13 Most Common Types of Nose Rings

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Long ago, people only associated nose piercings with specific cultures. But now they’ve grown more popular, and jewelry choices have broadened too. With so many types of nose rings available, anyone can find the perfect jewelry style for them. We’ll review 13 of the best styles available and highlight the highs and lows for anyone looking to try something new.

Types of Nose Rings and Nostril Jewelry

You might think nose jewelry is available only as simple hoops and studs, but there are many other kinds. Here are 13 different types of nostril jewelry and nose rings.

Captive Bead Ring

Implant Grade Titanium Captive Bead Ring

Captive bead rings have many names: captive ball ring, captive hoops, ball closure ring, and captive ball rings. These rings come with a small bead/ball fitting into a space within the ring’s circumference. The bead is usually slightly bigger than the space and has little indentations, providing a snug fit.

💡 Quick Tip: Captive bead rings are popular with nostril and septum piercings. They are easy to clean because you rotate them and can get all the edges.

Seamless Nose Ring

Seamless Nose Hoop

Seamless nose rings or hoops have no clasps. You can wear them in nostril or septum piercings. Rather than pulling the ends, you need to twist them to wear and remove them.

Half Hoop Nose Ring

half hoop nose ring

Half-hoops work for nostril and septum piercings. As you can glean from the name, their hoops don’t close at the end, so they’re easy to slip on and off.

Fake Nose Ring

woman wearing a fake nose ring

You’ll love fake nose rings if you don’t have a nose piercing but want to try wearing a nose ring. Fake nose rings are hoops with a tight fit, so they stay on when you wear them. Some are extra flexible so you can squeeze it closer for a firmer grip.

You can wear fake nose rings on your septum or nostril before you test out an actual piercing.

Septum Clickers

golden  septum clicker

Septum clickers snap in place in the septum. They’re available in many pretty, delicate designs and are easy to put on.

Septum clickers consist of a bar on top and a circular hoop below. You insert the top bar through your septum and latch it, leaving the hoop to hang low. They’re safe to wear because there are no small, dainty parts that can fall off and get lost.

Straight Barbell

Forbidden Body Jewelry nipple barbell, nipple bars, silver nipplerings piercing Surgical Steel 10g - 12mm Straight Barbell Body Jewelry, 6mm Balls

Straight barbells are straight bars with circular balls or beads at the end. They come in different gauge sizes and material types. Piercers primarily use them for piercing types like the nasallang,Austin bar, and rhino piercing, where the piercing goes straight through a portion of the nose.

Curved Barbell

Ruifan 3prs(6pcs) Surgical Steel Tiny Curved Eyebrow Ear Navel Belly Lip Ring Barbell Piercing Jewelry 20g 6mm/8mm/10mm(Steel)

Curved barbells have a slight curve and are great for bridge and rhino piercings. You could use a straight barbell for both piercings, but they’re prone to migration. 

💡 Did You Know? Piercing migration happens when a piercing moves from its original position over time. Curved barbells stay in place better and are less likely to migrate.

Circular or Horseshoe Barbell

Circular or horseshoe barbell - 13 Most Common Types of Nose Rings

Circular barbells are versatile and can fit in the septum, bridge, and nostril piercings. They’re barbells with rounder curves than the curved barbell. Due to the degree of curvature, they’re also known as horseshoe barbells.

Corkscrew Nose Ring

Corkscrew nose ring

Corkscrew nose rings feature a decorative top and a straight post curved into a C-shape at the end. To wear it, coil it into your nose, with the curved portion resting against the roof of your nose. People wear them in nostril piercings.

The biggest issue with this nose ring type is that the tip might eventually stick out of your nose. This could happen if you’re sweating a lot or you just sneezed. It looks sort of like a booger and can make you self-conscious.

L-shaped Nose Stud

L-shaped nose stud

L-shaped nose studs have a stem bent at a right angle to form a capital “L.” People use them for nostril piercings, with the L-section leaning on the roof of your nose.

People like L-shaped studs because they’re easy to remove. But that ease of removal means they can also randomly fall off. 

Labret Nose Stud

Labret Nose Stud

Labret studs have a flat back and a screw-on top. This top can be a decorative gemstone or a minimalist metal ball. Usually, people use these studs for labret lip piercings, but they’re also ideal for nose piercings, like nostril piercings.

Labrets often come in thicker sizes, like an 18 gauge and upwards. But the good thing about them is they sit comfortably in the nose because of the flatback.

Nose Bone Rings

Nose bone rings

Nose bones are straight studs with a slight flare at the end. This flare holds the ring in place. However, it might make it painful to insert the ring. For that reason, most people don’t like nose bone rings. It’s also not ideal for a fresh piercing, as it’ll agitate the piercing hole going in.

Fishtail Nose Stud

Fishtail Nose Stud

If you want a custom fit, try a fishtail stud. They come with a long bar and a decorative top. You have to take the bar to a piercing professional to bend it to fit your nostril’s measurements. The only downside is you may have to return to the piercer whenever you want to switch out the jewelry.

Which Type of Nose Rings Should You Choose?

Choosing the right nose ring goes beyond knowing which types are available. We’ve gathered some tips to make your decision process easier. This section will discuss things you need to consider before getting a nose ring.

