Tweezing is a seemingly safe method to groom your eyebrows, and the results last longer than shaving. Before you get too tweezer-friendly, however, understand the potential drawbacks of this at-home beauty routine. At some point, you may wish to seek a professional for a brow-shaping consultation.
Over-tweezing the eyebrows can result in brows that are thin, sparse and unattractive. According to Kids Health, the results of plucking can last anywhere from three to eight weeks, depending on your individual hair growth rate. This means that if you make a mistake, you have to put up with it for at least several weeks. Before you despair, count on cosmetic solutions while your hair grows back. A brow pencil or powder that matches the hair color can mimic the look of the missing hairs. Just make sure you use light strokes for a natural look.
Ingrown hairs are a common side effect of plucking your eyebrows. They occur when the brow hairs break off underneath your skin during tweezing. In such cases, the skin grows over the pore and traps the hair, and the result is a red bump. A pimple may also form if bacteria is trapped with the hair. Ingrown hairs aren’t always preventable, but you can reduce the risk by getting as close to the root of the hair as you can and tweezing in the same direction as the growth.
Tweezing hair leaves your pores open to potentially harmful elements. Using unsanitary tweezers can transfer bacteria to the skin, leading to infection. Kids Health recommends cleaning your tweezers with rubbing alcohol before plucking, as well as when you’re done with the process. This will reduce the chance of bacterial infection. If an area of the brows does become infected, see a doctor for treatment – never squeeze or pick at the skin.
Over-tweezing your eyebrows can also lead to more long-term consequences. “Health” magazine says plucking too much can damage the follicles underneath the hairs. Follicles are responsible for generating hair growth, so permanent damage means the brow hair may not grow back. Unless you are set on a particular brow style for the rest of your life, this type of damage can be quite dangerous. Avoid over-plucking by tweezing along your natural brow line and waiting for new hairs to generate before starting.
Kristeen Cherney began writing healthy lifestyle and education articles in 2008. Since then, her work has appeared in various online publications, including Healthline.com, Ideallhealth.com and FindCollegeInfo.com. Cherney holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in English.