The Complete Guide to Types of Nose Rings

Wearing a nose ring is one of the most popular unconventional ways to upgrade your look.

It has been around for many centuries and has been used in every part of the world for fashion, religion, or beauty. As time went on, nose rings evolved in a variety of designs and purposes.

14K Gold Flowers Nose Hoop

The fact that you are reading this article right now, you are probably thinking about getting your very first nose ring.

The question is – which type of nose ring should you get? Nose rings come in various shapes and sizes, making it difficult to choose which nose ring is the best.

Whether you want an eye-catching or subtle nose ring, there is a perfect nose ring to fit your purpose.

Do not fret, you have come across the most detailed guide to help you decide which nose ring works for you.

After reading this article, you will become knowledgeable about the different piercing positions, the types of nose rings, sizes, materials, and other useful information.

What Are the Different Piercing Positions

Before choosing a type of nose ring, it is important to know about the different piercing positions. Not all nose rings are intended for some parts of the nose. Thus, deciding on the location is the first step before buying a nose ring.

Each piercing position has its pros and cons, different pain levels, and healing time. The bottom line, the type of piercing depends on your preferences as well.

In summary, here are the different piercing positions from the nose’s top to bottom:


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Third Eye Piercing

Third Eye Piercing


It is one of the rarest piercings that go vertically between the eyes, just in the middle of the left and right eyebrows. Two holes are made in a vertical line.

Some people choose to have a third eye piercing in the middle of the forehead but can go as low as the top of the nose bridge.

Bridge Piercing

Bridge Piercing 1


Below the third eye piercing is the bridge piercing, a double piercing done horizontally. One hole is made on each side of the nose bridge, which is usually at the level of the eyes.

If you are wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses, be careful not to let them get caught up with the piercing.

High Nostril Piercing

High Nostril Piercing


A high nostril piercing is a single hole that sits above the nostril piercing and near the nose bridge. The piercing can be done on either left and right sides or even both.

Nasallang Piercing

Nasallang Piercing 1

Nasallang piercing is done close to the high nostril. It is similar to a bridge piercing since it is a double piercing done horizontally. From the outside view, it looks like two separate piercings on each side of the nose.

Nostril Piercing

Nostril Piercing 1


Nostril piercing is the most common type of nose piercing that allows you to wear a variety of nose rings.

It is one of the easiest piercings to do where only a single hole is made on the side of the nose and on top of the nose wings. You can choose to have it on either left or right sides.

Austin Piercing

Austin Piercing 1


Another double horizontal piercing is the Austin piercing or Austin bar piercing. A hole is made on each side of the tip of the nose. It is placed below the nostril piercing and in between the double piercing of the rhino piercing.

Rhino Piercing

Rhino Piercing 1


From the name itself, a rhino piercing makes your nose similar to that of a rhino’s horn. It is a double piercing placed vertically at the tip of your nose.

If you are to picture an imaginary line, it forms a cross when combined with an Austin piercing.

Septril Piercing

Septril Piercing 1


Below the rhino piercing lies the septril piercing, a single piercing located at the exterior septal cartilage. However, to be able to have a septril piercing, you should first have a septum piercing.

A septril piercing can only be done with a healed tunnel of flesh from a stretched septum piercing.

Septum Piercing

Septum Piercing 2

Septum piercing is a single piercing done on the septum, the wall that separates the two nostrils. It is one of the most popular piercings favored for its variety of nose ring options.

Should you decide to hide or stop using it, you do not have to worry about the hole since it is not visible.

Types of Nose Rings According to Design

Once you have decided on the piercing position, you can now choose the type of nose ring you wish to show off. The types of nose rings are divided into four categories: hoops and rings, barbells, studs, and chains.

Each category has several types of nose rings in various shapes, designs, and locking mechanisms.

Hoops and Rings

cubic zirconia hoop ring

Hoops and rings are popular for their classic and stylish design, which are circular nose rings that go around the nostril.

It is one of the most common choices for nostril and septum piercings, especially for those who get pierced for the first time. You can choose the thickness of the ring, depending on the size of the piercing.

