The Keratin Harvest

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Every few weeks, right before my morning shower, I perform a ritual not unlike the Shingon monks that sit under the freezing streams at Oiwasan Nissekiji temple in Kamiichimachi. I mentally prepare myself, even when I'm still in bed contemplating what is to come. I squinch my upper lip to my nostrils and feel the scratch of my protruding nose hairs.

Barring some horrible event that results in cauterized follicles or severe emotional trauma, I think I'm always going to have a lot of hair, that is, except for a full mustache and beard. My super follicles push out thick, black hair at a slightly accelerated rate. Among my follicles, there are a few super follicles as well, that I wish were not such over achievers.

My nose seems to be the club where these turbo charged hairs like to hang out. Maybe it's because my nose is a pretty spacious, warm place to be, like a greenhouse or tropical island. I doubt that animals that have adapted to live in deserts, where they need long nose hairs to keep sand out of their respiratory systems, have nose hairs that would outgrow mine.

You know those electric nose hair trimmers? You would have about the same luck using a weed whacker to take on a giant sequoia as you would using one of those on my nose hairs, and the tips of nose hairs that are cut turn into miniature Punji sticks that slowly grow and poke the inside of my nose.

To effectively manage my nose hairs, I turn to the trusty hemostat for help. Not only are they handy when you're trying to control bleeding or need to suture something up, they also are ideal for nose hair management. The fine needle nose, with the help of the ratcheting lock, maintain a firm grip on hairs.

What comes next can only be explained as a sharp pain that travels to the brain almost instantaneously. When you rip a bundle of nose hairs from your septum, it goes against what your body thinks is a reasonable thing to do for the sake of self-preservation. In other words, it f*cking hurts. I remember the first time I did this, I had to wait until the pain passed before I did it again. It took me ten minutes to clean out both nostrils.

Nowadays, I can pluck my nose free of hairs that are too long in a few minutes, and I have gotten used to the pain. It sounds like a horrible thing to do, to rip out your nose hairs, but it's the only way I can clean them up without spending an unreasonable amount of time on those bastards.

After I'm done, I understand how you can gain a bit of horsepower by changing out a dirty or inferior air filter in your car. More air is reaching my lungs via my nasal passages without all of those keratin strands getting in the way. I clean off my hemostat and flush the small fallen forest of nose hair down the drain. If trees grew as quickly as my nose hairs, I muse, we would have to thin out the woods to keep them from encroaching on human habitations.


dude, you're disgusting. and so are your nose hairs. you don't need to share EVERYTHING on your blog...

But sharing is caring!!!

Hahaha, I was going to write this post a year ago, but decided not to until this morning, when the pain motivated me to put this out there.

Do you have to pull out your nose hairs too?

no, my nose hairs stay within my nostrils. i didn't inherit that nastiness from dad...

a thought....isn't is risky to pull nose hairs by the bunch unless you first swab it out with a disinfectant? Do you use alcohol? I am sorry you have to endure such extreme measures in order to not look gross, and I admire your neat appearance. I always wondered why you look so well groomed.

For me it's scissors and a razor. The razor gets the nasty clumps at the front ends of the nostrils; the scissors catch the hairs nestled more deeply inside. Every once in a while, mainly for shits and grins, I'll rely on a pair of tweezers.

As the chicken said: pluck pluck pluck.



Ouch ouch ouch ouch.

I follow Kevin's nose-hair removal protocol, relying on the tweezers only in cases of desperation. Hoo, boy - nothing hurts quite as much as nose-hair removal.

I'd sooner tweeze my nutsack. Oh, wait...

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