Can You Use an Epilator on Pubic Hair?

I’ve always been a little obsessive about finding the easiest and most efficient ways of doing things. So if there is a way to speed up the horrid beauty ritual of pubic hair removal, I want in on it. And that is one reason I ended up researching if and how pubic hair can be removed with an epilator.

So can you use an epilator on pubic hair? Although this area is typically more sensitive than other body parts, epilators can safely and effectively remove shorter pubic hair from the bikini area. Hairs longer than about 3 mm should be trimmed or removed in another way first before epilating when the hairs start to grow back.

So you CAN epilate your pubic hair. But should you? Is this method really a good idea for your lady bits or should you stick with waxing or shaving? There are several things to consider before venturing into epilation for the bikni area.

Benefits of Epilating Pubic Hair

There are 6 main benefits that I love about using an epilator for pubic hair removal:

Super Smoothness

Epilation leaves the skin silky smooth and soft without pokey hairs that pop back almost immediately. After time, hairs also grow back a bit thinner too.

Results that Last for Weeks

Since epilation pulls hairs out by the roots, they take a while to grow back. You can expect to be hair-free for 3-4 weeks before you’ll need to epilate again.


I can get salon quality results at home with an epilator. Since I don’t like strangers looking at or touching my crotch, this is a huge benefit. I’ll save that type of humiliation for the doctor’s office, thanks.

Almost as Cheap as Dirt

A top of the line epilator without a lot of bells and whistles can be bought for under $100 and it can last 5 or more years. That translates to a cost of less than $2 a month! So maybe cheaper than dirt, depending on where you get your dirt.

Shorter Grow-Out Time

You only need hair that is about 2 millimeters long to epilate with most epilators so there is no need to wait many days for hair to grow back. And some epilators remove hair as shorts as .05 millimeters.

Sensitive-Skin Friendly

Epilators don’t really affect the skin like waxing, razors, or hair removal creams, so irritation, cuts, bumps, burns, and allergic reactions can be avoided.

Epilator pubic hair
Epilate at home and you too can avoid strangers looking at your va-jay-jay at the salon.

Side Effects of Using an Epilator on Pubic Hair

There are no perfect hair removal methods for pubic hair, so no matter which one you choose, there are risks of side effects. Here’s what you may experience with epilation:


This is pretty much a given with epilation. It pulls hairs out at the follicle which hurts like a mofo. But like tweezing and waxing, your body gets used to it as time goes on.

Ingrown Hairs

When you shave, the razor exfoliates your skin for you, so ingrown hairs are rare with saving. For most other hair removal methods, ingrown hairs can be an issue. The best way to avoid this is to exfoliate as much as possible.


Epilating is pretty gentle to your skin, but not so nice to your hair follicles. They can become inflamed which can cause swelling and redness.


Some people have more delicate hair follicles that can bleed when hairs are pulled out. This is usually really minimal and only happens the first time you epilate. After that, your follicles heal and become more resilient.

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Skin Damage

This can happen if your skin is too loose and gets caught in the epilator. You can prevent it by using your epilator slowly and carefully and keeping your skin taut.

Tips for Epilating Pubic Hair

When epilating your pubic hair, you can follow the “how to” instructions in your manual. But there are tons of extra tips and tricks specific to pubic hair that you may want to know:

Start with….Not Epilating 

For pubic hair, one of the most important things to do is make sure your hair is not too long. Long, coarse pubic hair is going to be unbearable to epilate. The area is just too sensitive for all that.

So if you want to epilate your pubic hair, I recommend shaving, waxing, trimming, or using some other hair removal method to get rid of the hair first. Then once it has grown back to .05 to 3 millimeters (depending on the requirements of your specific epilator) you can go to town with your epilator. And after that, you can continue to epilate each time the hair reaches .05-3 millimeters long.

Keep It Right, Keep It Tight

The second most important tip for epilating the pubic area is that you must pull the skin taut. Skin in this area is not the tightest and the epilator will just stretch the skin up with the hairs instead of pulling the hairs out quickly and uniformly. And this just makes it that much more painful.

So use one hand to hold down the skin, pulling it away from the area you are epilating so that you are only epilating over skin that is really taut.

Take It Easy

Go slow, hold the epilator at a 90 degree angle, and epilate against the direction of your hair growth. This will help catch all the hairs and pull them out by the root instead of just cutting them off at the surface.

