10 Most Common Types of Nose Rings

If you’ve watched that iconic but terrifying scene from Payback (trigger warning), you may be uneasy about getting a nose ring. Luckily, Mel Gibson mostly restricts his drama to the movie screen, and nose rings come in tons of styles, so you can pick a slightly less traumatizing version for your nasal jewelry. Although technically it was a nose-hoop, it was not a nose-stud.

There’s also a category of nose piercings called septum rings, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before we look at the most common types of nose rings, we have to do some background work on piercings and jewelry hygiene. There are three options for piercing your nostrils: septum, bridge, or ear. Each piercing requires a different type of nose ring based on positioning.

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And of course, if your septum deviates, you shouldn’t get it pierced, so double-check! Depending on where, how and who performed the piercing, the healing time for nose rings can take between 8 weeks and 8 months. You’ll have to keep in the original nose ring until you’re fully healed, then you can swap out your jewelry. That’s why it helps to get it right from the start.

Nose Ring Materials

A nose ring can range from cheap plastic to pricy platinum. These fringe materials will work best for you if you have any metal allergies. The plastic might be bioplast or acrylic, and you can also buy a nose ring made of glass. You also have the option of stainless steel, sterling, white, yellow, or titanium. A nose ring could be made with a meaning gemstone or one of the cheaper rhinestones.

You should be aware of piercing movement. That’s when your ‘hole’ starts to move or expand as it heals. In some cases, this can be a good thing, as in the case of deliberate stretching. Migration can sometimes cause scarring and bumps. Bridge piercings are most vulnerable to migration. Consider getting a nosering that has some flexibility, such as a curving barbell.

The type and location of your nose piercing can dictate the type of nose ring material. A double or triple piercing may require twisted or hooked barsbells. A high nostril piercing will be better suited to a stud. These types of nose rings are intricate, so they have to be made from a sturdy but ductile metal that won’t weaken at the curves or joints. You may have to size them.

Most Common Types of Nose Rings

Depending on your location and the person you ask, you may be able to classify nose rings into one of five categories or even fifty-five. Think about the thickness of your nose ring – it ranges from thin 22-gauge to thicker 18-gauge. Because your nose membrane is more thick, a longer stem will be required for a nose ring. Also, factor in the position of your piercing:

  • (*10*)Third eye – vertical double piercing between your eyes.
  • (*10*)Bridge – horizontal double piercing below the third eye ‘where your nose starts’.
  • (*10*)Nasallang – horizontal double piercing on the upper part of your nose.
  • (*10*)Septum – horizontal single piercing on the skin that separates your two nostrils.
  • (*10*)Septril – single piercing at the tip of your septum.
  • (*10*)Rhino – vertical double piercing at the tip of your nose, slightly above the septril.
  • (*10*)Nostril – single piercing on your mid-lower nostril.
  • (*10*)High nostril – single piercing on your upper nostril, closer to the bridge.
  • (*10*)Austin – double horizontal piercing on your lower nostril, closer to the tip.
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If you choose to add a gem, prongs or a ring can be used to set it. Prongs might snag your hair and clothing, so some consumers are wary of them. But bezels let less light pass through them, so they’re not as sparkly. Let’s look at the most common styles and how they suit you.

1. Corkscrew / Twist / Nostril Screw

Corkscrew Twist Nostril Screw

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This type of nose ring has a beat at the top, a straight stem, and a c-shaped hook at the bottom. You have to coil it into your nostril and the hook lies flush against the inner roof of your nose. The tip of the hook sometimes pokes out your nostril, especially after sneezing or sweating.

Some consumers feel self-conscious about this. Some people find themselves constantly touching their nose to see if the hook is still in place. For nostril or high nostril piercings, twisted nose rings work best. Buy it in person to be sure the stem fits the thickness of your nose.

2. L-Shaped / L-Post

This design is similar to corkscrews, but instead of the stem curling and hooking at the tip, it bends at 90°. Like the corkscrew, the L-section sits against the upper inside roof of your nose. It’s less fussy without the hook, but isn’t as snug on thicker nose membranes and may pinch. Sometimes it does slip out though. It’s suitable for nostril and high nostril positioning.

3. Labret

Labret

In this type of nose ring, both ends of the stem are flat, and one part screws off. So you’ll insert the nose ring from the inside of your nostril then screw on the top part on the outside of your nostril. There’s a potential hygiene risk since dirt can slip between the threads of the screw. This works well on regular and high nostril piercings. It can also be very elaborate.

4. Nose Bone / Stud

These are similar to labrets, but instead of flat tips, the nose ring has a ball on both ends. The outer tip can be a gem, while the inner ball may be metal. The inner ball should be small enough to squeeze through your piercing with a little effort but it won’t slip out unless you actively yank it because the inner ball functions as a stopper. This type should only be purchased after healing.

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5. Barbell

Barbell
Image: something borrowed

Barbell nose rings resemble labrets, but instead of flat tips, they have a screwed-on ball bead at each end of the stem. The shape of the stem determines the type. Due to their potential migration, curved barbells work well for rhinos and bridges. For septum piercings, circular or horseshoe-shaped barbells work best. You can also get a twisted barbell for your nose if it’s carefully pierced to fit.

