Types of Nose Rings

Written by brittany smith
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The most popular type of nose piercing is the nostril piercing. It is so common today that it is the most popular piercing after ear lobe piercing. This type of nose piercing includes any part of the skin or cartilage on the nose. Most nostril piercing is done on the horizontal crease of the nose, or the bend in the nostril when flared. This usually looks the most natural and allows the most comfort for wearing jewellery like nose rings and nostril screws.

Captive Bead Ring

Captive bead rings are the most popular type of nose rings. This type of ring is also known as a ball closure ring, a captive hoop, or a captive ball ring. The captive bead ring is very popular because of its diversity. The bead is easily changed out whenever the ring wearer is bored with the look or just wants to change things up a bit. The bead or ball of the ring is larger than the rest of the metal that completes the circle of the ring. The ball fits snugly into its appointed space so it will not fall out and disappear. To ensure the ball will not fall out of the ring, some rings have a hole drilled through the bead so the bead will screw right into the ring. The bead can also be soldered onto the rest of the ring. Which type of fixed bead the wearer decides to buy depends on whether special tools are needed to change out the types of beads. Beads come in every colour, shape and design imaginable. Beads and rings vary in price depending on how precious the metal used to make the ring is or if the bead is made of a precious stone like a diamond or ruby. Titanium captive bead rings, the most common, usually cost less than £13.

Segment Ring

Segment rings are smooth rings for the nostril piercing and septum piercing (a piercing between the cartilage and the bottom of the nose that divides the two nostrils of the nose). Segment rings are smooth, make a perfect circle and are not decorated with any other adorning jewellery, like beads. They are available in any colour, simple designs like waves or stripes, and are generally made of titanium. Segment rings are also available in acrylic, steel, gold and silver. Silver is not recommended for a recent piercing because the metal irritates the nose skin and can cause scarring of the nose tissue. Depending on the type of metal used to make the ring, prices range from £1.90 to £65. Most rings cost less than £13, but the more precious the metal, the more expensive the ring.

Circular Barbell

Circular barbell nose rings are generally used for septum piercings. The barbell is shaped in a half circle like a horse shoe with a bead attached at each end of the circle. This is the type of ring commonly seen on pigs and bulls. The beads for circular barbells are screwed into the circular part of the metal ring. Barbell beads are available in any design, shape and colour. Most titanium rings are less than £13.


A nostril piercing takes roughly six months to heal completely if it does not become infected. The nostril closes up very quickly, so the nose ring, smooth or captive bead, or nostril screw should not be left out of the nose for long periods of time. If the piercing must be removed for any reason, like attending work, before it has healed, consider using a nostril retainer to keep the pierced area from closing up. The retainer will keep the place of the piercing so the hole does not close. Piercing the nostril after it has closed up is both painful and expensive. Retainers are great for any one who has a nostril piercing, but has to remove it when going to work. Nostril retainers usually cost less than £3.


Nose rings and other jewellery like retainers, nose screws, bones and studs are all available at local tattoo and piercing parlours as well as online at stores like BodyCandy.com.

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