Tweezing 101

Updated 05/06/19
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Whether you overdid it on your eyebrows in the '90s or you've plucked 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 up to 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 hair and follicle are 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

Here are some of the highest quality tweezers that'll get the job done right:

  • Sally Hansen Easy Tweezy Comfort Grip Slant Tip Tweezer ($5)
  • Revlon Expert Tweezer, Slant Tip ($6)
  • Tweezerman Slant Tweezer ($23)
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Precision Tweezers ($28)
  • Tweezerman Ultra Precision Point Tweezers ($36)

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