Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?

You’re looking for a cute new accessory to revamp your look, and you conclude that a nose piercing would be just the thing to help you achieve this.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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You’ve researched prices, good places to get the piercing done, and jazzy jewelry to put in it.

The only problem you have left is deciding which side to have the piercing on, since having two nostrils means there’s more than one way to wear a nose piercing.

You may think it’s trivial, but the side you wear your nose piercing could have a big impact on the appearance it gives you.

While there aren’t any hard and fast rules where this is concerned, there are a number of factors that could help you make the right decision and get the piercing of your dreams.

Which Side Should a Nose Piercing Be On


There will always be sources telling you that one side is for girls and the other is for boys. Nobody can agree on which is which, so you will geet conflicting information where this is concerned, leaving you confused and desperate not to pick the wrong one.

In reality, there is no scientific basis to these claims, and anyone can rock a nose piercing in either nostril, regardless of where they sit on the gender spectrum.

The left nostril is often seen as the usual side for any nose piercing, but many people choose the right instead. 

Depending on your cultural background, though, you may wish to follow traditional wisdom when it comes to choosing a side for your nose piercing.

For example, in the teachings of Ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India, a nose piercing on the left side for women can help give them an easier time in childbirth.

Even if you don’t usually observe these sorts of practices yourself, you may be superstitious or just like the idea of it.

The same teachings also state that a left nostril piercing on a boy and a right nostril piercing on a girl both signify that they are gay.

While of course which side you get doesn’t have a bearing on your sexuality, you might want to give subtle hints to potential partners by wearing yours on the relevant side.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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Facial Structure

Most of us have a “good side” that we feel more comfortable showing in photos and in general. Regardless of whether or not your face is actually the same both ways, you will probably prefer one to the other for whatever reason.

If this is the case, you should have your piercing on your good side, as a sparkly gem is likely to draw more attention to the immediate area surrounding it.

You wouldn’t want people to stare at a part of your face you were less comfortable with, even if it was just to admire your new jewelry. 

If your face is asymmetrical, for example your jaw is lower one one side than the other, or your nose is crooked, placing a nose piercing in the opposite side can offset this difference, making it look less pronounced.

Or hey, you may just decide that asymmetry is your thing now and want to emphasize it further.

Alternatively, adding a piercing on one side can bring a bit of an edge to a face that is otherwise too perfect, helping you stand out from the crowd. 


Many people have bangs that sweep across one half of their face. If this is the case for you, it makes sense to place your piercing on the opposite side.

You want your piercing to look great, but its impact will be reduced if it’s hidden by your hair.

It is also important to keep hair away from your piercing as much as possible, to give it ample opportunity to breathe and heal.

Hair often gets in places it shouldn’t because the individual strands are so thin and light that they just cling to every surface, but it could have disastrous consequences if it gets stuck to your piercing.

Another thing to consider is if you wear your hair in a side parting, as you can maintain a sense of balance by having the opposite nostril pierced. 

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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Other Piercings

If you already have facial piercings before you get your nose done, it is worth considering how they would work in conjunction with a nose piercing.

For example, getting your nose pierced on the same side as an eyebrow piercing or a lip piercing could make your face look lopsided.

However, it may also give you exactly the look you want, in which case – go for it.

Think about how your new nose piercing could complement your current piercings by perhaps matching the jewelry or the color of the gems.

As well as existing piercings, the same is true for natural facial features such as birthmarks and freckles.

Having too much going on in one area can overwhelm your face and make it look cluttered.

Play around with some different placements using a clip-on ring or small sticker first before committing to anything, so you can see for yourself how they would look with the rest of your face.

As always, feel free to ask your piercer for advice on where to best put your new nose piercing to complement your current look. 

Sleeping Habits And Daily Routine

Sleeping Habits And Daily Routine

If you notice that you tend to sleep on one side over the other, it may be a good idea to have your piercing on the other side.

Although this doesn’t matter as much for nose piercings as it does not ear piercings, since the nose sticks out from the face and isn’t likely to have much contact with the pillow, there are certain sleeping positions where it could get irritated.

Leaning on your nose can affect the healing time for your piercing, since it needs to remain as undisturbed as possible while your tissue repairs itself.

Similarly, if you often get a bunged up nose in just one nostril, when the other is fine, it makes sense to get the opposite nostril pierced.

That way, you can still blow the affected nostril while leaving the other one alone to heal properly.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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Of course, it is more likely that any colds you catch will target both nostrils equally, but people can be affected in different ways. 

Some may find it easier to use a specific hand for taking out and putting in the jewelry (usually right for right-handed people and left for left-handed people).

If this is the case, it can be tricky to maneuver the piercing around your nose and into its place on the opposite side.

Therefore, you can minimize your troubles by getting pierced on the same side as your dominant hand, allowing you an unobstructed path to your nostril.

This is particularly helpful for people who have difficulties with coordination or are generally clumsy. 


As you can see, there are various different considerations involved in deciding which side to get your nose pierced.

Your gender and beliefs, facial appearance (including pre-existing piercings and haircut) and daily activities can all have a surprisingly significant effect on which nostril is better.

You may want to stick to the traditional style of a left nostril piercing, or break free from it by choosing the right.

However, the most important factor is simply your own personal preference – if you like it, then go for it!

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Get A Nose Piercing?

Nose piercings are very common across the world, sitting only behind ear lobe piercings in terms of sheer popularity.

They date back thousands of years in some cultures, where they are believed to bring prosperity and health to the women who wear them.

In modern Western society, they don’t have a special meaning, but can be seen more and more in everyday life.

While they are a less traditional piercing here, it has definitely become acceptable and commonplace to sport nasal jewelry, even in formal settings such as a workplace. 

