plucking and tweezing moustache hair
Hair Removal

Can You Pluck Moustache Hair?

Plucking moustache hair is not recommended according to expert dermatologists such as Beth Lertzman from Rochester Regional Health. Unwanted facial hair is a common concern for many individuals, particularly women. It's a topic that can sometimes be shrouded in embarrassment, but it's essential to understand that you're not alone in this experience.

In this article, we'll delve into the world of upper lip or moustache hair removal, exploring the various methods and discussing the science behind plucking using tweezers, the potential side effects, and alternatives to help you make informed decisions about your skin.

Many people opt for shaving or other hair removal methods, and plucking moustache hair is a topic that often surfaces. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of plucking moustache hair to uncover the facts, potential side effects, and alternatives for achieving that perfectly groomed upper lip.

Understanding the Various Phases of Moustache Hair Growth

To understand the details of facial hair removal, it is useful to understand the science behind it. Human hair goes through distinct growth cycles:

  1. Growth (Anagen Phase) - This is the active growth phase of moustache hair, characterised by rapid and quick growth
  2. Transitioning (Catagen Phase) - In this transitional phase, the hair follicle starts to shrink.
  3. Resting (Telegon Phase) - The resting phase during which the hair follicle is inactive.
  4. Shedding (Exegon Phase) - Hair shedding occurs during this phase, leading to the replacement of old hair with new growth.

Plucking Moustache Hair with Tweezers

Tweezing is a very common method used for moustache hair removal. This is where tweezers are used to pluck individual hairs from the root. As before, understanding the science behind tweezing helps clarify how it affects moustache hair.

When you pluck or tweeze a hair anywhere on the body, it's normally during the growing phase. Plucking during this phase ensures that the hair is removed from the root. This process can stimulate the the outer layer of your skin, leading to temporary inflammation. Many people will notice the redness and swelling after tweezing.

Side Effects of Plucking Moustache Hair

There are a few side effects that may happen if plucking moustache hair:

  • Hyperpigmentation: Dealing with Skin Darkening
    One potential side effect of plucking moustache hair is hyperpigmentation, which is characterized by the darkening of the skin in the treated area. This can be particularly concerning for individuals looking to maintain an even skin tone.
  • Folliculitis: Inflammation and Hair Follicle Troubles
    Folliculitis, a condition that involves inflammation and potential infection of hair follicles, can result from repeated plucking. It may manifest as red, itchy, and inflamed bumps, leading to discomfort.
  • Potential Scarring: An Unwanted Outcome
    Continued and aggressive plucking of moustache hair can result in scarring. Scars can affect the texture and appearance of the skin, making it an undesirable outcome for many.

How to help your skin after plucking?

It's important to recognise the signs of over-plucking to prevent further complications. If redness, swelling, or discomfort persists, it's advisable to discontinue plucking and allow the skin to heal naturally.

  • After ceasing plucking, giving your skin time to recover is crucial. The body's natural healing mechanisms will work to reduce inflammation and restore the skin's normal condition.
  • Applying a hydrating moisturiser to the treated area can help soothe the skin and aid in the healing process. It also prevents excessive dryness and irritation.

Dr. Lertzman's Advice: Alternatives to Plucking Moustache Hair

  • Cutting or Shaving: An At-Home Basic
    A common and at-home method for moustache hair maintenance is cutting or shaving. This approach provides a quick solution, but there are misconceptions about the effects of shaving on hair growth.
  • Waxing or Epilating: A Tweeze-Like Technique
    Waxing or epilating are methods similar to tweezing, involving the removal of hair from the root. These techniques can provide longer-lasting results compared to shaving.
  • Prescription Strength Creams: Slowing Hair Growth
    Prescription strength creams, such as Vaniqa, can be used to slow down hair growth in the moustache area. However, it's important to follow usage guidelines and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Laser Hair Removal: A Long-Term Solution
    Laser hair removal is a long-term solution that permanently reduces hair on the upper lip. While it may involve some temporary side effects, it is generally considered safe and effective.
  • Electrolysis: A Safe Alternative to Laser
    Electrolysis is a hair removal method that involves using a thin wire and electric current to damage the hair follicle. Multiple sessions may be required, but it's a safe and effective alternative to laser hair removal.

