Ah, jewelry — the ultimate way to express yourself. However, as great as necklaces and earrings are, they’re something everyone has. If you really want to stand out in a crowd, you may want to pick a piece of jewelry that’s more unique. And there is nothing more eye-catching than a nose ring.
But how do you choose the best nose ring for you? We got you covered. With our complete guide, you’ll know all the basics of nose rings, from shapes to add-ins to nose ring sizes. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be able to find the perfect accessory for you!
Nose Rings: A History
Before getting into nose ring sizes, first, we need to go back in time to trace the nose ring’s history. After all, you should understand the background and cultural significance of an accessory before getting it on your face, right?
And what a history it is. For as long as humans have been around, we’ve been expressing ourselves through some form of body art. Ancient tribes used body paint for various religious and cultural purposes, such as weddings, births, deaths, war, and coming of age rituals. The same thing goes for jewelry.
The earliest recorded instance of nose rings dates back 4,000 to 5,000 years ago when it was first recorded in the Middle East. From there on out, the nose ring slowly started spreading throughout the world.
In the 16th century, Moghul emperors brought nose-rings from the Middle East to India. Face jewelry has become a staple in Indian culture ever since, growing in variety and complexity, and cultural significance. Even Ayurvedic medicine mentions nose rings, associating their location with female reproduction health.
Beyond that, the nose ring has also become a symbol of feminine beauty and social status. It’s also an important aspect in the worship of Hindu gods, especially the Hindu Mother Goddess Parvati.
Nose Rings in the West
When it comes to nose rings in the West, they are a fairly recent addition to the European jewelry catalog. Colonial officers brought them to Victorian England in late 1892, when they returned to the Isles from India. However, despite the nose ring being an appealing fashion trend, women in the 19th and 20th centuries were not allowed to get pierced.
Nose rings also came to the US from India, however, it was soul-searching hippies that brought this jewelry to the land of the free. Ever since then, it has become a staple of the punk and rock subculture, and the ultimate symbol of rebellion and nonconformity.
Today, nose rings are the ultimate symbol of individual expression. Both genders wear them to show off their unique taste and style. While they have a different meaning for different people, one thing is for certain. They are the most unique way to showcase your natural beauty.
Different Types Of Nose Rings
If you’re looking to upgrade your look, nose rings are a good place to start. However, if you’re new to piercings, you may be wondering where to start. The sheer volume of different types of rings, nose ring sizes and ring materials can be overwhelming.
However, once you understand all the different types of nose rings properly, you will be able to choose the best one for you.
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When it comes to nose-ring designs, it doesn’t get more basic than the good old studs. Composed of a long thin needle that gets secured with a ball on the end, these little bulbs are the most common type of piercing, for a variety of reasons. One, they’re simple and rest comfortably on the nostril. Their basic design helps maintain the permanent hole in the nose area, as well as speed up healing.
This is very important when you’re getting your nose pierced for the first time. What’s more, they come in a variety of shapes and styles too. Therefore, regardless of what you’re looking to get out of your nose ring, one of the following is bound to suit your taste.
• Twist / U-Shape
A twist or U-shape nose ring is one of the most striking types of stud nose rings. Made with a special hook at the end, the nose ring rests inside the nostril itself, firmly secured by a small bulb. This design makes the ring more compact than the traditional studs, while also being a bit more eye-catching.
This type of nose ring can be a basic band that loops around the nostril to form a little twist. However, they can also be two bands woven to create a braid pattern. Regardless of style, these nose rings are yet another good option for first timers who want something more dramatic but also easy to maintain.
The fishtail nose-ring is a subtype of stud nose-rings jewelers custom make to fit the wearer’s nose. They’re much longer than traditional studs, with a curved tip. Jewelers add this bend at the end so that the stud matches the size and shape of the nose hole. The result is a stud nose-ring that is perfectly adjusted to an individual’s nose shape and piercing.
This customization makes the fishtail one of the most comfortable piercing styles. Therefore, it’s definitely something to consider getting if this is your first nose-ring.
A nose bone is another type of studded nose-rings, that has a straight post instead of the curved one. This post fits through the piercing, and comes adorned with a small ball on the end that is meant to keep it in place. The ball itself is large enough to secure the ring, and prevent it from falling out. At the same time, its also compact enough to fit comfortably inside the nostril without sticking out or irritating the skin
Bone studs are simple, as far as nose rings go. However most piercers don’t recommend you wear them immediately after getting your nose pierced. The bone may irritate the tender skin there too much. Therefore, it’s best to save it for when your nose is fully healed.
When it comes to simple stud nose-rings, it doesn’t get more bare-bones than the pin. This type of stud is very similar to the bone. However, unlike the bone, it lacks that signature ball at the end to hold it in place. Instead, the post is slightly thicker, so that the ring can stay in place.
In terms of style, the pin isn’t really the most inspiring accessory. However, it is very easy to maintain, which can be very appealing if you’re new to piercings. But keep in mind that since nothing holds it in place, it isn’t exactly the most secure nose ring style.
Many newbies confuse the L-shape and fishtail with each other. This isn’t surprising since, at first glance, they’re very similar. The L-shape also has a bend at the end, however, the curve bends at a 90-degree angle, making it slightly more pronounced than the custom fishtail. The severity of the bend means that this ring doesn’t require a ball at the end to hold it in place.