  • Septum Clickers – Septum clickers are specifically used for septum piercings. It has a clip that you can easily open and “click” to secure it.
  • Captive Bead Ring– Captive bead rings offer a more secure fit with its bead to lock it. The bead usually holds a stone for decoration.
  • Half Hoop Nose Ring – A half hoop is not a full circular nose ring since both ends do not meet. It is usually used for nostril piercings.
  • Seamless Nose Ring – It is similar to a captive bead ring but without a bead. It is a full circular nose ring that is locked with a clasp and may have a small stone design.


Septum piercing 1 2

It is called a barbell since it is similar to a barbell that you can find in the gym. Barbells are either straight or curved bars with two beads on each end to keep them from falling.

These are commonly used for septum, septril, bridge, nasallang, rhino, and Austin piercings.

  • Straight Barbell –For rhino, nasallang, and Austin piercings, straight barbells are commonly used. Those with bridge piercings cannot use straight barbells because of the curved shape of the nose bridge.
  • Curved Barbell – Curved barbells are the best options for rhino, septril, septum, and bridge piercings. It is also referred to as banana bars or bent barbells due to its slight curve.
  • Circular Barbell –Also known as horseshoe barbells, circular barbells are the most ideal nose rings for bridge and septum piercings. It is more curved than a curved barbell, almost similar to a hoop or ring.


Nose Bone Stud

If you prefer a more discreet look that is almost unnoticeable, then go for stud nose rings. It is one of the most popular nose rings for men and women, as well as those with new piercings. A stud nose ring is the easiest to wear once you get the hang of it.

  • Nose Bone Stud – Commonly used for high nostril and nostril piercings, nose bone studs are straight studs that are separated into two pieces: the pin and the cylindrical bar lock. The pin holds the stone design and is kept a little bit bent for a better hold when inserted into the lock.
  • Labret Nose Stud – Labret nose studs have a flat disc on one end and a stone on the other. It is a threaded stud and one of the easiest to wear for high nostril and nostril piercings.
  • Twist or Corkscrew Nose Ring – This type of nose ring is comparable to a small hook. It has a straight bar and a C-shaped hook at the end. Use twist or corkscrew nose rings for high nostril and nostril piercings.
  • L-Shaped Nose Ring – L-shaped nose rings are similar to twist nose rings, but instead, they are L-shaped. Since you just insert it and it doesn’t have a locking mechanism, it is common for it to fall out easily when used for high nostril and nostril piercings.


For a flashier design, a nose ring with a chain is usually a head turner. It is commonly used for nasallang piercing where a chain design sits on top of the nose bridge from one end to another. However, the chances of the chain being dragged by clothes or hair are high.

Types of Nose Rings According to Materials

Choosing the nose ring’s design and shape is not yet the final decision to make. Aside from the four categories listed above, nose rings can also be classified according to their materials.

It is recommended to use the most durable and high-quality material that will make your jewelry last.


Titanium is one of the top choices of material since it is nickel-free, durable, and hypoallergenic. Moreover, it is lighter than other materials, assuring the ultimate comfort for the nose. You do not need to worry about corrosion as it is safe to use when swimming at the beach or pool.

Surgical Stainless Steel

The next best option is surgical stainless steel, one of the hardest and most affordable metals. It is also hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant. Plus, it is the safest option against infection and irritation for fresh piercings.

14k Gold

If you want to invest in gold jewelry, choose at least 14 karat gold nose rings. Nose rings lower than 14 karat are mixed up with other metals that cause allergic reactions. Thus, it is best to use 14K or 18K nose rings for better quality.


Silver comes in two types: pure and sterling. This metal is recommended for fully healed piercings since it is not best against infection for fresh piercings. It is the cheapest metal, so expect that it tarnishes quickly.

What Are the Nose Ring Sizes

Each type of nose ring is measured differently, depending on its shape and nose position. Nose rings have different measurements in diameter, length, gauge, and bead. The diameter is the measurement of a circular nose ring from one side to another.

