epilation vs depilation

Kotuku33

Senior Member
French & English, Alberta, Canada
Hello all,

I know that epilation and depilation both refer to the process of hair removal from a human body. Does anyone know whether there's any difference in nuance between these two words?

Thank you!
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    That depends on who you ask. Some sources consider them equivalent. Others use epilation only for methods that remove the root of the hair; depilation is a broader term that includes such methods as shaving. Another difference is that depilation is, in my limited experience (I'm a male with a beard), used much more frequently by people I know who do this sort of thing.
     

    Kotuku33

    Senior Member
    French & English, Alberta, Canada
    Well I did a quick ngram and it seems that epilation has been consistently more common in English books since 1940, but that doesn't account for regional preferences, etc. I'd never heard "depilation" myself - but then again, I associate "epilation" with removing the root of the hair, and would not include shaving, so maybe I just didn't know what the broader concept would be called!

    Oh yes, and in the context of the text I'm editing, by your distinction between these two terms, I need to stick with "depilation", the broader term.

    Thank you for your input!
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Others use epilation only for methods that remove the root of the hair;...
    ...I associate "epilation" with removing the root of the hair, and would not include shaving,...
    That's the difference I'm aware of. Epilation removes the entire hair using waxing, lasers, epilators, etc. Depilation removes only the part of the hair using razors, depilatory creams, etc.
     
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