For more than a century, if you were talking about male hair removal, you were talking about razors — electric or not.
Epilators — electrical devices similar to waxing that remove body hair from the roots — were solely for women.
But as the male grooming industry has exploded in recent decades, so has the market for male-centric epilators. Epilators marketed directly to men, or to both women and women, are part of a global male grooming products industry worth nearly £50 billion in 2020.
Now, epilators for men to remove unwanted hair from the chest arms, legs, and more are everywhere.
But how can you tell which epilator is best suited for male body hair?
Let’s take a closer look at the best epilators for men, their pros and cons and how they compare with other body hair removal techniques, and some of the most popular male epilators available now.
Jump to: Best Epilator For Men
How Epilators Work
When you use an epilator, you’re removing hair from the root.
Think of epilators as something like the mechanical version of waxing or laser hair removal, where the overall approach to unwanted hair is lifting and removing the hair from the root as opposed to removing it from the surface through manual or electric traditional razor shaving.
Epilators come in the form of a variety of small mechanical devices. They may look and feel different from each other, but they all generally use the same hair removal approach: the hand-held machine plucks hairs in the hair growth direction and a light electric current that removes the hair.
How Epilators Stack Up Against Other Hair Removal Products
Like women, men have a few other options for hair removal, including shaving with a razor, waxing, laser removal, and depilatories.
Shaving vs. Epilators
Shaving is likely the least painful of the options, but also the shortest-lasting. Modern razors and electric shavers do a great job primarily on men’s faces. It’s an easy and relatively fast method to use and offers very close shaves.
Those with sensitive skin can often use such razors with a helpful moisturizer, cream, or gel that helps keep the skin smooth. Drawbacks to shaving include the chance of nicks and cuts, skin irritation, and the development of ingrown hairs. Traditional shaving tools are designed to use primarily on the face.
Like epilators, many electric shavers can now be used wet or dry. Epilator hair removal lasts longer than shaving. Those who shave generally need to shave every day or every other day to maintain a clean-shaven experience, while with epilators, your skin can stay smooth usually up to four weeks.
Hairs grow back thinner with epilators and while epilators may cause redness and bumps, there’s also less chance of irritation compared with shaving.
Waxing vs. Epilators
Waxing is still widely popular with women who are looking for that no-body-hair-whatsoever look. Men have followed suit, whether it’s getting waxed at a salon or through an at-home DIY treatment.
It primarily involves applying warm wax to strips of cloth or paper, pressing it on the area with hair to remove, and then moving the strip. Waxing results should last for weeks, about the same length as epilators, and the pain level is about the same, too: moderate to slightly intense.
Waxing comes with a few more side effects than epilation, including rashes, infection, scarring, and even allergic reaction. Those with sensitive skin may not be able to use waxing.
Laser Treatment vs. Epilators
Laser hair removal or at-home intense pulsated light IPL devices require more time than other methods, usually regular treatments over a few months (it depends on your skin type and hair growth, but most people undergo between four and 10 laser treatments to prevent regrowth).
Lasers aren’t painless — the lasers can be hot against the skin in order to remove hair. And while there are at-home treatments available, laser hair removal is best — and most effectively — done by a professional.
Depilatories vs. Epilators
With depilatories, you’re bringing chemical degradation into the mix, though they are easier to use at home than other methods of hair removal.
Pain is significantly decreased with depilatories, as hair is just removed at the surface, but the chemicals can irritate the skin and not just if they are left on too long.
Depilatories usually come in the form of over-the-counter creams or foams that you apply to the skin.
There are many affordable depilatories marketed to men. Most of these are fast-acting and often used for hard-to-reach places, such as the back, arms, with smooth skin lasting for a few days.
What About the Cost?
Epilators: There’s a wide range of prices for epilators depending on quality, so they can cost you from £20 on the low end to £150 on the high end.
Waxing: Single-use waxing kits to use at home often cost about £20 a kit. Want to leave it to a profession? Sessions with a technician can go for about £60, but a bit less if you’re having just a small area waxed.
Razors: Shaving costs for men also vary wildly. Disposal razors can range from a few quid for cheap razors to £20 for packs of four/five-blade refills. Electric razor cost depends on quality, too. You can easily find an electric razor that will do the job for £30, but more advanced shavers, especially those with wet or dry capabilities can run you £200 easily.
