Explore the different types of nose piercings along with their pain factor and the types of jewelry for each piercing. We've also included their pros and cons to help you find the best piercing for you.
Nose rings are some of the most popular types of piercings you can get. But there are more types of piercings for your nose than you may be aware of. So if you’re looking for a fresh new piercing, you may want to explore the different kinds of nose rings that you can get.
There are seven types of piercings you can get for your nose. The most popular is the nostril piercing, which includes variants like multiple nostril piercings or high nostril piercings. There are also septums, bridges, nasallangs, Austin bars, septrils, and rhino piercings.
Getting a new piercing can be exciting for anyone with an interest in body modification. Suppose you aren’t familiar with the different types of nose piercings available to you. In that case, our list will give you everything you need to know, including their pain factor, the types of jewelry that are best suited for each piercing, and their overall pros and cons.
When you think of a nose piercing, you will often think of a nostril piercing with a single hole on either side of your nose. Nostril piercings are the most common type of nose piercing and have an understated and traditional look.
You can also opt for a high nostril piercing, which sits higher up on the side of your nose. You may not be able to use hooped jewelry for this type of nostril piercing, though.
If you have more than one nostril piercing, it is considered to be a multiple nostril piercing.
Because nostril piercings involve puncturing the cartilage in your nose, they are generally some of the most painful nose piercings you can get.
Types Of Jewelry For Nostril Piercings
There are several options for a classic nostril piercing, including twist jewelry, L-shaped jewelry, nose bones, straight posts, and hoops. You should note, however, that hoops are not ideal for a high nostril piercing.
Twist jewelry has a straight post and a u-shaped hook at the end. Some people may also call them corkscrew piercings because you have to screw them into your nostril when inserting them.
Twist piercings usually sit flush against the inside of the nostril but can sometimes poke out if they move around.
If you have more than one nostril piercing next to one another, a twist piercing may not be ideal. Twists can get interlocked or hooked inside of your nose and can cause tugging and pulling on one or both of the piercings. Excessive tugging can cause lasting damage to your nose.
L-shaped jewelry bends at a sharp L-shaped or 90-degree angle and is slipped into the nose following the bend of the post.
These piercings are usually preferred over corkscrews and nose bones because they are easier to insert and are generally more secure.
Nose bones are straight posts that have a small ball on the end. To insert a nose bone, you have to force the ball through your piercing – which can be pretty tricky – and once it is in, the ball will act as a stopper to keep the nose ring in place.
While they are simple enough to insert, removing a nose bone can be slightly painful because you need to yank the ball back through the piercing. They are generally good for people who want to keep their nose jewelry the same for long periods.
Nose bones are ideal for multiple nostril piercings because they are small and cannot become entangled inside the nostril.
Posts are aptly named because they have a straight post that you can easily push into your nostrils.
They are not meant to be worn as they are, though, and a piercer will generally have to bend the post into an L-shape to fit your nose.
There are three main types of hoops: captive hoops, seamless hoops, and false hoops.
Captive hoops look like a thin ring with a gap that should close and sometimes resemble a horseshoe. At one end of the ring, there is a ball that acts as a stopper to keep the piercing in place.
Seamless hoops are bent open and have to be compressed closed once you have inserted them into the nostril. They generally don’t have a ball or other closure type, but they do have a small gap where you open and close the jewelry.
False or fake hoops are L-shaped posts where the visible end of the jewelry is rounded to give the impression of a hoop. These are usually preferred to other hoops because the L-post sits flush inside of the nostril.
Hoops are not recommended for a high nostril piercing because of where your jewelry will sit.
- Variety of jewelry to choose from
- Simple and classic look
- The nostril is relatively quick to pierce
- Because it goes through the cartilage, it can be quite painful to pierce
A septum piercing goes through the soft cartilage between your nostrils and, depending on the type of jewelry you choose, can be flipped up to sit securely inside the nostrils.
This makes a septum a fantastic choice for anyone who wants to maintain a professional look without having to remove their body jewelry.
Septums have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Like nostril piercings, they can be painful because they go through the cartilage of your nose.
Types of Jewelry for Septum Piercings
Septum piercings have a more limited set of jewelry that will work well for the piercing. There are three main types of jewelry that can be used: circular barbells, septum clickers, and captive hoops.
Barbells have a horseshoe shape and have a small ball on either side of the opening. To insert a barbell, you can unscrew one of the balls before pushing it through the piercing. To close the piercing, you need to replace the ball that you have removed.
Circular barbells can be flipped up and rest inside the nostrils, making them the ideal choice if you want to hide your piercing.
