Some of you are asking, what the hell is an Epilady? It’s a small device that removes body hair by grabbing it and ripping it out. An Epilady has a rotating wheel, with little pieces on it that squeeze together and then pull. Hair gets caught in between and yanked out.
While there are lots of Epilady knockoffs, the Epilady company managed to establish their brand name as the name of the tool itself: check out their website for a lot of euphemistic language and pictures of smooth legs. My particular Epilady is the Legend, so everything I say here applies primarily to that model – I don’t know if other models vary in effect, or if they are pretty standard at this point.
This is a post about epiladying (is that a word?) your testicles. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Yanking out all those testicle hairs with a mechanical device?
Really, it’s not as bad as it sounds. After attempting various techniques at removing my crotch hair, I have settled on the Epilady. Here’s what it has going for it:
1) It doesn’t hurt that much. You would think that ripping hair out one at a time would have a nasty sting, but the wheel pulls the hair out so quickly that it doesn’t hurt as much as pulling with tweezers. This is the principle that leg waxing works on: if you yank the hair out quickly enough, it hurts much less.
2) Despite appearances, it is really hard to get skin caught in the device. I used to cut myself much more when I was razor-shaving my scrotum.
3) It’s a really smooth finish. The rotating wheel manages to grab even the really short hairs that have just poked through the skin, while not grabbing the skin itself. You can yank out hairs that you would never be able to grab with tweezers. Ever wondered how porn star guys get their balls so smooth? Well, I don’t really know either. But an Epilady would do the trick.
4) While the first time can be a little rough (sound familiar?), keeping things smooth is simple. As in, five minutes every other day simple. Also, the upkeep barely hurts at all since the hairs are new and thin.
5) The Epilady’s main drawback is that it can take a while to finish a small patch of skin. This makes it difficult for use on the legs, for example. However, fortunately there is just not a large surface area where crotch skin is involved, so it goes pretty quickly.
6) The ingrown hair count is very low if hairs are removed with an Epilady. I still get some, but not nearly as many as I got waxing, and not even in the same ballpark as when I used to shave.
Still unconvinced? Well, if you prefer your crotch with hair (or someone you are dating does), then you probably should not have read this far. If you are into removing your hair down there, then while epiladying may not seem that attractive, it is way ahead of the other options. Let’s take a look at the competition:
Shaving. Using a disposable razor (or strangely, a beard trimmer) is probably the best alternative to the Epilady. However, the loose bits of skin do tend to get caught and cut, and getting a close shave is really difficult. Also, a razor is really not good for the skin. In college I stopped razor-shaving because I would develop moles in places I had shaved.
Waxing. Waxing is effective, relatively cheap, and relatively painless. Unfortunately, waxing takes enough skill that it is quite difficult to do at home. Trust me, I’ve tried. You need a special kind of wax (because the normal kind will take the top couple layers of scrotum skin right off, as I discovered), and the process itself is not at all straightforward. The scrotum has more nooks, crannies, and folds than your average labia, and getting the wax in and the hair out requires impressive waxing skills. Some waxing salons will do this, but then you have the problem of staying still (or rather limp) while a strange woman does painful things to your crotch.
Nair. Nair and a whole class of other products melt the hair by breaking it down chemically. Unfortunately, they either don’t work too well, or they burn the skin as well. In any case, smearing one’s balls with caustic chemicals seems like a losing proposition.
Tweezing. Tweezing is fairly effective, once you get good at it. However, you end up plucking hairs one at a time, so it takes a while. Also, because the yanking is slower, it hurts a bit more, and it is impossible to grab the really short hairs, so you end up with an incomplete removal job.
Electrolysis. “Electrolysis” is a nice euphemism for “sticking a needle into the hair follicle and running so much current along it that everything fries”. That said, electrolysis is the best permanent hair removal solution for the testicles, assuming you can find a place willing to do it. Unfortunately the pain of electrolysis is legendary, and the amount of time spent in excruciating pain is one minute per hair. You have a lot more hairs down there than you think.
Laser. Laser hair removal is permanent, but only works on certain types of hair and skin, namely dark hair with light skin. The testicle and penis skin tends to be darker, and so lasering is generally a bad idea down there. Not only that, but laser hair removal is quite painful, takes multiple visits, and rarely seems to actually get rid of all the hair.
Now that we have established the superiority of the Epilady for matters of scrotal depilation, let us move on to the actual techiques.
First off, there are two directions you can run the Epilady. If the rotating cylinder is moving against the skin in the direction the hairs point, it pulls them out pretty smoothly. I call this “with the grain”. If it is moving against the skin in the opposite direction than the hairs point, that’s “against the grain”. Epiladying with the grain hurts less, but does not grab the hairs as well. Epiladying against the grain hurts more, but is much better at grabbing the hairs and so does not take as long. You should always move the Epilady so the rotating cylinder is trying to push it in the opposite direction (much like a lawnmower), otherwise it will just sort of walk along the skin and not grab hairs. This is true whether you are going with or against the grain.
