I’ve tried just about every hair removal technique available, from basic shaving to waxing. After a bad waxing experience, I wanted to find a suitable alternative and came across the Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 epilator.
People claim that epilators provide one of the most effective methods for getting rid of unsightly hairs. These devices work by tearing small groups of hair from the skin, like tweezing multiple hairs at once.
It’s also like waxing, as it removes hairs from underneath the skin’s surface, but without the wax or skin irritation. I wanted to test these benefits for myself, so I decided to inspect the latest epilator from Braun.
How does this product compare to other hair removal products? Is it comfortable and effective? Most importantly, is it painful? To find out, check out the rest of my detailed review of the Braun Silk-épil 9 epilator.
- 1 Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator Overview
- 2 Unboxing the Silk-épil 9 Epilator
- 3 Using the Silk-épil 9 for the First Time
- 4 Who Should Use the Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator?
- 5 Key Features of the Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator
- 6 Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 Vs. Braun Silk-épil 9 9579 Vs. Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Comparison
- 7 Braun Silk-épil 9 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator Overview
The Braun Silk-épil 9 SensoSmart 9/890 epilator is one of the latest epilators from Braun. It comes with a handful of accessories, providing everything needed to start epilating.
If you have never used one of these handheld devices before, they look like electric shavers. However, instead of razors, the epilator uses long tweezers to pull hairs.
The Silk-épil 9 is a cordless device, equipped with a charger, LED battery indicator, and various attachments. You can use it wet or dry, allowing you to remove hair while in the bath or shower.
Like an electric razor, you simply glide the pivoting head over your arms or legs. With one of the attachments, you can even turn the 9/890 epilator into a functional shaver or trimmer.
Braun manufactures the Silk-épil 9, along with dozens of other hair care products for both women and men. In fact, the Silk Epil 9 is just the latest series of epilators developed by this company.
Braun tends to produce multiple models in a series, using numbers to name the individual products. With the Silk-épil 9, you are getting the top model in the Silk-épil series, which includes Silk-épil 3, 5, and 7. There are also multiple versions of the Silk-épil 9 epilator:
What sets the 9/890 apart from the others in the same series is the SensoSmart technology. This epilator uses an advanced sensor to deliver the right level of pressure for more effective hair removal. It also includes a wider head compared to previous models, allowing the epilator to remove more hair with each pass.
Unboxing the Silk-épil 9 Epilator
The Silk-épil 9 9/890 is one of the most complete epilator sets, providing various attachments to help with your grooming routine. When you open the package, the Epil 9 includes the following:
- Cordless SensoSmart epilator
- Shaver head
- Trimmer cap
- Skin contact cap
- Facial cap
- 3-in-1 trimmer
- Rechargeable battery
- Cleaning brush
- Wall plug
- Storage pouch
The product listing states that it includes seven extras. Several of these extras are simply needed to operate the device.
The internal battery only takes an hour to charge and provides 50 minutes of use. To charge the battery, you simply connect the 12V wall adapter. A little light lets you know when the battery is charging or fully charged.
You also get a cleaning brush and storage pouch. The cleaning brush is standard for epilators and electric shavers. After each use, the manufacturer recommends that you use the brush to clean hairs off the head.
While the provided storage pouch is just an inexpensive, white cloth pouch with a drawstring, it helps keep the epilator and accessories together.
The Silk-épil 9 9/890 is also packaged with a 3-in-1 trimmer and a AAA battery to power it. The trimmer is a standard body trimmer for trimming hair around delicate areas, such as when tidying up the bikini line.
The four attachments are what help make this one of the more versatile epilator sets. The standard pivoting head unlatches from the epilator, allowing you to dispose of the pulled hairs or easily remove the head to replace it with the shaver head.
The shaver head converts the epilator into a handheld electric shaver. You can then snap the trimmer cap on top of the shaver head for trimming.
