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What is a Nose Hair Clipper?

Michael Pollick
Updated May 17, 2024
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A nose hair clipper is a personal grooming device used to trim excess hair in the nostrils and ears. Most devices use a set of small rotary blades protected by a chrome or stainless steel housing. A battery-powered electric motor is used to turn these blades, and external combs protect the skin from contacting the blades directly. Individual hairs are guided into the cutting zone and safely trimmed off. A quality clipper can usually be rinsed under water while in use. The entire device can often be immersed for thorough cleaning and sanitizing between uses.

Not all grooming aids command the same level of respect for their work, but a nose hair clipper does perform a vital service for the user and there are few other devices which can duplicate its function. Nasal and ear hairs are important filtering agents that protect and defend their respective hosts, but they become unsightly if left unchecked. For those who want to perform a very thorough grooming regimen, clipping the nose hair is important.

The basic technique for trimming unwanted ear and nose hair is to activate the nose hair clipper and carefully insert it into the proper canal. As individual hairs enter the cutting chamber, sharp rotary blades slice through them cleanly. Some nostril hair is necessary for protection against dust and germs, so the user shouldn't aim for complete nasal baldness. The most unsightly nose hairs protrude from the nostrils and may blend into the mustache area. A beard and mustache trimmer can maintain the mustache line, but only a specialty clipper can successfully trim back the protruding nasal hairs.

A clipper can also be used to remove excessive ear hair from the external canal area. A mirror should be used to guide the clipper to the right spots. Unlike the nasal area, many people prefer to trim ear hair completely down to the skin line.

A quality nose hair clipper can be purchased wherever other electric shaving products are featured. There are also manual models that act like nail trimmers — the unit is inserted into the nasal passages and two blades come together to clip off the excess hairs.

There is one small drawback to ordering a nose hair clipper through a mail-order catalog, at least according to urban legend. Because these grooming aids are considered to be a little idiosyncratic, customers have been known to be put on some very unusual mailing lists. The philosophy among direct mail marketers is that customers who purchase clippers or other unusual devices may also be interested in even more esoteric services or products.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Pollick
By Michael Pollick , Writer
As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range of topics. His curiosity drives him to study subjects in-depth, resulting in informative and engaging articles. Prior to becoming a professional writer, Michael honed his skills as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Discussion Comments

By anon55061 — On Dec 04, 2009

thanks. this article was useful.

By anon41987 — On Aug 18, 2009

The Wahl nose hair product was a disappointment. No value whatsoever.

By johnbellm — On Aug 29, 2007

The problem with nose hair is that when it finds its way out of your nostrils and is still attached to the inside of your nose that it is one of the more unsightly things that any other human has to deal with when talking with you face to face. We all have the tendency of staring at it as though it has a life of its own. It is sort of like that mole on someone's face that has hair growing out of it. You kind of expect it to do tricks or something and you can't help looking at it.

What is really surprising to me and I would say most people is that guys with protruding nose hairs never seem to be able to see them even when they use a mirror in the morning to shave or brush their teeth. They go out in public with several strands of hair dangling from their nostrils and don't seem to pickup on the stares and odd looks that I am sure that they get from co-workers, friends and dates. Come on guys...pay attention! Do everyone a favor and trim those nasty nose hairs.

In the old days most guys used tweezers to literally yank nose hair out of their nostrils...ouch!

Along came safety scissors and rotary scissors. There are plenty of battery operated trimmers out there that do a so-so job. Most of these type of trimmers have one common problem...when the batteries start to fail they have a tendency to pull the nose hair instead of cutting it and that can be very painful. They also have very limited warranties, the blades dull quickly and they are noisy and big.

Michael Pollick

Michael Pollick


As a frequent contributor to WiseGeek, Michael Pollick uses his passion for research and writing to cover a wide range...
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