Exfoliate Before and After

The pubic area is prone to ingrown hairs, especially if your pubic hair is coarse. The best way to prevent this is to exfoliate before you epilate, the day after, and then at least every other day.

Take Steps to Manage the Pain

Some women recommend drinking wine or taking a shot of alcohol before epilating the bikini area. Another option is to take an over the counter pain medication. Just don’t take alcohol with pain killers because that can cause stomach bleeding and is a no no.

Other pain management options include taking a hot bath beforehand, icing after, using numbing cream, or using an epilator with a massaging head.

Use the Right Epilator

Smaller epilators with lots of tweezers are ideal for the pubic hair. The smaller size allows you to navigate the area easier and more tweezers means faster results. And this is definitely an area you want to be done with as quickly as possible. Another feature to consider is an led light so that you can see better and avoid pinching any skin.

Take Breaks but Don’t Quit

It’s a pretty intense experience the first time, so take as many breaks as you need. But make sure you finish and repeat at least a few times before giving up. Each time will be easier and most people find that it is totally worth it in the long run.

Related Questions

What is the best epilator for pubic hair?

My pick for best epilator for pubic hair is the Panasonic ES-ED50-N Multi-Functional Wet/Dry Shaver and Epilator (click to check it out on Amazon). This epilator is also a shaver with a bikini comb, so you also use it to trim your pubic area before epilating. The gentle epilator head is the perfect size for navigating the pubic area and has added protection that prevents skin from getting caught in the tweezers. And it has an led light as well.

Have more questions about epilation? Check out the Epilator FAQ and Beginner’s Guide!

Want to remember this? Pin this to your favorite Pinterest board so you can find it later!

Epilator pubic hair
— Update: 14-02-2023 — found an additional article PSA: This Painless Epilator I Swear By Is on Sale for Prime Day from the website for the keyword epilator pubic hair.

Every so often I fall into a hole where I think some insanely expensive beauty device or gadget is going to change my life, turn me into a morning person, and do my taxes three months early. Normally, these binge purchases don’t wind up being that life-changing or cool (, I have to actually use the teeny, tiny, under-bed treadmill I got in order to get fit?), and I’m usually disappointed-neutral. So I never, in a lifetime of being hardwired like the consumer monster that I am, did I expect that the pricey beauty gizmo that would blow me away would be a freaking epilator—specifically, the Braun Silk-Epil 9 Flex.

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I first read about an older version of the epilator on The Strategist, where a writer claimed it had saved her “thousands of dollars” on waxing. As someone too broke to have ever waxed a swath of skin as large as my legs, I couldn’t really relate. But the lazy gal in me LOVED the concept of not shaving for up to four weeks, and even with the new Epil 9 Flex costing more than $1oo, I was finally unable to resist any longer. Reader, my life has changed.

Wait, what is an epilator?

Epilators look like electric razors, but they work by rolling tons of teeny-tiny tweezers across your skin, plucking out hairs at the root without tugging or pinching. Not all epilators are the same, though—the Braun Silk-Epil 9 Flex is ~fancy~ and comes with a bunch of attachments, like a massage head and a shaver/trimmer combo, all aimed at making your skin smoother and the process less painful. Most epilators can be pretty basic, though—just a tweezing head and your hairy skin against the world.

Does epilating hurt?

I know pulling individual hairs from your body sounds like an ultra-painful, medieval waxing experience, but it was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. At worst, it feels like the beginning of a static shock (think the kind you get from futzing with your duvet), but one that you never really feel the end of, if that makes sense. But, again, every epilator (and pain tolerance) is different.

I’m pretty sure the reason the Braun doesn’t hurt so much—and trust, I epilated e-v-e-r-y-where (more on that below)—is because (1) It’s got a built-in “you’re pushing way too f*cking hard” sensor to keep you gentle; and (2) The edges of the epilator are covered with a bunch of tiny rollers that help distract your skin from the mass tweezing that’s happening.