When using the epilator, you can choose from three different caps – the high-frequency massage cap, skin contact cap, or facial cap. The massage cap is the regular cap for standard use, while the skin contact cap allows for faster hair removal.
The facial cap covers most of the epilator head, allowing only a small area of hair to be removed at a time. Removing fewer hairs is a little gentler on the delicate facial skin.
Using the Silk-épil 9 for the First Time
After unboxing the device, you need to charge it before using it for the first time. The connector is on the bottom the epilator and you cannot use the device while it is charging. Luckily, it only takes about an hour to charge.
Like most epilators and electric shavers, the Silk-épil 9 is built for wet or dry use. The high-frequency massage cap is the recommended option for using the epilator for the first time. It includes a soft rubber guard to help massage the skin and lift the hairs.
While it can be used wet or dry, I wanted to test it on wet skin, so I used it after taking a shower. The rubber surface of the cap does not glide well against the wet skin, which is common for any epilator or electric shaver.
The device has a small dial for turning the device on or off and choosing a speed setting. There are two separate speeds, one for gentle operation and one for faster operation. As this was my first time using the device, I used the gentle setting.
The epilator is comfortable to hold. It is a little wider compared to a standard electric shaver, making it easier to maintain a firm hold on the device.
I started near the ankle, where there was less hair, and I worked my up my leg. As the device starts tweezing hairs, the pain is instantly noticeable, but not bad compared to waxing.
The process did not take very long. It was painful but tolerable. However, the best part was the after effects. Instead of dealing with patches of red, irritated skin, my skin felt fine. I experienced almost none of the irritation that I get from waxing.
While it was a little painful the first time, that is to be expected from mass tweezing. The second time, it was less painful. By the third time, epilating had become a natural part of my grooming routine. I was also surprised by how long I could go between tweezing.
Overall, the Braun Silk-épil 9 epilator offers an effective way to remove hair from arms and legs, without the nicks and cuts of shaving or dealing with hot wax.
Who Should Use the Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator?
If you are tired of cutting yourself while shaving, I recommend the Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890. It is an easy little device to use.
For those who have used handheld shavers or trimmers, operating the Silk-épil is not any different. You simply move it across your skin to start pulling hairs.
The Braun epilator is also preferable to waxing. It is less painful, less messy, and less complicated. It offers a safer option, as you do not need to heat the wax, apply it to your skin, and peel off strips of hair.
Key Features of the Braun Silk-épil 9 Epilator
There are many epilators on the market, including at least half a dozen from Braun. Here are some of the key reasons that the Silk-épil 9 9/890 is a top-seller:
To understand the benefits of these features, we need to take a closer look at the details.
The Smartlight Allows You to See Every Little Hair
The Smartlight is one of the most innovative features of this epilator. How many times have you shaved or waxed and then discovered a hairy patch later in the day? To help prevent this problem, the Silk-épil 9 is equipped with a handy little LED light.
The small light illuminates the area of skin in front of the epilator, allowing you to see the finest hairs. It is surprising how much more you see, even when epilating in a brightly lit bathroom.
The only disadvantage to this feature is that you cannot turn it off. It turns on when the device turns on.
Two Speeds for Gentle Epilation or Faster Operation
The Silk-épil 9 includes three settings – off, gentle speed, and fast speed. When you turn the dial, the gentle speed setting is the first option. It is the standard setting recommended for most situations, especially when using it for the first time.
As the device pulls hairs from the skin, it works a little slower compared to shaving. You need to gradually move the epilator across your clean skin. While it is faster than waxing, some people may want to speed up the process.
With the faster speed setting, you can work more quickly, but you may miss more hairs. The faster tweezing action can also be a little more painful, as you are pulling more hairs at a quicker rate.
The main benefit of the faster speed setting is for covering large areas of skin that are less prone to irritation, such the calves.
