Let’s have a little chat about something we don’t often discuss out loud – nose hairs. I know, I know, it’s not the most glamorous body part. But those unsung nasal hairs actually play an important role in keeping germs and debris from entering our respiratory system.
Before going snip happy, it’s worth understanding their health purpose. Here we uncover the truth about plucking out nose hairs, and why you should leave them be.
what are nose hairs for?
Nose hairs have the clinical name cilia, pronounced si·lee·uh. Though seemingly insignificant, these tiny nose hairs are incredibly useful. Cilia move in a wave-like pattern, filtering and capturing dust, bacteria, and viruses before they enter the lungs. They also keep mucus and particles trapped until expelled through blowing our noses.
Nostril hairs, attached to the lining of the nostril, are in close proximity to many nerves. So if you’re wondering – why do our eyes water when we trim nose hairs? Blame the trigeminal nerve. This nerve links sensations in your nose to your lacrimal glands which produce tears. Plucking nose hairs stimulates the nerve, signaling tear production. Annoying but harmless.
However, there are other issues that come with plucking out nose hairs that are not so harmless.
Infection Risks and Treatment After Nose Hair Plucking
Removing nose hairs leaves empty follicles, which can fill with blood and create the perfect breeding ground for infection. Damaging the sensitive nasal skin through plucking allows bacteria, fungi and parasites to enter.
Some potential infections include:
- Bacterial infections like staph – Look for redness, swelling, pain, and pus-filled pimples.
- Fungal growth like candida – Signs are nasal itching, soreness, and congestion.
- Parasitic organisms – Can cause creeping sensations and visible larvae.
One of the most serious risks is amoebic infection, although very rare. Amoebas can destroy nerve tissue and cause fatal brain swelling if left untreated. Always see a doctor for concerning symptoms.
To help prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment after grooming and avoid excessive nose blowing which can scrape the skin. Never insert objects deep into nasal cavities.
With early intervention, most nasal infections are treatable. But avoiding plucking altogether is wise to keep your nose hairs intact for protection. Take care of those helpful little hairs.
Do Nose Hairs Grow Back?
Not to worry, after plucking or trimming, nose hairs do grow back. The hair root remains intact below the skin’s surface. Excessive plucking can damage follicles and inhibit regrowth, so avoid over-tweezing! Let those hairs regenerate naturally post-trim.
VIII. Trimming vs. Plucking: Which is Better?
Gentle trimming with small scissors is always preferable to plucking, which removes hairs entirely. Trimming tames stray hairs without leaving pores exposed. Plucking can increase breathing discomfort since hairs aren’t present to filter airflow. For safety and comfort, trimming wins!
Here’s how to trim safely and effectively:
- Use small, sharp scissors designed for nose hair trimming. Never share scissors.
- Trim just 1-2mm of visible hairs to avoid over-grooming.
- Angle scissors parallel to the nostril wall so that hair falls inward.
- Clear trimmed hairs by blowing nose gently into tissue.
- Limit trimming to once weekly at most to allow regrowth.
Avoid waxing nose hairs too – this removes the entire hair and follicle just like plucking, leaving you prone to infection. Waxing also risks burning sensitive nasal skin.
Plucking Out Nose Hairs – Bottom Line
Moral of the story: those unsightly nose hairs serve a purpose. Respect their role in respiratory health and avoid over-grooming. Trim stray hairs sparingly but let most regenerate naturally. And never dig deep into nostrils. With some education, we can make peace with our nose hair guardians.
What tips and tricks have you learned navigating nose hair care? Share your wisdom in the comments! And subscribe for more content demystifying the body parts we love to hate. Let’s get comfortable confronting our uncomfortable topics.