Learn to insert and remove two of the most common styles of nose ring
Care for your new nose piercing to make sure it heals and feels comfortable
Find out what to look for when changing your nose ring
You finally took the plunge and got that nose ring you’ve been daydreaming about! Every time you pass by a mirror you steal a peek – yeah, you look awesome.
Nose rings are one of the oldest types of body jewelry, an aesthetic part of cultures and styles across the globe, and yet they retain an inherent coolness and sense of rebellion that adds just a bit of edge to your look. Many people with nose rings say that they feel a camaraderie with other nose ring wearers and that the piercing helps define their style.
Getting a body piercing of any kind is a commitment, although an exciting one for sure. Caring for your new piercing isn’t time intensive and should be an easy addition to your daily routine. It’s important to be consistent with cleaning and maintaining your piercing so it heals completely before you attempt to change your nose ring.
As with any body piercing, some of the most common questions about nose rings involve the process of inserting and removing them. It’s likely a new procedure for you and you want to take the time to ensure that your new piercing stays healthy and continues to fit properly.
This guide will give you the steps and tips you need to follow to safely and comfortably insert and remove the most popular nose ring styles.
Getting the Piercing
L Shaped Stud
Things to Consider
Getting the Piercing
When you first get your piercing, the technician will likely give you pointers on nose ring care. They’ll show you how to insert the ring and how to make sure it heals properly.
Many people want to know how soon the ring in a new piercing can be changed. While there is not an exact guideline that everyone follows, you can ask your technician to check in on your piercing 4 – 8 weeks after it was done to confirm that healing is going well. If they feel confident that you’re healing nicely, it can be safe to change the ring as soon as 8 – 10 weeks after the piercing was done. Many people choose to wait as many as 6 months before changing the ring to be sure it’s fully healed and will be comfortable and safe to change.
The technician piercing your nose will generally recommend you stick with a straight post of some sort rather than a hoop so that the interior of the piercing heals straight. That first nose ring you choose will be with you for a while, so be sure to choose wisely!
Nose piercings can close extremely quickly, especially the first few times you change the ring. Keep in mind that if you keep your ring out for more than a few hours you may have trouble putting the ring back in. You’ll want to make sure that you get the same gauge ring as your initial piercing for the most comfortable wear. If you get a larger gauge you’ll feel a lot of pressure at the location of the piercing, and if you get a smaller gauge your nose piercing may begin to close up to the point that the original size no longer fits.
If you need to be without the nose ring for an amount of time where the piercing could potentially close up you can use a clear nose ring called a retainer which can be made from silicone, acrylic, or other clear materials. Retainers are great for keeping your nose piercing open safely until you are able to put a ring back in. However, a nose ring shouldn’t be swapped out for a retainer until the healing period is finished.
L Shaped Stud
The L-shaped stud is a ring for your nose piercing where the post is shaped like an L; one side of the L goes through your piercing and the other side rests against the inside of your nose to hold it in place and prevent the stud from coming out. They’re one of the best starter nose rings because they’re so easy to use. There are also so many cute nose ring options with L-shaped posts.
L-shaped nose rings are considered more comfortable than the standard alternative – the corkscrew nose ring. They are shorter and more adjustable and customizable to the shape of your nostril. These studs often come as a straight post where you can actually bend the post to match the depth of your piercing and effectively customize the shape of the ring. Because of this, you can adjust an L shape post to rest flush against the inside of your nostril and be quite comfortable.
Inserting the L Shaped Stud
Ok, are you ready to insert your nose ring? No matter what style you choose, be sure your hands are super clean before you get started. A thorough scrub with attention to your nails is important to make sure you’re not transferring any unwanted bacteria into the piercing area.
Step 1: Wash the jewelry with an antibacterial soap. (Provon is a soap brand that carries antibacterial soap which is very popular among piercers and comes highly recommended for piercing changes.)
Step 2: Apply the antibacterial soap to a cotton ball and wipe down the piercing to prepare for inserting the nose ring.
Step 3: Insert first side of the L shape ring into the nose piercing. When you can feel that it’s almost the entire way in, put a finger into your nostril to help guide the post the rest of the way through the inside of the piercing.
