As an anxious teenager with moderate-to-severe trichotillomania and an all-consuming fear of being considered unattractive by my fellow 14-year-olds, I used to devote a fair amount of time and energy to regularly plucking out my nose hairs. Then, one day, my dad happened to walk by the hall bathroom and catch me in the act. “Don’t do that,” he said in passing. “You’ll get an infection in your brain and die.” Sufficiently spooked, I never did it again.
My dad may have been exaggerating, but he wasn’t making it all up. Doctors call the area between your nose and mouth the “triangle of death” because that's where the veins are interconnected. Pulling out the hairs inside your nose could cause an infection, which could then make the short trip to your brain with relative ease. It is decidedly not good, which is why so many of the 4.2 million people who’ve watched makeup artist and vlogger Sepi Balini’s nose-waxing video found cause for alarm.
“You gotta do what you gotta do....NOSE HAIR BE GONE! I only wax the front, not all the way. I know nose hair is necessary,” Balini captioned the Instagram clip, which shows her as an aesthetician shoves two wax-covered dowels up her nostrils, then yanks them out. She’s right about nose hair being necessary — it filters out dirt and debris from the air we breathe — but that doesn’t account for the other dangers.
Naturally, Balini’s followers are concerned. “Why? The hair is there for a good reason,” one wrote. “This is not safe. You can get an infection and die! Nose hairs are there for a reason. You never pluck/wax them. You trim them!” commented another.
But Instagram user glenncoco412 said it best: “🚨WARNING🚨If you pull a certain hair in your nose the wrong way you can bleed intoyour brain internally.” Short, sweet, and to the point, and enough to scare a person into ditching the habit for good, just like my dad did for me way back when.