Grooming and Removing Ear Hair – Advice and Top Products 2018
What is Ear Hair For?
Ear hair performs some very important functions and is vital for our aural health. Without wanting to get into too much technical detail, in a nutshell these include:
Having said this, it is very common for men to grow unsightly ear hair, both around the ear cavity and protruding from it, especially as they grow older.
The cause of this seems to be that more of the male hormone testosterone is converted to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) with age. DHT is an androgen, responsible for giving male characteristics such as deep voice, body hair and build up of muscle.
DHT is required for the growth of body hair, and as it increases with age may well be the reason for the boost in male hair growth in areas such as back, ear and nose.
Is it Safe to Remove Ear Hair?
It is safe to remove unsightly ear hair providing you are very careful not to go deeply into the ear cavity and you use the right tools for the job.
You should not remove too much and it should only ever be the hair outside or the long, thick, protruding hair just inside the ear that you tackle.
Trimming with scissors is not a good idea, unless you are literally only trimming those hairs that are on the outside.
Use specially designed blunt ended scissors such as Tweezerman G.E.A.R. facial scissors and never try to cut the hair inside the ear - it is virtually impossible to see properly and you may cause serious damage.
By far the simplest and safest way, and what we would recommend, is to use an electric (or manual) ear/nose hair trimmer designed specifically for the purpose.
There are many trimmers available, to suit all pockets, or often general purpose body groomers/shavers have separate attachments for trimming ear and nose hair.
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Tweezing is only really a viable option if you have a few pesky stray hairs that you can easily see, on the outside of the ear.
Each hair needs to be grasped individually with the tweezers, as near to the base as possible and then plucked out, in the direction of hair growth.
This method can be a bit painful, especially as the ear is quite tender, and there is a risk of ingrown hairs.
As with scissors you do not want to poke blindly about inside the ear with the tips, as you risk injury and possible danger to your hearing.
Make sure you can see properly, with plenty of light and a magnifying mirror is ideal.
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Waxing is the same in essence as tweezing in that it pulls hair out from the root for longer lasting results, however it removes multiple hairs simultaneously and is therefore painful.
As with all ear hair removal, care needs to be taken not to actually go inside the ear, and you should use a wax that is recommended for the purpose.
I would suggest that the safest way to wax ear hair, if that is what you really want to do, would be to use pre-waxed strips as they are more precise and easy to use.
You will need to trim any long hairs to about 1/4" (but no shorter) before waxing.
The skin needs to be cleaned and very dry - using baby powder or the like rubbed into the area helps to ensure that it is free from any moisture.
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Make sure that you follow the instructions provided with the product and test on a small area first, especially if using melted wax - you don't want burnt ears.
Wax needs to be applied in the direction of hair growth and removed in the opposite direction. Pull back across the skin rather than upwards and away from it.
Many home wax kits include special wipes to clean the area of any surplus wax, or you can use warm water or an oil e.g. olive, oil on a cotton pad, followed by cold water to close the pores.
Your ears will probably be feeling quite tender afterwards, which using a soothing lotion such as aloe vera or witchhazel will help to alleviate.
Depilatory creams use strong chemicals and should only be used for the outer part of the ear. It is a good idea to put cotton wool inside the ear before you start, to avoid the risk of any cream getting inside by mistake.
Make sure that you use a cream that is specifically for facial, sensitive skin and make sure to do a patch test first, as per manufacturer's instructions provided.
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An obvious advantage of using depilatory cream over waxing or tweezing is that it is painless, plus there is not the risk of ingrown hairs.
Electrolysis and laser hair removal needs to be carried out by a fully qualified clinician and requires several sessions over a period of time to be effective.
Laser hair removal is not suitable for everyone and depends on your hair colour and skin tone. You will therefore need to have a consultation for advice prior to treatment.
If you are suitable for laser hair removal, the results can be very good and long-lasting, with permanent hair reduction.
Electrolysis is suitable for everyone and hair removal is permanent.
Be sure to carry out appropriate research to find a reputable and experienced practitioner and make sure that all your questions are answered to your satisfaction before you start.
In either case, we would advise you to beware of anyone offering a deal that seems too good to be true; in truth it probably is, and you don't want to take chances with your aural health.
What is the best way to remove ear hair?
I recommend that the best and safest way is to trim unsightly ear hair growing out from the ear with a specially designed ear/nose electric trimmer or grooming attachment.
Can I stop ear hair growing permanently?
You do not want to get rid of all your ear hair, but for excess, visible hair it may be possible to remove permanently with either laser or electrolysis. However, you will need to seek professional advice for this and it will involve several sessions over time, and some considerable financial outlay. It is not possible to remove hair permanently at home.
Why do men grow more ear hair than women?
Men grow more hair all over their bodies than women, their hormonal make-up is different and it is the male androgenic hormones that are responsible for muscle, voice and body hair.
Will excess ear hair affect my hearing?
No, it shouldn't - in fact the tiny hairs growing inside the ear canal are responsible for helping you to hear. It is vital, therefore, that you don't try to remove too much hair and thus cause damage.
Are there side effects from removing ear hair?
Side effects should be minimal and transient (tenderness or mild irritation), providing you follow good practice methods and hygiene. Ingrown hairs are a possible side effect of shaving, tweezing and waxing, which can be limited by regular, gentle exfoliation of the skin.