It wasn’t too long ago that I remember scrolling on TikTok to see the iconic influencer Mikaela Testa announce her answer to hair removal was epilating. Now, in my many years on the quest to find the perfect method of removing my thick, dark bodily locks (no, seriously, trust me — I’ve tried shaving, waxing, threading, laser, a tube of good ol’ Nair, and god knows what else), I’d never once taken the plunge into epilating territory because frankly, it terrified the hell out of me. But, in the name of journalism, I’ll try anything once, so I put my body on the line for this Braun epilator — namely the Braun Silk Epil-9 Flex.
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What is an epilator?
Now before I begin, I must preface: an epilator is essentially an electronically-powered version of a tweezer, except there’s not just one singular tweezer, but instead, many of them rotating on a spinning wheel designed to grab your hairs and pull them out at the root.
Unlike shaving, which slices off your hair at a surface level, an epilator will remove the hair right from the follicle’s base, making the time it takes for it to grow back much longer.
Upon opening this particular Braun Silk Epil-9 Flex device, I noticed it really did come with all the trimmings for a good epilating job. The epilator body and massage roller? Tick. A shaver and trimmer/trimmer comb? Tick. A skin contact guard and facial epilating cap? Triple tick. It also came with some extras like an exfoliating brush, a brush cleaner, a beauty pouch and, of course, a charger.
Does the Braun Silk Epil 9 Epilator actually work?
Now to put it to the test, does this bad boy actually check out? Well, unfortunately, the instructions on how to put the Braun epilator together and utilise the different heads were quite vague, so it took a lot of trial and error to get the show on the road, but when I got there (and charged it up for an hour or two), it was relatively smooth sailing.
I’d recently done a big shave a few days prior, so my hair was long enough for epilation but short enough not to use the trimming head. That’s why I decided to jump straight into just using the massage rolling cap head. I started easy, with my leg, dragging the device from ankle to knees, making sure to go against the grain of the hair. Immediately, I noticed the epilator doing God’s work and ripping those little hairs out from the root — there’s a special satisfaction in seeing all your locks collect on the epilator at the end — a token of bravery, if you will.
What I didn’t realise in my moment of triumph was that it would take me a further two hours (with plenty of rest breaks in between) to do both legs from front to back. This involved going over a few patches multiple times to make sure all the hair had ample opportunity for the Braun epilator to pull it out. If there’s one tip I’d recommend, it’s to go slow — zooming over patches won’t save you time because you’ll just have to go back over them again.
Once I’d nailed my legs, my newfound confidence motivated me to give the big guns a crack, aka my pubes — and spoiler alert: it was a game-changer, in more ways than one.
I’d read online that pubic epilation hurts less if you soften the skin while in the shower or bath with warm water, and because the Braun Silk Epil 9 is waterproof, that’s exactly what I did. Let’s just say, it didn’t help at all, though.
Stark naked, I screeched my way through epilating my entire front pubic area. In short, it was no walk in the park. But, because the hair was more coarse and thick, the only redeeming factor was that it became easier for the Braun epilator to grab onto the follicles, meaning I didn’t have to go over each area nearly as many times as I did for my legs.
Unable to go on any longer, I revisited the rest of my pubes the following day, this time attempting to do the outer lips. The good thing about the Braun Silk Epil 9 is that it’s the first of its kind in the way it has a fully flexible head, whereas many other epilators don’t. This helped me navigate around this tricky area to get all the angles.
I won’t beat around the bush. This hurts! More than any other hair removal I’ve ever experienced before. I felt like my coochie was on fire — and it was not a fun sensation. I, however, did manage to get most of it done, with the exception of having to touch up a few bits with my razor.
Overall, the result was great, almost as if I’d gone for a wax. Aside from the razor, I also did go in with a tweezer to get some other stragglers (particularly on the top half of my coochie), and voila, I was done.
How much does the Braun epilator hurt?
I like to think I have a decent pain tolerance, but the truth is, the first time I used this device, I was surprised at how much it hurt. I mean, it is ripping out your hair follicles, after all. But, after using it a couple of times, I became desensitised to the pain and could use it without having to stop as much. I won’t lie to you. My pubes and upper lip hurt bad. But definitely not as much as my tattoo, if that’s any sort of reference point or consolation.
Hot tip: I also noticed that epilating definitely hurt more when I tried to do it right before I started my period as opposed to when I used it afterwards. Science says that your pain receptors are more active before and during your period, which causes you to be more sensitive to pain than usual. So, my recommendation is to try to avoid epilating during that time of the month.
Anywho, here are my pain ratings out of 10 because it definitely varies from body part to body part.
- Legs/arms: 4/10
- Underarms: 5/10
- Upper lip: 9/10
- Brazilian: 8/10 for the pubic region, 9/10 for the outer lips.
The final verdict
I’m genuinely surprised at just how smooth my entire body is. It even rivals the post-shave silky feel, except it lasts for more than a day. If we’re talking specifics, my pubes lasted a solid three weeks before I had to go in with a touch-up, and my legs got a good two weeks out of them before I started to see a little bit of regrowth. I don’t know if this is a placebo, but I also feel like the hairs have definitely grown back thinner, too.
You’ll be happy to know, I also completely avoided those pesky ingrown hairs often associated with hair removal, and my pubes didn’t itch or hurt while growing back like they used to when I’d shaved them.
The only downfall would really have to be the pain, as well as the time it takes. But, I’m justifying it in the way that shaving has to be done every few days, so if you factor that into three weeks, spending a few hours on the epilator at the beginning of the week is child’s play in comparison.
It’s also much cheaper than an accumulation of yearly wax and laser appointments, which gives it great value for money. As someone who works full-time, it’s also easy to do on my own time, rather than have to rely on booking an appointment with a beauty therapist.
I think the final verdict is that I’ll continue to use it on my legs, arms, underarms and pubic area, but I won’t be giving up my razor just yet, as I like to use it to touch up any parts that are too painful or hard to reach. I definitely will be replacing my waxing and laser appointments with it, though.
Where can you buy a Braun epilator for yourself?
If you want to give this Braun epilator a whirl for yourself, you can head over to The Shaver Shop’s website, where you can get the Braun Silk Epil 9 for $249 on sale from $399. Our friends over at Amazon also have it on sale for $239 if you want an extra cheeky bargain. Keep in mind it does come with a US adapter, though, so you’ll just need to get an AU converter plug if you don’t already have one.
You can also grab the entire beauty set (which comes with the body epilator, plus an additional facial epilator wand) for $399 (down from $499) from The Shaver Shop, or from Amazon for a cheeky $379 bargain. This one actually comes with an AU adapter, so you won’t need to worry about a converter.
- I loved the Braun epilator’s flex head as it really helped get to those hard to reach hair removal areas.
- There’s a light that turns on when you start epilating, which really allows you to see what you’re doing.
- It comes with a brush to clean out all the hair removal buildup in each of the heads, which helps to keep it clean and fresh.
- I love that it comes with a bunch of different brush heads to suit a heap of needs (aka trimming for pubes and a facial cap for your upper lip).
- I really like that it has a cord charger, so I don’t constantly drop money on new batteries.
- The price is really cost-efficient when you compare it with yearly salon appointments.
- Epilating takes a lot longer than other hair removal methods in that you have to go over it multiple times for the best results.
- The pain hurts more than other hair removal methods.
Rating the Braun Silk-épil 9 out of ten:
- Performance: 9/10
- Battery life: 7/10
- Pain: 8/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Results: 8/10
If epilating isn’t for you, you can find our roundup of the best at-home IPL kits right here.