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Epilator vs. Electrolysis: Which Hair Removal Should You Choose?

August 11, 2023
7 minutes

Epilation is a method of removing hair below your skin’s surface by using electrical devices, electric currents, or other agents like wax. Some epilators techniques give you temporary results but one method can give you long-lasting results as well.

Other than the difference in results, these methods also vary in their main principles, their convenience, after-effects, and most importantly the cost. So, in this article, we will have an in-depth discussion on two of the most popular epilation techniques. One of them uses a tweezer epilator while the other uses an electrolysis epilator. Let’s begin. 

What are Epilators and Their Different Types?

Epilators are electrical devices that remove hair from the roots either by pulling them out or by destroying the hair follicles. As a result, they give you results quicker and more long-lasting as compared to shaving, or depilatory creams. 

The results of epilators depend upon which type of epilator you are using. They are mainly divided into three types depending upon their mechanism of action. These are the following: 

Spring Epilators

Spring epilators are electrical devices that are incorporated with springs that move with the help of a spring coil. These springs grab your hair and pull them out from the roots.  The spring epilators are either in the form of electric spring epilators or rotating disc epilators.

The only difference is that the electric spring epilators have larger springs and the rotating disc epilators have smaller springs that rotate to catch stray hair from all directions and remove them. These are easily available for use at home and can provide you with smooth skin for more than a month. 

Tweezer Epilators

You must be already familiar with tweezer epilators. They are the first thing that comes to mind on hearing the name “epilators”, right? These devices are incorporated with several tweezers that pull multiple hairs at the same time and get rid of them from the roots. 

These epilators only remove your hair while keeping the hair follicles intact so they only provide you with a temporary hair removal solution. These devices are easy to use so you can buy some at-home tweezer epilators for your use. To find the best epilators, check out The 10 Best Epilators for Women

Electrolysis Epilators

Electrolysis epilators are devices that work to remove hair from your body long-lastingly. They also come with a thin needle or wire that is inserted into your hair follicles and these follicles are destroyed with the help of an electric current or short-wave radio frequency. 

Some devices use direct current and the process is called galvanic electrolysis while others use alternating current or radiowaves and are called thermolytic electrolysis devices. In addition to this, some devices are a mixture of both and are known as blend electrolysis devices. 

The method is an FDA-cleared long-lasting hair removal procedure but it can also be risky to do at home. 

Epilator vs. Electrolysis: Which Hair Removal Method Should You Choose?

The electrolysis epilators and the tweezer epilators are the most commonly used but which one should you choose? The answer to this depends upon several factors. So, we have compared these two epilators so that you can sort out your confusion. 

Treatment Place

Some people usually prefer hassle-free hair removal and go to clinics or salons for getting the treatment done. In contrast, some people love staying at home and doing their hair removal sessions. The tweezer or spring epilators are usually for homebodies as they are easy-to-use devices for everyone. All you need to do is buy a high-quality device and do the procedure right.

On the other hand, electrolysis is quite complex and risky to do at home so even if you buy an at-home electrolysis device, it might not work in the same way as those in clinics work. So, it is better to go to clinics for electrolysis. 


The tweezer epilators pull hair and remove them completely from the roots leaving your body hair free for a temporary time. This period can vary from person to person and can be between 4 to 6 weeks.

Unlike these, electrolysis is long-lasting. The current used in electrolysis reaches your hair bulb and eradicates the follicles in such a way that they do not grow back for your whole lifetime. 


The cost of hair removal procedures mainly depends upon how long they last. As electrolysis is a long-lasting hair removal technique so it costs more than the epilators. On average, electrolysis can cost from $150 to $10,000 depending upon the area being treated and the place where you are getting your treatment done. Want some detailed information? Click How Much Does Electrolysis Hair Removal Cost?

Tweezer epilators are a lot cheaper than electrolysis and if you are buying one, you can buy them for $30 to $150 depending upon the brand you are purchasing them from. These epilators can last for many years so using epilators is a lot cheaper option as compared to electrolysis.


