeks so that they are grown out and in the later stages of hair growth.
Then, epilate more frequently in the beginning. Plan your first 4 to 6 sessions to be just 1 week apart which interrupts the growth stage and gradually makes the hair grow at similar rates.
After these first few sessions, you will notice that your hair grows back less coarse and at a similar rate.
Once you notice a steady hair growth, you can space out the epilation sessions to every 3 or 4 weeks, depending on what you are comfortable with. However, don’t wait too long either because letting your hair grow for a long period of time strengthens the root which makes hair removal more painful.
Do not shave during this syncing process. Shaving does not remove the hair by its root so it is more difficult to control the growth stages.
In fact, shaving is not a good combination with any other form of hair removal. It is better to use regular tweezers when you cannot reach a few stubborn hairs.
Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
Exfoliating your skin is a good idea for many hair removal methods but this is especially true for epilation. Exfoliating your skin makes it easier for the epilator to latch on to your hairs and helps prevent ingrown hairs.
Exfoliating is removing the layers dead skin cells. Essentially, exfoliating gives the epilator a closer grip to the root of the hair which helps prevent breakage.
Breakage instead of pulling out the root means that your hair grows back faster. This is one of the preventable reasons for short term epilation results.
Also, breakage of unwanted hair makes ingrown hair more likely. Breakage causes a sharp edge which can then curl up and grow back into your skin.
This is why you should also exfoliate after epilating, too. If you weren’t able to pull out all the hair by its root, removing dead skin cells makes it more difficult for sharp edge hairs to grow back into your skin.
Other Factors Affecting Hair Growth
Besides the hair growth stages and breaking hair, there are other factors that affect how fast your hair grows back after epilating.
- Age: Everything slows down a bit as you get older and hair growth is one of them. In other words, young women will probably have to epilate more often than older women.
- Genetics: Hair growth is hereditary so if one of your parents (or both) are quite hairy, there is a good chance that your hair grows faster, too.
- Nutrition: Certain vitamins and minerals encourage the production of keratin, which is what your hair is made up of. Examples are foods rich in Omega 3 fats, Vitamin C and Zinc.
- Time Spent Using Hair Removal: Hair removal methods that pull the hair out by its root will also damage the hair follicle over time. This is why consistent use of the same hair removal method may result in finer hairs and less hair growth, in general.
- Different Body Parts: The hair on different body parts grows at different rates because not all the hair follicles are active at the same time. For example, the hair on your face grows the fastest while the hair on your legs grows the slowest.
So, epilating your legs may give you longer lasting results than when you epilate your facial hair. So, you will probably need to spread out epilation sessions for different body parts.
How Effective is Epilation Compared to Other Hair Removal Methods?
The effects of epilation are similar to other hair removal methods that pull hair out by its root. This type of hair removal always lasts longer than a one that breaks off the hair like with shaving or hair removal creams.
The reason why some people may see shorter results with epilation is breakage. If your epilation technique is not right, then you are breaking your unwanted hair instead of pulling them out by the root.
As mentioned, how long you have been epilating also affects how long you stay smooth. You probably experience a stubble sooner at the beginning of epilating but eventually you will notice that you can epilate at longer intervals.
In the beginning, you probably notice a stubble in the first week with long enough hairs by the second week. After a few months, this might occur at 3-4 weeks after your last hair removal treatment.
This is an indication that the hair follicles are damaged and so your hair is growing back slower and finer. Getting to this stage is one of the reasons why people choose to epilate instead of shaving or creams.