100% Waterproof Design Lets You Remove Hairs in the Shower
As a wet & dry epilator, you can use it on wet or dry skin. It is also suitable for use in the bath or shower, thanks to the 100% waterproof design.
You should always use an epilator on clean skin, so using it in the bath or shower makes sense. The hot water also helps opens pores, helping to reduce irritation.
Unfortunately, using handheld epilators and shavers on wet skin is not always easy. Sometimes hairs cling to the skin and do not get pulled up. Areas of the skin can also get rubbery when wet, making it difficult to glide the epilator along the skin.
The best option is to use it right after bathing or showering when the skin is still soft and porous, but not damp and rubbery.
Besides allowing you to use the epilator in the bath, the waterproof design makes the epilator easier to clean. After each use, you should wipe off the tweezer with the cleaning brush. However, small hairs still cling to the head and get stuck inside.
To fully clean the epilator, you can press a latch to eject the head and then rinse the device under running water. It will not damage the internal components, as the top of the epilator is sealed to prevent leakage.
Fast-Charging Rechargeable Battery Is Fully Charged in an Hour
The Silk-épil 9 is a cordless device with a rechargeable battery. You get about 50 minutes of use on a full charge, which takes about an hour.
The connector is on the bottom of the epilator, near the small plus and minus symbols. There is a small LED light behind each symbol that lights up, letting you know when the device is charging, fully charged, or needs charging.
40% Wider Head Allows the Epilator to Remove More Hairs
The wider head is one of the upgrades to the Silk-épil epilators that makes the 9/890 a top choice.
With the wider design, the epilator removes more hair, covering a wider path of skin. This limits the number of passes that you need to complete when removing hair from your arms and legs.
Includes Accessories for Added Functionality
As mentioned, the Silk-épil 9 9/890 comes equipped with several useful accessories. You get the shaver head that converts the device into an electric shaver and a trimmer cap for trimming hair.
If you want to touch up your skin after using the epilator, the package comes with a skin contact cap. It eliminates the guard used on the standard high-frequency massage cap, providing direct contact with the skin. This allows for faster operation, especially when combined with the faster speed setting.
The First Braun Epilator to Use SensoSmart Technology
One of the biggest complaints with epilating is pain. Pulling hairs is often painful, no matter how much pain tolerance you possess.
Applying too much pressure also keeps the device from lifting the hairs from your skin, which can increase the pain of using an epilator. Braun developed SensoSmart technology to help address this problem.
The SensoSmart technology includes an intelligent sensor to detect the amount of pressure that you apply against your skin. This is like the pressure sensor found in the Braun electric toothbrushes.
When you apply too much pressure, a red LED light indicates that you need to ease up.
Pros of the Silk-épil 9
Drawbacks of the Silk-épil 9
The 9 series epilators cannot be used while the battery is recharging. When you plug the device into the wall, it enters recharging mode and cannot turn on until you unplug it.
This is not a major issue, as most people prefer to use a cordless epilator. It simply means that you need to occasionally wait to use the device until the battery charges.
Some of the other Braun epilators include additional massage caps or a sensitive area cap for removing hair closer to delicate parts of the body. Without these attachments and with the bigger head, the Braun Silk-épil 9 is not suited for hair removal from sensitive body parts.
Those disadvantages are just minor complaints, but one issue that may keep some people from buying this epilator is the cost. It is the most expensive Braun epilator, as it is the company’s top offering in this series of epilators.
Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 Vs. Braun Silk-épil 9 9579 Vs. Braun Silk-épil 7 7/880 Comparison
The Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 is the latest of the Silk-épil epilators. The 9 9579 and 7 7/880 are two other popular options.
The Silk-épil 9 9579 is part of the same series as the 9/890. The only difference is the color and accessories. The 9-579 model is called the “Wet & Dry” Silk-épil 9, even though both models can be used in the bath or shower.
The 9/890 model includes SensoSmart technology, detecting when you apply too much pressure. This technology is not included in the 9579 model. However, the 9579 model features a pulsating head, which is not found on the 9/890 epilator.