Experience with Piercings

If you’re a piercing newbie, we recommend starting with a septum or nostril piercing. These piercings are easy and don’t hurt as much. Here, you can choose jewelry that won’t snag on clothes or prove difficult to clean.

For a nostril piercing, a labret stud might be best for you. The flat back won’t irritate your nose much and will stay in place while your piercing heals.

Captive bead rings and circular/horseshoe barbells go well with septum piercings. You can flip a horseshoe barbell in your nose while it heals, so it doesn’t move a lot.

Jewelry Material

Manufacturers create nose rings and studs from various materials from metals like gold, sterling silver, and titanium to non-metals like bioplast, glass, and acrylic. Choosing a suitable material will prevent skin irritation and the development of piercing bumps.

Some metals contain nickel or copper, which are popular allergens. 12-15% of women and 1-2% of men have nickel allergies, while copper allergies are reported less. If you’re aware you’re allergic to any of those, pick another piece of jewelry.

Niobium, higher karat gold, surgical grade steel, and titanium are excellent examples of hypoallergenic metals and for make body-safe piercing jewelry. While sterling silver is also hypoallergenic, it tarnishes on exposure to moisture and can turn black. That isn’t ideal for a fresh piercing.

Pain Tolerance

Everyone feels pain differently. Having a lower pain threshold can affect what piercing you get and the jewelry you use. Many people report the least pain for nostril and septum piercings. Consider either of those if your pain threshold is low.

You can also choose jewelry accordingly. Piercings done with thinner gauges won’t hurt as much. Try to choose jewelry of gauge 20 rather than one of gauge 16, for instance.

Though the pain isn’t extreme, people report some pain while putting in and taking out a nose bone. You might want to avoid nose studs/bones if you’re more sensitive to pain.


Though people are getting more accustomed to body piercings, it’s still considered taboo in some places. Some firms might reject piercings entirely, while others have recommendations for jewelry types.

In an office where piercings aren’t allowed, you can hide your piercing or opt for a clear retainer. Firms with recommendations usually want small studs and minimalist rings, so you’ll need to choose your jewelry accordingly.

Your level of activity can also influence your jewelry choice. If you move a lot, simpler jewelry will be preferable. For instance, jewelry without prongs or little bits your clothes and hair can snag on. You can choose unadorned studs or plain hoops instead.

Preferred Style

Do you like simple, minimalist designs? Then you’ll like plain nose studs and seamless rings. But if you want elaborate designs with beautiful patterns, an embellished stud or septum clicker might serve you better.

With the many available unique designs, you can pick studs with colors to match your wardrobe or go with one bold piece that will always stand out. 

Ease of Removal

Hard-to-remove jewelry can prove annoying, even for the most patient among us. We all want to be able to take off our jewelry without a drawn-out struggle.

L-shaped studs, nose bones, and seamless rings are quick and easy to put on and take off. You won’t need any help from a piercer to put them in. The downside is that L-shaped studs fall off and can get lost, and nose bones might sting a bit while you wear them.

Frequently Asked Questions About Nose Rings

We’ve covered a lot, but here are our answers to some questions we haven’t touched on.

What type of nose ring is best?

Most people list L-shaped studs as the best type. Their designs make them uncomplicated to wear and pull off. Some people don’t like them because they can fall off at night and your hole could close. If you worry about that happening, we suggest using labret studs instead.

Labret studs might be hard to put on but rarely fall off. Some good news is there are threadless labret studs, which are much easier to wear.

What is the easiest nose ring to put in?

The L-shaped stud is the easiest to wear. Stick the L-tail into the piercing hole and adjust until the entire stem has fit in. You can adjust it till you get the best fit, where the stud won’t irritate or pinch you.

Related: Here’s how to put in and take out all kinds of nose rings.

How long after nose piercing can you change it?

Don’t change out any body piercing until it has fully healed. This rule applies to nose piercings as well. 

Nose piercings can take anywhere from two to nine months to heal. Rhino piercings have the longest healing time (nine months), while nostril and septum piercings can heal between two to four months.

Even after the piercing is healed, you may want to visit a piercer to help you switch it out, especially if it’s your first piercing. A piercer will be better equipped to make the switch and show you how to do it yourself.

What size is a starter nose ring?

Most nose piercings sizes are either 20-gauge (0.036 inches) or 18-gauge (0.048 inches). Piercers may use a larger needle (16-gauge) to allow the piercing to heal better. 

Do you have to start with a stud nose piercing?

No, you don’t. You can choose to use a fit nose ring like a hoop or a stud. Regardless, most people recommend using a stud initially. 

💡 Keep in Mind: Curved jewelry can create a curved hole as the piercing heals, and it’ll be challenging to pass a stud through it later. You can always switch your stud for a hoop when the piercing heals.

Does a nose ring or stud look better?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so only you can answer that question. But we can tell you that positioning matters a lot.

A hoop for a high nostril piercing will look odd because it’ll need to be larger. But for lower nostril piercings or septum piercings, hoops look great. Likewise, you can’t use a stud for a septum piercing. But there are many hoop options and circular barbells you can use instead.

Try Out a Nose Ring

The best part of having so many options is anyone can find something to suit their style. Whether you want something fancy or something unfussy, there’s a type of nose jewelry for you.

Ask your piercer for advice if it’s a fresh piercing and you’re still on the fence. But if it’s an older piercing, you have the opportunity to try all you can until you get the best fit.

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