Many people choose to remove nose hairs for personal reasons. Here’s why you should stay away from plucking, though.

A single nose hair follicle will grow about 6 1/2 feet of hair over the course of your life. As you get older, your nose hairs get longer, coarser, and may become more noticeable.

There’s no health benefit to removing nose hair, but many people choose to remove them for personal reasons. Although you may have thought about plucking your nose hair, you might want to put down the tweezers and pick up a trimmer instead.

Nose hair is an important part of your body’s defense system. It helps keep dust, allergens, and other small particles from entering your lungs.

Removing too much hair may make you more sensitive to these kinds of debris. Plucking your hairs can also lead to irritation, infections, and ingrown hairs.

In this article, we’re going to look at the reasons why you should avoid plucking your nose hairs and examine the safest alternatives.

The following complications can result from plucking nose hair.

Ingrown hair

An ingrown hair is a common complication of hair removal. It occurs when a hair that’s been removed grows back into your skin and can’t emerge from its follicle.

Ingrown hairs occur most often in areas where hair is frequently removed, like the face, armpits, and pubic area. Common symptoms of an ingrown nose hair include:

Ingrown hairs usually heal by themselves, but if it becomes a chronic problem, you may want to see your doctor.

Nasal vestibulitis

Nasal vestibulitis is an infection of the part of your nose called the nasal vestibule. Your nasal vestibule is the inside part of your nose that protrudes from your face.

Nasal vestibulitis most commonly develops as a result of a staph infection when the bacterium Staphylococcus enters a wound in your nose.

Any type of minor injury can lead to this type of infection. Some common causes include:

The most common symptoms include:

  • redness inside and outside your nostril
  • a pimple-like bump at the base of a nose hair
  • crust around your nostril from bacteria buildup
  • pain in your nose
  • bumps or boils in your nose

A 2017 review of 118 studies found that the chances of developing major complications from nasal vestibulitis are extremely low.

You can treat mild cases with an over-the-counter antibiotic cream like Bacitracin. For more serious infections that cause boils to form, your doctor may need to prescribe a stronger cream, such as Bactroban.

Nasal furunculosis

Nasal furunculosis is a deep infection of a hair follicle in your nose. It’s most common in people who have an immunodeficiency. Nasal furunculosis usually causes:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • redness
  • tenderness

In rare cases, nasal furunculosis can lead to serious complications if the infection travels to the blood vessels that lead to your brain. These complications include the following:

  • Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a formation of a blood clot in the part of your brain behind your eyes.
  • Cellulitis is a bacterial infection that affects both your skin and the tissues beneath.
  • Acute bacterial meningitis is inflammation of the tissue that covers your brain and spinal cord.

Increased risk of developing asthma from allergies

Nose hairs help block dust and allergens from passing through your nasal cavities. Removing too many hairs allows more particles to pass through your nose and into your lungs. For some people, this may increase their risk for developing asthma.

A 2011 study looked at the relationship between nasal hair density and the development of asthma in people with seasonal allergies.

The 233 study participants were divided into three groups based on how much nose hair they had: no or less hair, a moderate amount of hair, and a lot of hair.

The researchers found that participants with the least amount of nose hairs had a significantly higher risk for developing asthma than participants with more nose hair.

Nose hairs act as a filter that prevents dust, pollen, and allergens from entering your lungs. When particles enter your nose, they get stuck on a thin layer of mucus that coats your hairs. Eventually, the particles either get sneezed out or swallowed.

Your nose is also filled with microscopic hairs called cilia. These cilia help push mucus and other debris away from your lungs.

Here are safer methods for removing your nose hair.


Trimming is the safest and easiest way to manage nose hair.

Many grooming kits include scissors with rounded tips specifically designed for nose hair. Many electric razors also come with a nose hair trimmer head. You can use both methods to safely remove hair.

Laser hair removal

You can use laser hair removal to remove nose hair. However, it’s much more expensive than trimming. Health insurance won’t cover it, and it does come with risks, like hurting the mucous membranes inside your nose.

During the procedure, a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon will heat the root of your hairs with a laser and destroy them.

Plucking nose hairs can lead to infections or ingrown hairs. A safer way to remove nose hair is to trim it with nose hair scissors or an electric nose hair trimmer.

Laser hair removal is another option, but it’s much more expensive and not covered by insurance.