With the 9-579 version, you get the same attachments, but do not get a trimmer or storage pouch. In place of these items, you get a facial brush and a charging stand.
The Silk-épil 7 7/880 is part of the previous series of Braun epilators. Like the 9/890, it is the top epilator in its series. It includes the same attachments as the 9/890. You get a shaver head, trimmer cap, skin contact cap, and facial cap.
Both epilators are also designed for wet or dry use and include a rechargeable battery. The main difference is the size of the head. The Braun Silk-épil 9 head is 40% wider compared to the head on the 7/880 epilator.
With the wider head, you cover more skin. This design also allows the Silk-épil 9 to remove up to 4 times shorter hair compared to waxing. The wider header is also found on the Silk-épil 9 9579.
Silk-Epil 9 9/890
Silk-Epil 9 9-579
Silk-Epil 7 7/880
40% Wider Head
Shaver head & trimmer cap
Braun Silk-épil 9 Frequently Asked Questions
The Braun Silk-épil 9 is a versatile little gadget, but you may still have a few questions, especially if you have never used an epilator before.
Can an Epilator Be Used on Pubic Hair?
It is safe to use most epilators on pubic hair. The Braun Silk-épil epilators are among the top recommendations for this purpose.
Besides the 9 9/890 model, some women enjoy using the 3 series epilators. The Silk-épil 3 is a little smaller, making it easier to hold when working around sensitive areas.
No matter which epilator you use, when pulling hairs from sensitive skin, you can expect more pain. This area is also more prone to irritation, which may lead to redness and possibly a rash.
While you can use an epilator to remove pubic hair, there are a few precautions you should take. Only use the epilator in a brightly-lit room.
You should be able to see exactly where you are placing the epilator. You may even need to position a mirror or hold a mirror to get the right view.
When you turn on the device, start away from the pubic hair and work your way around the lower abdomen. If the pain is too intense, stop.
After using the epilator to remove pubic hair, you may experience more irritation compared to other parts of your body. Applying a cold compress can offer some relief.
Trimmer vs Epilator: Which Is Best for the Bikini Line?
When getting rid of hair around the bikini line, there are pros and cons to every hair removal method. Waxing is the most painful, and shaving is the most dangerous, leaving you with the choice of a trimmer or epilator.
Using a bikini trimmer is quick and easy. You simply start shaving. Unfortunately, you may not always get a completely close shave. You may still see small stubble when out on the beach under the bright sun.
Even if you do not see stubble the first day, you may start to see growth within the next few days. An epilator helps keep the hair away longer – up to four weeks.
Like removing pubic hair, removing hair around the bikini line also involves sensitive skin. The same precautions should be taken, such as working slowly and making sure that you do not apply too much pressure.
There are times when trimming may be easier. You can simply use a trimmer to trim unwanted hairs before your next trip to the beach, instead of dealing with the pain of using an epilator.
With the Silk-épil 9 9/890 epilator, you get the best of both worlds. The epilator comes with a 3-in-1 trimmer for trimming the bikini line.
Which Epilator is Best – Corded or Cordless?
Corded epilators cannot be used on wet skin or in the bath or shower. They are intended for dry use only, which may be an inconvenience for some women. Some of the corded models also have short cords, making it awkward to use the epilator.
Cordless epilators such as the 9/890 allow wet or dry operation. You can use the epilator in the bath and even place it under a running faucet to clean it.
The drawback to cordless epilators is that you need to keep them charged. The 9/890 epilator allows 50 minutes of use on a full charge, which may be enough power to use the epilator two or three times before charging.
If you forget to charge the device when the indicator light appears, it may take up to an hour to charge the battery. You also cannot use the device when it is charging.
Despite these drawbacks, cordless epilators are still more convenient, due to the waterproof design.
