Up until a couple of months ago I wouldn't even entertain the idea of using an epilator. I'd always been intrigued by them but considering I have a relatively low pain threshold it wasn't a priority of mine to actually give it a go... that was until I spotted one with 80% off in my local Boots Clearance sale. Admittedly the box was a little battered, but I'm never one to turn down a bargain and I picked it up on a bit of a whim; still unsure whether it was destined to be put up for sale on Depop a few months later, still as unused as the day I bought it.
For reference, I use the Braun Silk Epil 7. It's a wet and dry epilator meaning that it can also be used in the shower, although I don't tend to do that as the awkward task of removing the hair on my legs while standing in our (relatively small) shower unit was one of the reasons I was initially drawn to this. Instead, I like to use this dry and in natural daylight so that I'm able to clearly see any strays or patches that I've missed. After a lengthy deliberation I finally mustered up the courage to give it a go on my legs the first evening I bought it. It did hurt, although not unbearably. Some areas made me wince more than others (around the ankle is a particular bugbear) but it definitely wasn't the kind of pain that made me give up halfway through. An epilator works by quickly rotating a high number of tiny tweezer heads, individually pulling each hair from the root as it goes. The premise is much like waxing, although you do have the comfort of that being over and done with in one fail swoop. Gliding the epilator slowly along the leg can feel a little more like torture in comparison, but I do buy into the idea that if I can do it I'm pretty certain anyone can.
The downside? Two months on and I'm a little disappointed with the rate of regrowth. I know that hair grows in cycles and that it's important to continue epilating for a good amount of time if you want to see visible results, however I'm still left feeling a little 'meh' regarding the frequency with which I need to use this (currently every 4-5 days). For me personally the results don't last as long as waxing or anywhere close, although I'm determined to continue using this and see if that improves over time. I'm also completely opposed to using this anywhere other than my legs as any attempts I've made on the underarm area have been decisively traumatising pain-wise. After a few goes with this on my legs I found it to be pretty much painless though, whether due to the hairs being fewer and finer or me just becoming used to the feeling.
Despite its downfalls I would definitely recommend an epilator to anyone thinking of giving it a go. The pain isn't intolerable even on the first try, instead it just feels like tiny little pin pricks on the skin. I'd also suggest buying a tub of moisturiser containing aloe vera - I picked one up in Savers for £1 and find it does the job just nicely. I have sensitive skin and did suffer with a fair bit of irritation after my first few sessions, but aloe cools and soothes the area almost immediately. Lastly, just take your time. Stick on a couple of YouTube videos, sit back and move at your own pace. Breaks and breathers are fine too. Just keep yourself comfortable and I can pretty much guarantee that the pain wont be anywhere near as bad as you imagine. I'll be sure to do another update in a few months time to see how I'm coping in terms of changes in regrowth, but if the results are as good as long term users claim then I'm sure it will be completely worth it.