It also means that it will fit more securely than the bone. Therefore, if you’re worried about your nose ring falling out, then the L-shape is a style you should consider.
2. Hoops or Rings
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If stud nose rings are too low-key for you, then hoop nose rings may be more your style. The second type of nose piercings, hoops are a great option for veteran and first-time-piercers alike. They’re larger and cover more of the nose, which automatically makes them more eye-catching.
There are 3 different types you can recognize based on the hoop ring closure:
• Captive bead rings: These dazzling nose rings are real showstoppers — and it’s all thanks to the bead ring that holds the hoop together. Like the ball on the tail-end of bone studs, the central bead is used to open and close the hoop.
This little detail immediately makes the simple hoop stand out. However, the real beauty of this nose ring is that you can upgrade it by replacing the bead with a gemstone, some spikes, or other creative designs.
• Seamless closure hoops: These types of hoops are pretty much the standard hoop nose ring. They have a tiny opening on the end, which you’re supposed to twist to get the hoop to open. Once you’ve placed the ring into your nose, you simply twist the ring back in place to seal it. While this nose ring is pretty basic as far as design goes, it’s a great option if you’re new to nose piercings.
• Segmented rings: The last type of hoop is basically a love child between the captive bead and seamless closure hoop. They have the same basic design as seamless hoops. However, instead of a bead securing the two ends, you have a little segment you can open and close.
Just like captive beads, you can customize these bad boys however you like. However, though they’re fairly easy to maintain, opening the segments can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you’re new to piercings.
Nose Ring Gauge Sizes
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So, now that you know the kind of nose ring styles you can choose from, you’re ready for a piercing. Not so fast. Another thing you need to know before getting some metal on your nostril is nose ring sizes. More specifically nose ring gauge sizes.
But wait, what’s a gauge? To put it simply a gauge is the technical term for the piercing post, i.e the part that goes inside your nostril. It’s the nose ring size, more specifically the thickness of the gauge that is going to determine how big the piercing hole in your nose is going to be. Gauge size also plays a big role in the overall look and feel of the piercing.
Some of the most common gauge sizes include:
1. 22 Gauge (6mm thick)
This gauge is unique for two reasons. First, it’s the smallest nose piercing you can get. Therefore they’re small, discreet, and fit tightly around the nostril. Secondly this kind of gauge is fairly rare in the United States.
You’re more likely to find it in India and the Middle East, where nose piercings have a longstanding cultural significance. This is primarily because jewelers have to custom-fit them to the wearer’s nose, which can get expensive.
2. 20 Gauge (.8mm thick)
A 20 gauge nose ring is pretty much the average size for both studs and hoops. It’s what most piercers will recommend to first-timers, especially if they have a small, slender nose with narrow nostrils. This gauge is incidentally the smallest gauge for body jewelry when you compare it to things like earrings and belly button piercings.
3. 18 Gauge (1 mm thick)
When it comes to nose ring sizes, an 18 mm nose piercing falls on the larger side. However, the thicker gauge allows for a bigger more noticeable hoop. The size also makes the gauge perfect for people with larger noses, or if you want your piercing to rest higher on the nostril.
Nose Ring Hoop Sizes
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If you choose hoops for your nose piercing then you don’t just have to worry about nose ring sizes. You also have to worry about the hoop diameter. Hoop diameter refers to the distance between your nostril and the inside edge of the hoop.
The most common sizes range from 5/16” (8mm) and 3/8″ (10mm). What’s more, it’s extremely important to get the size that best fits your unique nose shape. Getting a hoop that’s too large or too small can make the piercing look strange.
Nose Ring Materials
The last thing you need to consider when picking your nose ring is materials. Since this is a piece of metal that is going to go into your body you want to make sure that it’s safe and high quality.
Some of the best options include:
• Stainless Steel: The cheapest, yet safest option. Stainless steel is the material of choice if you have sensitive skin and a tight budget.
• Silver: Simple, yet equally affordable, silver is a good choice if you want your nose ring to have that special sheen.
• Platinum: Platinum is one of the best, hypoallergenic materials you can choose. Plus, it also looks pretty, so you aren’t skimping on aesthetics if you go for it. Sadly it is on the pricier side, so you may want to start saving.
• Gold: The best of the best, both in terms of health, safety, and just plain ol’ luxury. Gold is definitely the material you go for if you want to splurge on something classy and durable.
How to Know What Size Your Nose Ring Is
With all this information to keep track of, choosing the right nose ring may seem like an impossible task. But worry not. You don’t have to do this alone.
Whether you’re a veteran or a first-time piercer, you should always consult with a professional. For starters, find a body piercer that you feel comfortable working with. Also, make sure they have plenty of experience in the field, as this will minimize your chance of health complications.
Plus, the more experience they have, the better their recommendations will be. Noses are very unique, so what works for one person may not work for you. However, if your body piercer is trained to take into account the position of your nose, the size of the nostrils as well as your overall facial shape, they’ll be able to choose the best fit for you.
This applies to everything, from nose ring sizes to the style and where to situate the piercing on your nose. Plus, they’ll also be able to account for your preferences, so that you will end up with a piercing that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.