Oh no! Nose hairs: The unwanted milestones that come with ageing

Jan 09, 2023
Nose hair, ear hair, moustaches, and chin hairs are so annoying! Why do they grow anyway? Source: Getty Images.

I’ve hit a new milestone. My first nose hair made its appearance yesterday. I thought this was a man’s problem, but there it was, dangling like a comma from my left nostril, daring me to yank it out while I was driving. But if I did that, it would hurt like you know what, and I would start sneezing and hit a pedestrian. Best to wait until I got home.

I got out my magnifying mirror, hoping it was just one of my eye floaters camouflaging itself as a nose hair. I brought the mirror close to my face, and there it was, laughing at me, reminding me that I am soon hitting another decade and I’d better do something about it.

I reached for nail clippers and slowly approached my nostril. The little sucker had hidden itself back into my nostril in defence. It just did not want to be trimmed.

I pulled up my nose so that it looked like a pig snout and I finally managed to clip it out. But I know it’s going to come back in a few weeks, like an unwanted relative, and I’ll have to consider more drastic measures to get rid of it.

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to moustaches and chin hairs, but hair coming out of my nose? What’s next? Will my ears start sprouting curly cues? Will my declining hormonal balance reveal other things that make me look more and more like one of my uncles?

Nose hair, ear hair, moustaches, and chin hairs are so annoying! Why do they grow anyway? Do they fend off things like cancer, diabetes, or diphtheria? I doubt it.

Or are they just random things that happen to people as they age? Maybe hair follicles don’t know what to do, so they decide to step out of their respective orifices and make themselves known. That must be it.

Mine was black, just like my hair when I don’t colour it. Do people with blonde hair have blonde nose hairs? Do those with red hair have red hair sprouting out of their ears like Bozo the Clown?

These are real questions now, something I’ve never had to think about when I was going through puberty and I was happy to have hair sprouting anywhere.

Back then, a rite of passage for an adolescent was sprouting body hair. I think it first started under my arms, and then it moved south. Soon, I was shaving regularly until I got into high school and then, shaving became a no-no. We were hippies, and proud to show off our body hair. Hair was everywhere. If I could’ve braided my armpits, I would’ve scored big points with my hippie friends.

But as I entered my 50s, I noticed that my bodily hair was thinning. What used to be a small forest under my arms started looking like a tiny divot on a golf course. Over the years, it continued to thin, so now, I only shave under my arms about once a month, regardless of whether or not I see hair.

The hair on my legs? In the winter, my shin foliage is used to keep me warm during the colder months. Now, these random hairs look like thin cactus needles. Most of the time I can’t even see them, but I shave them anyway. We live in Florida, and wearing shorts necessitates some sort of mowing.

And concerning the hair on other parts of my body? That will be reserved for another article.

I hear there are hair excavators for the nose and ear hair. One of my peers sent me a picture of one. It looked like a personal pleasure device. I haven’t bought one yet, but I’m sure the day will come when an unwanted nose hair says hello to me once again.


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