Male-pattern baldness linked to excessive ear, nose hair (probably)

If you are a male over 40, chances are your ear hair has grown 2 centimeters since you read this.
If you are a male over 40, chances are your ear hair has grown 2 centimeters since you began reading this.
What I’m about to tell you may be considered vain. On the other hand, it could also be considered a responsible act of brushfire prevention. I’m talking, of course, about excessive ear and nose hair. I bring this up because of a recent conversation I had with someone who wanted to express his opinion on…


To be honest, I can’t remember what it was because I couldn’t overlook the fact that he appeared to have a chinchilla stuck in each ear.

I tried to be a good listener.

Tried to look reflective.

At least until I realized saliva had pooled in my open mouth.

As you might expect, this person was a male over the age of 40, which seems to be about the time follicles in men’s ears and noses begin producing hair at an alarming rate. I say alarming because I’ve heard of men purposely growing enough ear and nose hair to make a comb over.

And if that isn’t alarming to you, then you need to stop reading this column right NOW and put more mousse in your ear-and-nose-hair comb over.

Admittedly, after my conversation, I went directly to the nearest men’s room and examined my ears and nostrils. If for no other reason than to avoid putting those I care about at risk by allowing the hair in either orifice to become a fire hazard, such as being ignited by a random cell phone spark.

To my relief, I found that the hair in both regions was still within the parameters of good taste, and by that I don’t mean hanging over my mouth.

Naturally, as I was standing in front of the mirror staring into my nostrils, someone walked in. After exchanging knowing glances, I turned back to the mirror and saw that my ear and nose hair had grown two centimeters.

This apparently is not uncommon.

According to a recent article published in the journal Medicine, “A six-year study of hypertrichosis in the ears and nose of men over age 40 revealed that the same study could have been completed in six months if male researchers hadn’t been fighting over the nose-hair trimmer.”

So, as a service to the men who may be reading this column, I’d like to offer the following tips gathered by our research department here at the Siuslaw News. Keep in mind that this department consists of:

A 48-year-old humor columnist obsessing over his ear and nose hair.

Tip #1: Never attempt to manicure the hair in these regions at the end of the day when you are tired — or possibly intoxicated — unless you are willing to run the risk of waking up without eye brows.

Tip #2: Should you not follow the advice of tip #1, you can always replace your eye brows with hair from your ears and nostrils.

Tip #3: Use a magnifying mirror. This will help you avoid nicking sensitive areas. On the other hand, seeing your own nostrils the size of bowling ball finger holes is likely to cause insomnia.

And lastly,

Tip #4: Do not pluck ear or nose hair with tweezers. This can cause ingrown hairs and lead to infection. Your best bet is to use a nose and ear hair trimmer, which is a device designed to fit into either orifice and remove hair safely by pulling them out at the root. It is best to start out lying on the floor in a fetal position since that is where you will end up anyway.

For those of you who have any more advice on this subject, please feel free to send it in. But please keep it short.

And by that, I mean your ear and nose hair.



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble. Disclaimer: Even if you choose Ned’s book for summer reading, you should still use sunscreen.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

46 thoughts on “Male-pattern baldness linked to excessive ear, nose hair (probably)”

  1. OH, geeeze. Only you, Ned Hickson, would dare to touch this topic. And by touch, I don’t mean that you should actually reach out and pet any Ear Chinchillas!

    A great laugh to send me out the door on my day’s errands. But I will be standing FAR away from any men who appear to be over 40 and sporting comb overs that start anywhere other than on their scalps. I’m swinging by WalMart, as it happens, where this is a very distinct possibility. ‘Nuff said.

    1. WalMart? You ARE brave! Of course, after10 p.m. is when it gets really interesting; the comb-overs aren’t limited to above-the-waist…

      Have a great day and good luck on those errands, Marcia!

      1. ARRRGGGHHHH! Eye bleach, eye bleach!!! Quick, before I resort to trying to shop with a sleep mask on!!! *note to self: “No matter how desperate I am for rocky road ice cream, NO LATE NIGHT TRIPS TO WALMART!”*

  2. Our town still has an old fashioned barber who will take care of those little details without too much fuss. Tip 4 could also be bribing one’s wife to do it, if he hasn’t pissed her off lately.

  3. Oh Ewww! It is one of the first things I will notice about a man… or woman for that matter. Hygiene or lack thereof totally grosses me out! Hair in the wrong orifices,bad teeth and dirty fingernails *shivers* blech! The whole comb over thing is just.. OMG, I don’t even have a word!! LOL! So glad you are one of those guys who totally gets it and I’m sure your lovely wife appreciates it too. My hubby is so very vain considerate I don’t have to worry about that either! 🙂

  4. Hmmm, I always thought those trimmers just cut the hair. I assumed it pulled mine out by the roots because it was malfunctioning (or dull or both). Turns out it was me who was dull and malfunctioning.

    1. For some reason, nature feels the need to cover our orifaces as we get older. So far, it seems limited to noses and ears.

      That’s something to be thankful for…

  5. Perhaps you should grab a Bic lighter and do a controlled burn over the weekend. Just have a large tub of water, several shots of vodka (to treat wounds internally), and an active webcam at the ready. Because we need to see this.

  6. Let me preface this comment by saying, “No officer, I have not been drinking.”

    You should know that I’ve had some interesting conversations about hair today. The first one being with my husband. He had a stress test this morning and the only thing he lamented about was the fact that he didn’t get to have his chest waxed – he wanted to shout “Kelly Clarkson” like Steve Carrell in 40-year-old Virgin.

    THEN, my newly divorced co-worker called and shared her story about a first date with an Alpaccan sheep shearer from New Zealand. She’s worried that her walk of shame will result in a shaved head and eyebrows.
    THEN, to read your article not even 15 minutes after that call. Well…I’m trying to decide if I need to hide the razors or pull out the Nair.
    Maybe I have been drinking…

    1. Starting a stress test by having your chest shaved seems a little unfair, like starting a cholesterol test by eating a double bacon cheeburger first; how accurate can it be? My condolences to your husband. Maybe you should’ve asked if your co-worker’s Alpaccan sheep shearer could do the job?

      And as much as I want to run with the whole date-with-an-Alpaccan-sheep-shearer thing and its many implications for your co-worker (“What do you mean you burned out your electric razor last night?”) I will refrain because I don’t know her. Although I feel fairly certain the “Does the curtain match the drapes” question is probably a moot point now.

      Any-hoo, hide the Nair and the razors and have another margarita, Michelle!

      1. Bahahaha! I am the worst blogger friend ever!
        I read this hilarious reply before the weekend and am just now responding. My co-worker is the “female version” of you – her humor…not the whole drapes matching carpet thing…I don’t know either of you THAT well 😉

        1. Hahaha! No worries, Michelle!
          As for your friend, if her drapes match my carpeting, she may want to consider having it re-stretched to get the lumps out.

      1. If you scroll through my timeline you will see some of my rants about it. Happy to say I haven’t found any hair in my ears though. That seems to be more of a guy thing fortunately. We have enough to deal with without Hobbit ears.

  7. It’s cruel that the point in life when you have to start messing around your eyes, ears and nostrils with sharp scissors is the same time when your hands start getting unsteady.

    1. Very true. It’s another of nature’s contributions to population control. Who wants to have sex with you after you’ve accidentally cut your nostrils and earlobes off?

  8. This is just another reason why I am quite happy that I am female and once suffered from those monthly visits. Of course that being said, I am now growing a beard.

No one is watching, I swear...

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