Should you pluck chin hair? Experts reveal all the body hairs you should and shouldn’t pluck

From chin hairs to nose hairs, we've grilled the experts to reveal the unwanted hair we should never pluck

Illustration of a hand holding tweezers, ready to pluck chin hairs or other body hair
(Image credit: Future/Getty images)

Spotted a rogue chin hair? According to the NHS, nearly 75 percent of women experience increased body hair as they age, especially after menopause. Yet with so many filtered images of baby-like skin on our social media feeds, it's tricky to know what’s ‘normal’ in the body hair department. 

The answer is: there is no normal, and the temptation to take one of the best razors for women to some rogue facial fuzz can happen to anyone, at any time. “Everyone is unique, and the same goes for body hair,” explains Sofia, co-owner at The Naked Hare Group, a Treatwell salon partner. “The amount, texture, rate of growth, and likeliness to get ingrown hairs varies from person to person.” And the decision to embrace it or remove it is yours entirely. 

If you prefer to remove your body hair, chin or otherwise, there are several methods available, including plucking. “I would recommend plucking for small surface areas only,” says Sofia, “like shaping eyebrows or removing stray chin hairs.” For larger areas, Sofia recommends waxing or using one of the best epilators for the area you wish to treat. To find out exactly where you should—and definitely should not—use tweezers, we've quizzed the experts.

The complete chin hair and body hair removal guide

Plucking chin hairs

Many of us grow the occasional chin hair—it's totally normal and rarely a cause for concern. Genetics, age, and hormones can all play a role here. If you want to remove the odd chin hair, plucking is a good option that's perfectly safe if you get it right.

Start by cleansing using one of the best cleansers for your skin type, rinsing it off with warm water to soften the skin. Then, get your best makeup mirror ready because it's time to tweeze. "Sterilise the tweezers by cleaning them with rubbing alcohol," says Yana Gushchina, brow specialist at Brow Bar London. "Then, pulling the skin taut, pluck one hair at a time and always pluck in the direction of hair growth to reduce the risk of the hair becoming ingrown."

“Pluck the hair successfully from the follicle and you shouldn’t have to remove the hair every day,” says Sofia. If you are removing chin hairs every few days, it could be that you’re breaking the hair just above or below the skin’s surface instead of taking it from the root. A decent pair of tweezers, as well as the correct technique, will both help in preventing the hair from breaking. Plucking not your cup of tea? Or perhaps you have more than a few chin hairs to remove. If so, consider an alternative hair removal method:

  • Waxing chin hair: Waxing and sugaring remove larger areas of unwanted hair, quickly. “Often hair gets broken when plucking, instead of being extracted from the root,” says Tanja, owner of Sugaring London. “Sugaring, where hair is taken from the root using a natural gel made from sugar and water, is a great alternative.” 
  • IPL for chin hair: For a long-term solution, several IPL hair removal devices have been designed to remove facial hair, including chin hair. These devices use intense light energy to target the hair follicle and keep it in a dormant phase, to reduce growth. You can expect to see visible results after three or four sessions, usually four to six weeks apart.
  • Laser for chin hair: The most powerful and permanent hair removal treatment, laser hair removal can reduce and even eradicate hair growth in a specific treatment area. You'll need at least six treatments, maybe up to twelve, and expect to pay around  $50/£35 per session for a small area such as chin hair removal.  

Notice excessive chin hair growth? Speak to your doctor as a sudden change in facial hair pattern can indicate a hormonal imbalance caused by a medical condition.

Our beauty team recommends...

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Rubis Gold Pointer Tweezer | RRP: $33/£22.50

Originally crafted for watchmakers in need of precise tools, these tweezers are great for swiftly plucking stray chin hairs. The tapered point is especially handy for teasing out ingrowing hairs without causing damage to the skin.

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Braun Silk-Expert Pro-5 | RRP: $329/£610

Our beauty team's number one best IPL hair removal device (opens in new tab) promises comfortable treatments, powerful results, and can be used on the body, face bikini line, and more. IPL works best on certain skin types and hair colors, so read the instructions carefully. 

Plucking eyebrows

Aside from chin hair, another popular area to pluck is the eyebrows. "At Brow Bar London, we always recommend getting a professional brow stylist to shape your eyebrows or do an eyebrow tint," says Yana. "Tweezing them yourself could mean that you take too much hair away, resulting in thinner brows or a shape that doesn’t frame your face well."

