Tweezing 101

The pros and cons.

Closeup of tweezers on a woman's eyebrow
Jonathan Storey/Getty Images

Whether you overdid it on your eyebrows in the '90s or you pluck stray hairs here and there, tweezing should be a pretty familiar grooming habit. When done correctly, plucking removes the entire hair from the follicle, keeping it from growing back for roughly six weeks.

There are pros and cons to tweezing. Here's what you need to know, plus some of the top tweezers on the market, so you'll have the perfect tool in your arsenal.

The Pros

Removing hair by waxing or shaving doesn't work for every scenario. For instance, shaping your eyebrows requires a more precise approach. Tweezing might be the way to go for a few different reasons.

Convenience

If you have a stray hair hanging out that you want gone right away, tweezing can quickly get rid of it without any prep work or other products. In fact, professionals use tweezers to remove any hairs left behind after waxing or sugaring.

Control

Waxing a small area like your eyebrows can be very tricky, not to mention risky. With tweezing, you have more control and accuracy for achieving the right shape. 

Lasting Results

Over time, frequent tweezing can damage the hair follicle. This sounds bad, but if you don't want certain hairs growing back, this can actually cause it to grow back finer; in some cases, the hair may even stop growing altogether.

It's Inexpensive

A quality pair of tweezers can cost between $5 and $40 and lasts a long time. Many other hair removal methods like wet shaving, waxing, depilatories, or sugaring call for replenishing products frequently.

The Cons

Tweezing isn't completely simple. There are some things to keep in mind to avoid pain and unwanted results.

It's Tedious

Just tweezing the eyebrows alone can take a half hour or more. Tweezing a large area of hair could take hours, so it's not ideal when you want to remove a lot of hair.

It Hurts

Depending on your tolerance, tweezing can be painful—especially considering that it can be a relatively slow process for removing multiple hairs.

There are ways you can lessen the pain. Always hold skin taut or firm to avoid pulling the skin. Tweeze after a warm shower, or apply a warm compress, so the skin is soft and relaxed. If it still really hurts, you could try a numbing cream that's made to desensitize skin for waxing.

Tweezers Can Be Misused

Never, ever dig tweezers into skin to try to reach hair. This can cause scrapes, scabs, and possible scarring.

A Bad Pair of Tweezers Can Be Useless 

Short hairs can be hard to get with cheap, flimsy, or dull tweezers. These often slide or break the hair instead of removing it, adding extra time and frustration.

The Best Tweezers

Check out some of the highest quality tweezers that'll get the job done right.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Hair: removing unwanted hair. Updated May 5, 2016.

  2. Cleveland Clinic. 5 ways to get overplucked eyebrows to grow back. Updated January 23, 2020.

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