Is it bad to tweeze a beard? [A full Guide]

Using tweezers on your beard and waxing your beard seems like a really easy way to maintain your cheek lines and create a super sharp look. There is no doubt that waxing can cause many issues, but is tweezing your beard any better? Is it bad to tweeze a beard? This article will look at some of the dangers of tweezing your beard and what you definitely shouldn’t do.

It is not necessarily bad to tweeze your beard to maintain the cheek lines and shape of the beard. Ensuring that your tweezers are clean and that you pull out the hair with the growth angle will mean you can tidy up your beard safely.

There are many ways to tidy up your beard. From waxing to laser treatment and electrolysis, there are options to suit everyone. One of the reasons tweezing your beard may appeal to you is that it is easy to do at home with nothing more than an inexpensive set of tweezers.

Why you may want to tweeze your beard

Tweezing your beard means that you are trying to remove hairs for a couple of reasons. You may be trying to control the shape and lines of your beard, or you may be looking for full removal of your moustache for certain areas of your beard.

Control beard lines

Many people decide to pluck out hairs along the edge of their beards to maintain a sharp and crisp look.

Pulling out the hairs along the cheek line, neckline, and other sides of the beard means that you are likely to go longer without shaving those areas. There is no doubt that there is a little bit of pain involved – something you could potentially get used to – and for some people, it is more than worth it.

I like to shape up the lines of my beard using a single blade safety razor which enables me to maintain a sharp-looking beard without the pain of plucking.

Full removal

Besides controlling the lines of the beard, some people use tweezing to remove all or parts of their beard. There is no doubt that this is a very painful way to keep stubble and beards under control. If you want to know how to remove a beard permanently using natural and less painful approaches, you should check out my other article – how to remove a beard permanently and naturally.

how to remove a beard permanently naturally

Dangers of tweezing beard

There are many dangers of tweezing a beard. Just like waxing, you may experience undesirable side effects such as:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Bleeding
  • Rashes
  • Ingrown hairs
  • and more

Pain and irritation

Pain and irritation is the number one issue with waxing your beard.

Pulling out hairs from the root can certainly cause a fair amount of redness and short-term pain.

Making sure that you use the right technique can significantly decrease the amount of redness, irritation, and reactions.

Reducing pain and irritation involves using the right tools, holding the skin taut, and applying the appropriate after-care.

When you use wax, there is no guarantee that you will rip the hair out from the root. Tweezing, however, means that you can be incredibly accurate with the hair removal, but it comes at the cost of being much slower.

Ingrown hairs

Beard hair is particularly thick, and it can result in the formation of ingrown hairs. Because beard hairs are particularly curly, they can easily grow sideways under the skin. If the hair is not properly or thoroughly removed during the tweezing, it can increase the likelihood of ingrown hairs.

To prevent ingrown hairs, you should try to remove all of the beard hair from the root. Grabbing as close to the root as possible and pulling in the direction of the hair growth is the best way to ensure that the hair doesn’t snap off.

Folliculitis

If you do not tweeze your beard properly, you can damage blood vessels surrounding the hair bulb and the follicle.

If you break the blood vessels, it can lead to folliculitis, where the follicles become inflamed and infected.

Folliculitis looks like small little bumps and pimples on the skin, which are incredibly itchy and painful. Mild folliculitis will usually clear up on its own in a few days, but it can still be very uncomfortable for the inflicted. More severe infections can cause permanent scarring and beard loss, so reach out to your dermatologist as soon as possible if you think it will get worse or it hasn’t cleared up.

Where you shouldn’t tweeze your beard

There are several places that you definitely shouldn’t tweeze your beard. Places to avoid include moles, near the nostrils, ingrown hairs and places with existing damage and irritation.

On moles

You should avoid tweezing your beard on moles. Often, moles are hairy, but tweezing them can lead to inflammation and infection due to the skin elasticity around the hair follicle of a mole.

Near the nostrils

Tweezing near nostrils is a very risky business. You should never tweeze nose hair as the nose hair is there to prevent infection and bacteria from entering your body. Also the middle of your face is called the danger triangle and you should avoid damaging it in any sense.

This issue is explained below in the business insider video.

Ingrown hairs

If you have an area that has ingrown hairs, you should avoid plucking out hairs nearby. When hairs are plucked, they can release hormones and stress signals to the surrounding hairs. If there is inflammation already in the area, it is important to avoid further damaging and irritating the skin.

Do not be tempted to use the needlepoint accuracy of tweezers to remove ingrown hairs by digging at the skin. This approach is a recipe for disaster as you can easily introduce bacteria under the skin, causing serious inflammation.

How to tweeze your beard safely

Removing your beard hairs safely along the cheek line and the neckline is completely achievable as long as you follow some very simple rules.

Pull out hairs close to the root

Use the tweezers to grab the beard hair as close to the root as possible.

Grabbing the hair close to the root will ensure that the hair does not snap off during pulling and protects the root’s skin from excess pulling and strain.