Other Alternatives to Plucking Moustache Hair

Mini hair removers - These are also known as facial hair removers. These are small battery operated devices made by companies such as Braun. Thy cut hair close to skin level, leaving your face smooth, consistent and free of peach fuzz. They are designed to remove facial hair on areas like the upper lips, chin and cheeks with ease. They can be used on areas such as the face, cheeks, chin, and lips.

Hair Removal creams - There are lots of off the shelf hair removal cream options available which you can buy at your local chemist. It is worth pointing out that you should follow the instructions carefully, and we recommend always testing any product on a small area, before fully applying the cream. These are made by companies such as Nair, Veet and Avon.

Wax Strips - Many ladies opt for using wax strips. These work really well for many ladies though they can cause some discomfort when using.

Threading Tools - These have become more popular in the UK. There are inexpensive threading tools which some people prefer and then more expensive electronic options that are part of the epilator range.

Skin Conditions and Plucking Moustache Hair

  • The Impact on Skin with Moles and Acne
    Plucking moustache hair in areas with moles or acne can exacerbate skin issues. Inflammation from plucking can lead to the flare-up of moles and acne.
  • Making an Informed Decision
    It's crucial to make informed decisions when it comes to moustache hair removal. Dr. Lertzman recommends exploring in-office alternatives that are safe and highly effective. Choosing the best method of hair removal depends on individual preferences, skin type, and long-term goals.

Plucking Moustache Hair FAQ

By addressing these frequently asked questions, we aim to provide comprehensive insights into the world of moustache hair removal, guiding individuals towards informed choices for their unique needs and preferences.

Is tweezing a recommended method for moustache hair removal?

  • Pain and Discomfort: Tweezing can be painful, especially in sensitive areas like the upper lip. Some people find it uncomfortable, while others have a higher pain tolerance.
  • Time-Consuming: Tweezing individual hairs is a time-consuming process, making it less practical for larger areas.
  • Potential Side Effects: Tweezing can lead to side effects like redness, swelling, ingrown hairs, and, in rare cases, scarring.
  • Risk of Over-Plucking: Over-tweezing can lead to hair becoming thinner or not growing back at all. It's essential to use tweezers carefully to avoid this.

When Tweezing Is Recommended:

  • Precision Shaping: Tweezing is excellent for shaping your moustache or maintaining a well-defined edge.
  • Fine Hair: If you have fine or light-colored moustache hair, tweezing can be a suitable option.
  • Small Areas: Tweezing is practical for dealing with a few stray hairs or small areas where precision is required.

When Tweezing Is Not Recommended:

  • Pain Sensitivity: If you have a low pain tolerance, tweezing the upper lip area may not be the most comfortable choice.
  • Large Areas: Tweezing is not practical for removing hair over a large area, as it's time-consuming.
  • Thick or Coarse Hair: Tweezing can be less effective on thick or coarse moustache hair, as it may not completely remove the hair from the root.
  • In conclusion, tweezing can be a recommended method for moustache hair removal, particularly when precision and longer-lasting results are essential. However, it's important to consider the potential discomfort and side effects, as well as your specific hair type and desired results. If you're unsure, consulting with a dermatologist or esthetician can provide personalized recommendations for your moustache grooming needs.

What are the potential side effects of over-tweezing?