But for comparison’s sake, I also tried my friend’s Emjoi Epiliator that’s top-rated on Amazon and only $70 (I sanitized it with alcohol, don’t worry), and I wanted to cry after running it over one tiny patch of my arm hair. She also tried my Braun and said it was way better than her Emjoi, so, you know. Facts. Still, lemme break the pain down for you:


Pain-wise, here’s a very TMI rundown of what it felt like to epilate each part of my body:

My stick-straight, coarse leg hair:
At worst, feels like the little electric zap I mentioned before. It’s like your brain registers the pain, and then as soon as you brace for it to get worse, it’s already over. Definitely less painful than threading.
PAIN: 3/10

➰ My knees, thighs, belly button and arms:
This would be the finest, softest hair on my body because I don’t shave it ever. I couldn’t feel a thing, even pressing down super hard.
PAIN: 1/10

It’s a more sensitive part than your legs, but it still isn’t that bad.
PAIN: 4/10

My pubes:
I have probably the densest pubic hair on earth (it’s stick straight, looks like mechanical pencil lead, etc). And yet I’ve managed to give myself a full Brazilian—including asshole hair—without dying. The mons pubis (I’m a sex editor, baby—that’s what we call it!) is by FAR the most painful (8/10), but actual labia (4/10) and butthole-adjacent hairs (2/10) surprisingly don’t hurt.

How to epilate (your pubes, mainly)

There’s no real trick to epilating something easy like your arm—just roll it down. But your pubes? That’s next-level, so take my pro tips: Trim all the hairs to be uniform and short (the Braun comes with a trimmer head), pop a pillow under your butt, grab a mirror, pull your skin taut, and take your time.

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Go side-to-side in small strokes, gradually increasing the width of each stroke, rather than running it over a new, thick patch of hair each time. Adrenaline is your friend here, so take breaks, but don’t stop. If you do the mons pubis first, the labia and everything else will feel like a breeze, and after a while, you become kinda numb to it. It took me two hours to do the whole Brazilian, which is a lot, but so is $60 for a wax.

How long does epilation last?

It’s been three weeks since I epilated, and I have no regrowth on my arm hairs, belly button, pits, or pubes. My legs were a little more stubbly, but these were the most ingrown-riddled areas I worked on (and my heavy exfoliation efforts as of late have also surfaced new tiny hairs), but all of the stubble is basically invisible. From a visual perspective, I would feel comfy going out in shorts—you still can’t see any hairs—so I’m pretty confident that the claims of “weeks” of smooth skin stand true.

Do you epilate on wet or dry skin?

Epilating wet is going to be a less painful than dry, as there’s water to coat and comfort the skin, according to dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, MD. However, “dry epilation is more efficient because the hairs are not flatted down by water,” she says, so the epilator can catch and pull each hair better.

For what it’s worth, my personal experience did not find epilating wet to be any more soothing, but contorting around in my iron maiden of a single shower stall may have impacted this.

How to deal with the ingrown hairs

My legs are covered in tiny baby ingrowns that I just never care enough about to fix, but the epilator kind of popped them open. Seeing the rest of my legs so smooth made me want to take better care and exfoliate better so that next go-around, I can have even smoother legs. Using either chemical or physical exfoliants are fine here, as long as they’re not irritating, says Susan Bard, MD, a dermatologist in NYC.

I personally have been going ham with my Salux washcloth and my Nécessaire exfoliator, and following with generous cotton balls soaked in Tend Skin in an effort to decongest my ingrowns for a smoother future-epilation-sesh. Also generous finger-scoops of my fanciest lotion afterwards for good measure.

Should you try epilating?

I mean, you do you. I can’t vouch for every epilator, since I’m kinda convinced only the Braun Silk-Epil 9 Flex will be as painless as it was, but here’s my pro/con list to help you decide.

    The pros:

    • It really did not hurt as badly as I was anticipating, especially on my finer hair.
    • The built-in LED light is actually super useful (again, a Braun plus). I assumed it was like a bullshit marketing thing, but trying to epilate without that extra light on my legs was basically impossible.
    • It’s SO nice that you can do it anywhere. You can basically just watch TV and run it up and down your legs mindlessly. Never again will I have to stick my leg in the shower just to shave my shins while I’m rushing out the door.

    The cons:

    • My skin, which is by NO means sensitive, was covered in a buuuuunch of tiny red welts after my first epilation sesh. It was very jarring to see, but it went away after a few hours.
    • The noise is the worst part at first. It sounds like a lawnmower eating up a stray twig when it catches a hair.
    • It’s expensive. Everyone has different pain tolerances, and while I’d def classify myself as a pain weenie, who’s to say that the Braun Silk-Epil 9 will be just as painless for you? It’s definitely an investment to make and one that you might not be able to walk away from if you throw down so much cash for it.

    And hey, if you don’t end up liking your epilator, can you do me a favor and send it to me? I want to give one to my mom but I’m broke. Cool, thanks.


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    About the Author: Tung Chi