Whatever you do, don’t pluck.
More hair on your head? Amazing. In your nose? Not so much.
While your first thought might be to reach for your tweezers, you could actually wind up doing more harm than good if you pluck it out. That’s because your nose hair (while definitely annoying) actually serves a purpose—it’s your bod’s first-line of defense against bacteria and germs in the nasal cavity.
More intel: Cilia (the technical term for nose hair) is part of the system that protects your lungs from dirt and debris that gets into your airways. “They not only help filter out any incoming invaders, but they move slowly to push together and trap dirt from reaching the breathing passage and gaining access to the bloodstream,” says Julie Russak, MD, of Russak Dermatology Clinic in NYC.
If you didn’t have nose hair, you could get an infection…or worse.
“Removing nasal hair will make the nasal cavity and sinus completely vulnerable to whatever gets in,” says Dr. Russak. “As a result, you’re very susceptible to allergy attacks, sinusitis, and respiratory infections.”
So no getting rid of it entirely—got it! Luckily, there are some dermatologist-approved things you can do to minimize the appearance of nose hair without putting your health at risk.
Dr. Russak says your best—and safest—bet for removing (some of your more egregious) nose hair is trimming. You’ll ideally want to grab trimming scissors or a nose hair clipper since “trimming scissors are designed at an angle and specifically for trimming these hard to reach areas,” she says.
No trimmer? No problem. You can also reach for the same scissors you use to shape your eyebrows. Just use a magnifying mirror, make sure you’re in a well-lit area, and clean your nose and the scissors before you begin.
Similar to trimming, an electric buzzer is a safe and easy way to remove nasal hair. This quick and painless method will save you time compared to trimming with scissors, and more and more brands are now making electric facial buzzers designed with women in mind.
This discreet Panasonic trimmer, for example, can also be used on eyebrows and other facial hair—and the rotating inner-blade cuts hair without pulling.
3. Laser Hair Removal
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution because your nose hair is caused by age or hormonal issues, then laser hair removal might be your best bet—but make sure to go to a professional for a safe (and effective) experience.
“We treat the edges of nose hair, which is a typical ask of our patients, but we cannot treat all the way inside,” says Christian Karavolas, owner of Romeo & Juliet Laser Hair Removal in New York City. “To do this safely, we hold one side of the nostril up slightly and shoot the laser sideways.”
Karavolas recommends asking for the Splendor X machine for the least amount of pain. One thing worth noting: While laser hair removal is an effective solution that will last, it’s certainly more costly and time-consuming than trimming.
And remember: Don’t. Try. Waxing or tweezing.
Not only are these nose hair-removal methods incredibly painful, but they’re both unsafe since they involve completely removing the hair follicle, which leaves you more likely to deal with swelling or infection.
“As a result, you’re very susceptible to allergy attacks, sinusitis, and respiratory infections,” says Dr. Russak. Infection isn’t the worst-case scenario, either. “If a nasal infection were to travel upstream and enter the junction where other veins join, it could pose a serious health risk since it now presents a passage for bacteria directly into the brain.
Bacteria in the brain = not something you want, right? So let’s stick with one of the three nose hair-removal methods above. K, thanks!