Unwanted facial hair growth can stem from various factors, including genetics and hormonal imbalances. Similarly, there are numerous methods available for removing such hair. While salon services are an option, many individuals, particularly women, prefer tweezing facial hair at home, especially for areas like eyebrows or the upper lip. However, the effectiveness of tweezing and its impact on the skin raise questions. Does tweezing lead to thicker and darker hair regrowth, or is this notion a myth? This article delves into the details, exploring everything you need about tweezing.
What is Tweezing?
Tweezing is an effective hair removal technique in which hairs on small areas of the skin are taken out manually and individually. It is used worldwide by women and a few men to shape their eyebrows and remove unwanted hairs from the face (upper lip, chin, etc.). It is considered an inexpensive and harmless procedure compared to other hair removal techniques. In this simple grooming habit, a pair of tweezers are used to pull the hair from the root. This makes sure that the entire hair strand is plucked out from its follicle, keeping it from growing back for 3 to 8 weeks. (1)
Steps in Tweezing
Following are the steps involved in the process of tweezing:
- Start by disinfecting your pair of tweezers with some rubbing alcohol so that you do not get any infection.
- Also, wipe your face with a warm washcloth to ensure the hair and follicles become soft and relaxed.
- With the tweezer’s tips, isolate one hair strand you want to remove.
- Hold the skin of the surrounding area taut in one hand and clamp down on the hair strand firmly with the tweezer in another hand.
- Now, gently pluck the hair out of its root by pulling it toward its growth.
- Disinfect your tweezers again with the rubbing alcohol, and you are done.
While tweezing causes slight discomfort, you should not feel pain during the process. However, if you find it really painful, rub an ice cube over the area immediately. This will prevent redness and inflammation too. Application of a numbing cream beforehand may also lessen your pain by desensitizing the skin.
Advantages of Tweezing
If you are considering tweezing your unwanted facial hair, these reasons can be enough for you to start:
- Tweezing offers an exact approach to hair removal, which is extremely helpful in shaping eyebrows or removing stray hair.
- It does not need any preparation work or application of unique products, which makes it a rapid and convenient process.
- It offers complete control and excellent accuracy for achieving the right results so that the process does not become tricky or risky.
- The process offers long-lasting outcomes; sometimes, it can even damage the hair follicles, ultimately stopping them from growing back.
- Tweezing is an inexpensive method with only a quality pair of tweezers rather than too many replenishing products.
Disadvantages of Tweezing
However, tweezing is not all things good, either. Here are the cons of the procedure that you need to keep in mind:
- Tweezing is a tedious process, and removing hair from a large area in this way can be highly time-consuming.
- As the method is pretty slow and you need to pluck hair one at a time, it may be painful.
- If the pair of tweezers is not good enough, it may be difficult for you to reach short hairs. It often slides or breaks the hair without plucking it away.
- If you are not skilled at tweezing, you may get scrapes, scabs, or scars by digging the tweezers into your skin to reach the hair strands.
- Improper use of tweezers can give you ingrown hairs, too.
Other Ways to Remove Unwanted Hair
So, before busting the myth of whether tweezing makes hair grow back thicker and darker, let us take a quick look at all those other methods that can help you get rid of undesirable hair growth on your body:
1. Shaving: It is the fastest and easiest way in which a disposable razor or an electric shaver is used to lift and cut hair at the skin’s surface. You can shave hair safely from your legs, arms, armpits, bikini area, and even face. However, the hair may grow back 1 to 3 days after shaving, and you may experience side effects like cuts, scrapes, and ingrown hairs.
2. Epilation: This method uses epilators of different shapes and sizes to remove multiple hairs from their roots at a time. It is a quick and hassle-free process perfect for larger areas like legs, and the hair usually grows back softer, finer, and less noticeable after 3-4 weeks. Some common side effects of epilation include discomfort, pain, tenderness, swelling, inflammation, and ingrown hairs.
3. Waxing: This technique will help you effectively remove all the hair in an area. Soft wax is usually used for facial hair removal, while hard wax is designed for legs and bikini areas. But no matter your choice, you will get smooth, hair-free skin for long. Waxing can also cause adverse effects like burns, infections, allergic reactions, acne, ingrown hairs, etc.
4. Laser Therapy: If you want a lasting solution for hair removal, try laser therapy. As a pulsating beam of laser damages hair follicles in this method, you get rid of unwanted hair for up to 6 months or even permanently. You can use the laser on the entire body, including the face. Investing in an at-home laser hair removal kit can also be done conveniently and cost-effectively. A few potential adverse effects of this method are discomfort, redness, tenderness, etc.
