7 best epilators to slow hair growth (2024)

7 best epilators to slow hair growth (1)

This article was updated in January 2024 to reflect the latest deals, retailer discounts and stock levels to ensure you can find the product you're looking for, for the best value possible.

Hair removal isn’t the most glamorous — or enjoyable — part of our beauty regimes, so the less you have to do it (if that's what you choose to do), the better. Enter the epilator, which can offer you up to four weeks hair-free — enough to get you through a holiday without a top-up.

Ready to start shopping? The Good Housekeeping Institute has tested a range of epilators to find the very best on the market – here are our standout picks at a glance, but scroll on for more detailed reviews. You'll also find savings on some of our top-rated models – you can currently get £200 off our runner-up and £60 off this easy-to-use Braun Silk-épil.

Best epilators

    What is epilating?

    Epilators contain rotating tweezers, which remove hair straight from the follicle to prevent any tugging or pulling on the skin. They can also remove smaller hairs compared to your average wax, leaving you with smoother, better results.

    Epilating is known for being slightly painful (you are pulling hair right from the root, after all) but the good news is any pain normally decreases each time you epilate.

    To minimise discomfort, make sure you apply warm water to the skin before you start, which helps to open up pores. Alternatively, choose one of the epilators from our list that can be used wet when bathing or showering, so you can thoroughly soak skin beforehand.

    Is it better to shave or epilate?

    It ultimately comes down to personal preference but the main difference between the two is that hair will start growing back straight away with shaving, while epilating can give you as long as four weeks hair-free.

    An epilator won’t catch every single hair though (like a high-quality razor would), so if you’re looking for perfection, epilating may not be the right choice. Shaving is also pain-free, whereas epilating pulls hair from the root, which can cause slight discomfort.

    Do epilators permanently remove hair?

    Unlike some other hair removal methods, epilating does provide long-term results, leaving you hair-free for up to four weeks. It won’t banish hair for good, but it will give you significantly more time in between treatments than shaving would.

    An added bonus is that new hair will likely grow back lighter and finer too, so even if you do leave it longer than four weeks, regrowth will be less noticeable.

    You can buy epilators with heads specifically designed for different areas of the body too — such as arms, bikini lines and underarms — to really get your money's worth.

    Is it better to epilate long or short hair?

    Most epilators work best on hairs that are between 3-5mm long. You may prefer to start epilating as soon as hair is visible though, as this is less painful and should avoid ingrown hairs.

    How do I prepare my skin for epilation?

    There are a number of ways you can prep skin before epilating. Exfoliating with a scrub will help avoid ingrown hairs and bathing in warm water will help to open up pores –just make sure the water isn't too hot, as this could lead to skin irritation.

    Some epilators are waterproof, which can also help with keeping pain to a minimum. If that's a priority, be sure to check if your chosen model can be used in the bath or shower before you buy.

    How we test

    We looked at how effective each device was at removing hair (and minimising pain), how easy it was to control and how simple the process was.

    Testers were given the choice to trial the device in either wet and/or dry conditions (if suitable for both), and were provided with all the attachments that come with the device, so they had the option to use it on all or specific areas of the body.

    They tested for a period of eight weeks and were asked for feedback on the design, ease of set up, ease of control and use, as well as pain levels. They fed back at different progress points — four and eight weeks — to assess the hair regrowth over time and report on any ingrown hairs during that time.

    1

    Best epilator

    Braun Silk-épil 9 9-561 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (10)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (11)

    1

    Best epilator

    Braun Silk-épil 9 9-561 Wet and Dry Cordless Epilator

    Score: 85/100

    If you want to remove all unwanted hair in one go, it’s important not to race through the epilating process, which means you could be there a while. Thankfully, this epilator is lightweight, helping you avoid any arm ache, while the built-in light helps you get every last hair.

    It performed well on both wet and dry skin, with most testers finding the pain tolerable. They did report some discomfort around the bikini and underarm area (as to be expected) but overall, it scored well across the board.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included6 head attachments (shaver head, trimmer cap, efficiency cap, precision cap, massage pad, exfoliating brush) and charging stand.

