Although it can grow too long and become quite unsightly, there really is a reason for individuals to have hair growing inside their nostrils. Because of the number of products available designed for trimming these hairs, many have been led to ask, “What is the purpose of nose hair?”.
Believe it or not, this is one of the body’s primary defenses against invasion by foreign bodies. When a person inhales through his nose, the air passes through a forest of hairs that are lightly coated with mucus. This serves to trap larger airborne particles and prevent them entering the lungs or sinuses. In either location, these foreign substances can cause a serious infection.
These hairs also help to slow the air down so that it warms to body temperature before entering the lungs. This is important as air that is too cold can cause condensation of water vapor in the lungs, leading to pneumonia. Ironically, water vapor is also added to the air as it removes moisture from the mucus coating these hairs.
This also serves a purpose. The body seeks to maintain a specific balance of water. All the inner organs are wet, both inside and out. If air that is too dry enters the lungs, this can result in evaporation of moisture that drops the balance below a level the body can tolerate. If the inner surfaces of the lungs become too dry, it can become difficult and painful to breathe. The body will react by sending additional moisture to the area, which could lead to other problems and/or infection.
This is not to say that grooming nasal hairs is something that should be avoided altogether. Everyone should take pride in his appearance and stay well groomed. The key is to remember that one should not cut these hairs too short. They should not be removed completely by any means. One should also use caution to avoid ingrown hairs or introduction of germs that could cause an infection in the nasal passages.
Nose hair is a key part of our body’s natural defense against invasion by foreign bodies. Dust particles, bacteria, fungi, molds, and more are trapped by the hairs and prevented from reaching the nasal passages and sinuses or penetrating deeper, into the lungs. This helps to prevent infections.
It also serves to help bring the air inhaled to the proper temperature and humidity, which makes breathing easier and also helps to prevent infection. This combination of effects helps to answer the question “What is the purpose of nose hair?”