Over-tweezing your moustache can have several potential side effects, some of which can be uncomfortable or undesirable. It's essential to be aware of these side effects to ensure you don't overdo tweezing and take steps to minimize any adverse outcomes. Here are some potential side effects of over-tweezing a moustache:

  • Redness and Swelling: Over-tweezing can lead to increased inflammation, causing the skin around the upper lip to become red and swollen. This is a common immediate side effect and usually subsides within a few hours to a day.
  • Ingrown hairs - Repeated tweezing can result in ingrown hairs, which can lead to discomfort, red bumps, and potentially even infections if not treated properly.
  • Hyperpigmentation - Over time, excessive plucking/tweezing may lead to hyperpigmentation, a condition where the skin in the treated area becomes darker than the surrounding skin. This can be particularly concerning for individuals aiming to maintain an even skin tone.
  • Folliculitis - this is the inflammation and potential infection of hair follicles. Folliculitis can result in red, itchy, and inflamed bumps around the tweezed area, leading to discomfort and aesthetic concerns.
  • Scarring - Aggressive and prolonged over-tweezing can potentially lead to scarring. Scars can affect the texture and appearance of the skin, making it an undesirable outcome for many.
  • Increased Sensitivity - Over-tweezing can make the skin around the upper lip more sensitive. This heightened sensitivity can cause discomfort during the tweezing process and may lead to redness or irritation.

Overall, it's crucial to strike a balance between achieving the desired moustache grooming results and safeguarding your skin from the potential side effects of over-tweezing.

Can tweezing cause scarring?

Yes, tweezing hair on the upper lip can potentially cause scarring, although it is relatively uncommon. Scarring may occur as a result of repeated and aggressive tweezing, especially if it is not done correctly. Here are some factors to consider regarding scarring from tweezing on the upper lip:

  • Skin Sensitivity: The skin on the upper lip is sensitive, and frequent tweezing can irritate and damage it. Over time, this repeated trauma can lead to scarring.
  • Improper Technique: Tweezing should be done with clean, sterilized tweezers, and the hair should be pulled out gently and in the direction of hair growth. Using dirty or dull tweezers or plucking aggressively can increase the risk of scarring.
  • Ingrown Hairs: Ingrown hairs can result from tweezing, and if not properly treated, they can become infected and lead to scarring.
  • Prolonged Redness and Swelling: If you experience prolonged redness, swelling, or inflammation after tweezing and continue to tweeze in the affected area, it can increase the likelihood of scarring.

To minimize the risk of scarring while tweezing the upper lip, consider the following tips:

  • Ensure your tweezers are clean and in good condition.
  • Pull the hair in the direction of growth to reduce the likelihood of hair breakage.
  • Avoid over-tweezing the same area repeatedly. Allow time for the skin to heal between tweezing sessions.
  • Apply a soothing, hydrating moisturizer to the treated area after tweezing to promote healing and reduce the risk of scarring.
  • If you notice signs of infection, such as persistent redness, pain, or pus, seek medical attention promptly to prevent complications.

It's important to remember that scarring is not a guaranteed outcome of tweezing on the upper lip. With proper technique, moderation, and good skincare practices, you can minimize the risk of scarring and maintain well-groomed facial hair without significant adverse effects.

Should I avoid tweezing if I have moles or acne?

If you have moles or acne on your upper lip area, it's generally advisable to exercise caution when tweezing and, in some cases, consider alternative hair removal methods. Here are some considerations for both moles and acne.

Tweezing Around Moles:

  • Avoid Tweezing Over Moles: It's typically best to avoid tweezing directly over moles or attempting to remove hair from moles. Tweezing over moles can lead to irritation, potential bleeding, and discomfort.
  • Risk of Injury: Moles can be elevated or have irregular surfaces, and tweezing over them can risk injuring the mole itself. In some cases, this may necessitate medical attention.
  • Monitor Moles: If you have moles in the upper lip area, it's important to regularly monitor them for any changes in size, shape, color, or any signs of irritation. If you notice any unusual changes, consult a dermatologist or your doctor promptly.

Tweezing with Acne

  • Caution with Inflamed Acne: If you have active and inflamed acne lesions on your upper lip, it's advisable to avoid tweezing in the affected area. Tweezing can exacerbate inflammation, increase pain, and potentially lead to infection.
  • Risk of Spreading Bacteria: Tweezers can introduce bacteria to open acne lesions, which may lead to further breakouts and skin issues.

