Nose Hair: Why It’s So Important

nose hair what is it for

When you are talking to someone with hair protruding from their nose, it is likely hard to not stare. Those stray hairs can be quite a nuisance that draws attention to the middle of your face.

While managing these hairs is important, they play a crucial role in keeping you healthy. Because of this, outright plucking them out is not recommended though this is a common tactic people incorrectly use to manage these hairs.

Your nose’s “filter”

The small hairs in your nose are there to help block dust and other allergens from passing through your nose. Your nose hair also contains a thin layer of mucus coated on it. This sounds accidental, but it is a tool your nose hair uses to more easily catch allergens going through your nose.

If you pluck out or significantly trim your nose hair you expose yourself to the possibility that additional allergens will flow into your lungs. Some individuals can experience a heightened risk of asthma because of this.

A 2011 study examined patients who had seasonal allergies and evaluated their risk for developing asthma later in life in correlation with their shortened nose hair. It was discovered that those with the least amount of nose hair were at the greatest risk of developing asthma.

How hairy can your nose be?

If you think your nose has too much hair, it could be worse. It is likely that far from all of the hairs in your nose are grown out to anywhere near full length. Think of how many hair follicles are on your head – there are about that many on the inner surface of your nose!

In part, this high hair count is because of the presence of microscopic cilia, the smaller hairs, that reside deep in the back of your nose.

Over your lifetime each follicle in your nose grows an average of 6 feet in total. All of this while being soaked in a thick layer of mucus from your nose – gross!

What should I do to manage my nose hairs?

Rather than plucking out your hairs, instead “trim” the hairs down to an adequate length. There are special scissors that you can use that have curved ends for your nose, or electric razors that are narrow and designed to fit in your nose.

It is a fine line between having nose hairs that are too long and those that are too short and can only provide minimal “filtering” of incoming dust. Avoid shaving your hair down all the way to the skin inside your nose, and if you do, give them adequate time to begin growing back.

Your nose is not something you need to frequently shave, and you can probably focus on ensuring hair is not visibly protruding entirely out of your nose. This can be a nuisance of a sight, and you do not need nose hair that long for it to benefit as a filter.