I’m going to share a secret with you guys: I have really long nose hair.
I first became paranoid about it in my early 20s. It was during the time when I was waxing off my eyebrows completely and drawing them on with stencils. I was also working at a beauty supply store, so I had access to a wonderland of beauty products and tools, at cost. What I didn’t make in hourly income, I certainly made in shampoo and fancy tweezers.*
One evening, after trying out some new eyebrow stencils that gave me a distinctly angry Joan Crawford-type look, I turned my attention and a pair of tiny grooming scissors to my nostrils. I had discovered what I thought was just a random long hair sticking out of my left nostril. I’d never noticed it before. Is this a sign of aging, I wondered, because this was back when I thought 24 was “old.”
And then: Oh my god, have I always had this nose hair? Is this why no one asked me on a date in high school, or to a single dance, including my senior prom? When my friends said, “Oh, guys are just really intimidated by you,” maybe what they meant was guys were intimidated by that extraordinarily long hair hanging out of my nostril. And here I thought dudes didn’t like me because I was “too fat.”**
So I snipped the hair, and a few more while I was at it. And so began another part of my grooming ritual, which now included waxing and tweezing various parts of my face, bleaching my arm hair -- and yes, trimming my nose hair like I was my grandpa.
The thing is, right around that time I also suddenly developed seasonal allergies, after having them never in my entire life.
Which makes sense, I guess. The hairs in your nose are there to serve a pretty serious purpose. They are the bouncers of the body, catching viruses, bacteria and dust, and throwing them out before they have a chance to start a fight in the bar that is your respiratory system. (That is a terrible analogy, sorry. Leaving it in.)
So basically I made myself sick and sneezy by being vain. At some point -- after years, I tell you -- I gave up on the nose hair situation and just let them be. Suddenly, my “allergies” were pretty much gone, and I hardly ever got sick. Coincidence?
But then I got divorced and started dating again, and of course the first thing I did was return to my old grooming habits, because who wants to date a woman with a kid AND a grip of nose hair? And guess what? I noticed that I started getting sick more often.
I’m done, you guys. I don’t GAF about my old man nostrils anymore. They are glorious. I can braid this shit if I let it grow long enough. I embrace my German ancestry and large nostrils full of glorious dust-trapping hair (that is totally visible unless I trim it back to the root).
I told Jeff my plan -- which, he didn’t even realize that I’d been trimming it all this time -- and at first he looked skeptical? Amused? I don’t know what the initial look was, to be honest, but there was definitely some fear when I mentioned the braiding.
The fact is, my boyfriend, a man of Italian ancestry with sometimes questionable fashion sense, a heart of gold, and lots and lots of body hair, simply cannot and would not complain about a few nose hairs. Besides, what’s a little nose hair between two adults who once simultaneously had food poisoning in a house with one bathroom?
So, I’m done trimming my nose hair, and I’m declaring it a fashion statement. And now you won’t be able to look at a photo of me without imagining it, even if it isn’t visible. Sorry. My name is Somer and I have the nose hair of an 80-year-old man.
Do you have really long nose hair, too, and do you obsessively keep it trimmed, or do you give no fucks? By the way, what lipstick shade do you think works best with extraordinarily long facial hair?
*Mehaz point-tip, trust me.
**Dear 17-year-old Somer from 1993: you are beautiful and perfect, and also by the way not fat -- but so what if you are. Your 30s rule.
Somer won't shut up about nose hair on Twitter: @somersherwood.