Should I trim my nose hair?

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Nose hair is the kind of thing you never think about until you catch a glance in the mirror of an unruly strand protruding from your nostril. You may be tempted to snip or pluck, but should you?

After all, it must be there for a reason—right?

As an otolaryngologist, I look in a lot of noses, and I can tell you it doesn’t make much difference if you tidy up your nostrils or let that hair run wild. But if you’re going to remove it, some ways are better than others.

What’s the purpose of nose hair?

This is debatable, but it probably serves as a general filter for your respiratory system, removing large pieces of debris before it gets into your nose and ultimately the lungs.

Should you trim your nose hair?

You can. This is mostly done for cosmetic reasons.

What’s the safest way to remove nose hairs?

Using small cuticle or embroidery scissors usually is the safest way to cut any hairs that are protruding from the nostril.

Is it safe to pluck nose hairs?

I’d recommend cutting them over plucking or waxing as it’s possible to get an infection of the follicle or ingrown hairs.

Can trimming your nose hair worsen your allergies?

It’s not likely.

What are the risks of removing too much nose hair?

Beyond the risk of infection or ingrown hairs from plucking or waxing, there really aren’t any.

Eugene Chio is an otolaryngologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and an assistant professor in the Ohio State College of Medicine.