6. Pin / Fishtail / Bend-to-Fit

At first glance, this nose ring seems pretty simple. The top is made of a bead or gemstone and the stem is extra long. Your jeweler or piercer will shape the tip to a J-shape after you have put on your nose ring. This is a bit like an angle fish hook. The hooked isn’t sharp, but because the shop has to curl it for you, you have to go back every time you want to swap your jewelry.

7. Beaded Hoop / Captive Hoop / Bar Closure

This kind of nose ring is an actual thin ring and comes into two styles – closed and open. Open beaded hoop has a horseshoe shape and a bead at one end. This bead acts as a stopper. It’s sometimes called a faux hoop. In the closed kind, one side of your hoop clicks into the bead to seal it shut and prevent it from slipping out of your piercing. This can make it look like a bugger.

8. Unbeaded Hoop / Seamless Hoop

Unbeaded Hoop Seamless Hoop

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This is a ring that you tug to open and compress to shut. Tension holds the hoop in place, and you can rotate it 360°. You may find a small gap in the hoop that you need to squeeze, or one tip might be thin enough to slide into the other and click it shut. It’s a good choice if you’re self-conscious about the bead in beaded hoops. Gapped ones can pinch and become stuck so be careful.

9. Fake Hoop

We’ve mentioned that hoops with a bead and an ‘open latch’ can be labeled a faux hoop. This second type of faux hoop combines a hoop with an L-shaped nose ring. Outside your piercing, it looks like a hoop, but inside, the shaft folds into an L to maintain the illusion of a circle. The outer part of your hoop hooks into your nostril to complete the hooked effect.

10. Septum Clicker

Septum Clicker

The most common type of nose ring for a septum is a horseshoe barbell or circular barbell. The ring fits snugly into your septum, and the tips prevent it from popping out. If you prefer a ‘closed’ look, you could wear a hoop in your septum. The septum clicker is safer because it can snap shut or open easily when pulled.

Potential Piercing Challenges

So you’ve settled on the location, position, and style of your nose piercing. You’ve even scoped the piercing studio and ensured everything is kosher. You should also consider the following:

  • (*10*)Process: Get your nose pierced at a professional parlor. Some shops offer ear-piercing instruments and earrings. However, earring gauges are often larger than those of nose rings. The stems may be too short and can cause the piercing to be performed without a stopper.
  • (*10*)Pain: Septum piercings hurt the most. Other types of nose piercings may sting a little. But even if it doesn’t hurt, expect your eyes to tear involuntarily because of the piercing location. Cold metal and nerves can trigger your crying reflex.
  • (*10*)Healing: Surprisingly, bridge piercings heal the fastest while septum piercing can take up to a year. Your piercing could bleed, ooze liquid, or hurt slightly during that time. Call a doctor if your piercing starts to blister or turns yellow-green.
  • (*10*)Allergies: You might react to the metal in your piercing, so opt for hypoallergenic jewelry. Normal reactions include mild inflammation and bumps. However, if these symptoms become serious, antibiotics may be necessary. In the event of scarring, make sure to check the area daily.
  • (*10*)Aesthetics: You already know you shouldn’t remove your nose ring for 6 months to a year or it might heal itself and block. You must avoid using nose makeup. So adjust your beauty routine accordingly. You can also pick your nose with your nose ring. There are many.
  • (*10*)Associations: In some parts of the world – like India – left nostril piercings are linked to marriage and fertility. Many new brides choose them. In the west, a nose piercing is sometimes associated with rebellion, deviance, or the creative lifestyle of ‘free spirits.’
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Nose Ring Aftercare

Looking after your nose piercing is essential. If you don’t pay enough attention, your piercing could block, migrate, expand, or even shrink. Particularly if your nose was pierced with a less than ideal nose ring. This could cause your nose to fall out during the night or while you sleep. Keep your nose ring in position for at least 6 months just to be sure it’s fully healed. Don’t take it out for a second.

Use a disinfectant to clean your piercing at least twice a day. Sea salt can be soaked in water. This helps prevent bumps and scratches from becoming infected. To ensure your healing process is complete, avoid long-lasting baths, swimming pool, hot tubs and saunas. You can expose your piercing to more contaminants by submerging for too long. So hurry up!

While keloids and bumps are common after piercing, it’s possible to develop one years later. This is especially true if your hoops rub against your nose, or snag your clothing. These latter-day keloids can also be treated using the same sea saltwater spray or bath that you use to treat fresh piercings.

Pro Tip:

Yes, submerging your piercing exposes it to contamination. But you’re far more likely to catch an infection from a non-sterile piercing environment. You should choose a piercer that uses disposable nippers. Registered tattoo parlors are a good choice because they never re-use their needles, but don’t go for a back-alley option. Ensure it’s a safe, reliable piercing venue with referrals.

Do you or any of your household residents have a nose piercing? What type of jewelry is in that nose piercing? Show us a photo in the comments, we’d love to see it!

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