While it is a relatively new practice in the West, the custom of wearing nose rings has been around for thousands of years in places such as the Middle East, India and Africa. In fact, piercing the nose is the second most popular type of body piercing after ear piercings. lets see more about Nose Rings Guide.
Nose Rings Guide
In these places, the nose ring holds symbolic significance and is integrated into the culture, whereas in the West, wearing a nose ring can come across as being defiant and against traditional norms and values.
Depending on where you wear it, a nose ring can be seen as a beautiful accessory, a symbol of status, wealth or prestige or even as an act of rebellion.
learn more about : How to Choose a Wedding Ring?
The Origin of Nose Rings
The tradition of wearing nose rings can be traced back to 44,000 BC in India, where the Aboriginal people wore crafted bone nose pieces through their nasal septums. They continued this form of adornment until recent times.
However, the practice that influenced the modern nose ring wearing tradition began in the Middle East over 4000 years ago. Even the Old Testament in the Bible references nose rings several times. From here, the custom migrated towards India, where by the 1500s it had become a part of the local way of life.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that nose rings as a form of jewellery came to the Western world. Hippies who visited India in the 60s embraced this practice and brought it back with them to America. Later on, punk and Goth communities also adopted the practice.
Today, nose piercings are becoming mainstream as an increasing number of people take to wearing them. To the West, wearing a nose-ring is often seen as somewhat rebellious. Like many other types of piercing, nose rings are often viewed in a negative light and frowned upon. However, in other parts of the world, the nose ring holds a position of cultural and historical significance.
Clearly, the meaning or significance of the nose ring varies from culture to culture. Here are some of the most commonly accepted meanings for nose rings:
Nose Rings and Wealth
For some, wearing a nose ring is an expression of wealth, social status and prestige. This is especially true for the Berber people of North Africa. Here, the wealthier and more important the person, the larger the nose ring! As part of the wedding rituals, the Berber groom gives his new wife the nose ring as a symbol of his wealth. Even today, this custom continues.
Nose Rings and Fertility
In India, the nose is seen as correlating to sexual health, fertility and child birth. Accordingly, having the left nostril pierced would result in easing the pain of the menstrual cycle, increasing sexual pleasure and assist with an easier childbirth. The Ayurvedic reasoning behind this is that a woman’s left nostril is connected to her reproductive organs.
Nose Rings and Marriage
Nose rings symbolize marriage in some parts of the world, although this is slowly changing today.
The oldest mention of a nose ring as a wedding gift is in the Bible, where Abraham gifts his daughter in law a gold nose ring on her marriage to his son Isaac. This practice of gifting the bride with a nose ring on her wedding day has continued in many parts of the Middle East, Africa and India.
In these parts of the world, wearing a nose ring often signified that you were married and, just like a wedding ring today, a married woman would hardly ever take off her nose ring.
Modern Meaning of Nose Rings
Although nose rings are still frowned upon by certain sections of Western society, today it has generally become an accepted practice. In the West, a nose piercing is seen as only a fashion accessory and holds little cultural or historical significance.
However, it can sometimes be viewed as an act of rebellion and a statement against conservative values. A reason for this is that nose rings are connected to the hippie, punk and Goth subcultures that adopted this practice in the 60s and 70s. This connection has somewhat stigmatized the act of wearing a nose ring.
How to Choose a Nose Ring
Even today, wearing a nose ring can be frowned upon as being ‘unprofessional’ and some workplaces will not accept it. However, this view is changing slowly as more and more people get on the nose ring bandwagon, making the nose ring an acceptable accessory in the West.
Today wearing a nose ring is becoming more mainstream and an increasing number of people are opting to get their noses pierced. As with any type of jewellery, a nose ring expresses your personality and the type of ring you choose will say something about you. From pretty and exotic to rebellious and non-conforming, you can choose your style.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not a nose ring is for you, keep reading. We cover everything a beginner needs to know about getting your first nose ring.
What type of piercing should I choose?
There are at least 10 different types of nose piercings available to you, from novice to hard-core. Here’s a quick run down of the most popular.
The most traditional and popular form of nose ring is the nostril piercing. Here, you can choose either the left or right nostril based on your preference. The commonly used type of jewellery with a nostril piercing is a stud or a nose ring. This is placed just at or above the groove of the nostril’s curve.
This is the most popular type of nose piercing at the moment because it is versatile and stylish. The septum piercing is more complicated than a nostril piercing and needs to be performed by a skilled nose piercer. Usually, the piercer will choose the area where there is an absence of cartilage (such as the web os skin where the cartilage and the bottom of the nose meet) so ensure that your piercer knows his cartilage.
