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Beauty

This epilator is the only tool I'll use for removing body hair

Say goodbye to shaving, waxing, or lasering.

A person holding the Braun Silk-Epil 9 to their leg. Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

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I’ve tried nearly every form of body hair removal, from shaving to waxing. I gave each method an honest chance, but never found one that left my legs smooth without a caveat. Shaving left my sensitive skin irritated and occasionally infected, laser hair removal was too expensive and painful, and waxing was just too messy for at home and required too many appointments if I went to a professional. After yet another debacle related to my razor, I was just about ready to embrace hairy legs when my mom, who happens to be a dermatologist, suggested an epilator for my sensitive skin. More specifically, she recommended the Braun Silk-Epil 9. With equal parts skepticism and high hopes, I gave the tool a try and never looked back—and I think you should, too.

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What is an epilator?

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 sitting on a sink in its holder.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 is rechargeable and cordless.

When my mom first recommended that I try an epilator, I had only a vague idea of what the method entailed. I had heard rumors that epilators were the most painful form of hair removal, but that was hard to believe after my experience with laser hair removal, a procedure in which a laser sends a beam of light into a hair follicle to destroy the hair at the root. (To me, that felt just as horrifying as it sounds.) After a little research, though, the idea of epilators became much less daunting.

Epilators were first invented in the mid 1980s and gained a reputation for being incredibly painful for yanking hair out at the root, but have since been redesigned (thankfully). Epilators originally used a tightly wound coil that spun around and pinched the hair above the surface and pulled it out willy-nilly, yielding a painful, burning sensation akin to having your arm hairs get caught in a tight elastic bracelet. Now, the devices use a plastic and metal rotating piece at the head that has multiple tweezers that pinch together as it spins. As you glide the epilator against your skin, the tweezers pull the hairs out from the follicle and deposit them into the device. The process and results are similar to waxing, but it only requires the one tool and, if your experience is anything like mine, there’s much less irritation during and after.

What does the Braun Silk-Epil 9 claim?

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 laying on a white background.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

A rotating piece inside the Braun Silk-Epil 9 (pictured with no cap) tweezes away unwanted hairs.

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 is rechargeable, cordless, and waterproof. It comes with an electric shaver attachment for when you want to buzz the hair down to the skin, a trimmer cap to shorten the hair without removing it, and a small carrier pouch. You can use the epilator without any attachment (how I use it), but it also comes with a "skin contact cap" that's supposed to allow for closer contact to the skin than what you'd get without a cap—though this seems counterintuitive and I've never bothered with the attachment. The epilator works on hair as short as 0.5 millimeters, so you can get rid of even a hint of stubble as the hair grows back.

You can use the Braun in water or on dry skin at two different speeds and it has a “Smartlight” that automatically shines when you switch the tool on to help you see even the finest hairs. That same white light turns red to let you know when you are pressing down too hard. The brand claims that results from epilating should last four weeks and cause hair to return lighter and finer than before.

What is it like to use the Braun Silk-Epil 9?

A person using the Braun Silk-Epil 9 on their leg.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You can use the Braun Silk-Epil 9 anywhere on the body with the included attachments.

I typically sit on the edge of my bathtub when I epilate, as I associate grooming treatments with the bathroom. You can sit anywhere that’s comfortable, though: You don’t need to use shaving cream, the Braun is cordless, and the hairs won’t fall to the ground like they do when you shave with a regular razor.

To start, I turn it to the faster of the two settings and put the head of the epilator, which contains the rotating piece, perpendicular to my legs. Then, I pull my skin taught and slowly move the device up my leg from my ankle, similar to a shaving motion. During this, I’ll feel a vibration and the slight scratching sensation from the tiny massage rolls while the device “tweezes” even the tiniest hairs. I’ll run it over my legs a few times to make sure all the hair is removed. I repeat the process on my other leg and moisturize to finish. The whole task takes me about 30 minutes total for both legs. After every other use, I'll empty the device of the hair in it. In the following weeks, I’ll exfoliate and moisturize to make sure I don’t develop any ingrown hairs, which I’m prone to.

What do I love about the Braun Silk-Epil 9?

A person using the Braun Silk-Epil 9 on their leg.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 contains multiple attachments (like the shaver, pictured) to customize your hair removal.

I love everything about my epilator. For one thing, it works! The results last several weeks and even make my thicker body grow back hair finer and less noticeable. The Braun also manages to snatch thinner and shorter hairs that waxing typically misses. It never leaves me with any nicks, major irritations, or infections, either.

The tool requires no preparation and creates zero mess. It's an excellent way to get rid of unwanted body hair with minimal pain and long-lasting results. It's also perfect to travel with because it’s less bulky than a can of shaving cream.

I also love that the epilator is reusable, rechargeable, and has a one-time cost, unlike disposable razor blades, which you should ideally replace as often as once a week, depending on your shaving frequency. That would be 52 razors and likely hundreds of dollars thrown out by the end of the year.

Is the Braun Silk-Epil 9 worth it?

The Braun Silk-Epil 9 laying on a white background.
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

You can say goodbye to painful hair removal treatments with the Braun Silk-Epil 9 (pictured with shaver attachement).

I consider my epilator the best purchase I’ve made in the last year. After a long hair-removal journey, I feel happy to know I have found a device that saves me time, money, and aggravation.

I won’t lie, epilating is a little painful, but the results are worth it. The sensation isn’t as intense as tweezing because it pulls the hairs quickly and has multiple pincers plucking at once, making the little bit of sting feel less concentrated. I find epilating far less painful than waxing and laser hair removal, both of which cost more and can cause irritation.

I recommend this product to any person who is sick and tired of all fuss from other hair-removal devices. It’s clean, safe, easy to use, and removes unwanted body hair for longer amounts of time compared to shaving.

Get the Braun Silk-Epil 9 on Amazon for $99.99

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