In a similar vein, there is a tradeoff with rotation. My Epilady has two speeds. The faster speed yanks the hairs out quicker, so they hurt less, but again has trouble grabbing them. The slower speed hurts a bit more, but is more likely to grab the hairs.
I tend to run my Epilady at slow speed and against the grain, to get done as quickly as possible. But then, I’m used to the weird motion and I am only doing upkeep at this point, so being zippy doesn’t hurt much.
As the Epilady grab hairs, it jerks. This means that it moves with these disconcerting jerks and spasms. It is very odd at first, but you quickly get used to it.
You will have to go over any particular section of skin five or more times to get all the hairs. This may seem frustrating at first, but you will quickly get used to it. Learn to swing the Epilady back and forth a number of times, until all the hairs are gone.
Your first time. Before you do anything, try a test patch! While epilators seem to produce less ingrown hairs on average, some people have bad reactions to them and end up with a lot of ingrown hairs. It seems to depend on each person’s particular hair and skin. See the comments for one example of epilating gone wrong. So try it out in a small patch and give it two days to check for reactions before really digging in.
If you have a lot of hair, go with the grain and at the high speed at first, to thin things out. Then, when you are able to bear the greater pain, switch to a slower speed and go with the grain, in order to clean up the straggler hairs. You’ll know when an area is done, because the Epilady will move across it smoothly, without jerking. If it is jerking, there are probably still hairs, even if you can’t see them.
Your first time will probably take twenty to thirty minutes, and you’ll be sweating by the end. If you have to stop because of the pain, then take some Advil and try again once it kicks in. Trust me, it gets easier, both because you get better with the device and because you’ll have less hair. Also, if you’ve never yanked out this hair, it hurts worse the first time you do it. The second time will not hurt as bad.
Upkeep. Once you’ve managed to eliminate the solid growth of well-anchored hairs, it is pretty easy to keep things smooth. I pull out the Epilady every other day, and run it back and forth for about five minutes. During upkeep, it is best to go against the grain and with the slow speed setting to take care of things quickly. Upkeep barely hurts in comparison with removing a full growth of hair, and this is why it is important to keep doing it. Getting behind by a week will mean that the next hair removal will resemble your first time.
Testicles. The main trick with the testicle is to pull the skin taut. Do this in whatever way works for you, but usually pushing the testicles into a small area of skin does the trick. You are looking for a convex smooth surface.
Watch out for loose folds of skin. If the skin can move, then when the Epilady grabs a hair, it will yank the skin instead of actually pulling the hair out. Also, loose folds can get caught in the Epilady’s cylinder, which will cut you. One area in particular is the seam that runs down the middle of the testicles. Smooth it out when going over that section, and move the Epilady across the seam rather than up and down it.
Work your way as far back as you want, and down the sides into the crease between the testicles and leg. I take it all the way back to my anus. You’ll notice that it actually hurts more off of the testicles than on – because the testicles tend to have sparse and fine hair, they go pretty easily, when compared to the upper thigh or ass.
Pubic triangle. This is the area above the penis. You’ll likely have a lot of hair here, and it is thicker than the hair on your testicles, so this part will hurt a bit more. Doing it after the testicles means you will have some endorphins going, which will make it easier. Use the faster speed and go with the grain if necessary.
You’ll find that you have some concave (indented) areas, or flat areas, both of which are really difficult for hair-grabbing. The Epilady kind of requires that the skin have a curve to it, since the cylinder is indented in order to effect the grabbing motion. If you are having trouble getting at hairs, or the hairs are really short, pinch the skin between two fingers and run the Epilady between the fingers along the top of the pinch. Go against the grain at slow speed for this. This technique is also useful for the indented area behind the penis but above the testicles.
Penis. Some of you have some fine hairs on the shaft of the penis itself. The best way to get these is to be hard, so unless the pain associated with hair yanking turns you on, you will want to get hard before starting with your Epilady session, and then you should do the penis first while things are still stiff.
Watch out for the foreskin and glans skin. This skin is soft and sensitive, and is much more likely to be grabbed by the cylinder, with anguish resulting. So be careful when you are working up top. If going against the grain, maintain a firm grip on the Epilady so it does not walk its way up to the top of your dick.
I find that hairs on the shaft need a lot less attention, and can be removed once a week or even less. Hairs by the base of the penis can be dealt with the same way you deal with the testicles, since they tend to have a firm backing down there.
Okay, that’s all! Have a happy epiladying experience. Remember boys, a hairless sack is a happy sack!