Alternative Hair Removal Options

  • Shaving: Shaving can be a safe and gentle alternative for removing hair around moles and acne-prone areas. It doesn't involve pulling hair from the root and is less likely to irritate moles or inflamed acne.
  • Waxing or Epilating: These methods can provide longer-lasting results compared to shaving but should still be used with caution around moles and inflamed acne.
  • Laser Hair Removal: If you are looking for a long-term hair removal solution and have concerns about moles or acne, laser hair removal, performed by a licensed professional, can be a safe option.
  • Consult a Professional: If you have specific concerns about hair removal in areas with moles or active acne, it's advisable to consult with a dermatologist or a licensed esthetician who can provide personalized guidance and perform hair removal in a safe and controlled environment.

In summary, when dealing with moles or acne on your upper lip, it's generally best to approach tweezing with caution. Avoid tweezing directly over moles and be mindful of inflamed acne lesions. Consider alternative hair removal methods and, if in doubt, seek professional advice to ensure your safety and the health of your skin.

Are there long-term solutions for moustache hair removal?

Yes, there are several long-term solutions for moustache hair removal, each with its advantages and considerations. These methods offer more extended periods of hair-free skin compared to traditional methods like shaving or tweezing. Here are some long-term solutions for moustache hair removal:

  • Laser Hair Removal: Electrolysis involves inserting a fine probe into the hair follicle and using an electric current to destroy the follicle's ability to grow hair. Laser hair removal provides long-lasting results, with hair regrowth often significantly reduced or eliminated after several sessions. PROS: Effective, suitable for large areas, and relatively long-lasting. CONS: Multiple sessions are required, and it can be relatively expensive.
  • Electrolysis: Laser hair removal uses concentrated light to target the pigment in hair follicles, damaging them and inhibiting future growth. Electrolysis offers permanent hair removal, making it one of the most effective long-term solutions. PROS: Permanent results, suitable for small areas, and effective for all hair types and colours. CONS: Requires multiple sessions, and it can be time-consuming.
  • Prescription Strength Creams: Prescription creams, such as Vaniqa, slow down hair growth by inhibiting an enzyme necessary for hair growth. These creams can help reduce hair growth over time, providing a longer-term solution without permanent hair removal. PROS: Non-invasive, painless, and widely accessible. CONS: Requires continuous use and may not provide permanent results.
  • Waxing or Epilating: These methods involve removing hair from the root, leading to slower regrowth compared to shaving. Regular waxing or epilating can provide longer-lasting results, as hair regrowth is finer and less noticeable. PROS: Effective, available for home use, and provides results that last longer than shaving. CONS: Requires maintenance and can be uncomfortable.
  • Shaving (for some individuals): Shaving doesn't remove hair from the root, but for some individuals, it may appear that the hair grows back slower or finer over time. While not a permanent solution, some people find that regular shaving leads to hair regrowth that is less coarse or noticeable. PROS: Convenient and painless. CONS: Not a true long-term solution, and results vary among individuals.

When considering long-term solutions for moustache hair removal, it's essential to choose the method that aligns with your preferences, skin type, and budget. Consulting with a dermatologist or licensed esthetician can help you determine the most suitable option for your unique needs.

How does laser hair removal compare to tweezing?

Laser hair removal and tweezing are two different methods of removing upper lip hair, and they have distinct differences in terms of how they work, results, and the experience they offer. Here's a comparison of laser hair removal and tweezing for upper lip hair:

Laser Hair Removal:

  • How it Works: Laser hair removal uses concentrated light (laser) to target the pigment in hair follicles. The heat generated by the laser damages the follicles, inhibiting future hair growth.
  • Effectiveness: Laser hair removal is highly effective and can lead to long-term or even permanent hair reduction. It works best on individuals with dark hair and light skin as the contrast makes it easier for the laser to target the hair.
  • Long-Term Results: Laser hair removal can provide long-lasting results. Most individuals experience a significant reduction in hair regrowth after a series of sessions. Maintenance sessions may be required to ensure continued smoothness.
  • Treatment Experience: The procedure can cause some discomfort, often described as a snapping or stinging sensation. However, the discomfort is generally well-tolerated by most individuals. Multiple sessions are required for optimal results.
  • Safety: Laser hair removal is considered safe when performed by a trained and certified professional.


