The taboo of nasal hair and a solution

We tend to think that around the end of our teens we stop growing. We’ve reached our cruising altitude, our various bits and pieces have extended fully and from here on out it’s all downhill. We’ll shrink, we’ll develop a gut and a balding pate. On the plus side, while it may take 20 years to assemble us fully, most of us get to spend multiples of that before reaching the point where we have to collect our toys and go home.

This is not entirely true though. There are parts of us that just keep on growing, a little at the time. Unfortunately not parts where growth is beneficial in any way, at least not from a manly perspective. It is possible that nature in it’s ineffable wisdom is a little ahead of our primal urges here, as is often the case. The parts of the male human that continue to grow are his nose and his ears. Possibly to aid in smelling and hearing as we grow older? Or just to imbue us with plenty of character when we reach our prime?

Older gentleman for illustrative purposes.

Older gentleman for illustrative purposes.

You might be snorting of derision at this, and will be appreciating how you snort much better this year than last year. Yes, that sonorous deep rumble is indeed due to your nasal cavities having grown since your last honking snort. Perhaps not a hugely noticeable amount, but glance around and take not of the nose and ear dimensions of males surrounding you, estimate size of appendages and age of wearer, plot in an XY-graph and se how sweetly this correlates. Or just trust me on it.

Amusing photo to really drive the point home.

Amusing photo to really drive the point home.

Do we have any real joy or pleasure from our larger ears or nose? Probably not, but they do provide more ground for hair to sprout from. Again, look around and notice the vigour shown by the bushy growths peeking out of your elders nasal cavity. Or the long, stray hairs sprightly springing from their ears. All downhill after 20? Hell no, our bodies are fighting to maintain growth, they just chose really strange ways to do so.

And this is where todays real message lies: Having hair sprouting from your nose is pretty disgusting. And also much easier to ignore by the gentleman hosting the feisty facial foliage than those who are up close and within close visual range. Hair growing on ears isn’t quite as profoundly awful, more a distraction in the way a utility pole always appears to be embedded in the head of someone you take a photo of. Nasal hair though is like passing a car accident, where you feel compelled to stare at it.

I’ll confess to having my moments where errant hair has ventured into the stark brightness of day. Heck, unless you go looking for it it’s not something you notice that often, as it’s hiding there on the underside of your nose, working the angles of sight to remain in hiding. I’ll often be pulled up short by WDG who will then attempt to extract said offensive hair by grasping it and giving it a short, sharp tug. This results in one of two things. Either it works, and it’s pretty painful to have a hair removed this way, roots and all. Or it will be pretty painful, but the hair is still there, and the process can be repeated.

Inappropriate scissors for dealing with your man garden.

Inappropriate scissors for dealing with your man garden.

There are of course commercially and domestically available ways to deal with this. You could insert pencils in your nostrils and avoid detection. Or you could use nail scissors to attempt to cull the crop, though this can be quite a harrowing experience due to the sharp nature of scissors and the strange and unusual angles you are asking your hand to work at. Really only an option for the very dextrous, or the owner of a pair of scissors with blunted tips. These do apparently exist for the sole purpose of allowing you to poke them up your nostrils without causing bloodshed.

A typical motorised nasal hair trimmer.

A typical motorised nasal hair trimmer.

I did for a while have an attachment for an old beard trimmer that was said to be for trimming nasal hair. I rarely used it this attachment, as I rarely used the beard trimmer (nowadays it’s handy for trimming the mullet-style hair our dog grows under his feet), though I always had the feeling I was putting a poorly engineered weed-whacker up my nose. And I was very hesitant. Rapidly spinning blades of unknown sharpness, in a shoddily engineered housing, about to cause mayhem in the sanctum of my nose? I was quite relived when it fell on the floor one day and could not be repaired.

There is a further option, and one I am not ashamed to have left untried, although it is said to be the original and authentic way to handle the problem. Cotton wool, doused in flammable fluid. Ignite it and the the resulting fire burn those hoary hairs to the ground. Don’t try this at home. Also, this will most likely raze the inner cavity of your nose and while annoying, those hairs do have a function in keeping rodents and insects from entering your skull while you are sleeping, so removing them entirely may leave you wide open to intrusion.

This did mean I was back to option one though, poking sharp shears up my nose while randomly trying to snip and visualise the cropping. Which in reality meant I was back to being pulled up and having hairs torn from my nose on an irregular, yet painful, basis. And I can’t find my pencils either.

groom mate

The Groom Mate in all it’s engineered beauty.


So imagine my joy when I found a better solution. A solution in stainless steel. An engineered solution. An easy to use tool. And hand-powered as well! This is proper, real-world problem solving indeed. The tool has a sharp and well made cutting mechanism, so there would appear to be little risk of the cutting ability being reduced and at the same time a nominal risk of shredding the inside of your nose.

My media advisor has warned me strongly about posting this photo, but here is an actual action shot of the Groom Mate in use.

My media advisor has warned me strongly about posting this photo, but here is an actual action shot of the Groom Mate in use.

The Groom-Mate is marketed as a nose & ear trimmer, yet is the sort of thing you could just keep in your pocket as an executive stress relief toy (I realise this sounds utterly wrong, but try to stay focused), something to help endure the boredom of meetings. Heck, you could even use it to bring meetings to an end by offering to demonstrate it on colleagues. It’s easy to clean as well, so there is no risk of crop contamination.

I’ve tried it a couple of times now and found the experience to be efficient and lacking in drama. Hair is cut, and there is a small brush included to clean the tool after use. That says it all, really.

Not only are no batteries involved, it can be taken apart to be cleaned and lubricated, as proper things should be. Surprisingly, the Groom Mate is also reasonably priced (especially given how it will last for generations) and available from well stocked suppliers of gentlemen’s grooming and facial gardening tools. I ordered mine from their website, as my local shaving goods supplier was out of stock.

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