What Is Ear Hair?

T. M. Robertson

For the most part, ear hair is a natural element of the human body. When dirt and other airborne particles are blown into the ear, these hairs act as a screen to help keep as much debris out of the ear canal as possible. This helps ward off inner ear infections, along with other potential dangers, that could ultimately result in partial hearing loss or even complete deafness. In most people, the hair remains tiny and virtually unnoticeable, but as the body ages, and hormonal balances are altered, some may notice an increased production of ear hair. Since society often views hairy ears as unappealing, or even unhygienic, many choose to trim away the excess amounts.

Ear hair can minimize risk factors for inner ear infections.
Ear hair can minimize risk factors for inner ear infections.

The reason why some individuals experience excessive ear hair growth, and others don't, remains a mystery. One theory is that a genetic trait is passed down through the father's line by means of the Y chromosome. Studies have been inconclusive, however, and have not taken into consideration factors such as ethnicity and age.

One theory claims that excessive growth of ear hair is caused by the same hormone that causes premature balding in men.
One theory claims that excessive growth of ear hair is caused by the same hormone that causes premature balding in men.

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Another theory is that excessive growth of ear hair is caused by the same hormone that causes premature balding in men. This hormone is known as dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short. Evidence seems to point to a link between baldness and excessive hair growth in the ears and nasal passages. While there appears to be a link between the conditions, the issue hasn't been studied in enough detail to be considered conclusive. Men with excessively hairy ears also tend to be more likely to have coronary artery disease.

Ear hair helps keep dirt and debris out of the ear canal.
Ear hair helps keep dirt and debris out of the ear canal.

Excessive ear hair can be trimmed and removed through several different means, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. One of the oldest and most inexpensive methods is to trim the hair to a more manageable length by means of specially made scissors. While scissors are excellent at trimming hairs to a more manageable length, they won't completely eliminate the hairs. For a closer and more shaved feel, the next option would be to use an electric razor on a regular basis. If permanent removal is the ultimate goal, laser hair removal may be the best choice.

There may be a link between excessive ear hair and premature balding in men.
There may be a link between excessive ear hair and premature balding in men.

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