Why we have them and how to get rid of them – Cleveland Clinic
You notice something when you look in the mirror. You lean forward for a closer look, and then you see it — a thicket of long nose hairs billowing out of your nostrils like party streamers.
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Questions immediately fill your head. When did they grow? how did they come sooooo long? And can there still be air through this forest of terror?
Relax first. Nose hair is a natural part of life. In fact, the inner surface of your nose has as many hair follicles as the top of your head. They are also in place for an important reason, says Michael Benninger, MDan ear, nose and throat specialist.
So, let’s learn a little more about nose hair from Dr. Learn Benninger and get some tips on how to tame them.
The purpose of the nose hair
Think of nose hair as a natural air filter. “When you breathe through your nostrils, the hairs in your nose clog and collect dust, pollen, and other particles that could get into your lungs,” explains Dr. benninger
A thin layer of mucus covers the nasal hair, causing these particles to stick to the hair. These tiny airborne particles eventually end up in the lining of the lining of your nasal passages.
From there, the trapped particles are either swallowed or blown out into a handkerchief or by sneezing.
“Your nose hairs really do the job,” says Dr. benninger
Why do nose hairs get so long?
Aging brings with it many interesting physical developments — and one of them is changes in your nose hair, notes Dr. benninger
Nose hair naturally gets longer and thicker with age. It’s part of a process called anagen sensitivity, or basically long-term exposure to hormones in your body. (The same phenomenon can fuel troll doll hair in your ears and on your eyebrows.)
How to get rid of nose hair
Invest in some nose hair trimmers if you want to address a sudden bushiness in your Schnoz. This can be special tiny scissors with safely rounded tips, or a whirring device that resembles a weed killer in the nostrils.
Note that this will not be a one-time task. The nose hair grows back. (Quick fact: The average nasal hair follicle will grow over 6 feet over the course of a person’s lifetime, which definitely explains why this is a problem.)
No tearing of nose hairs!
Resist the urge to just pluck your nose hair. Plucking or growing hair in the nostrils can lead to ingrown hairs and infection. A study of people with nasal vestibulitis, a common nasal infection, identified nose hair picking as a major risk factor.
The conclusion to long nose hair? It is more of a personal care issue than a medical issue. “Long nose hair won’t hurt you,” assures Dr. benninger “But if you remove them incorrectly, they can cause problems.”