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When it comes to manscaping, some body parts get more attention than others. We’ll carefully evaluate the hair on our chest, chin, cheeks, neck, and even balls, then shave and trim as necessary. But with all that attention to waxing (poetic about the current state of) our body hair, we sometimes look past the stuff right in front of us: the ears and nose.
Step One: Do It Yourself
Conquer the big guys first. If you can see any hairs without tipping your head back or turning to the sides, we need to take care of that straightaway.
Make sure you’re using a blunt-nosed tweezer or scissors with rounded tips to save time and minimize effort. The lengthy Yoda-esque stragglers should pop out easily, however…
“While the ‘pluck one hair and two will grow back’ theory may be a myth, pulling hair from this delicate area will prove to be extremely painful. Always go with an electric trimmer when combating more than just a few stragglers,” says Adam Berk, CEO and Founder of HYD For Men.
Besides investing in an electric trimmer you’ll want a magnifying mirror. Although the sight of your face this up close can be jarring, it ain’t scarring, and it’s the best bet when it comes to eliminating the more stalwart follicles.
Be assiduous in your efforts and don’t be afraid to call in your girlfriend to spot check. That her face lights up with bemusement should be all the affirmation you need that this was overdue and necessary.
Step Two: Bring in an Expert
Sometimes a little artillery is needed to get the job done. That’s when it might be time to visit the barbershop or a waxer.
Is it painful? “Tough shit,” says Anna Augustsson, founder of Mortal Man Spa for Men. “If it were easy, everyone would be great looking. Face waxing is not for pussies. Besides, if a man is tough enough, he can do whatever he wants.”
However, if your pain threshold hovers in the lower end of the non-existent pain spectrum, there’s always sugaring. The treacly consistency of sugar, which is applied at a lukewarm temperature before molding against the natural direction of hair growth, removes hair while it’s in its early growth stages, thus minimizing irritation and ingrown hairs.
Step Three: Utilise Laser Technology
If your ear and nose hair is especially stubborn, you may need to engage a professional for laser hair removal or electrolysis.
Do not forgo the consultation—you wouldn’t purchase a vehicle without a test drive, and your face is (ostensibly) worth more than your car. While this is surely the most foolproof method, it’s also the priciest and will require multiple visits; at least two before you’ll start seeing results.
Don’t be fooled by the recent DIY-laser trend. “At home laser systems are not powerful enough to injure the cells that produce men’s thick coarse hair,” explains Dr. Terrence Keaney, a board-certified dermatologist with specialized training in cutaneous laser and dermatologic surgery. “They may also increase your risk for paradoxical hair growth, a known but rare side effect of laser hair removal.”
If all else fails, there’s always fire.
“The best trick I’ve ever used to remove ear hair is to wrap a rubbing alcohol-soaked cotton swab around the tip of my scissors, light it on fire, rub it against the client’s ears, then put it out just as quickly right behind it,” explains Van Capizzano, head barber at Boston retailer Ball and Buck. “Completely painless and gets the job done better than anything else. I do not, however, recommend attempting to light nose hairs on fire.”