In terms of facial piercings, nose piercings still reign supreme ahead of lip piercings, eyebrow piercings, and others in popularity. On TikTok, #nosepiercing has over 1.6 billion views — far more than any of its other facial piercing counterparts. Chalk it up to style trends, social acceptability, or just the natural canvas size of the human nose, nose rings and studs seem to be the next step for those who want to venture outside of the ear for body jewelry. And that’s why it’s good to know all the types of nose piercings you can get.
Nose piercings offer a range of looks to suit just about anyone’s personal aesthetic — they range from edgy and bold to subtle and dainty — and nostril piercings, in particular, are pretty easy to change out for different jewelry styles once you get past the initial healing phase. However, nostril piercings aren’t the full extent of nose piercings. Septum piercings, for example, as worn by celebrities such as FKA Twigs, Zoe Kravitz, and Willow Smith, have been a point of envy for aspiring edgy cool girls and Tauruses everywhere. And more unique pieces like rhino piercings, bridge piercings, and Austin bars are options, too.
If you are considering taking a needle to your nose for a piercing, NYLON spoke with Pablo Perelmuter, a medical liaison for the Association of Professional Piercers and owner of Lemonade Piercing in the Bay Area of California, to compile all of the information you need to know before you have one done. Read on to learn about the different types of nose piercings, how much they cost, how much they hurt, how to take care of them, and more.
Different Types Of Nose Piercings
“Nostril piercings can be done all around the wall of the nostril, on the high area (high nostril), on the center of the septum, and other fun and more ‘experimental’ areas like ‘rhino piercings,’” Perelmuter says, but nostrils certainly aren’t the end-all-be-all for body art on the nose. Some of the most popular nose piercings are listed and explained below.
This is the style most people think of when they hear “nose piercing.” It goes through the center of your nostril on either side and gives you lots of choices of jewelry to wear.
Sometimes called a bull piercing, a septum piercing punctures through the wall of cartilage that divides both nostrils.
Rhino piercings pierce through the tip of your nose and through the skin above your septum.
Nose Bridge Piercing
Bridge piercings go through the bridge of your nose, right between your eyes.
A septril piercing is a combo of a rhino piercing and a septum piercing: It attaches through the top of your nose and out above your septum.
An Austin bar is pierced horizontally through the tip of your nose, avoiding the septum of the nasal cavity.
A double nose piercing is two nostril piercings typically done on the same side — be it a combo of two nose rings, two studs, or one of each.
Before you decide to get anything done, Perelmuter recommends consulting with professionals about the placement of your piercing, as everyone’s physiology is unique and certain piercings might be better suited to you than others. The septril piercing, for example, requires that you have a stretched septum to achieve the look, and a double nose piercing may not be feasible given the size of your nostril.
How Much Do Nose Piercings Cost?
Although studios will all operate at different price points, Perelmuter says you can anticipate the piercing fee for a nose to be a base price of $30 to $60. On top of that, you’ll have to pay for the jewelry. For nose piercings, Perelmuter advocates choosing implant grade titanium, as it’s the best material to facilitate the healing process. So, with the added cost of jewelry (which can be at least $40), the total cost of a nose piercing can be $70 or above at a reputable studio.
Do Nose Piercings Hurt?
Like any piercing, there will be some pain. Nose piercings in general are very tolerable, but the pain level is also contingent on what type of piercing you choose to have done. “Depending on the area, most of our customers feel traditional nostril piercings a bit stronger than septum piercings, as long as the septum is well-performed,” says Perelmuter. Since the septum tissue is so thin, it will hurt briefly during the piercing but heal more quickly, resulting in less pain overall.
Pain is also dependent on your body. For example, if you have a deviated septum, a septum piercing may hurt more for you than for others because your septum nerves can be overactive.
The Healing Process
The healing process for nose piercings also depends on where the piercing was placed. “Septum piercings have a pretty smooth and soft healing process, anywhere between three to four months,” explains Perelmuter. “On the other hand, nostril piercings are a bit more challenging and can take four to six, and more in some cases, to fully heal.”
Plus, everybody heals differently. The most important thing is that you listen to both your piercer and your body when it comes to nose piercing aftercare.
How to Take Care Of A Nose Piercing
Perelmuer recommends using a saline rinse regularly while your piercing heals. “For certain placements, it may be easier to apply using clean gauze saturated with saline solution,” he says. “A brief rinse afterward will remove any residue.” And always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before cleaning or touching your piercing.
Once you’ve finished with the saline (which your should use as often as your piercer instructs), rinse the area thoroughly with plain clean water and dry it gently with a clean paper towel. Perelmuer says to avoid using cloth towels, as they can carry bacteria and snag on jewelry, causing injury and pain. He also notes that during the rinsing process, it’s not necessary to rotate the jewelry through the piercing at all. In fact, it’s best to leave it as is and avoid touching the area as much as possible to prevent infection. If you can help it, stay clean of applying makeup to the piercing area while it heals.
Nose piercings, though they might have a healing process that requires lots of care and patience for a few months, offer an effortlessly cool way to step up your look. As long as you take heed of the instructions your professional piercer gives you, you’ll be walking around with low maintenance, enviable nose jewelry in no time.