You can choose to go with a simple septum ring, circular barbells, captive bead rings or other elaborate designs. The circular barbell (also called horseshoe) is the most popular. If you have a barbell septum ring, you can easily flip it upwards to hide it, if need be.
The high nostril is a variation of the nostril piercing. Here the nostril is pierced at its highest point, before the bridge of the nose begins. This is a unique and stylish spot for a piercing.
The high nostril is pierced in one of the thickest parts of the nose and is a hard to reach area, so piercing this spot can get complicated. Choose a skilful piercer for this one.
The Bridge Piercing, also known as the Erl, is done horizontally across the bridge of the nose, and is known as a surface piercing. What this means is that the cartilage or bone of the nose is not punctured.
However, as a surface piercing, the chances of the body rejecting the jewellery are higher. What the body does is to push the foreign body (in this case the jewellery) outwards towards the surface of the skin in an effort to heal. If this happens, it is best to remove the piercing and allow the hole to heal.
Curved and circular barbells are ideal for bridge piercings. It is not recommended to choose a straight barbell as the chance of the body’s rejection are higher.
Rhino Piercing / Vertical Tip
The rhino piercing, also known as the vertical tip piercing, is quite unique and rare. It almost always involves a curved barbell, that runs from the tip to the bottom of your nose. You can choose a straight bar but this can get more complicated.
Possibly the most involved form of nose piercing, the nasallang passes through both nostrils and the septum. It may seem just like two simple nostril studs, but is actually quite complicated. It is usually done with one sterilized needle in one go, passing through the width of your nose. The nasallang requires symmetry and perfection to look its best, so ensure that your piercer is experienced.
The nasallang is designed to be worn with a straight barbell.
This piercing has the same concept as the nasallang, except that it does not pass through the septum. Instead, it is a nasal tip that pierces the fleshy point of your nose horizontally. This is quite a rare piercing and is named after the first known person to get the piercing.
A straight barbell is often chosen for the Austin Bar.
Types of Nose Jewellery
A common misconception is that all nose jewellery is a nose ‘ring’. If we’re going to be pedantic about it, we would call it nose jewellery as clearly there are many other types of nose jewellery apart from a ring (this is the same with the term earrings).
This is the most commonly worn type of nose jewellery. It is designed to be a long, seamless hoop that fits into the hole and is held in place.
A curved barbell, also known as banana bars and bent barbells, is a variation of the ring. This is especially perfect for septum piercings and can be threaded through the hole by unscrewing the ball edges.
Captive or fixed bead rings
A captive bead or fixed bead ring is a combination of the traditional ring and the barbell. These are very popular but can be somewhat complicated to remove.
This is a small straight bar that can slide into a nose piercing easily. The beaded edge is what keeps it from sliding out. These are generally much smaller than other types of nose jewellery.
This is a straight post with an L-shaped bend, used to keep the jewellery from sliding out of the piercing. The bend can have an angle from 45 to 90 degrees. The end of the L-bend can be a simple ball, stud or a creative design.
This is similar to the L-bend but has a curvy tail instead of a bent bar. It holds the jewellery in place by curling around the inside of the nostril. The nostril screw holds firmly and provides extra support to the piece.
Best nose ring to start with
The best nose piercing to start with is the simple nostril piercing. This is less complicated and risky than some of the other types mentioned above and is not intimidating.
The best nose jewellery to start with is the nose ring. This allows you to clean the jewellery as you can turn it to clean all surfaces. It also has room to accommodate any swelling. However, the very fact that it can fully rotate means that bacteria from the outer part of the ring can get to your unhealed skin if you change its position.
If you don’t want your nose ring to be too attention-grabbing at the start, choose a ring with a higher gauge, such as 24 or 26 gauge.
Once you see how you feel about wearing a nose ring, and as you get more confident and comfortable, perhaps you might be interested in taking it up a notch. You can do this by choosing bigger or more interesting types of nostril jewellery, having multiple nostril piercings for layering or trying one of the other more involved types of piercings.
What’s a fake nose ring?
Now if you want the edgy, bold look of a piercing but aren’t quite ready for a full commitment with a piercing, you can try out a fake nose ring. This is perfect to see how you feel about the whole nose ring thing, before you jump in.
Is it safe to wear a nose ring?
Nose rings are generally safe but it can be difficult to heal and complications can arise if the procedure isn’t done well or if there isn’t sufficient aftercare.
This is why it is important to make sure that you receive your piercing from a reputable and experienced piercer.
How to avoid nose ring infections
It is imperative that you take care of the piercing during the healing period which can take around 3 months.
