Is Nose Hair Removal Safe, Or Is It “Live & Let Live”? A Dermatologist Answers

When it comes to the removal of body hair, I very much operate from a place of doing what makes you feel most comfortable and confident. Of course, it’s important to acknowledge that hair removal expectations are often deeply rooted in societal and cultural norms dictated by sexism and/or racism. Body hair — and the grooming practices surrounding it — is a personal thing, and what works for one person might not for another. Hair or no hair, it’s all good. You do you. Really and truly.

That said, I recently looked in the mirror and noticed some nose hair sticking out beneath my nostrils. I instantly became that iconic Cher tweet asking, “Can you see me?” But it’s me wondering if other people could see my nose hairs. If I can see them, that probably means anyone who gets close enough to my face can see ‘em, too… right?

I took a deep breath, zooming out for a minute, reminding myself that body hair (in all its forms) is normal, natural, and truly NBD. So f*cking what if someone else sees my nose hair? Still, every single time I look in the mirror, I find myself looking at the nose hair, hating its existence. Don’t worry; I have a wonderful therapist who helps me with my body dysmorphia.

So, what’s the deal? Is it safe to remove nose hair, either by waxing or trimming? Or, like so many body-related things, should I learn to coexist with whatever’s going on up there?

Step Away From the Wax, Sister

Even though nose hair waxing has become popular, both via DIY and by a pro, a derm explains why you simply don’t even wanna go there. “Completely removing all nose hair isn’t a good idea,” as Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Facet Dermatology, tells Scary Mommy.

“Our nose hair serves a purpose. These hairs work like an air filter to trap debris, whether that’s dust, pollen, dirt, bacteria, viruses, or even insects. Instead of being able to enter our nasal cavity, where it can get even deeper into our bodies (or, if bacteria or viruses, into our bloodstream), our nose hairs grab onto it so you can just blow it out into a tissue. Nose hairs also hold on to moisture to add humidity to the air you breathe, preventing your mucosa from drying out too quickly.”

OK, so waxing is not only potentially painful but probably unsafe (and definitely unnecessary). But is trimming the hair so it’s a little less visible a safe move? “You can absolutely DIY nose hair trimming,” says Yadav. “Otherwise, you should not get rid of your nose hairs.”

Safety First

Yadav doesn’t recommend going to town up there with a regular tweezer or nail scissor — as with any beauty or skincare practice, protecting yourself from injury is crucial. “Using a specialized tool will help prevent you from hurting yourself,” she says. (Pssst… She recommends the Conair True Glow Discreet Nose & Ear Trimmer for exactly this reason.)

“Using something like manicure scissors could cause you to seriously cut yourself,” she adds. “When in doubt, though, just leave your nose hair alone. It’s completely natural and serves a very important purpose.”

Looks like I’m gonna have to learn to love those little stragglers up there. Yet another reminder that absolutely no one cares what my face looks like — it’s pretty freeing if you think about it, ya know?

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