As a side note, rechargeable batteries can start to lose their ability to hold a charge. However, this is rarely an issue for devices like an epilator that you only use about once per month.
Overall, cordless devices are the preferred choice. They are typically easier to clean and suitable for use on wet skin.
What Lasts Longer – Waxing or Epilation?
Waxing and epilating both help keep hair away longer compared to shaving. When you shave, hair starts growing back immediately. Waxing and epilation offer results that can last two to six weeks.
Most women notice that they can go about two weeks after waxing or epilating. With both options, hair tends to start coming back thinner and less noticeable, letting you go longer without waxing or epilating.
Waxing and epilation both involve the removal of hair from below the surface of the skin, instead of chopping off the hair follicle above the root.
While the results of waxing and epilation last about the same length of time, you often need to wait longer before waxing.
You need to allow the hair to grow back enough for the wax to get a good grip. The typical recommendation is that your hair needs to be at least a 1/4-inch long before waxing, which could take an extra couple of weeks.
With epilators, you do not need to wait for noticeable growth before using the device again. The hair can be four times shorter compared to waxing when using the Silk-épil 9 series epilators. These devices have thin metal tweezers that can pull the tiniest hairs from your body.
Waxing and epilating provide the same results for the duration, but epilators allow you to repeat the process without waiting for your legs to get hairy.
Do Epilators Make Hair Grow Back Thicker?
Epilators do not make your hair grow back thicker. Like waxing, epilating can help limit the growth of hair. However, it does not make your hair thinner or finer.
When you wax or use an epilator, you pull hair from the root. Pulling the hair may damage the hair bulb, which will prevent hair from growing back.
Waxing and epilating do not change the thickness of the hair follicles. They either grow, or they do not grow. However, with repeated waxing or epilating, you may damage enough hair bulbs that fewer hairs grow, which is why people often assume that these hair removal methods result in thinner hair.
It may take several sessions before you notice that fewer hairs are growing, but the thickness of the hair is mostly determined by hormones and genetics.
Is Epilator Better Than Shaving?
While epilating is more effective compared to shaving, it does have a couple of drawbacks. Epilating can be painful, it tends to take longer, and the epilators cost more compared to disposable razors.
Despite these issues, using an epilator offers several advantages over shaving, including:
When shaving, you are trimming hair at the surface. Within a few hours or the next day, you may start to see some stubble breaking through the skin. Within a few days, you may need to shave again.
Epilators offer longer results, as you are pulling the hair from the root. Human hair grows about half an inch per month, but it takes several days for the hair follicles to break the surface of the skin after pulling the hair out.
As mentioned, pulling the hair out can also damage the hair bulbs, causing hairs to stop growing. With repeated sessions, epilating may limit hair growth. Shaving does not provide this same advantage.
Shaving also makes it harder to get perfectly smooth skin. If you shave against the grain, you get smoother skin, but you increase the risk of cuts, skin irritation, and ingrown hairs. While shaving with the grain is safer, you may not get a smooth shave.
Epilators completely pull the hairs from your skin, resulting in a smoother surface. Like waxing, you get completely smooth skin instead of stubble and missed patches.
There is also less of a risk of nicks and cuts. Keep in mind that you are still using a metal device to remove hairs. However, the long tweezers include a guard to keep them from piercing your skin, like using an electric shaver.
With a razor, one wrong movement of the wrist can slice the skin. Worn blades also increase the chances of cutting yourself or breaking off the hair and creating an ingrown hair.
How Much Does an Epilator Hurt?
Most women that try using epilators agree that it is less painful compared to waxing but more painful compared to tweezing.
When you wax, you are pulling hundreds of hairs at once. You are also pulling the skin around the patch. While you try to peel the wax quickly, like a band-aid, it always causes a surprising amount of pain.
Tweezing a single hair is relatively painless. You may feel a slight sting for a split second, with no lingering pain. When you use an epilator, you are basically tweezing multiple hairs at once.