Choose your nose ring metal carefully. Some of the best types for a new piercing are stainless steel, 14k gold or titanium. Plastic, nylon and sterling silver, although hypoallergenic, are unsafe as they can cause infections in a new piercing. Also, silver can permanently tarnish skin that hasn’t healed yet, leaving unsightly stain marks that is impossible to get rid of.
Avoid chemicals and chlorine until the piercing has healed. This means avoiding activities involving swimming in pools or the ocean, water sports and hot tubs. Also, excessive perspiration can irritate and burn the piercing, so always wash away your sweat from the piercing.
During this healing period, it is advised not to remove the piercing as this can cause the hole to close down or get torn, requiring the healing process to start all over again.
When cleaning the piercing, avoid rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these can irritate the skin and burn your tissue and slow down healing. These also tend to dry and kill off new cells. A sterile saline solution is generally recommended as the best way to keep the piercing clean.
While a nose ring takes some commitment to maintain, it is a beautiful and trendy way to express your style. It is a big decision however, so take your time and do your research before you commit. Consider if and how it may impact your professional life, and whether it is something you will want to have down the line.
Best Metal for Nose Rings?
Two common issues that people face after a nose piercing are allergies and infections. While there are a range of factors that can contribute to this, one major aspect to consider is the type of metal you choose for your nose ring.
True, there are many nose ring metals out there to choose from. But all nose ring metals aren’t created equal.
The following metals are commonly used for nose piercings and are known for generally reducing irritation, infections and discomfort.
Surgical Stainless Steel (SSS)
This is the most commonly used type of metal for nose piercings and is perfect for a fresh or healing piercing. As surgical steel is hypoallergenic, it typically does not irritate the skin. It is also quite affordable.
While there are many types of stainless steel, not all are used in a fresh piercing. 316L and 316LVM are the recommended types of SSS for piercings as they are body implant grade.
Stainless steel contains some nickel so if you are sensitive to nickel this may cause some irritation and discomfort.
Titanium is extremely durable and is also bio-compatible, meaning that it is not harmful for the body. However, ensure that you have chosen implant certified titanium.
Titanium is more durable and lightweight than stainless steel, and contains very little nickel. Another advantage of titanium, is that it is very scratch resistant. All these make titanium a comfortable option and also a worthwhile investment as your jewellery will last a very long time. However, on the flip side, titanium can be quite expensive compared to the other metals listed here.
Niobium is not exactly a metal but an element. It is little-known but is a very good option for a body piercing.
This alternative metal is hypoallergenic and is ideal for someone with metal sensitivities. Niobium sits in between titanium and SSS in terms of price and is a durable, bio-compatible metal for a nose piercing.
Gold is one of the best metal options for a nose piercing because of its hypoallergenic and pure nature.
However, it is imperative to choose real gold such as 14k or 18k. These are varieties of gold that contain gold mixed with some other metals (typically copper) to give the gold strength and make it more suited for jewellery. Gold in its purest form is too soft for jewellery and easily loses shape and wears off.
Types of metals to avoid
The following metals are not recommended for fresh or healing piercings. It’s best to wait until the skin has completely healed before wearing these metals.
While sterling silver is known for being a hypoallergenic metal, it is not a good choice for a new piercing. Silver oxidizes and tarnishes when in contact with bodily fluids. This turns the metal black and when this comes into contact with skin, the silver can actually give your skin a permanent black stain. It is impossible to make this stain go away so it is best to avoid silver until your piercing has completely healed.
Plastic and Nylon
Although both plastic and nylon are also hypoallergenic, they tend to be somewhat porous. What this means for you is that they can absorb bodily fluids which can result in infections due to bacteria growth. Also, these types of nose jewellery can tend to stick to the skin.
These types of metals include plated, rolled, vermeil or filled metals. Basically, this is where a base metal, such as copper, zinc or nickel is simply coated with a thin layer of gold (or silver) to make it appear like the real thing.
The trouble with plated metals is that over time, as the plating inevitably wears off, the base metal will come into contact with your skin and can irritate the skin and cause reactions.
Plated metals generally tend to wear off faster when in contact with body fluids, meaning that they discolor and are not very durable. It is best to avoid these in general for nose piercings.
Choosing a metal for your nose piercing will be a factor in making the whole experience a comfortable one. Think of this not as jewellery but as a surgical implant. You wouldn’t choose a cheap, incompatible metal for that so why do that here?
Always go for a bio-compatible and durable metal. It’s best not to skimp but to invest in a high-quality metal as it will save you lots of headaches down the line.