Tweezers are perhaps the oldest, most popular, and most reliable grooming device still used today.
We all know the important role tweezers play when managing eyebrows, ear hair, and other areas (some you may not be as familiar with, such as plucking hair under your arms). However, our relationship with tweezers has typically been based on how well it performed the last time we enlisted its help. A sort of “what have you done for me lately?” relationship.
Today we are going to reverse that “one way street” mentality and take on what is rarely if ever addressed: best practices for using, maintaining, and caring for tweezers.
Think of it this way: It’s kind of like using a chef’s knife. If it’s not sharpened or maintained the performance diminishes greatly over a relatively short period of time depending on how often you use them.
Occasionally we receive feedback from professionals (barber shops, spas, salons, etc.) who use our tweezers all day long, seven days a week that their tweezers no longer easily grab hairs or that they cut hairs in half as opposed to plucking them from the root. Each time we look into these situations and, outside of blunt trauma like the tweezers getting stepped on, we arrive at the same conclusion: improper use of the tweezers and, more specifically, improper cleaning during and after use. Like we always say, cleanliness is next to godliness when it comes to women – the same goes for tweezers.
Here are the basics of how-to use tweezers and tweezers maintenance:
- Prior to using tweezers clean the pads and arms using a cloth or cotton ball and some rubbing alcohol. This will not only ensure easier plucking using less pressure but by cleaning the arms/handles you will have a better grip for greater control.
- Pull hair from the lowest point of the hair closest to the root. This is also the strongest part of your hair follicle and will create the least amount of sting. Some people apply ice, hot compresses or cold compresses to the area before plucking to ease the sting, however we don’t recommend it. Keep it simple.
- While plucking, simply wipe the pads clean of hair and debris on a tissue or cloth between each pluck. This extra step actually shortens the amount of plucking time. Again, better performance= less sting, better results, and efficiency.
- Finally, when finished repeat step #1 and store in a dry place or in a dust-free leather sheath.
You see each time you pluck a hair with your tweezers, you should also remove that hair to create a clean surface on the pads for the next round of plucking. When a tip is “clogged” with hairs and hair residue (dirt, oil, etc.), you need to apply more pressure on the tip. When this happens that build up will cause an uneven balance of pressure on the tweezers tips or pads and the tips will cut the hair instead of plucking it from the root. The longer you neglect cleaning your tweezers, the harder you will need to squeeze the forceps together. The harder you squeeze the forceps over a length of time will lead to misalignment of the pads and cause permanent damage.
So, there you have it. Everything you never wanted to know (but needed to know) about tweezers best practices. The whole truth and nothing PLUCK the truth.