Use clean tweezers

Make sure that you use clean tweezers when you are pulling out your beard hairs. Using isopropyl alcohol or another disinfectant spray will minimise the chance of you spreading infections to hair follicles and the skin underneath the beard.

Pull at the angle of growth

Pulling at the angle of growth will minimise any damage you caused to the root.

Beard hairs very rarely grow directly perpendicular to the skin. Often the beard hairs grow at an angle which can cause extra curliness in the beard hair.

Pulling the beard hair out at the growth angle means not damaging the skin closely, hugging the hair as it emerges.

Ensuring that you do not damage the hair follicle and the surrounding skin is important if you want the hair to grow back and not cause scarring or other visible marks.

Other options

There are other options for removing hair besides tweezing your beard, which we will talk about below.

Hair removal crème

Facial hair removal cream is similar to shaving in that it can remove hair from the surface of the skin, but it will struggle to remove hair roots in the hair follicle. There is a range of beard hair removal creams, and here are some of the best:

  • formula 103 extra strength facial hair removal cream – this cream was designed especially with African-American facial hair in mind. Formula 103 softens and dissolves the hair without affecting the route. It can also act as a moisturiser to reduce the amount of irritation that is caused by shaving. Formula 103 ingredients include sodium hydroxide and a range of herbal extracts.
  • Soft sheen magic shave – this is another product that has been designed specifically with African-American men in mind. The product line includes mild, regular and smooth versions of this magic shave cream. You should trial each of the creams if you want to find the best one for you.
  • Hair no more – hair no more is a growth inhibitor that can be used for men’s facial hair including beards. The hair finishing cream includes vitamin A and E, green tea extracts, antioxidants, and aloe vera. This cream also dissolves the root which means that it is the equivalent to waxing. And better than shaving.

 

Electrolysis

electrolysis is a method of removing hairs from the face or body which destroys the growth centre of the hair with chemical or heat energy. After a fine metallic probe is inserted into the hair follicle, the hair is removed easily with tweezers.

One of the benefits of this method is that most body areas can be treated, including the face. Depending on the veracity of your hair growth, you may need to return for several electrolysis appointments.

Typically you are looking at between eight and 12 electrolysis sessions to remove your hair permanently.

The issue with electrolysis is that it can hurt. You may apply a little bit of a topical anaesthetic to help manage the pain, but it is no more painful than waxing or laser treatment.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment has become a popular way to remove hair. Laser hair removal is one of the most commonly undergone cosmetic procedures in the US. It works by shooting highly concentrated lights onto hair follicles. The dark hair follicles readily absorb the light energy, which destroys the hair from the inside out.

Before the procedure, your hair will be trimmed to a few millimetres above the skin’s surface. In some cosmetic surgery clinics, numbing medicine is applied about 30 minutes before the procedure to help with the sting of the laser pulses.

The laser equipment can be adjusted according to the colour, thickness, and density of your hair and the contrast difference between your skin and the hair.

The best results are if you have thick dark hair and light skin.

After being treated, the area lasered will look and feel like it is a little bit sunburnt. You will need to stay out of the sun for about six weeks and use a lot of sunscreens. Over the next month, you will notice that the hairs are dying and are falling out, and you will continue the treatment until your hair does not grow back anymore.

Shaving

Like I mentioned above, one of my favourite techniques is to use a single blade safety razor to remove the beard hairs on my cheek line. Here is my YouTube video where I talk about where I shave while growing my beard and my tools.

Waxing

If you want to know more about what it is like to wax your beard and if you can wax stubble, check out my other article – click here – where I go through everything you need to know about waxing stubble and your beard.

Although waxing is painful on sensitive areas of the body such as the face – it may be a suitable alternative for people without sensitive skin who want a longer-lasting effect from their grooming efforts.

The temperature of the wax is also very important for making sure that the wax adheres comfortably to the hairs whilst also not being so hot as to burn or irritate the skin.

If waxing off your beard results in breakages of the hair rather than the hair being removed from the root, it can cause a significant amount of ingrown hairs, which can sometimes lead to small pus-filled pimples on the surface of the skin. The risk of pus-filled pimples on the surface of the skin increases if the cleanliness of the equipment you are using is substandard.

Summary

In this article, we have been through everything you need to know about whether or not it is bad to tweeze your beard and its risks.

If you want to pluck out the hairs along your cheek line or other parts of your beard, it can be done safely as long as you follow the top safety tips presented in this article.

There are also many other ways of ensuring that your beard stays sharp and in shape, including shaving, waxing, electrolysis, and more. Each technique has a downside, but many of them offer a much longer and less painful way of removing facial hair along the lines of your beard.

The Author


Andy Stapleton

Andy is a writer and YouTuber with a PhD in science. He has written and/or produced videos for Science Alert, COSMOS magazine, and Australia's Science Channel among others. He is an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, he started this blog to share the tips, tricks, and science that he has learned along the way!