There is a lack of any empirical evidence to back this up, but some people find that getting their nose pierced can help relieve pains such as menstrual cramps and migraines.

If you suffer from these afflictions and have tried other things that don’t work, you may as well try getting a nose piercing as an alternative remedy – provided you were thinking about doing this anyway for aesthetic reasons.

Other piercings that are said to have the same property include tragus piercings and daith piercings. This is because they all target certain pressure points, which is a similar idea to acupuncture. 

Because the nose occupies a very central space on the face, a nose piercing can be a very eye-catching addition and an easy way to change up your look.

Compared to some other piercings, nose piercings are not particularly painful to get, and the healing time is usually not too long.

They are becoming more and more common for men as well as women, so if you’re a man who is a bit apprehensive about taking the plunge, there has never been a better time to bite the bullet and go for it!

Are There Any Disadvantages To Getting A Nose Piercing?

Although nose piercings are now extremely commonplace, unfortunately there are still some workplaces where employees are not permitted to wear them.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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While a plain pair of earrings is usually fine, a nose piercing can still be seen as unsuitable for a work environment.

If you turn up to an interview for such a job with a nose piercing, you may be rejected straight away because of it.

There are also certain professions that require you to have no jewelry at all for health and safety reasons, like healthcare, food production and working with heavy machinery.

The placement of a nose piercing is not necessarily the best for avoiding bumps. People tend to touch their nasal area fairly frequently, whether it’s to scratch an itch, blow your nose or adjust your glasses.

It is fairly out in the open, so liable to get caught on clothes when you’re getting dressed, and on top of that there is a high chance of boogers getting stuck to your piercing or make up particles running into it.

Your nose isn’t tucked out of the way like your ears are, or even your belly button – there are definitely easier piercings to get if you are likely to forget that your skin is freshly pierced and you need to be extra careful while it heals. 

What Piercing Jewelry Can I Wear In My Nose?

A nose piercing is versatile and can be worn many different ways that go beyond the small decision of which nostril to put it in.

The two main jewelry options are a plain stud or a ring, although you can also put other jewelry in such as a circular or curved barbell.

The topic of rings alone is a big one, as there are various types of ring available to buy.

These include captive bead rings, which are closed with a small ball between the two ends, and segment rings, which are smooth all the way around and have a segment that pops out so you can change your nose piercing.

Studs are also made in different forms, with the most usual being a nose bone – this is just a straight metal post, thinner than other piercing jewelry (20g) and with a small ridge at the bottom end to prevent it from falling out.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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A corkscrew stud can be used instead, which features a bend in the metal, and you twist it round in your nose until the stud is resting flat on your nostril. 

Is it recommended that you start off with a stud of some sort, and most piercers will only offer studs for the initial piercing. This is because rings are harder to heal and easier to disturb or dislodge.

Studs are more likely to stay in the same position once placed, as they can’t be rotated in the same way a ring can.

Starter studs are usually longer and  have a thicker ridge on the end to minimize their chances of falling out, but it is still possible to knock them out of place accidentally.  

The quality of metal that the jewelry is made of is a very important factor in determining which jewelry to wear in your nose.

Starter jewelry for any piercing is often made from surgical steel or titanium, since these are non-reactive and don’t get rejected by the body when used in medical implants.

Many outlets sell cheap jewelry that is made from cheap metals like nickel, which can cause adverse reactions in the wearers or temporarily dye the skin green.

Avoid all nickel-based jewelry if possible, especially while your piercing is still healing.

You may also need to steer clear of any other metals you know you’re allergic to, because these can play havoc with your skin.

Although the better quality jewelry is more expensive, it is worth investing in and will cause you fewer problems in the long term.

What Other Options Are Available?

If you really can’t choose between your nostrils, there are several other nosal piercing options that are available to you.

You can still get your nose pierced without having to commit to one side or the other, and these would also give you a more unique piercing that fewer people have.

Various celebrities and notable people can be seen sporting some of these piercing styles; if they’re good enough for the A-list, they’ll certainly be good enough for you!

Research these options thoroughly before deciding which to go with, as their aftercare requirements may be unfamiliar to you.

Piercing Both Nostrils

Some people simply get both nostrils pierced at the same time, which is a similar concept to getting both ears pierced.

This look suits all kinds of face shapes, so is a safe option if you’re unsure what would be flattering for your own face.

Which Side Should A Nose Piercing Be On?
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You can wear identical jewelry in both, or choose a ring in one and a stud in the other for a punky vibe.

Piercing both nostrils keeps your face symmetrical and opens up more opportunities to explore with your jewelry.

Septum Piercing

A septum piercing goes through the soft tissue at the bottom of your nose, where the two nostrils meet.

This is sometimes known as a bull piercing, because it is placed in the same spot as where a bull ring would go.

You can wear a closed ring, a circular barbell or a special septum clicker in it, and you can also flip the jewelry up into your nose when you need your piercing to be invisible for a short time.

Getting your septum pierced causes your eyes to tear up and you will feel a burning sensation for a few seconds, but after that the healing process should be more or less straightforward.

You can get a whole range of beautiful jewelry to show off this piercing, from plain metal bars to intricate gemstone designs – septum clickers are very popular for making a bold statement on your face.

Bridge Piercing

While this piercing is higher than where your nostrils are, it’s still situated on your nose and is a different kind of nasal piercing.

It is technically a surface piercing, as it goes through the skin at the top of your nose in between your eyes.

These piercings take longer to heal and have a slightly increased risk of rejection, but they give the wearer an eye-catching look that will turn heads.

We don’t recommend getting this piercing if you wear glasses all the time, because they would likely irritate the piercing and may no longer sit properly on your face when you have the jewelry in.

Vivienne Saoki