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The Truth About Hair Growth After Tweezing

by Lauren Schumacker

Whether it's on your eyebrow, lip, chin, or unknown territory, you've likely plucked a hair before. You also likely wonder how your hair removal method of choice affects how your hair grows back in. Does tweezing make your hair grow back thinner or will it grow back thicker? Darker? Lighter?

"When you tweeze your hair, it does tend to damage the hair follicle permanently, and it can cause the hair to grow back thinner, the same effect with waxing," Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist, tells Romper. "Every time that hair is torn out of the sheath, there's a little membrane round the hair, and it will damage it and it will grow back thinner." Because your hair will grow back thinner whenever you pluck, if you get a little bit over-excited with the tweezers — or have in the past — you'll likely find it more difficult to grow thick, full eyebrows in the future. Although there may be a few things you can do to encourage growth, you don't have a ton of options, so it's best to prevent over-tweezed brows if you can.

If you're going to tweeze, you have to make sure you do so properly. "When you tweeze the hair, you should grab as close to the base of the hair as possible without pinching the skin and then pull the hair in the direction that the hair grows," Haley says. Many people accidentally pinch and pull the skin, causing it to tear which, in some cases, can encourage the formation of red scars or black dots. Haley says she often sees the tiny black dots on the chins of women in the 30s and 40s, who've seen an increase in hormonally-caused stray hairs on the chin and other parts of the face. "Unfortunately, because that's hormonally-driven, it doesn't get thinner, necessarily, with tweezing," Haley says.

One fix for over-plucked eyebrows, according to Haley, is using a product like Latisse, which encourages eyelash growth. Of course, this should only be done under the supervision of a doctor or medical aesthetician. You might think that products like Rogaine, which address balding, could also help with regrowing eyebrows.This isn't a good solution, however, because Haley says it can drip onto other parts of your face, causing stray hairs to grow wherever it lands, or get into your eyes, which you definitely don't want.

In an interview with The Telegraph, eyebrow expert Shavata Singh said that eyebrow hairs can take anywhere from eight to 13 weeks to fully come in, depending on factors like your age and metabolism. This means you'll have to wait patiently before correcting any issues. If you're looking for fuller, thicker brows, but are worried about thinning or over-tweezing, getting your brows tinted can help your eyes pop.

Above all, when dealing with hair removal, it's best to prevent any potential issues before they arise. Fuller brows, for example, are trendy right now, but thinner brows were en vogue before that — and could be again in the future.