5. Depilation: It is all about using a commercial depilatory product to break down hair proteins, dissolve them, and wash them away. These products are available in cream, gel, or lotion and usually contain certain chemical compounds like sodium, titanium dioxide, and barium sulfide. Depilation suits any part of the body and lasts longer than shaving. However, it may cause allergic reactions, redness, bumps, and itchiness.
6. Threading: When it comes to facial hair removal, threading is a simple yet effective way. This procedure uses a thread to pull and twist unwanted hair to remove it entirely from its follicle. However, it requires skill and may lead to side effects like discomfort, minor pain, and bumps.
Also Read – Top 10 Ways To Get Thick Eyebrows
How is Tweezing Different from Others?
From the working procedures to the longevity of results, tweezing is in no way similar to epilation, depilation, and laser therapy. While it may resemble the other three methods, i.e., threading, shaving, and waxing, the differences are still quite prominent to some extent. Here is what you need to know about it:
- Hair is pulled out entirely from the root in both tweezing and threading. However, tweezing selects individual hair strands and stimulates their follicles, which may not necessarily be in a phase of fresh growth. Conversely, threading pulls out multiple hairs at a time.
- In tweezing, the hair shaft, a part of the hair follicle, is removed. The underlying matrix, which is the mechanism for hair growth, remains intact throughout the procedure. On the other hand, shaving takes the superficial hair out.
- Hair is removed from its roots in both tweezing and waxing. However, tweezing focuses on individual hair strands and plucks them out one by one, while waxing makes a large area hair-free by eliminating lots of hair.
Does Tweezing Make Hair Grow Thicker and Darker?
Tweezing is not likely to cause any changes in the texture of the hair. At least, there are no scientific theories to support it. The new growth feels thicker when the hair grows back after tweezing because it sticks straight out and has edges like a post-shaving fresh growth feel. Repeated plucking from the same follicle could distort it, making the hair grow at an odd angle. This tends to make the new hair more noticeable. If the hair is growing thicker for real, then the reason is not tweezing. It could be because of hormonal variations and genetic issues. In such cases, it is advised that you consult a dermatologist for the same. (2)
Safety Precautions to Follow During Tweezing
While planning to pluck out unwanted hair from your skin, it is essential to proceed cautiously. Taking care of the following points will help you steer clear of the complications associated with tweezing:
- Always go for tweezing after a warm bath or simply applying a warm compress. This will open up the pores on your skin and allow smooth tweezing.
- Whenever you tweeze, hold the surrounding skin tightly. This will help you tweeze the hair closer to the roots without pulling the skin.
- The grip is essential while you tweeze. Make sure that you hold the tweezers tightly and pull the hair out gently every time.
- It would be best to tweeze in the direction of natural hair growth only. Otherwise, your skin may suffer scarring, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots (3).
- Avoid tweezing during your menstrual period, as this can be more painful as compared to other times.
- Do not tweeze your nipples, moles, acne, breakouts, and ingrown hairs to avoid inflammation, infections, and scarring (4).
Tweezing is a simple, inexpensive, and effective hair removal method in which a pair of tweezer is used to pluck unwanted hair completely out of its root. It is similar to other hair removal methods like threading, shaving, and waxing to some extent but there are differences in required time, longevity of results, etc. Tweezing makes hair grow thicker and darker is basically a myth and there is no scientific evidence for it. However, it is important to follow some precautions in order to make the most of the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Tweezing Bad?
Frequent tweezing usually damages hair follicles, which is more good than bad as it makes the new growth finer and sometimes even stops it.
How Long Does Tweezing Last?
The effects of tweezing last for almost 3 to 8 weeks, depending on hair density.
Can Plucking Stop Hair Growth?
If you keep plucking your hair continuously, the follicles will be killed. Hence, there is a chance that the hair may never grow back again.
Does Tweezing Cause Dark Spots?
Tweezing does not cause dark spots when it is done correctly. However, improper use of tweezers, plucking out hair from acne, etc., can lead to hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin.
Should I Pluck Chin Hairs?
If only one or two hairs sprouting from your chin, you can tweeze them quickly. But if the number of hairs is more than this, visit a doctor to find out the root cause of the problem and get treated for it.
- “How to Remove Facial Hair,” Healthline.com
- “Does Tweezing Make Hair Grow Back Thicker? A Pro Weighs in“, HuffingtonPost.in
- “How Tweezing Unwanted Hair Can Affect Your Skin?“, SkinCare.com
- “5 Places You Should Think Twice About Tweezing“, WomensHealthMag.com