The Disadvantages of Plucking

By Jennifer Hench

Maintaining arched and defined eyebrows involves making sure that stray hairs are out of the way. Wax, shave, bleach or pluck eyebrows to create the arch and shape of eyebrow most suitable to your face. Plucking is one option that allows for precise definition of the eyebrow, though the technique also carries with it some disadvantages which need to be taken into consideration.

Plucking eyebrows takes time, but results in a well-defined brow.

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In sharp contrast to waxing, which removes large quantities of hair in one passing, plucking can be a time-consuming endeavor. Plucking becomes increasingly lengthy when eyebrows are left to grow out and the shaping portion of plucking needs to be redone. One way to combat this time constraint is to use wax for the center and larger sections of the eyebrow and then pluck the defining areas and hairs of the eyebrow, such as those along the arch.


Plucking eyebrows is accomplished by using a slant edge, flat edge or fine point pair of tweezers. The type of tweezers used depends on the type of hair being plucked. Thicker hairs can be grabbed using a flat or slant edge pair of tweezers. Fine hairs require a fine point set of tweezers. All tweezers need to be routinely sharpened and cleaned to ensure a precise edge, thus allowing for hair to be tightly grabbed on to prior to pulling out. Because of this, you will need to repair and replace tweezers when edges become dull or the tweezers no longer close tightly.


Using wax and a guide strip allows for a more precise and even plucking of eyebrows. When you pluck eyebrows with a set of tweezers, you will be relying on your own eye's ability to gauge which hairs need to be removed to make both eyebrows the same shape and size. This can cause a a problem if you're dominant in one hand, and thus have difficulties plucking eyebrows when using the other hand. Though a magnifying mirror and white eyeliner used to draw guidelines can help combat some of the problems, you will end up with slightly different eyebrows when only plucking.

Pain and Puncture Marks

One problem that occurs when plucking eyebrows is the tendency to grab on to the skin directly under the hair. When this happens, you will have a bump or abrasion left behind at the hair follicle root. When this happens, you may have red marks around the areas where hair was plucked. Though you can apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and relieve some redness, plucking will cause the eyebrows to swell slightly and have a red tinged hue where hair was removed.