As electrolysis includes the use of electric current, it is obvious that you are going to feel pain while undergoing the procedure. It gives you a tingling sensation thus causing discomfort. Therefore, those with low pain thresholds can ask the electrologist to use a numbing agent before starting the process.

Similar to electrolysis, epilators are also painful as several tweezers are pulling your hair together at once. It can be even more painful if you are using the device in the wrong way. For example, moving it in the direction of hair growth causes more pain. Fortunately, you can avoid this pain by purchasing an epilator with soothing technology or by taking a painkiller. 

Time Taken Per Session 

The time taken by both electrolysis and epilators mainly depends upon the treatment area. For instance, it can take 30-40 minutes for removing hair on your legs using an epilator. 

In contrast, electrolysis on the legs can take up to an hour. There is not much difference between the time taken by the two devices but epilators can be quicker with more tweezers and more experience. 

Compatible Body Parts

The epilators usually work better for larger areas having tough skin but they can also work for smaller areas like bikini, underarms, and upper lip. As these areas are sensitive so it can be a little painful to use epilators on such areas.

Likewise, electrolysis can also be performed on all your body parts as long as it is not your mucous membrane or a mole in that area. Additionally, both these procedures work effectively for all skin colors and hair tones. 

Risks and Side Effects

With all the benefits both these methods give you, each of them poses its own risks too. To be more specific, the tweezer epilators can cause pain due to forced hair removal, inflammation, redness, and bumps caused by histamine reactions in your body. As your hair follicles are empty after hair removal, bacteria can enter them causing whiteheads. 

Electrolysis can also cause pain, redness, swelling, and tenderness. Furthermore, both electrolysis and epilators can cause infection and scarring if done improperly. 

A Better Recommendation: Ulike Sapphire Air3 Hair Removal Device

Should we share a little secret with you? There is another method that is safer and better than both electrolysis and epilators and provides results similar to that of electrolysis. It is the IPL hair removal that uses light technology to get rid of hair follicles. Luckily, there are at-home IPL devices like Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL Handset so that you can conveniently perform the procedure at home. 


  • The device is a lightweight, rectangular device that fits your hand perfectly and glides smoothly on your body
  • It has three modes so even those with very sensitive skin can use this device
  • An additional auto-glide mode makes full body hair-removal quicker and effortless
  • The results start showing within a month and total usage for 12 weeks can give you smooth skin for several months to years
  • It is completely nearly painless as the cooling technology helps relieve the pain immediately after each flash 
  • The device has 1 million flashes so you can use it for more than 10 years without any replacements or refills 
  • It is FDA-cleared and dermatologist recommended
  • If you do not see any results, you can also avail the 90-day money-back guarantee offered by Ulike

Comparison Table

Parameters Epilator Electrolysis Ulike Sapphire Air3 IPL Hair Removal 
Principle Use of tweezers to pull hair Use of current to eradicate hair follicles Use of impulse pulsating light to damage hair follicles
Price $30-$150 $150-$10,000 $379
Results Last for 1-1.5 months Lifetime 6 months- 1 year
Time Required 10-30 minutes 15-60 minutes 7 minutes
Compatible areas All All All
Compatible Skin tone and Hair color All All Fair skin and dark hair
Location At-home Clinic At-home
Pain Yes Yes No
Risk of Causing Ingrown Hair Yes Yes No 


A tweezer epilator is an electrical device that uses many tweezers at a single time to pull your unwanted hair. On the other hand, an electrolysis epilator uses a thin needle to deliver current to hair follicles and destroy them. The tweezer epilators are a temporary solution against unwanted hair while electrolysis offers an everlasting solution. 

Both of them are painful and you need external agents to relieve this pain. Another similarity between them is that they are time taking. But electrolysis is a lot more expensive than using a tweezer epilator. Based on these points, it is completely your decision to choose from the above-mentioned hair removal techniques depending upon how much you are willing to pay and what results you expect.

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