Learning how to shape eyebrows at home is possible with a few tips. "If you are going to tweeze your brows, decide on the shape you want them to be first before you start plucking," recommends Liarna Jessica Yearwood, brow specialist at Brow Brow London. "Lightly pencil in the shape you want your brows to be then only pluck away the hairs that are outside of the drawn template. To prevent over-plucking, allow the hairs to grow out before removing them again, which can take two weeks." 

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Fancii Compact Magnifying Mirror | RRP: $23.99/£15.99

The best investment you can make for accurate and judicious plucking is a powerful magnifying mirror. This one has LED lights and as a compact won't take up any room on your vanity. 

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Benefit Brow Grooming Tweezer & Brush | RRP: $20/£17

A double-duty must-have for maintaining your brows in-between appointments. The diamond-dust coated tip gives a superior grip so you can pluck even the finest of hairs easily. Use the brush to coax unruly brows into place.


Plucking armpit hair

Thinking about removing armpit hair with tweezers? Think again. Aside from being time-consuming, there are so many other effective hair removal methods that are less labor-intensive. Waxing, shaving, or using one of the best electric razors for women are all good options. 

“I would strongly advise against using tweezers to remove armpit hair,” says Sofia, “not only is this area really sensitive but the angle is extremely awkward.” As Sofia confirms, it is much more effective to pluck the hairs out when the skin is pulled taut. “This would be very difficult to do under the arms and would mean prolonged pain from repetitive plucking as well as probable ingrown hairs.”

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Wilkinson Sword Quattro for Women Rose Gold | RRP: $16.80/£10

This glam and durable razor has an unusually flexible head that's perfect for shaving awkward angles like the armpits, and gives a super-smooth shave. 

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Eeska 2-in-1 Electric Razor | RRP: $28.98/£21

Safe for use on face, underarm, leg, and bikini areas—this electric razor swiftly removes unwanted hair for silky-smooth results. Use it on wet or dry skin and take your pick from five different attachments. 

Plucking chest hair

Similar to plucking armpit hair, if you have a large number of chest hairs you’d like to remove, go for a more comfortable method that will eradicate more hairs at once. Using the best depilator is a good option here. "Plucking is not only time-consuming but can easily damage the skin if not done correctly," advises Sofia.

"However, if you just have a couple of stray hairs around your nipple (as many women do), then a simple tweeze may be preferred. Just make sure you are careful."

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Tweezerman Slant Tweezer | RRP: $23/£23

Beloved for their unrivaled precision, Tweezerman tweezers are designed to grab the hair every time. Use the slant side for general tweezing and use the high side of the slant edge for precision work.

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Clean + Easy Cream Gentle Depilatory for Face & Body | RRP: $6.95/£28

Suitable for the face, arms, legs, and chest, this gentle cream removes hair in just ten minutes without any irritation thanks to soothing aloe and cucumber.

Plucking belly button hair

While you would not be likely to find hair sprouting out of a belly button, hair running from the belly button down towards a hairy bikini line is very common and growth can be further stimulated by hormonal changes such as those during pregnancy. 

If you just have a few coarse hairs and aren't too sensitive in the area, by all means carefully pluck them out. This can be a useful quick fix if you spot these hairs while on vacation in a bikini and want to whip them off quickly. If you have a larger area of hair growth and are looking for an ongoing method of removing them then sugaring, IPL or using the best depilator for body hair are better options. Or, visit a salon to have waxing or laser hair removal by a professional.

Our beauty team recommends...

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Tweezerman Micro Mini Tweezer Set | RRP: $30/£29.95

Small but perfectly formed, these tiny tweezers are great for travel. Keep them in their chic carry case and pop them in your make-up bag to remove belly fuzz (or any body hair) on the go.

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Philips Lumea Prestige IPL Hair Removal Device | RRP: $599/£450

If you're on the hunt for a more permanent solution to reduce body hair, this could be the answer. The Lumea can be used on the body, underarms, legs, bikini, and face to zap away hairs using light. There are various strengths to choose from as well as attachments to suit different areas. 

Plucking nose hair

Our nose hairs are extremely important. They act as a filter that prevents dust, pollution, and allergens from entering your lungs. As well as making your eyes water, plucking nose hairs can make you more sensitive to said dust, pollutants, and allergens. It can also lead to infections and ingrown hair.  