A septum clicker is a hoop that can be closed to create the look of a full hoop. You can insert a septum clicker by opening the latch, slipping it through, and closing the latch again.
Because the jewelry is closed, it can’t be flipped up or hidden.
A captive hoop is a full circle that meets in the middle by clicking into a bead that secures each end. Like a septum clicker, you can open the hoop by pulling one side away from the bead and clicking it into place once you have put it through your piercing.
Captive hoops are also closed, and so they are also unable to flip up into the nostrils.
- Various jewelry options
- It can be painful to pierce
- Not all types of jewelry can be hidden
Bridge piercings go through the tissue on the bridge of your nose and sit between the eyes. These piercings are usually labeled ‘surface piercings’ because they do not pierce the cartilage or bone.
Although the piercing is close to your eyes, they are less painful than some other types of nose piercings because they only puncture soft tissue.
Because of this, they are more likely to migrate. Migration is when your body pushes the jewelry to the surface of the skin in an attempt to reject or expel the piercing. In this case, it is better to simply remove the jewelry and allow the hole to close.
Types of Jewelry for Bridge Piercings
There are limited options for bridge piercings because of where it sits on the nose.
Generally, you can use a straight or curved barbell as your jewelry for this type of piercing.
Straight barbells are straight posts – or bars- that have two balls on either end. The balls can be removed when you insert the piercing and close by screwing the ball back on.
Straight barbells are more susceptible to migration, though, so most people opt for a curved barbell instead.
A curved barbell is similar to a straight barbell, except for the post of the jewelry.
Curved barbells are generally slightly bent to suit the contour of the bridge of the nose.
- Less painful than other piercings
- It doesn’t pierce cartilage or bone
- More likely to migrate
Nasallang piercings are extremely complicated. To pierce the nose in this style, the needle enters one nostril, goes through the septum, and emerges out of the other nostril. Because of its complexity, you will need to ensure that you are only being pierced by a professional.
The nasallang pierces three separate areas of cartilage, making it extremely painful to get. It is not recommended for people who have not been pierced before or those with lower pain tolerance.
Nasallangs also have a much longer healing time and can take up to 9 months or even a year before it is fully healed. Because of the amount of time these piercings take to heal, it is more susceptible to infection.
Types Of Jewelry For Nasallang Piercings
There is only one type of piercing that will work for a Nasallang, which is a straight barbell. However, you can always mix and match your jewelry.
Like bridge piercings, straight barbells are often used for nasallang piercings. But, unlike the bridge, this type of piercings has little to no risk of migration because it punctures cartilage and not soft tissue.
Nostril Or Septum Jewelry
If you have a nasallang piercing, removing the original jewelry that your piercer used will leave you with three separate piercings— one on either nostril and a piercing through your septum.
For some people, getting a nasallang is versatile because it allows them to wear one piece of jewelry (the straight barbell) or choose from other types and put the corresponding jewelry into each separate piercing.
- Can change the jewelry to have three separate piercings
- Not recommended for anyone who has not been pierced before
- Long healing time
The Austin bar is similar to the nasallang, but instead of sitting in the middle of your nose, it is pierced through the tip of your nose. This means that it doesn’t go through the septum.
Like bridge piercings, an Austin bar is a surface piercing, so it is also susceptible to migration.
Because of the sensitive tissue at the tip of your nose, they are only recommended for people who have been pierced before and can be quite painful. They have quite a short healing time, though, and will only take between 2 to 3 months to heal.
Types Of Jewelry For Austin Bar Piercings
Austin bars are only compatible with straight barbells.
The barbells used for these piercings are generally shorter in length, and the balls on either end of the post usually sit much closer together than a regular barbell.
- Unique and edgy look
- Shorter healing time than a nasallang
- At risk of migration
- Not for beginners
To get one of these piercings, you will first have to have – or get – a septum piercing.
The septum is then stretched out to fit gauger jewelry, and another piece of jewelry is used to put through the cartilage that separates your nostrils.
It peeks out the bottom of your nose and can be quite painful because of the gauging process that takes place beforehand. Gauging can also take some time to achieve. A septril piercing is therefore recommended for experienced body modifiers.
Types Of Jewelry For Septril Piercings
Septril piercings require a curved barbell or flat back stud, and the septum will then have either tunnel or plug gauge jewelry put into place.
The curved barbell follows the natural curves and contours of the tip of your nose and comes through the cartilage between your nostrils.
Flat Back Stud
A flat back stud looks like a normal earring with a straight post and the gem on the end that is visible on the outside of your nose. The back of the stud is flat rather than adorning a butterfly as a regular stud earring would.
