Created for Greatist by the experts at Healthline. Read more
When your nose hairs start waving hello before you’ve had a chance for a howdy-do, it’s time for some serious action.
Those pesky hairs serve a very important purpose (protecting your air passages by helping to filter out particles in the air), so it’s not a good idea to completely remove them. But when they’re unruly and rival a cheap toupee — not cool.
Thank goodness there are more options than just your tweezers for nose hair removal these days.
If you don’t like to admit that your nose grows spider legs or that you inherited your uncle’s nostrils, relax and know you’re not alone in your hairy nose woes. We’re covering the best ways to wax, laser, and otherwise banish escaping hairs!
Of all the options on our list, trimming is the easiest and safest. Buy a pair of nose hair scissors and clip any hairs making a run for it or peeking over the edge.
You can also use nail or cuticle scissors, but they’re sharper and you risk nicking the inside of your nose, which would leave an open wound ready for infection.
Trimming is pretty straightforward:
- Blow your nose and remove any debris.
- Trim the hairs close to the base.
- Don’t trim too far into your nose — just the visible hairs.
- Blow your nose again to remove any leftover trimmings, and you’re done.
Nose hair scissors have rounded ends so you won’t prick (or pick) your nostrils. We like the Revlon Men’s Series Safety Scissors and the Utopia Care Curved and Rounded Facial Hair Scissor Set.
If you have a need for speed (and your nose hair has its own zip code), you can try a battery-powered nose hair trimmer like the Philips Norelco Series 1000. It has different heads for nose hairs, eyebrows, and ears.
Ladies, don’t be disheartened when you see these products marketed to men. Nose hair removal is the same for everyone. Get the products you need and just do it.
Hop on YouTube and search for “wax for nose hair removal.” You’ll get plenty of videos where adults cry — entertaining, but not exactly helpful.
Like anything else, waxing has its pros and cons.
Pro: Your nostrils will stay hair-free for 3 to 4 weeks.
Cons: It can be S-P-I-C-Y — and you have to either go to a salon or spa or be extremely careful with an at-home nose wax kit (like the Nad’s Nose Wax Kit).
Here’s how a typical nose hair waxing session goes:
- Place a wax-covered cotton swab in each nostril, sticking to the mid-to-lower portion of your nose (you don’t need any wax in your brain). Lightly press the edge of your nose so the waxy swab touches all areas of your nostril.
- Let the wax cool slightly.
- Say a prayer, count to three, and give the swabs a BIG pull.
- The result: a nose hair-covered wax ball and squeaky clean nostrils.
If you wax at home, strictly follow all the instructions that come with the waxing kit. You don’t want to get the wax too far into your nasal cavity, where it can damage the mucous membranes.
Laser nose hair removal is an option that may provide a longer-lasting decrease in hair growth. But it’s somewhat controversial. If not done correctly, it can damage the lining and mucous membranes in your nose.
Laser nose hair removal can only be done by a specialist like a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. You should go through a consultation before the procedure to make sure it’s right for you.
Many (most) doctors recommend leaving the tweezers for other areas of your body. Plucking your nose hairs creates an open wound through which bacteria can enter and cause infection.
It’s also more likely to cause ingrown nose hairs because tweezing leaves a small shaft of hair under your skin. Ingrown hairs can be painful and lead to infection as well.
Tweezers aren’t the only removal method you should avoid. Waxing can cause ingrown hairs and infections if not done properly. Hair removal creams have toxic fumes, and you risk burning the inside of your nose. Um, no, thank you.
An ingrown hair happens when a hair grows back into your skin. Ingrown hairs often cause:
- rounded bumps called papules
- pustules (pus-filled lesions)
- pain beyond the initial removal pain
- visibly embedded hairs
Do not pick, pop, or scratch an ingrown hair. Naturally occurring bacteria in your nose can lead to an infection if you break the skin while trying to resolve an ingrown hair. Most of the time, the ingrown hair resolves itself in time.
You can use a pair of sterile tweezers to gently help the hair to the surface, but only if it’s already visible and close to the skin’s surface.
You may need to see a doctor if you have extreme pain or the infection starts to spread. A doctor may also be able to help if ingrown hairs become a chronic problem.
- Nose hair scissors or electric trimmers are the safest nose hair removal option.
- Laser nose hair removal may be a longer-lasting option, but it should only be done in a doctor’s office by a trained professional.
- Plucking and waxing pose a higher risk of ingrown hairs.
- Laser hair removal and waxing pose the greatest risk of damage to the lining of the nose and mucous membranes.