Because of this, it is strongly recommended by experts to avoid plucking nasal hairs, and instead, if they're bothering you, opt for a hair trimmer. As with the best bikini trimmers, a good nose trimmer will trim hair without causing any nicks or cuts.

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Philips Touch-Up Pen Trim Body & Face | RRP: $18.99/£17.99

This easy-to-use hair trimmer can be used on any facial area to effectively trim hairs with the choice of two lengths (2mm or 4mm). It's 100% pain-free and doesn't pull or nick the skin. Win-win. 

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No7 Silver Illuminated Makeup Mirror | RRP: $35/£49.99

To help spot nose hairs and remove them safely, without plucking, invest in this. Use one side of this illuminated mirror to see your face normally, or rotate for 5 times magnification. Light too bright? Adjust the dimmer switch to set it exactly how you want it.


Your hair plucking FAQs answered

For pain and fuss-free plucking, follow Sofia’s top tips…

  • DO invest in a good pair of tweezers: It’s an absolute game changer! There's nothing worse for your skin than being picked and prodded at. An efficient pair of tweezers will swiftly and effectively remove the hair in one go. 
  • DO tweeze after a bath or shower: The heat will open the pores and relax the hair making it easier to remove.
  • DO disinfect your tweezers: Use antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol to clean your tweezers.
  • DO pull the skin taut: This will allow you to get a good grip on the hair with your tweezers. It will also reduce the chances of catching and irritating the skin.
  • DO pluck in the direction the hair grows: This will help prevent the hair from breaking and will reduce the likelihood of ingrown hairs.
  • DO NOT use AHAs or BHAs: After plucking the hair as the skin can be sensitive. Do, however, exfoliate before plucking to remove build-up or dirt around the hair follicle. 
  • DO NOT pluck large areas: Prolonged plucking and repetitive plucking can irritate and damage skin. Use tweezers on small areas of skin, like eyebrows and chin. 

Is plucking hair on a mole bad?

Contrary to old wives’ tales, there is no evidence that plucking hair from a mole can cause it to turn into a cancerous mole. But it can cause the mole to become infected and result in inflammation and bleeding—which will draw more attention than a small fine hair.

Why do you get ingrown hairs?

  • Hair is lying parallel to the skin instead of growing upwards: For hair to easily break through the skin, you need to gently exfoliate once to twice a week using one of the best body exfoliators or best facial exfoliator
  • Hair is twisted in a ring: There are several reasons why this can occur: curly hair, hairs growing in different directions, removal against the hair growth. Plucking, waxing, or shaving hair against the natural direction of growth causes the hair to be cut at a sharper angle, making it likely to grow back under the skin and cause ingrown hair.
  • Lack of aftercare post-hair-removal: Ingrown hairs are often the result of sweat and dead skin blocking the follicle, trapping hair beneath the surface, so it grows back in on itself. Be sure to cleanse and exfoliate skin on a regular basis. 
  • Not enough hydration in the skin: Body hair struggles to pop through if the skin is dry. The better moisturized the skin is, the easier it is for the hair to come through. Add one of the best moisturisers for dry skin to your daily regime, pronto. 

What happens when you pluck a hair?

“If carried out correctly, plucking will remove the entire hair from the follicle,” says Sofia. Done correctly, hair will take longer to grow back if you pluck than if you shave. “If you continually remove the hair from the follicle with tweezers (or waxing, or sugaring), you may see a reduction in the amount of hair being produced in that area,” adds Sofia. 

Proceed with caution and be sure to invest in a really good pair of tweezers as unsuccessful attempts to pull hair out can damage the skin.  “If your tweezers are not sharp enough, or you have to go over the same area multiple times, it can result in scraping and gauging the skin,” explains Sofia. “This damage can lead to scabs and possible scarring.”


woman&home thanks Sofia of The Naked Hare Group (opens in new tab), Liarna Jessica Yearwood and Yana Gushchina of Brow Bar London (opens in new tab), and Tanja of Sugaring London (opens in new tab) for their time and expertise. 

Jess Beech is an experienced fashion and beauty editor, with more than eight years experience in the publishing industry. She has written for woman&home, GoodtoKnow, Now, Woman, Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Own and Chat, and is a former Deputy Fashion & Beauty Editor at Future PLC. A beauty obsessive, Jess has tried everything from cryotherapy to chemical peels (minus the Samantha in Sex and The City-worthy redness) and interviewed experts including Jo Malone and Trinny Woodall.