What Are Epilators And How Do They Work?
What Are Epilators And How Do They Work?
So what are these electronic devices called epilators anyway? How do they work? Those are the basic questions anyone who has ever been curious in getting one of them has probably asked themselves. What do they do? Go to google and type in something like “epilators” or “what are epilators?” into Google to see what these devices are. The first thing that you get will probably be the Wikipedia article on Epilators. There is a nice, but not very informative introductory information on what are these unique devices.
It seems that these device were originally created and sold under the name Epilady. This was back in the 1980s. The Epilady brand of Epilators are still available and sold on the Epilady website. Actually, it seems that the term “Epilady” has become the generic name for electrical hair removers. The company which makes them and sells them seem to be based in Israel.
Based on the initial designed models, they were made using a type of model where two springs are pulled slightly open and apart. Since the spring when open allows for the hairs the spring is touch to go between the space between each revolution of the spring, that is how the hair is trapped. The hair is opened and closed, to first get the hair trapped inside the spring spaces, and then closed down which clamps on the hair. The spring than moves pulling out the hair.
Of course springs when subjected to continuous bending will eventually fail. That is why the spring model stopped being produced. It became a quality control problem where the first initial designs of an electrical hair remover would fail based on bad engineering design principles.
The current models are now made using spinning discs which have their edges being rugged and specifically etched in a way for the tips to clamp on hair.
There is the rotating disc type of epilators and there is the tweezer type of epilators that is still being used. It seems that these days the tweezer models are the ones that are the most visible.
What Do Epilators Look Like?
In terms of appearance, it may be surprising for people to realize that the size and shape of epilators look very much like the type of electric shavers that men use on their beards and moustaches. I present the two pictures on the right to show what these epilators look like. You have pictures for the the Philips Norelco PT730 Powertouch Electric Razor and the Emjoi AP-18 Emagine Dual. The one on the immediate right is of the Emjoi AP-18. The one directly below is of the Norelco PT730.
See how both of the devices have around the same size. Both of them have been ergonomically designed by engineers to fit comfortably in the user’s hands. Since women are probably the the gender which use epilators much more, on average, the size of the epilators are smaller than what you would have for the size of an electric razor.
How Do Epilators Work?
As for the controls, notice that all there is is just a on/off button to turn it on and off. Compared to the electric razor, the difference between how the razor works and epilators work is that instead of cutting the hair, epilators are trying to pull out the hair at the roots.
The metal blades on electric razors are spinning in the horizontal direction to cut the hairs as close as possible to the skin. What is left after the hair cut is hair stubble that is still there. No hair is pulled out. This means that the hair cut by electrical razors (or razors in general) will regrow back quickly.
The metal blades on epilators are spinning vertically. There is usually two horizontal cylindrical shaped series of metal discs spinning on the head. The discs are stacked next to each other from left to right. The metal discs are spinning on the metal rod axis. As the discs are spinning, the tips or edges of the discs move in alternating fashion away from each other and then towards each other. As the tips of the metal discs are spinning towards the edge where you are supposed to press the epilator down on the hairs on your skin, the fins/tips open apart to let the hairs in the space between them. As the discs start to move away from the contact area with the skin, the tips or disc fins start to move closer to each other. The space where the hair has pushed into gets thinner and thinner. Eventually the metal tips clamp down on the hairs, trapping the hairs in the space between the metal. The spinning motion means that the hair are pulled out from the roots in a very swift motion.
Epilators pull hair out supposedly by their roots. This is similar to he hair removal technique of both waxing and threading. However, since the metal is not actually touching the skin in any way, the top layer of the skin is not disturbed in any way to cause any type of skin/epidermal irritation or inflammation. Waxing does involve the removal of the top skin layer with the epidermal cells. Threading involves grasping firmly at the base of the hairs to pull them out at their hair follicle roots as well. Epilators are different where they combine the hair root removal technique of threading with the speed found in using any type of electrical device.
For a demonstration on how the epilators work watch the video below…