  • How it Works: Tweezing involves manually plucking individual hairs from the root using tweezers. It is a mechanical method of hair removal.
  • Effectiveness: Tweezing is effective for precise hair removal and shaping, making it suitable for small areas like the upper lip.
  • Long-Term Results: Tweezing provides temporary results, as hair will eventually regrow. However, the regrowth may be finer and less noticeable compared to shaving.
  • Treatment Experience: Tweezing can be uncomfortable and painful, especially in the sensitive upper lip area. It may cause redness and swelling, which typically subsides within a day.
  • Safety: Tweezing is generally safe when performed correctly. It's essential to use clean and sterilized tweezers to prevent infection.


  • Effectiveness: Laser hair removal is more effective for long-term hair reduction. While tweezing provides immediate results, it's temporary and may not lead to significant long-term hair reduction.

    Comfort: Laser hair removal can cause some discomfort during the procedure, but it is generally less painful than tweezing, which can be quite painful in sensitive areas like the upper lip.

    Long-Term Results: Laser hair removal offers the potential for long-term results, while tweezing provides only short-term results.

    Speed: Tweezing is a slower process, as it involves removing hairs one at a time. Laser hair removal is faster for larger areas.

In summary, laser hair removal and tweezing serve different purposes and have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Laser hair removal is an excellent choice for those seeking long-term hair reduction, while tweezing is ideal for precision shaping and immediate hair removal. The choice between the two methods depends on your goals, tolerance for discomfort, and desired outcomes.

Is electrolysis a safe alternative to laser hair removal?

Electrolysis is a safe and effective alternative to laser hair removal for the removal of hair on the upper lip. Both methods have their advantages and considerations, and the choice between them often depends on individual preferences, hair type, and specific needs. Here's an overview of electrolysis as a safe alternative to laser hair removal for upper lip hair

How Electrolysis Works:

Electrolysis is a method of hair removal that uses an electric current to destroy the hair follicle's ability to grow hair. A fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle, and an electric current is applied, effectively preventing future hair growth.

  • Safety and Effectiveness: Electrolysis is considered a safe and effective method for hair removal. It is suitable for all hair types and colors, making it an excellent choice for individuals with light or fine upper lip hair, which may not respond well to laser treatments.
  • Long-Term Results: Electrolysis is a permanent hair removal method. After a series of sessions, most individuals experience a significant reduction in hair growth, with the potential for complete hair elimination. It is highly effective for achieving long-term results.
  • Precision: Electrolysis allows for precise targeting of individual hairs, making it ideal for shaping and maintaining a well-defined upper lip appearance.
  • Treatment Experience: The treatment can be somewhat uncomfortable, as it involves the sensation of a tiny electrical current, similar to a pinprick. However, many individuals find the discomfort tolerable, especially considering the long-term results.
  • Safety Considerations: To ensure safety during electrolysis, it's essential to seek the services of a licensed and experienced electrologist who follows strict hygiene and safety protocols. Proper sterilization of equipment and a clean environment are crucial to prevent infection or complications.
  • Cost and Time Commitment: Electrolysis typically requires multiple sessions to achieve permanent results. The number of sessions needed can vary depending on factors like hair thickness and density. While it may require more sessions than laser hair removal, the long-term results make it a cost-effective option in the long run.

In summary, electrolysis is a safe and reliable alternative to laser hair removal for upper lip hair. It offers permanent results and is suitable for all hair types and colors. The choice between electrolysis and laser hair removal depends on individual preferences, pain tolerance, and the desire for permanent hair reduction. Consulting with a licensed electrologist can provide personalized guidance and help you make an informed decision regarding upper lip hair removal.

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