    2

    Runner-up

    Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9100 BS 40 Tweezers Gold, White

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (12)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (13)

    2

    Runner-up

    Braun Silk-épil 9 Flex 9100 BS 40 Tweezers Gold, White

    Now 50% Off

    Score 82/100

    Testers loved how effectively this epilator removed hair and found it slowed and lessened hair growth after eight weeks. They also noted how quick removal was, even on shorter hairs, which are notoriously tricky to get rid of, and reported an even finish thanks to the in-built light.

    This epilator can be used in the shower – even underwater – which testers said was a real “bonus”, adding that it was “easier to use on wet skin than dry.”

    However, some noted that it wasn't the easiest to use on underarms, reporting some discomfort. The battery didn't last as long as they would have liked either.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included10 head attachments (FaceSpa, Shaver Head, Exfoliator, 4 Facial Brushes and 3 Caps)

    3

    Joint runner-up

    Braun Silk-Epil 5 Epilator

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (14)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (15)

    3

    Joint runner-up

    Braun Silk-Epil 5 Epilator

    Now 50% Off

    Score: 82/100

    While it isn’t cordless, this Braun model does come with a wide array of attachments to keep you hair-free from head to toe.

    Our panel found it was more effective than their usual hair-removal method and reported the pain as tolerable (except on the underarms, which are more sensitive). Overall, it’s a reliable and affordable option.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryNo, dry only.
    TypeCorded
    Included6 head attachments (shaver head, trimmer cap, sensitive area cap, facial cap, massage cap and skin contact cap) and cooling glove.

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    4

    Best multi-use epilator

    Remington Smooth & Silky EP7 7-in-1 Epilator

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (16)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (17)

    4

    Best multi-use epilator

    Remington Smooth & Silky EP7 7-in-1 Epilator

    Score: 79/100

    Coming with a range of heads that tackle everything from de-fuzzing your bikini line to exfoliating rough skin on your feet, this epilator performed well across the board. Among our panel, most said it successfully removed hair immediately, with over half finding hair regrowth was reduced after just four weeks.

    All said they were satisfied with its overall performance and found it easy to use, even in those hard-to-reach areas. In the lab, the device lived up to its claims, without causing any irritation to the skin.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included7 head attachments (ultimate contour cap, massage cap with aloe vera, detail cap, shaver head, bikini comb, exfoliating brush and pedicure head).

    5

    Best epilator for beginners

    Braun Silk-épil 9 9/980 SkinSpa SensoSmart Epilator

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (18)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (19)

    5

    Best epilator for beginners

    Braun Silk-épil 9 9/980 SkinSpa SensoSmart Epilator

    Now 53% Off

    Score: 79/100

    Coming with an impressive selection of accessories, this epilator is the brand’s most advanced option yet. It features a “smart” sensor, which helps you apply the right level of pressure. We found if you pressed too hard, a red light appeared to warn you to ease off, making it ideal for beginners.

    Testers said it immediately removed hair and noticed a reduction in regrowth over the testing period. The exfoliating brush head also helped to avoid any ingrown hairs, which was a big plus point.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included7 head attachments (razor, trimmer, massager, optimal skin contact attachment, facial epilator attachment, peeling brush, gentle peeling brush), bikini trimmer with 2 attachments, 1 x AAA battery and a storage bag.

    6

    Best for use on dry skin

    Philips Wet and Dry Epilator BRE740

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (20)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (21)

    6

    Best for use on dry skin

    Philips Wet and Dry Epilator BRE740

    Now 48% Off

    Score: 74/100

    Claiming to leave you with smooth legs in just 10 minutes, most of our panel found this epilator reduced hair regrowth after eight weeks of use. One tester even fed back that “hair growth has reduced and almost disappeared in some places on my legs, underarms and bikini line.”