Laser hair removal: This is the most expensive option of the bunch by hair. According to Men’s Journal, men need about six to eight treatments spread over two months to get results on their chest or back, the most popular areas for men to target using this approach. It can cost about £300 a treatment, says WebMD.
Depilatories: Usually the least expensive option (well, after cheap disposal razors), depilatories can run you about £15 a bottle.
Epilators for Men: Pros and Cons
Like any hair removal tool, there are both pros and cons connected with epilators for men. Here’s a look.
• Epilators can be used on different parts of the body effectively, including the chest, arms, legs, and back, as well as the pubic hair area and armpits for the adventurous.
• Your results will be longer-lasting compared to traditional shaving, as epilators can lead to smoothness for weeks compared to just days with shaving with a razor.
• If you have thicker body hair, there are epilators that work particularly well with that situation. The tweezers/blades in epilators with more tweezer heads or powerful motors can grasp thick hairs more easily than lighter hairs.
• Ingrown hairs can be a big problem with other hair removal tools, especially razors. That risk is significantly decreased by using an epilator, especially on such sensitive areas as your chest or pubic area.
• While the initial cost may be relatively high, you won’t need to regularly buy new blades for epilators as you would with razors. In the end, epilators may be more cost-effective than razors and depilatories, since you will use the latter more frequently as well. It’s also far less expensive in the long run compared to waxing and laser hair removal.
• Full disclosure: epilators are not pain-free. Again, you’re removing hair by the root here. Men report epilator pain somewhere on a scale of great discomfort to moderate and even intense pain, especially when you use an epilator for the first time.
• It’s not advisable to use epilators on the face for men, where the hair is coarse and often thick. If an epilator says it is effective on the face, it’s usually a woman’s-only version that can tackle the thinner type of hair that sometimes grows on female faces.
• Epilators work with batteries, and though many brands have pretty high battery lives, others require long charging times, which can be inconvenient if you forget to charge your machine.
• There will be redness. While epilators are fine to use on sensitive skin, it’s advised to use them at night, to decrease visible redness when you’re out in the morning.
What Men Should Look For in a Great Epilator
If you’re ready to give epilators a try, you may be surprised at the vast number of epilators for men on the market today.
When choosing your epilator, pay close attention to the number of tweezer blades, the power of the motor, wide or dual epilating heads, and how long batteries last. Here are four epilators that are suitable and very effective for men.
1. Emjoi’s eMagine 4 Men
The most effective epilators will have dozens of tweezers to easily remove your hair from the root. Emjoi’s eMagine 4 Men features 72 tweezers and works remarkably well on arms, legs, and chests. That’s one of the highest numbers of tweezers available, leading to smoother skin quicker.
The eMagine 4 Men also comes with nice “glide technology” that guides the tweezer seamlessly, leading to less irritation and boats a handle that’s designed ergonomically for better hold and control.
It also comes with dual-opposed heads that help hold the skin taut leading to a more comfortable epilation experience and cover a greater hair surface area.
2. Silk-epil 9 Flex Epilator
Braun is a reputable brand that’s highly regarded by both men and women for hair removal.
The Silk-epil includes a very flexible head made from 40 tweezers and has a handle that’s grippy, making it easy to use while wet in the shower.
Silk-epil also integrates what it calls “SensoSmart” technology, which helps you apply the most comfortable pressure. The head is also very wide, letting you cover wider areas fast.
3. Smooth and Silky EP7 7-In-1 Epilator
Made by Remington, another popular brand, the Smooth and Silky can be used wet or dry and includes a fast-charging battery (you get an impressive 40 minutes of use without the cord).
It is made with 40 tweezers and includes a light for more removal precision, as well as a head that pivots.
The 7-in-1 name refers to the seven attachments that come with the product, including an exfoliating brush and a massage cap.
4. Epilator Series 8000
From yet another highly reputable company, Philips, the 8000 Series is impressively gentle while not skimping on power.
Used wet or dry, this epilator promises smooth skin in as little as 10 minutes and comes with a very wide head and unique rounded ceramic tweezers that can pull even very fine hair.
This one has extras too, including a body exfoliation brush and trimmer attachments, as well as a shaving head.
Related: Best Epilators for Women