The gauge refers to the thickness of the nose ring, which can be written as 18G or 18 gauge, for example. As for the length, it is the straight measurement used for studs like bone and L-shaped nose rings. The ball or beads of barbells are also measured in millimeters.

Here are the sizes from smallest to biggest measurements:

Diameter Gauge Length Ball/Bead
1/32″ (0.8 mm)

5/128″ (1.0 mm)

3/64″ (1.2 mm)

1/16″ (1.6 mm)

5/64″ (2.0 mm)

3/32″ (2.5 mm)

1/8″ (3.0 mm)

5/32″ (4.0 mm)

3/16″ (5.0 mm)

1/4″ (6.0 mm)

9/32″ (7.0 mm)

5/16″ (8.0 mm)

3/8″ (10 mm)

7/16″ (11 mm)

1/2″ (12 mm)

9/16″ (14 mm)

19/32″ (15 mm)

5/8″ (16 mm)

3/4″ (19 mm)

21 gauge (0.7 mm)

20 gauge (0.8 mm)

18 gauge (1.0 mm)

16 gauge (1.2 mm)

14 gauge (1.6 mm)

12 gauge (2.0 mm)

10 gauge (2.4 mm)

8 gauge (3.0 mm)

6 gauge (4.0 mm)

4 gauge (5.0 mm)

2 gauge (6.0 mm)

0 gauge (8.0 mm)

00 gauge (10 mm)

1/4″ (6.0 mm)

9/32″ (7.0 mm)

5/16″ (8.0 mm)

3/8″ (10 mm)

7/16″ (11 mm)

1/2″ (12 mm)

9/16″ (14 mm)

19/32″ (15 mm)

5/8″ (16 mm)

3/4″ (19 mm)

7/8″ (22 mm)

1″ (25 mm)

1 1/8″ (28 mm)

1 1/4″ (32 mm)

1 3/8″ (35 mm)

1 1/2″ (38 mm)

1 3/4″ (44 mm)

1 7/8″ (48 mm)

2″ (50 mm)

1/16″ (1.5 mm)

5/64 (2 mm)

3/32″ (2.5 mm)

1/8″ (3 mm)

5/32″ (4 mm)

3/16″ (5 mm)

1/4″ (6.0 mm)

5/16″ (8.0 mm)

3/8″ (10 mm)

What Are the Challenges in Wearing a Nose Ring

There are different challenges to face for each type of nose ring. For instance, nose rings on the septum and bridge can easily get caught up with your clothes if you are changing.

Having a nose ring in these areas requires you to be always careful of the things that can drag it, including hair, bags, strings, fingers, and many more.

Some types of nose piercing are not for the faint-hearted because of their complexity and level of pain. For example, septum piercing is one of the most painful nose piercings but it is also the fastest to heal.

If you are thinking of getting a nose ring for the septum, you may want to consider these factors.

For all types of nose rings, be prepared to clean your nose more often since there is a foreign object pierced into the body that can cause infection.

Cleaning a nose ring is an everyday routine that cannot be skipped to prevent complications. Thus, you have to determine if you can be patient and constant when it comes to cleaning nose rings.

If you prefer something less challenging, a nostril nose ring is the easiest to manage out of all nose rings.

So before heading to a professional piercer to get a nose piercing, think about the possible challenges you may encounter with nose rings. If you believe you can surpass these challenges with ease, you can proceed with getting a nose ring.

What Are the Risks of Wearing a Nose Ring

Wearing a nose ring comes with several risks, may it be on your health or career. If you are in the process of finding a job, keep in mind that not all companies are in favor of nose piercings.

For this reason, it is most probably not allowed and you may end up getting rejected or fired.

If you really want to get a nose ring, a nostril or septum piercing are the best options since you can easily hide a septum piercing or remove the piercing without the hole being too noticeable.

Should you decide to permanently remove the nose piercing, you don’t have to worry about scars and keloids in these areas as well.

However, if you decide to wear a nose ring in more visible areas like third eye, bridge, and Austin bar, there is a possibility that it will leave a noticeable scar.

