in: Featured, Hair, Style

• Last updated: June 9, 2021

How to Trim Nose and Ear Hair


Man plucking his nose hair.

Sign that you’re getting old #231:

You’re at Panera Bread eating the Italian (pro tip: ask for it panini-pressed) and your wife tells you: “You’ve got a lot of hair growing out of your nose and ears.”

Growing little sprouts from your nostrils and ears is just part of the natural life cycle of human males. Scientists believe that a lifetime of exposure to testosterone causes hair follicles in our noses and ears to lengthen their growing period, resulting in shrubbery that pops out from all parts of our head.

While there’s nothing you can do to stop hair from growing from your nose and ears, you can keep it in check through regular maintenance. And it’s an important grooming detail to keep up with. Nose and ear hairs are distracting. Once people notice them on you, they’re hard to ignore. While you’re flapping your lips talking, they’ll likely be darting their gaze between your eyes and the little danglers coming out of your orifices.  

Nip this aesthetic distraction in the bud by regularly spending a few minutes trimming your nose and ear hairs.

Below I show you how.

Important Caveat: Don’t Remove All Nose and Ear Hair

Mother nature gave you nose and ear hair for a reason. It serves as a filter for dust and allergens. If you remove all the hair from these orifices, you remove that first line of defense. So when you trim your nose and ear hair, go for reduction, not complete removal.

Nose and Ear Hair Grooming Options 

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and to trim your nose and ear hair. Below is a rundown of the options out there, including how to use them and the pros and cons of each.

Waxing. Yes, you can actually wax your nose and ear hair. The advantage of doing so is that wax rips the hair out at the root, so it takes longer to grow back, which means you’ll have to tend to the hair less often.

For nose hair, you stick a small stick up your nose with some wax on the tip and then yank it out. It gets the job done, but it apparently hurts like a mother (you probably cringed just reading that sentence).

Waxing your ear hair is a bit more involved. You apply the wax on the parts of the ear you want to remove hair from. Once it hardens, you rip the wax off along with the hair. Like waxing your nose, waxing your ear hair is fast, but uncomfortable.

You can buy at-home wax kits for both your ears and nose, but the learning curve can be steep and it’s messy. Plus, you’ll have to keep buying new kits to replenish your supply. Doing it yourself also increases the likelihood of flubbing things up and causing yourself unneeded self-inflicted pain.

Getting your nose and ear hair waxed by a professional will set you back $10-$15 a pop. Not cheap for such a minor grooming job.

Nose and Ear Hair Scissors. If waxing isn’t your thing, consider nose and ear hair scissors. These are specially designed scissors with rounded-edge blades that prevent you from stabbing the delicate tissues on the inside of these tender orifices. Scissors provide you incredible control with your trimming so you can trim as little or as much as you want. They’re also affordable: $10-$15 for a pair, and once you own this tool, you’re set for life with nothing else to buy. You can also use the scissors for other needs like mustache, beard, and eyebrow grooming.

The downside is that nose and ear hair scissors take a bit longer to get the job done compared to other methods.

To trim your nose hairs with scissors, make a pig nose. Draw your upper lip down as much as possible and lift up the tip of your nose with the hand not holding the scissors. This will let you see the nose hairs better. Proceed to snip.

Trimming your ear hair with scissors is a bit trickier because it’s hard to see the inside of your ear lobes and canals. When you can’t see where you’re cutting, you end up snipping a lot of air (be very careful the scissors don’t get anywhere near your ear drum!). You’ll need multiple mirrors to get the job done.

Manual Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer. If scissors are too much of a hassle for you, then check out a manual nose and ear hair trimmer. The most popular one on the market (and the one that I own) is the Groom Mate.

The Groom Mate uses a circular clipper to cut your hair. You just stick the Groom Mate in your nose or ear and turn the dial on the bottom to spin the clipper. The hairs in your nose and ears get caught between the blade guard and the clipper, and bada bing, bada boom, you’ve got a tidy nostril or ear canal. Also, no batteries required so you don’t have to worry about replacing or charging them.

The Groom Mate sells for $17 on Amazon and will last you a long time.

There is a bit of a learning curve with the Groom Mate. You want to make sure that you press the trimmer against the side of your nostrils or ear canals to ensure you trim the hairs. While the process is normally pretty comfortable, you don’t want to move the trimmer around while you’re trimming as that can result in yanked out hairs, which hurts. Just place it in one spot, trim. Move it over a bit, trim. Move it again, trim. So on and so forth until you’ve made it all the way around your nostrils or ear canals.

Make sure to give your trimmer a brush after you’ve used it to clean out those hairs.

Electric Nose and Ear Hair Trimmer. I used the manual operating Groom Mate for over a year and was happy with the results. But I wanted to give one of the many battery-powered nose and ear hair trimmers on the market a try.

Now that I’ve gone electric, I’m never going back.

Electric nose and ear hair trimmers are easy to use, get the job done fast, and don’t have any of the pinching or yanking that you sometimes get with a manual trimmer. You just turn on the trimmer, stick it in your nose or ear and, presto! Trimmed in seconds.

But wait, there’s more.

Depending on the electric trimmer you get, its functions aren’t limited to grooming your orifices. The Phillips Norelco trimmer that I got not only trims nose and ear hairs, it also has adapters to trim your eyebrows, beard, mustache, sideburns, and neck. It’s a workhorse.

The eyebrow trimming capability is a big plus in my book. I’ve inherited my mom’s side of the family’s thick, yet distinguished eyebrows. If I don’t give them a trim every now and then, I start looking like Sam the Eagle. Instead of waiting to get this grooming job done at the barber, I can just do it myself now.

Animated character with big and broad eyebrows.

Me when I don’t trim my eyebrows

Highly recommend every man have this handy grooming tool in his arsenal.

Pick Your Tool; Trim Regularly

Whatever tool you decide to use for your nose and ear hair grooming, make sure to use it regularly. A trim once every two weeks should do the trick. You want to trim things down before it becomes noticeable.

Be Careful With Ingrown Hairs

Nose hairs become sharp when they’re clipped, which can lead to an ingrown hair. If you feel any discomfort or irritation a few days after trimming your nose hairs, you likely have an ingrown hair.

To remedy that, wet a wash cloth with hot water, place the cloth over your finger, and stick your finger in your nose to moisten the inside of your nostril.

Re-wet the wash cloth, stick it back up your nose, and make nose picking motions near the area of irritation. This will hopefully dislodge the ingrown hair from underneath your skin.

Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and rub the irritated spot to reduce chances of infection. You can even place some antiseptic cream there as well.

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