How Do I Get Rid of My Nose Hair?

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photo: Getty Images

A nosy situation

Dear Beauty Editor,

My nose hairs stick out beyond my nostrils. What’s the best way to get rid of them?

Anon, please!

In the annals of beauty and grooming research, there’s not much written on nose-hair removal. But when I started asking around, it was clear there should be! Celebrity groomer Melissa DeZarate, who has polished the faces and clipped the hair (and wayward hairs) of celebrities like Billy Porter and Jeremy Allen White, says figuring out how to deal with her clients’ nose hair has been a “wild ride.” After trying a bunch of techniques, she says the best option is a nose-hair trimmer — which I know seems like a highly specific grooming tool to own. However, board-certified dermatologist Ryan Turner, MD, co-founder of TRNR Skin, and Garrett Munce, author of Self-Care for Men, agree it’s the safest, most effective option. I’ll share some of the best nose-hair trimmers below. But first, a word of caution: Don’t remove your nose hair completely.

Should I shave or tweeze nostril hairs?

There are many reasons not to pluck, wax, or shave inside your nose. The little strands there are your “first point of defense” to filter dust and allergens, says Turner. Removing them completely can make conditions like allergies and asthma worse. And pulling the hair out from the root, as you would if you plucked or waxed, can lead to folliculitis, an inflammation of the hair follicle (Turner says it’s “so painful” inside your nose).

The final reason not to remove your nose hair completely? Brain infection. I’m not kidding! Nostrils are a natural reservoir for staph bacteria. If you accidentally nick the skin, you could end up with chronic irritation caused by the bacteria or a more serious infection that could lead to “cellulitis or the formation of an abscess” inside the nose, says Turner. “The latter two are very serious in that location as infection can track to the brain.”

I know an infection sounds dramatic and impossibly rare, but it happened to me. I was shaping my brows with an eyebrow razor when I noticed a few hairs sticking out of my right nostril. So, I put the little razor in my nose and spun it slowly for a 360-degree shave. It worked, but a few weeks later I noticed some red bumps on the edge of my nostril. So I did what you would probably do: I ignored them. Months after that, I was chatting with a dermatologist, and she noticed the rash and told me to get it checked out. Turns out I had a MRSA infection! (I can’t prove the eyebrow razor was the cause, but Turner says it’s possible.) It took months of medication to clear the infection, and I’m still prone to recurrent irritation and rashes to this day. Moral of the story? It’s safer to trim your nose hair than to shave it. And since tiny scissors are hard to maneuver and could accidentally cut your skin, a trimmer is definitely the way to go.

What is the best nose-hair trimmer?

DeZarate and Munce have tried dozens of trimmers, and they both told me the Panasonic Ear and Nose Hair Trimmer ER-GN70-K ($44.99) is their favorite. Munce says the battery-operated motor is powerful and super fast, which is “always a plus when you’re standing in the mirror with something shoved up your nose.” And they both like that it has a vacuum to suck up the trimmed hairs so they don’t end up all over your face. Just turn it on, place it in your nostril, and skim it around the circumference to trim. It’s water-safe, so you can use it in the shower and also run it under water to clean out the nozzle and vacuum reservoir. After you clean it, DeZarate recommends sanitizing it with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol. (If you use the standard 70 percent alcohol, you have to submerge it for a few minutes to ensure you kill any bacteria, and that can degrade the blade and motor.)

DeZarate uses her trimmers frequently and says she needs a new blade almost every month. But with regular use (i.e., not the way a celebrity groomer who’s fully booked for awards season uses it), you can probably go three or four months before you need a new blade. Unfortunately, Panasonic replacement blades ($17.95) are almost impossible to find online. Other manufacturers make replacement heads ($16.89) that fit the Panasonic trimmers, but there’s no guarantee they’ll work as well.

So, if you trim frequently, another great option is the Manscaped Weed Whacker 2.0 ($34.99). Munce likes it for travel because it charges via a standard USB-C cord, so you don’t need to pack a special charger. It’s also wet-dry, which makes it easy to clean. Plus, the company has a subscription service (they call it the “Peak Hygiene” plan), where they will send you a new blade ($18.99) every three months. (You can also buy replacements for $19.99 each via their Amazon store.)

Finally, the least expensive option is the Wahl Micro Groomsman ($9.99). DeZarate says it’s also great for travel and comes with a straight trimmer that’s good for cleaning up brows and edges. Unfortunately, the blade wears out pretty quickly and the company doesn’t sell replacements, so it’s not exactly ecofriendly.

“It’s embarrassing that the industry hasn’t figured out a more sustainable model for nose-hair trimmers yet,” says DeZarate. I agree. Not as embarrassing as admitting you put an eyebrow razor up your nose and got a MRSA infection, but still! Industry executives, if you’re reading this, can you work on a better solution? A trimmer with easy-to-purchase, recyclable refill blades shouldn’t be too much to ask.

The Best Nose-Hair Trimmers

Panasonic Ear and Nose Hair Trimmer ER-GN70, $44.99

Battery operated, powerful, and super-fast, this wet-dry trimmer even has a vacuum to collect trimmings.

Manscaped Weed Whacker 2.0, $34.99

The company that makes this rechargeable, wet-dry trimmer also has a subscription plan for replacement blades.

Wahl Micro Groomsman, $9.99

In a pinch, this inexpensive model gets the job done and its slim shape makes it great for travel.

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