The pain is tolerable and manageable, as you can stop at any time. With the Braun Silk-épil 9, you also get a couple of features to help reduce pain.
The Braun includes two speed settings. With the slower speed, you can work slower, allowing you to tweeze hair at a comfortable pace, without overwhelming yourself with pain. I’ve also noticed that epilating becomes less painful the more that you do it.
Do Epilators Cause Ingrown Hairs?
Ingrown hairs are caused when the hair breaks, leaving a sharp tip. The sharp tip then punctures the surface and grows into the skin. Any hair removal method can cause ingrown hairs, including shaving, waxing, and epilating.
Shaving poses the biggest risk of ingrown hairs. Every time that you shave, the razor becomes slightly worn. If the razor cannot shave the hair follicles near the skin’s surface, it may leave enough hair to create ingrown hair.
There are also a couple of issues that may increase the risk of ingrown hairs when using an epilator. Due to the threat of pain, it is tempting to avoid pressing the epilator directly against your skin.
Not applying enough pressure keeps the epilator from being able to pull the hairs at the roots. Instead of completely pulling the hair, the epilator may break some of the hairs off.
You should not need to worry about applying too much pressure, especially when using the Braun Silk-épil 9 epilator. It includes a pressure sensor to detect when you are pressing too hard.
Besides applying too much pressure or not enough pressure, not exfoliating can increase the risk of ingrown hairs. Exfoliating keeps broken hairs from growing back into the skin.
Using an exfoliator helps remove dead skin cells, turning over the top layers of skin. Exfoliating regularly may help reduce the risk of ingrown hairs and provides a way to help treat existing ingrown hairs.
How Often Should I Epilate?
Epilating is not something that you can do every day, as you need to allow some hair to grow back. When you remove hair at the root, it can take two to six weeks for it grow back enough to become noticeable.
When waxing, you need at least a 1/4-inch of hair. Using the new Braun Silk-épil 9 epilator, your hair can be four times shorter, which means that it only needs to be 1/16-inch long. This typically takes about 10 to 15 days, after removing the hair.
Typically, you should start to notice tiny hairs breaking the surface about one week after epilating. Several days to one week later, the hairs should be long enough for the Silk-épil 9 to tweeze.
Depending on how quickly your hair grows, you may use an epilator every 1.5 to 2 weeks. As mentioned, you may be able to go longer the more you use an epilator, due to fewer hairs growing back.
Should You Moisturize After Epilating?
Yes, you should always moisturize after epilating. Exfoliating, shaving, waxing and epilating dry your skin. Pulling hairs can also cause minor skin irritation.
Applying a moisturizer helps hydrate the skin and soothe redness and rashes. Moisturizing also helps reduce the risk of ingrown hairs, as it keeps your pores from clogging.
Moisturizing should be part of your daily skincare routine. Besides protecting your skin after epilating, it helps keep your skin feeling and looking younger.
Exfoliating is also an important part of the epilating routine, but it should be performed before using your epilator. Most people prefer to exfoliate in the shower, helping to open pores and prepare the skin for epilating.
Epilating offers a different way to safely remove hairs. The only drawback is that epilators use long metal tweezers to quickly pull multiple hairs at once, which can be painful.
The Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 is one of the least painful epilators, thanks to the wider, pivoting head and gentle massage cap.
The only drawback is the price. As the leading option in the Braun line of epilators, it is the most expensive option. Keep in mind that most of the other comparable epilators are in the same price range.
To get a quality epilating experience, you can expect to spend a decent amount of money. It is about the same price as buying a high-quality Braun electric shaver.
In the end, Braun is a name that you can trust to produce the top hair care-related products. With the Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890, you are getting the company’s best epilator, featuring a 40% wider head and several useful attachments.
If you want a reliable epilator that is simple to operate, easy to clean, and less painful, try the Braun Silk-épil 9 9/890 epilator for yourself.
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