Nostril Piercing with Rings - Addendum

I was very lucky to have the assistance of several colleagues, who had questions and criticisms of my initial blog post, Nostril Piercing - Jewelry Considerations: Rings

Specifically, Courtney Jane Maxwell brought up an excellent point, I felt the need to address it.  Courtney will perform all of her nostril piercings with straight jewelry first, and if the client wants a ring, will later make adjustments to rings to make them fit snugly. Essentially, she ovals the jewelry on purpose to give the illusion of the angles necessary for a snug sitting ring. This is an excellent solution to the problem shown in Figure A, shown below.  The pros of this approach include a faster initial healing process and the ability to wear both studs and (modified) rings.
Fig. A.  A nostril pierced perpendicular for straight jewelry with a ring in it.
The grey ring is the correct size, and the red ring is too small.  Still, both bow out.
I do not utilize this approach. The reason being is this: Courtney’s approach fixes one problem, the snugness of the ring, but it cannot fix the problem that rings in perpendicular piercings can pull forward.  I think nostril piercings with rings look much better aesthetically when they are pierced just shy of parallel with the cheeks.  It was during my discussion with Courtney that I realized I hadn’t thoroughly addressed this issue, and I am thankful to her for helping me address an issue I had missed.

Fig. B. Y axis on the left, X axis on the right.  Both are about 90 degrees for rings and straight jewelry in this nostril. 

In Figure B, above, we see that some nostrils are pierced at almost identical angles for hoops and studs. In Figure C, below, you can see they are different for both rings and studs.  While I addressed the Y axis in detail, explaining how to make the ring fit snug, I did not address the X axis as well as I would have liked to.  This axis brings the angle of the piercing away from perpendicular with the nose and more toward parallel with the cheeks of the client. The X axis AND the Y axis are now not perpendicular to the tissue, and the downside to this is of course a more challenging piercing to heal. The upside, though, is a piercing that is aesthetically perfect for a ring. This distinction is important, and your client should be fully informed of the harder healing process they are signing up for by getting pierced using this technique.

Fig. C.  A broader nose has very different angles for aesthetically pleasing ring and stud style piercings.

I have made the following illustration to show the subtle, but real, difference between rings put in piercings angled for studs and those angled using my technique, making it more parallel with the cheeks.

Fig. D. On the left, a nostril piercing performed for straight jewelry with a ring in it.  On the right, a nostril piercing performed for a ring exclusively.

It is absolutely true that we are getting into small differences that most clients won’t notice.  Still, for me, the angle on the right of figure D is so aesthetically pleasing that it is worth the more challenging healing process.  This is also why I consider nostrils pierced with rings to be so different from nostrils pierced with studs.

Fig. E. Photos of nostril piercings performed exactly as illustrated in Fig. D.
Figure E illustrates an important distinction between snug fitting rings.  The piercing on the left was performed with a flatback in mind.  The one on the right is fresh, and pierced for a ring.  We can see the piercing on the left looks great.  It’s snug, and both pieces of jewelry, rings and studs, will work in the piercing. Still, in my opinion, the piercing on the right looks more natural with a ring.

What I think is important is that each piercer look at these as two options, both of them viable, neither absolutely right or wrong.  Often, piercers are guilty of looking for the “one correct way” when the world of piercing can be much more nuanced and complicated than that.  Whichever technique you might use for making aesthetically pleasing nostril piercings with rings, I hope you found this addition informative.

As of 2017 I now pierce full time at Gamma Piercing in Ann Arbor, Michigan! Please visit our website or stop by and say hello!