Nose Piercing

A nose piercing is a piercing placed anywhere on the nose. There are two main locations for nose rings. The first of these is the nostril piercing. This piercing is the second most common type of piercing found in the US today, beaten only by the common earlobe piercings.

Everything You Need to Know About Nose Piercing

The nostril piercing is placed on either side of the nose, directly above the crease created by the curve of the nostril. This piercing is so popular, especially in women, because it's small, discrete and fashionable. In fact, many businesses and professional work environments now allow the nostril piercing as part of their acceptable dress code.

The other common area for a nose piercing is the septum. These piercings are less socially acceptable in professional environments, but the piercing is very popular in the fashion, music and entertainment industries. This piercing goes through the middle of the inside of the nose, also known as the septum.

There are other variations on nose piercings, but those are less common and not readily seen. These include both the double and triple nostril piercings, which are simply multiple nostril piercings in various locations in the nostril, and high nostril piercings, which is another nostril piercing variation located high up on the nostril, a few centimeters above where a normal nostril piercing would be.

Others include the bridge piercing, which is done on the bridge of the nose almost at eye level, the rhino piercing, which is done on the tip of the nose where a rhino's horn would be, the septril piercing, which is a mixture of the rhino piercing and the septum piercing, and the nasallang piercing, which uses one barbell to pierce through both nostrils and the septum. These last two are somewhat dangerous and susceptible to damage and infection, so do lots of research before deciding on these piercings.

Places to Get Nose Piercing

Despite how common nose piercings have become, dedicated piercing shops and tattoo shops that also offer piercings are the only places to get your nose pierced. Retail stores don't offer the option to pierce anything other than earlobes, with the exception of Claire's, who will also pierce cartilage.

Nose Piercing Process

There are a few places that use piercing guns for nostril piercings, but you should avoid that option. The most experienced and knowledgeable piercers won't pierce with anything other than a straight needle. Most piercers use a hollow needle, which they use to swiftly puncture your nostril or septum before sliding the jewelry inside, dropping the needle and tightening up the ends. It is a very fast and simple process.

The Pain Level of Nose Piercing

Pain is experienced differently by everyone, so a piercing that hurt someone else may not hurt you at all or vice versa. However, in terms of pain, the common nostril and septum piercings are fairly standard and are the least painful.

If you are looking for one of the more exotic nose piercings, such as the high nostril piercing, the bridge piercing or one of the others, then you should prepare for a higher level of pain and discomfort, especially during the healing process.

Standard nose piercings will leave your nose sore for a few days after the piercing, and your nose may even swell a bit. However, with the rarer piercings, the discomfort can last for quite a bit longer than a few days. These piercings are also very high-maintenance and can become infected very easily if not taken care of properly.

The Price

Different shops will charge different prices for nose piercings, with the high-end shops usually costing a bit more. The price will also depend on which type of nose piercing you're getting. Standard nostril and septum piercings generally range anywhere from $25 to $100. The other piercings on the list will cost more because they are more risky and require more skill and expertise to pierce.

Healing Time

Everyone heals at his or her own pace, but the following is an average guide for healing times:

  • Nostril Piercing – 4-6 months
  • High Nostril Piercing – 4-6 months
  • Septum Piercing – 6-10 weeks
  • Septril Piercing – 4-7 months
  • Rhino Piercing – 6-9 months
  • Bridge Piercing – 2-3 months
  • Nasallang Piercing – 4-6 months

The Aftercare Process

Aftercare for nose rings is pretty standard. Keep it clean and sanitized. Don't touch it or play with it. Don't remove or change the jewelry until it's completely healed. Don't sleep with your face against the pillow.

You should also take showers rather than baths while your piercing is healing, and don't get into any pools, lakes or any other water, especially chemically treated or dirty water, until the piercing site is fully healed. You'll also only want to sanitize with saline solution or some other type of spray your piercer recommends. You never want to use anti-bacterial ointment on piercing sites.

What Kind of Jewelry Can I Wear After It's Healed?

Although it seems like a nose ring is in a spot for which it would be very hard to find unique jewelry, this isn't the case at all. In fact, nose rings are perfect for finding unique, exotic jewelry that represents your own particular style.

There are seven main types of jewelry for nostril piercings, and they are mostly named for their backings.

The first is the twist. This type of jewelry fits flush against the nostril and has an infinite number of different stones or shapes on the front for individuality. The back, however, is twisted almost like a half hoop. You insert the back of the nose ring into the hole, twist it – hence the name – and push it in until the front of the jewelry is snug against your nose.

Next is jewelry known as “nose bones.” Nose bones, like the twist-back jewelry, has a flush fit once inserted. The side of the “bone” that is on the outside of your nose is the side with the stone, cute shape or other adornment; on the other side, there is a small ball which keeps the jewelry in place. These can be a little tricky to insert, so be careful when first using them.

The pin style of jewelry is much like the twist. In fact, from the outside, the two can look identical if they have the same stone or design. However, the pin is exactly what it sounds like – a pin. It slides straight into your nose, no twisting or balls required. However, this type of jewelry doesn't stay in place well as-is. If you wear a pin, you may want to get your piercer to bend the back of it to keep it from falling out.

L-shaped jewelry is basically just pin jewelry with a bent, L-shaped back.

Hoop nose rings and seamless hoop nose rings are the final two types of common nose jewelry. They are very similar, except the seamless hoop curves all the way around until both ends of the hoop are almost touching. The regular hoop is more cuff-like with a ball on one end of the hoop to keep it in place.

Septum piercings are almost always decorated with either a barbell, a curved barbell or a hoop.