The plug is put through the septum hole and is a short, cylindrical gauge that keeps the stretched piercing open.
Also called flesh tunnels, these are similar to plugs except for the hole that runs through the middle of the jewelry. It is hollow and tube-shaped and serves the same purpose as a plug.
- Unique-looking piercing
- Requires the septum to be stretched first
- Not for first-time body modifiers
A rhino piercing gets its name from the resemblance that it bears to a rhino’s horn. The piercing is made vertically through the center of the tip of the nose and runs down through the tissue between your nostrils and above your septum.
These piercings are extremely similar to a septril piercing, except they do not require gauging of the septum, and the top of the piercing sits on the tip of the nose.
Because of the pain and care that this piercing requires, it is another advanced piercing that isn’t recommended to anyone who hasn’t had body modification before.
Types Of Jewelry For Rhino Piercings
Rhino piercings can only be fitted with curved barbells.
The bar’s curve sits perfectly through the piercing so that either end of the bell sits either on the tip of or underneath the tip of the nose.
Nose Piercing Materials
Nose rings come in all sorts of materials, with different price points and benefits. Some of the best materials are titanium, surgical steel, gold, and niobium.
While you can use a myriad of other materials, there are some to watch out for if you want to avoid infection. These include sterling silver, plastic or nylon, and any sort of plated jewelry.
Titanium is a versatile metal that can be used in a variety of applications. But you need to make sure that the titanium you are considering is implant-certified before you decide on a nose ring.
Buying implant-grade titanium or titanium G23 nose rings is recommended since titanium is not biocompatible alone.
The popularity of titanium nose rings can be attributed to several factors. These factors include titanium’s durability, lightweight and scratch resistance.
The only real downside to titanium nose rings is that they can be quite expensive.
However, investing in durable, safe, long-lasting metal is extremely important to prevent infection.
Surgical Stainless Steel
Surgical stainless steel is one of the most popular types of nose ring metal. That can be attributed to its hypoallergenic properties, affordability, and safety for wound healing.
In fresh piercings, piercers usually use 316LVM or 316L, which are both types of stainless steel that are also implant-grade materials. Besides these, there are a large number of surgical steel options.
If you have any sort of nickel sensitivity, you will want to be careful when using stainless steel because it contains a small amount of nickel. Other than that, a surgical stainless steel nose ring provides a safe and affordable solution for most people.
Not only is gold a great choice for people with skin sensitivities, but it also has a classic and elegant look to it. Gold is hypoallergenic, and so it is also fantastic for fresh piercings to help the healing process.
You will need to make sure that your jewelry is gold and not gold-plated, though. Gold-plated nose rings can cause infections. To make sure that your piercing is pure gold, you should look for 14 or 18k options.
Copper alloys are also good for nose piercings because they contain gold, but they are harder and more durable than pure gold.
Niobium is one of the safest nose ring materials you can get, and much like gold, it is also hypoallergenic. This makes it ideal for fresh piercings and those with metal allergies.
It is also biocompatible, which means that it is made of material that is not toxic or harmful to your skin.
While sterling silver is popular for general jewelry like bracelets, earrings, and necklaces, it isn’t great for nose rings. This is because sterling silver nose jewelry is often mixed with other metal alloys that can cause irritation and stunt the healing process.
It is also prone to tarnishing when it is in contact with sweat or natural oils from the skin. These fluids cause the sterling silver to oxidize, which tarnishes the metal and permanently stains your skin. If you choose sterling silver jewelry, you will need to clean it more regularly to avoid staining.
You will want to avoid any sort of jewelry for your nose if it has been plated at all. The base materials used for these nose rings are often zinc, nickel, or copper, which often irritate the skin and can cause adverse reactions or infections.
This is because plated jewelry tends to flake, and once the base material is exposed, your skin interacts with those materials directly.
Although plastic and nylon may be appealing because of their low price and easy accessibility, they are some of the worst materials you can use for your nose ring.
These nose rings are more prone to falling out of your piercing, can be brittle, and tend not to last for very long. This means you’ll be replacing it more often than other nose rings, which can add up. Rather invest in a better material from the get-go to save yourself the trouble.
Plastic nose rings are also breeding grounds for infection because they are permeable, which means that they absorb fluids and promote bacterial growth. It is better to avoid these types of nose rings altogether.
If you have been thinking about getting a new piercing, nose rings are extremely popular. Our list of types of nose rings has everything you need to know before taking the plunge and sporting a new piercing.
Spencer’s: Nose Piercing: The Complete Guide