    Others also noted how effective the hair removal process was, reporting a “lasting finish.” Overall, almost all were satisfied with the product after just four weeks, and found it to be effective when used wet or dry.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included8 head attachments (shaving head, trimming comb, bikini trimmer head, bikini trimmer comb, body exfoliation brush, pedicure foot file, delicate area cap, optimal contact cap,), pouch and cleaning brush.

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    7

    Best for use on wet skin

    Panasonic Wet & Dry ES- EL9A Epilator

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (22)

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (23)

    7

    Best for use on wet skin

    Panasonic Wet & Dry ES- EL9A Epilator

    Now 23% Off

    Score: 73/100

    Here’s another epilator that doubles up as a foot care tool. Our panel appreciated how well the attachments worked — especially the trimmer and exfoliator brush, which helped prevent ingrown hairs — and found it was most effective when used on wet skin.

    After eight weeks, most of our panel noticed a reduction in hair regrowth, while the hair that did grow back was noticeably finer and sparser.

    Key specifications

    Able to use both wet and dryYes
    TypeCordless
    Included8 head attachments (epilator head, gentle cap, sensitive area cap, shaver head, pop-up trimmer, bikini comb, sonic scrub brush, foot care head), pouch and cleaning brush.

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (24)

    Florence Reeves-White

    Senior Beauty Writer

    Florence is our Senior Beauty Writer, specialising in expert-tested beauty and grooming reviews — from toothbrushes to the latest skincare launches. She’s committed to sharing recommendations for products that truly work and make people feel confident and healthy. Prior to this she was at Tropic Skincare, where she worked closely with biochemists in the lab, delving into the functions of each fresh, natural ingredient and conveying its efficacy to her audience in easy-to-digest terms.

    With over five years’ experience in beauty and health journalism, Florence has written for ELLE, Women’s Fitness, Sister Magazine, National Geographic Traveller and many more, with a strong sustainability angle thread through much of her work.

    When she isn’t packing for a trip away, working out, eating out or reading up on retinol serums, you’ll probably find her experimenting with her film camera and building her portfolio of portraits. Florence’s photography can be found at florencereeves-white.com, her Instagram is @florencereeveswhite and her twitter is @floreadsnwrites

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (25)

    Tested byMaria Kumar

    Beauty and Grooming Testing Manager

    Maria is our Beauty and Grooming Testing Manager, and since joining in mid-2022, she has managed the testing for mutiple categories including scalp scrubs, collagen supplements and retinol serums. In addition to her master's degree in chemical engineering and a diploma in cosmetic science, she recently received her MBA from the London College of Fashion, focusing on case studies within the beauty industry. Prior to joining the company, she worked within the global technical team at the Estee Lauder Companies for over six years, collaborating with the chemists and engineers to launch luxury beauty products at scale and to quality. She has also worked as a formulation scientist within the pharmaceutical industry and takes this evidence based approach into all her product testing.

    7 best epilators to slow hair growth (2024)

    FAQs

    What is the highest rated epilator? ›

    Which are the best epilators in 2024? At a glance
    • Best epilator for face (and best overall) – Panasonic ES-EY90-A511 Wet and Dry.
    • Best value epilator – Magnitone Pluck It 2 Super Glide Compact.
    • Best epilator for women – Philips Series BRE740/11 8000.
    • Best epilator for bikini area – Braun Silk-Epil 9-flex.
    Jan 2, 2024

    Do dermatologists recommend epilator? ›

    "Epilators can be a good option for someone who is not a candidate for laser hair removal or gets irritation with depilatory creams and shaving," explains Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York's MDCS Dermatology.

    Does epilator slow hair growth? ›

    Less hair over time

    Another benefit is that epilation may result in less body hair over time. With this method, hair grows back softer and finer. Hair may even regrow at a slower rate. The longer you epilate, the less hair you'll notice on certain parts of your body.

    Is it better to epilate fast or slow? ›

    Slow equals sexy.

    Going too fast risks breaking the hair which may lead to ingrown hairs.

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