Build-up of bacteria around the nose ring is not only what you should be careful of since you also run the risk of getting HIV, tetanus, and hepatitis B and C.

The only way you can get these bloodborne diseases is when you go to an unreliable piercing shop that doesn’t use single-use needles.

You also run the risk of getting an allergic reaction to the jewelry, especially if you are not wearing hypoallergenic jewelry.

What to Expect after Getting a Nose Ring

All types of nose ring piercings usually have the same effects, but may have varying levels of pain, swelling, and healing process.

The first thing to expect is inflammation, which is a common indication of healing. You may also experience some tenderness and bleeding in the area.

That is why in these stages of healing, it is best not to touch it to avoid worsening the symptoms. Moreover, you cannot remove the piercing during the healing stages.

However, if you still experience these symptoms but are much worse than normal, do not remove the piercing and go to a doctor and seek medical attention.

You know that it is fully healed when these symptoms disappear, which is usually within two to four months. If you get a nose ring on the bridge or septum, expect it to heal faster than other locations.

For nose rings for rhino, nasallang, and nostril piercings, you may have to wait a little longer for it to heal.

Frequently Asked Questions about Nose Rings

How do you clean a nose ring?

First and foremost, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your nose piercing. Clean both inside and outside parts of the nose ring at least twice a day with a saline solution and Q-tip to remove dirt and bacteria.

For fresh nose piercings, it is not advisable to remove your nose rings yet for cleaning as you need to wait for the wound to fully heal first. For more information, here is a detailed guide on how to clean a nose ring.

What is the best nose ring for new piercings?

Nostril piercing is the easiest to maintain with the most uncomplicated nose rings. Start with the simplest nose ring commonly used for nostril piercings including studs and hoops.

These are usually easy to insert and remove with a little practice.

What does wearing a nose ring mean?

Wearing a nose ring does not just have one meaning since the purposes vary per person and beliefs. People wear it for health and beauty, cultural reasons, or religious practices.

For instance, some women believe that wearing nose rings on the left nostril help facilitate easy childbirth.

Some cultural groups wear nose rings as a symbol of marriage. In modern society, it is common for people to wear nose rings as a symbol of freedom or just purely for fashion. Take a look at What Does A Nose Piercing Mean to learn more.

Are nose rings safe to wear?

Yes, it is generally safe as long as you take extra precautions with nose rings that can be easily dragged such as septum and bridge nose rings. Moreover, as long as aftercare procedures are strictly followed, you can rest easy when it comes to infection.

Plus, it is a lot safer if you choose trusted piercing shops that use single-use needles rather than piercing guns.

Most professional piercers do not recommend piercing guns since these cannot be fully sterilized and can become a source of HIV, tetanus, and hepatitis B and C.

At what age can you have a nose piercing?

Most piercing shops allow teenagers as young as 16 years old. However, those who are 16 and 17 years old need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian before they can get a nose piercing. Young customers will be asked to show a valid ID to verify their age.

How much is a nose piercing?

The cost of a nose piercing depends on the piercing shop rates, the piercing position, type of nose ring, and material. On average, the cost is about $30 to $90. The more complicated the piercing is, the more expensive it is.

When can I change my nose ring?

The only time you can replace your current nose ring is when the nose piercing is fully healed. When it is healed, you should not feel any pain, tenderness, or swelling.

Thus, removing the nose ring and placing a new one should not be painful at all.

Check out the article When Can I Change My Nose Piercing to learn more.

Which Nose Ring Is for Me?

The process of buying a type of nose ring is so complex. Who knew there were so many options to choose from? Take it one step at a time while thinking about all the considerations.

First, choose the piercing position and decide on the type of nose ring best for you. Next, take into account the design, whether you want something plain or intricate and with a small or big stone.

Depending on the budget, pick out the type of nose ring material for your jewelry.

If you are ready to take the leap and get your very first nose ring, keep in mind it has a lot of challenges as well.

From constant cleaning to preventing infection, these are some things to keep in mind to have the best outcome for your nose ring. Did this article help you decide on the type of nose ring? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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