For many men and women, removing excess hair from the face, arm, legs and even the back, is an important part of the grooming process. This can be done with the use of hair removal equipment, such as a shaver and an epilator. The primary difference between these tools is whether the hair is removed above or below skin level. Comfort, how they operate, and how long hair has to be before the device can cut it are other differences between the two devices.
When it comes to a shaver and an epilator, it is the shaver that most people are more familiar with. It is typically plugged into an electrical outlet, but it can also operate on a rechargeable battery. Most often people associate shavers with men and facial hair removal. These devices are suitable for both men and women however, and can be used to remove hair on any part of the body.
Epilators are less recognizable than shavers, although people can purchase them for home use. Where shavers require the use of electricity, most epilators use battery power. They are available for use by either gender, although they are most often associated with women and leg hair removal.
Shavers use cutters that slice the hair off at skin level, leaving the root beneath the skin's surface. As a result, stubble becomes visible in a relatively short period and body hair appears to grow back quickly. Epilators are a type of device that removes the hair at root level using tiny, rotating tweezers. These tweezers quickly pull the hair at the root, resulting in longer lasting results than what is achieved using a shaver.
The most obvious difference between a shaver and an epilator is a matter of comfort. Electric shavers are, for the most part, pain-free. This is not the case when it comes to epilators, which are known for having a certain level of pain, or discomfort. It is primarily the pain factor that limits where the device can be comfortably used. For many, the face, armpits and genital area are all typically too sensitive for epilator use, and can be more comfortably shaved using a shaver.
A shaver and an epilator also have different requirements when it comes to how much hair must be present to successfully remove it. The epilator requires the hair to be at least 0.25 inches (6.35 mm) in length. This is to provide the device with something to grasp on to. On the other hand, a shaver can be used to cut hair that is closer to the skin.