- There are a variety of professional and at-home methods available to remove nose hairs.
- Some techniques may carry more risks and costs than others.
- If you choose laser nose hair removal, make sure that you are treated by a board-certified professional.
Nose hairs act as protective fibers that remove debris from your airways and provide protection to your lungs. While they have many benefits, these hairs can be aesthetically unappealing if they’re excessively long and protruding.
There are many nose hair removal options for both men and women, but some are safer and more comfortable than others. Read on to learn more about what dermatologists recommend.
At-home techniques for nose hair removal
There are several different professional and DIY techniques that can make nose hair less noticeable. Here are the most common approaches.
Plucking is one of the least expensive hair removal methods, but it isn’t recommended by physicians and dermatologists.
This is because veins in the facial area lack the protective valves found in many other parts of the body which help prevent the entry of bacteria. Due to this lack of protection, facial veins are vulnerable to germs and any resulting infections.
“Over 25 percent of people carry the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus in their nose, which can potentially cause skin infection,” says dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey, founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care.
“This type of bacteria can also cause cellulitis and even more severe skin infections,” she warns. “Traumatic removal of nose hair may lead to inflamed hair follicles and put the nose and adjacent skin at risk for impetigo, a contagious infection characterized by yellow crusted sores.”
Pulling out the individual hairs with tweezers can also lead to ingrown hairs and infection in the nose. Signs of ingrown hairs include pain, itchiness, redness, and tiny bumps filled with pus.
While waxing is affordable, comfortable, and useful for many types of facial and body hair removal, applying it to the nose carries risk.
Waxing can lead to the removal of the entire hair shaft from below the skin line, causing significant damage to the delicate skin and membranes in and around the nose. Waxing can also lead to ingrown hairs and infections.
Wax products have been created specifically for the nose, but dermatologists say you should use them with caution. Take your time applying and removing the product and follow all instructions carefully.
If the inside of your nose is sore or tender afterwards, apply a damp lukewarm towel to the area. This will help relieve some of the pain and aid in the body’s natural healing process.
Some patients who like using chemical treatments on their legs or bikini line may be tempted to apply this treatment for nose hair removal.
Board-certified dermatologist Jennifer T. Haley, MD, FAAD warns patients not to use a chemical depilatory, such as Nair, to remove nose hairs. Applying these harsh chemicals to the delicate mucous membranes in the nose can cause a severe reaction. Effects may include pain, swelling, and permanent nasal damage.
Nose hair trimming scissors often come in grooming kits. Unlike hair clippers found at your cosmetologist’s office, these scissors are equipped with rounded tips to prevent cuts and scrapes on the inside and outside of your nose.
To trim your nose hair safely and efficiently, stand in front of a mirror with plenty of lighting. Next, blow your nose with a soft tissue to clean out any debris or mucous. Hold your rounded scissors firmly and tilt your head back. Slowly and carefully trim the unwanted hair down to the edge of your nose.
Once you finish, blow a few times again to get remaining the hairs out.
Repeat the process when you notice hair growing back. If you don’t feel comfortable handling scissors around that delicate area, you can use an electric nose hair trimmer instead. These affordable trimmers are also made with rounded razors and are available online or at your local drug store.
While trimming isn’t a permanent solution, many dermatologists say it’s the safest.
Laser nose hair removal
Laser hair removal can eliminate the inconvenience, discomfort, and risks of waxing and plucking. Additional benefits include the absence of hair for several months, as well as finer, lighter follicles when they return.
According to Robin Evans, M.D., of Southern CT Dermatology in Stamford, Connecticut, “The most complete, long-term, and efficient method of hair removal for hairs present at the orifice of the nose would be laser hair removal. Treatment is quick, can be done on all skin colors if proper lasers are used, and will usually give long-lasting results.”
In many cases, Dr. Haley recommends professional laser treatments over techniques like waxing. In her opinion, it’s a less painful and a more permanent solution to hair removal.
“Nose hairs respond well to Nd:Yag 1064 nm laser, such as the Candela Gentle Yag,” she says. “There is a permanent reduction in the number and thickness of the hairs, typically after five treatments.”
A few words of caution
While lasers can treat small and large areas of body hair, there are several things to know before using them for nose hairs.
Some skin professionals and patients consider laser hair removal for the nose controversial due to the risk of damaging the skin and membrane inside the nasal cavity.
Because lasers can cause scarring or be ineffective in the wrong hands, Dr. Haley recommends choosing a reputable office with a board-certified dermatologist either performing the procedure or supervising the technician who does to ensure high-quality results with low risks.
Also note that laser treatments will only work if the hair is darker than the skin.
“It will not work if someone has white, grey, blond, or red hair. Dying the hair will not matter because the true color of the root/bulb of the hair is the target. In these cases, I recommend waxing,” Dr. Haley says.
High-tech equipment and the need for additional visits make professional lasers the most expensive of all nose hair removal options. If you are interested, talk to your doctor about a payment plan to cover the cost over time.
Nose hair removal devices and products
There are many electrolysis devices available online and in beauty stores. These products can cost from an affordable $50 to over $1,000 for a single device.
If an expensive model is in your price range, you may want to consider the overall cost of professional laser hair treatment to ensure your safety. Should you choose to engage in at-home laser removal, select a reputable or FDA-cleared device and follow all instructions carefully.
You may also want to consult your dermatologist or aesthetician for their recommendations before using any devices on your own.
If at-home nose hair removal is your preference, consider the Panasonic Precision facial hair trimmer, perfect for gently removing nose hair in women. Its lightweight, discreet design allows flexibility in trimming, while its dual edge rotating inner blade cuts without pulling the hair.
Men will enjoy the Panasonic Ear & Nose Trimmer with Vacuum. A gentle suctioning power removes excess, loose hairs, while curved, stainless steel blades cut cleanly and safely without pulling or irritation.
For both men and women, this affordable “pinchless” electrolysis hair remover that looks similar to an electric trimmer is marketed as gentle yet includes the power of laser technology.
From sleek models that are perfect for tiny hairs on the face to 4-in-1 all-purpose shavers, you can find a product that is right for your skin care needs.
Choosing the right hair removal option
While you are deciding on the right nasal hair removal method for your needs, consider a few factors. First, remember that your nose hair does exist for a reason, including keeping environmental allergens and particles from entering the respiratory system through the nose.
Nose hairs are designed to protect you from allergic reactions, colds, and asthma attacks, so leaving a few may be beneficial for your health.
Other factors to consider include your budget, the color of your nose hairs, and the number and thickness of follicles you have.
»A conversation with your aesthetician or dermatologist will further help you determine the technique that’s right for you. Use Zwivel’s directory to locate a specialist in your area.
- American Academy of Dermatology: Laser Hair Removal (n.d.) aad.org/public/diseases/cosmetic-treatments/laser-hair-removal