Step 4: Once the first side of the L is through, push the nose ring gently upward to angle the second side of the L post into your nose. Rotate and make sure that the ring is secure and in place.
Tip: A piercing aftercare spray can be a great help, particularly within the first six months of your piercing. Something like H2Ocean, a highly rated pH balanced and sea salt based healing spray, can be inserted using a cotton ball and applied to the inside of your nostril, and sprayed from the outside as well. Doing this 3-4 times a day while your nose is healing (for the first few months) can ensure a quick recovery and healthy piercing.
To remove the nose ring:
From the inside of your nose gently push the stud so the head of the stud/crystal comes away from the outside of your nostril a bit. From the outside, pull the stud downwards until you reach the bend in the L. The ring will be hanging down against the outside of your nose and you can pull directly out from there. Clean with antibacterial soap and store in a clean place.
22 Gauge 14k White Gold 2mm Cubic Zircona CZ Nose Ring Set
Inserting a nose hoop can require patience and practice. Since, unlike the L Shape stud, the hoop is inserted initially from the inside of the nose, it can be difficult to learn to locate your piercing from the inside. With a little bit of practice, though, it will be a perfectly simple thing to do!
If you aren’t used to having a hoop in your nose yet, you may feel some additional pressure for a while as your piercing will be straight and the hoop will push the piercing to follow the curve. You’ll feel it a bit more with a small hoop than a larger hoop. However, this is normal and is something you’ll get used to quickly. Just make sure your piercing is completely healed before making the switch over to a hoop.
Inserting the Hoop Nose Ring
Begin by making sure your hands are washed and clean. Scrub your hands and your fingernails well.
Step 1: Wash the jewelry with an antibacterial soap. (Again, Provon can be a great brand and product resource for piercings.)
Step 2: Apply the antibacterial soap to a cotton ball and wipe down the piercing from the inside and the outside to prepare for inserting the nose ring. Before applying the antibacterial soap you can wipe down the area with some warm water as well – a damp piercing can be easier to insert because the water acts as light lubrication.
Step 3: Insert the hoop from the inside of your nose through the piercing hole. If you can’t find the hole from the inside of your nose, place your index finger on the outside of your nose and use it to feel where the hoop is pushing and guide it to the hole.
Step 4: Once the end of the hoop is inserted successfully into the hole, continue to thread the hoop through your nose until the flat end is flush with the inside of your nostril to make sure it’s securely placed.
Try This: A great way to care for a new (or somewhat new) piercing is with a homemade sea salt solution. Mix ¼” teaspoon non-iodized sea salt into 2 oz. of very hot water. Dip a Q-tip into the solution and use that hot sea salt water to clean the outside and the inside of the piercing. This is an especially great way to remove any build up from around a healing piercing.
To remove the nose ring:
From the outside, gently guide the hoop upwards and back through the piercing hole. Once the hoop is mostly through, use your other hand on the inside of the piercing to guide it the rest of the way through the hole and out of your nose. Clean with antibacterial soap and store in a clean place.
20 Gauge 14K Yellow Gold Open Nose Hoop Ring 10mm
Things to Consider
Will it hurt when you change your nose ring? Well, no! It shouldn’t! If you feel pain or excess pressure while changing out the ring it means that either the piercing isn’t healed yet, or that the gauge of the piercing is too large and you should find a smaller gauge hoop or post.
The standard gauge of a nose ring is 18 – 20G. Gauges get smaller as the numbers increase, so the smaller rings are in the range of 22G – 24G while the thicker posts measure in the range of 14G – 16G. If you switch out your ring for a smaller size for a while, you may find that the thicker posts no longer fit into your piercing. This is something to remember when shopping for and switching to a new ring if the gauges are different.
Summary: Inserting and removing a new nose ring is an important thing to practice. A little effort and you’ll be able to change out your piercing with ease. Caring for your nose piercing is important, but simple. Maintain a routine of cleansing both the jewelry and the piercing site, especially in the first few months. Asking your piercer for a timeline and healing advice is a great way to set your expectations for the recovery time. Mind the gauge, ring style, and hoop diameter when shopping for new nose rings.
Shop a wide assortment of beautiful and high-quality nose rings in our shop here.