Ear Hair: What Gives?

Submitted by SharpMan Editorial Team on Monday 11th October 2010
In this article
  • Why do men get ear/nose hair?
  • What to do about it.
  • Where to find trimmers.
Ear Hair: What Gives?

Ever wake up one morning and discover a stray hair making its way out an ear or nostril? If so, you’re not alone. If not, beware — tomorrow could be your day. The SharpGrooming department has recently received a number of e-mails on the topic of ear/nose hair. Why is it there? Is it normal? Most importantly, what the heck am I supposed to do about it? Glad you asked…

Why do men sprout hair in those easy-to-reach places?

Ever get the feeling somebody up there is messing with you? As if the indignity of your big sister putting you in a dress wasn’t bad enough (that happened to the rest of you too, right?), suddenly at the age of 30-something Mother Nature decides to start playing the "hair game." The question is, "Why?"

For starters, we don’t just suddenly sprout nose hair — it’s always been there. Tiny ear and nose hairs act as a barrier, protecting the body from airborne dirt, pollen, etc. the same way lashes protect the eye. As SharpMen get older, however, changing hormonal levels affect hair growth. According to the "Hair Guru" at Hair-News.com, genetic research at the Mayo Clinic has shown that the male hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the culprit that causes baldness, may also be linked to nasal/ear hair growth. This explains why women don’t have to deal with the issue. Although researchers know that increased levels of DHT are responsible for scalp hair loss, the exact relationship of DHT to nasal/ear hair is unclear. But, as the Hair Guru points out, "The genetic command that we would have to engineer to eliminate those hairs, will at the same time affect other hairs and perhaps [cause] an undesirable affect." So, in a nutshell, no one is spending much time or money trying to figure out what to do about too much hair. Sorry, Chewbacca. Where science fails you, however, SharpMan comes …

So you don’t want to braid it like Bo?

There is an old wives’ tale that says if you trim ear/nose hair, it will grow back thicker. Not true. There is nothing we have discovered that even remotely suggests trimming unwanted hair can increase the problem. Feel free to do away with any hair that doesn’t make you happy. With this in mind, there are a couple of things you’ll want to think about:

  1. When we say trim, we mean trim. DO NOT PLUCK. Not only does plucking hurt, there is a chance of tearing the skin inside your nose, which can lead to infection (since you’ve just yanked out the hair that was keeping the inside of your nose clean).
  2. Get yourself a nose hair trimmer; holding a pair of scissors in front of your face while trying to see up your nose is a recipe for disaster. There are a number of nose/ear trimmers on the market specifically designed to do the job quickly, safely and painlessly.
  3. See below for tips on choosing the nose trimmer that suits your needs.

Tools of the trade: Choosing Your Nose/Ear Hair Trimmer.

Like most grooming accessories, picking a nose and ear hair trimmer allows you to choose from a variety of styles and price groups. Options range from minimal to high-end. Some trimmers are portable and others require A/C voltage. A number of companies feature smaller styles ideal for storage in your travel kit.

Essentially, they all work one of two ways: a rotating blade spins in one continuous direction, or an oscillating blade rotates left to right. Either style works well, although the oscillating blade is supposed to be less painful (but it’s difficult to tell a difference).

A good basic model is the Tweezerman SPA Turn N’ Trim ($7.96). This product is pretty low-tech, but has the required dual-blade trimming, so it does the job. Unfortunately, it’s not cordless, so you can’t trim while driving or riding the train, but you’ll never go wrong with the quality associated with the Tweezerman name.

Also check out the Remington Precision Nose & Ear Trimmer, Wet/Dry Sport ($9.99), another basic model that’s small, cordless and can be used wet or dry (duh). The product works well and is highly affordable. It comes with a blade guard and a cap — perfect for the nose-trimming SharpMan on the go.

Then there’s the Ferrari of trimmers: The Sharper Image’s Turbo Groomer 2.0 ($59.95) is cordless, relatively small and lightweight and comes with an upright mounting stand. With its two interchangeable rotary heads, the Turbo Groomer is designed to painlessly remove nose and ear hair, but may also be used to trim eyebrows and clean up your haircut line — bringing three devices into one, easy-to-conceal gadget. Best yet, the trimmer includes dual LED "headlamps" mounted next to the blades, to ensure you know what you’re trimming and what you’ve missed. SharpMen who have used this product claim they have a hard time going back to plain-old nose trimmers, or any trimming product that doesn’t illuminate their grooming work. In other words, the Turbo Groomer is a no-brainer for those who want to get in and out like a nose-cleaning air strike.

Remember, although the trimmers are safe to use, the object is not to stick it as far up your nose or ear as it will go. Read the instructions before doing something you might regret.

This article last updated on Wednesday 13th October 2010
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