With my multi-ethnic mix of Palestinian, Salvadoran, and, according to an Ancestry DNA test, Italian, thick hair is something I’m genetically predisposed to. And though that means I have an envious amount of jet-black hair sitting on my head, I also struggle with the curse my fellow Middle Eastern and Hispanic women know too well: hoards of unmanageable body hair.
For as long as I can remember, thick strands of dark hair have covered every inch of my body—and it’s always been my biggest insecurity. I only made the problem worse when I was 11 years old, when I thought shaving it all off would be a great idea (it wasn’t). Sticking to that time-consuming regimen throughout my tween years left me with thicker, surprisingly sharp hairs, with big red bumps of ingrown hairs covering my thighs to this day.
I’ve tried almost everything just to get rid of this situation. I’ve waxed, bleached, and shaved, and with my entry-level salary, pricey laser treatments just aren’t an option. I tried embracing my body hair for what it is and letting it grow out, but a mixture of trichotillomania and hyper-critical self esteem wouldn’t let me go more than one week without some type of hair removal. Then I came across the epilator.
Some may consider the epilator a cringe-worthy torture device—which is true to some extent. But it works wonders on my thick hairs and ultra-sensitive skin. I think of it as a cross between waxing and tweezing: It’s fast, won’t irritate your skin, and focuses solely on pulling those pesky strands out by the root. Still, the “beauty is pain” motto stays true to this device, because it does hurt. It’s got that similar sting to waxing, but isn’t done with one quick maneuver. And though it’ll leave you sore for a few minutes, what’s a little pain to the results of silky-smooth legs? As a person with leg hairs so thick and sharp that they poke through my jeans when they get a little too long, the few minutes of tolerable pricks is totally worth it.
Time to toss away your bump-inducing razors and wax strips and give this old-timer a try. Below, some of our favorite epilators for smooth skin: