Archive for Piercing and Aftercare Information
When someone says “nose piercing” they’re usually referring to the body modification that is pierced and rests in the curve of one of the nostrils. Depending on where you find yourself culturally, “nose piercing” can take on a more general meaning and can refer to piercings such as the septum or the bridge of the nose. This broad sense of the term is also found when referring to the jewelry as a “nose ring” because this term is commonly used to reference any piece of jewelry worn in the nose. Besides the standard nose piercing that is simply a solitary piercing made in the natural crease of your nostril, there are a variety of other piercings that are found around the same area, including:
Double Nostril – two holes are created with the first piercing being higher than the other; requires a strategic and professional piercer due to the risk of hitting nerve structures; jewelry used are nose bones, nostril screws, l-shaped , nose hoops, circular barbells and even captive bead rings
Triple Nostril – requires more precautions in creating patterns to ensure nerve structures are not affected; most convenient jewelry used in this type are nose bones; commonly seen on the top crease of the nostril in a triangular pattern
High Nostril – jewelry is placed a few centimeters above the natural curve of the nostril crease; jewelry options for the high nostril piercing is limited to nose bones, l-shaped, and nostril screws
There are a total of five types of nose rings that are available for purchase on BodyCandy.com: the hoop, nose bone, l-shaped, nose screw, and fishtail.The first four options are worn and chosen by the wearer’s necessity or personal preference, but the fifth style – the fishtail – is customizable and can be made into any variety of the other styles. Any of the five options available can be worn based on your own preference for comfort, sizing, or aesthetics. Nose jewelry has the ability to be beautiful with the many stylistic options you have in store for your choice, but it also has the added plus of being surprisingly versatile with the many types available and the ability to customize for a perfect fit and style.
Choosing your material is just as important as figuring out your size. There are six basic materials that most nose rings will be made of: stainless steel, gold, sterling silver, titanium, bioplast, and acrylic. They can also be found in platinum, glass, and carved organic material like bone, but these media are generally more expensive and harder to come by. Some materials are better to use while healing a new piercing while others are recommended for well-established piercings or for wearing for only a short time.
Nose piercings are one of the most common body piercings in the world, so there’s no wonder why so much different terminology is used to describe the piercings and the jewelry that goes in them. With nostril piercings being so prevalent around the globe, there’s bound to be confusion at one time or another, but this post – and two subsequent posts that will be up in the next week – is your go-to guide for becoming an expert in all that is pierced noses. Today’s post will focus on the ways to size nose rings in order to find the body jewelry that will best work with your own unique nose piercing. The next post will talk about materials that are used in our nose jewelry.
Step 1: Find Your Gauge
The gauge of body jewelry refers to the thickness of the item, which directly correlates to the needle size that is used to pierce you by your chosen piercing professional. Since there are so many different sized noses, there are also different gauge sizes of nose piercings.The thickness of the item is extremely important to the fit of the item. Standard sizing for nose rings is normally a 20 gauge; this means the thickness of the portion that goes through the piercing is approximately .8 millimeters. Nose piercings can also be done in a slightly larger 18 gauge (1 millimeter thickness).
22 Gauge (.6mm)
Piercings done in India, the Middle East, or very select areas of the US, UK, Australia, or Europe may use the tiniest size: 22 gauge, which would normally be considered a specialty size that may need to be handcrafted by an artisan.
20 Gauge (.8mm)
This is the smallest gauge that most body jewelry will come in, and it is used almost exclusively for nose piercings. You’ll find most styles and types in this average size gauge.
18 Gauge (1mm)
This is the gauge used for larger sizes nose piercings. Slightly larger than the 20 gauge, this size will still provide you with countless fashionable options.
There are a few exceptions for those who were pierced in particular parts of the world or who have larger noses and chose to be pierced a size or two larger, but for the most part, the common gauges are what you’ll be working with for your nostril piercing. Knowing the correct gauge size is incredibly important to be sure your jewelry fits comfortably without slipping out.
Step 2: Find Your Proper Length or Diameter
The length (sometimes referred to as the rise for some types of nose rings) is measured from the base of the gem or decoration to the beginning of the curve, bend, or bulbous end; a portion of the jewelry often referred to as the “wearable surface.” This is the part that will actually be worn inside the piercing and its average length is about 6 millimeters, but for those who have slightly thinner or thicker nasal cartilage 5mm and 7mm lengths are also available.
Unless your nose is either very dainty or larger than average, any of these sizes are likely to fit your nose, but for a truly perfect and comfortable fit, getting your ideal length measured at your piercer is a good idea.
Other sizes for piercings that are done in non-traditional areas of the nostril or for nostrils with different thicknesses of cartilage can be custom made or created from a fishtail nose ring.First, the piercer will use a special device to measure your nose, and then they’ll bend the long end to the custom size that will best fit your nose. The two most common types of bends will be either a nose screw (the standard type of nose ring that looks like a corkscrew) or an l-shape, which literally leaves the item in the shape of an uppercase L.Diameter is measured instead of length for nose hoops, and will always be the distance between the inside edges of the hoop at its largest point. Depending on how high up your piercing is and how large or small your nostril is, an incorrect diameter can end up looking a little funky, so this is important to figure out so you can achieve your best style.
The two most common diameter sizes for nose hoops are 5/16″ (8mm) and 3/8″ (10mm). Those with larger noses or with large gauge nose piercings may need rings with a little larger of a diameter, so measuring a hoop you’re already sure fits you is a good decision in those cases.
If you need a size that isn’t commonly sold on our site, an alternative to find the right fit for your nose piercing is to visit your local professional piercer so that they can measure your jewelry, your nose, or both and recommend a specific size for you and your nose.
One of the most fun parts of choosing a new nose ring is picking out the gem or decoration you want to show off on your pierced schnoz. The gem or decoration size of a nose ring is often overlooked, but depending on the look you want and the size of your specific nose, this measurement can be rather important.
Our nose rings (most notably our solid gold options) are set in a low profile setting with a flat bottom to ensure the ring sits flush to the nose. Each stone has its own “seat” where a notch is cut by a highly skilled craftsman into the setting to fit that individual stone. Not only is there an aesthetic quality to this, but it also makes it less likely you’ll get your jewelry caught on something.
The gems/settings on nose rings start as small as 1.2 to 1.6mm (called a micro nose ring) and go up to about 3mm in size. Decorative shapes can be even larger, sometimes measuring up to 6 or 7mm (about 1/4″) wide.For persons with petite noses, standard 2mm sized gems can look a little bit oversized, and for those who have larger nostrils, a tiny micro nose ring may not gain the attention you and your nose piercing deserve.
Click “read more” below to read about some troubleshooting you can implement if your nose ring’s fit is a little off.
Money Shot: 0:24
Thinking of getting a septum piercing? Not sure about the process? Watch as Frank gets his septum pierced by James at American Skin Art, here in Buffalo NY!
First things first, the area around the septum in cleaned. James then makes a mark where the piercing will go. A pair of open ended clamps is used to hold Frank’s nose steady for the piercing. A deep breath in helps Frank to relax, and James then pushes the needle through, using the open ends of the clamps to guide it. A cork is secured to the end of the needle as James slides it the rest of the way out, so that a septum retainer can be inserted behind it.
Healing Time: 4-8 weeks
Initial jewelry: Circular barbell or a septum retainer
We’ve all been there – you’re putting in your new body jewelry and the ball drops to the floor, never to be seen again. For those accidents that occur with a bead captive ring, you’re going to need a different type of replacement ball than what you would get for threaded barbell body jewelry. The ball for securing BCRs is held in place with the help of tiny divots or dimples on each side, which securely fit in the opening of the circular ring.
If that just isn’t an option for you or you would like to have a go at it yourself, we have some tools, tips, and tricks to assist you in showing off your BCR like it was meant to be:
Tips Before Getting Started
- Change your jewelry in a place with a lot of light like your bathroom because the beads are usually tiny and difficult to handle.
- Cover the drain of the sink if there is one in the vicinity with a paper towel or tissues so that you won’t lose the ball down the drain.
- Get a clean small cup or dish to put the jewelry in when you’re exchanging the pieces so nothing escapes while you’re in the process.
- Practice popping the bead in and out of the captive ring several times prior to actually trying to insert into your piercing (if you’re not sure how to do this, read through the step by step directions below before trying).
- If you’re having trouble removing the bead from the captive ring, try to wedge your thumbnail under the edge of the bead, but be careful not to drop the bead when it pops out!
- Keep your hands and your jewelry clean throughout the process to prevent infection (ESPECIALLY if you drop any part of the jewelry!)
- If you feel the ring getting caught on any part of your skin when changing it, slide the ring back into its original place and try again.
- Try not to look in the mirror while changing your jewelry because this is often more confusing than helpful when compared to changing it assisted by your sense of touch.
Step by Step
- Remove the bead from your current captive ring and slowly rotate the ring through your piercing until the ring opening is lined up with either end of your piercing.
- Hold the ring firmly between your thumb and forefinger before grasping the bead tightly between the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand. Twist the ring slightly while applying pressure on the bead – it should pop right out.
- Gently slide the ring out of the hole.
- Clean the captive ring you just removed before putting it into the cup or dish you have ready.
- Remove the bead from your new captive ring, place that new bead into the cup or dish with your old jewelry, and slowly put the end of the new captive ring’s opening into the hole of your piercing.
- Gently rotate the jewelry through your piercing until the end of the ring comes through the opposite hole.
- Once it’s inserted through your piercing, hold the new captive ring’s bead and line it up between your fingers so that you can see the dimpled indents on both ends of the ball. Rest the bottom indent on one end of the captive ring’s opening and steadily hold the ring while carefully pushing the top indent to fill the opening – you should hear it snap into place.
- Ta-da! Look and feel fabulous 😉
So, the most important part of all that? Keep everything as clean as you can! If you follow those rules, then wearing your new BCR will be easy, fun, and fashionable without the stress and frustration of going at it alone.
Ready to look for a captive ring of your own? Check out our previous style guide post on everything captive rings have to offer!
Not sure about the size you need? Check out this posting on proper sizing of captive rings to ensure you get a perfect fit.
Watch and Learn
If you’re someone who prefers to see something done before they do it themselves, then this video is perfect for you! Inserting and removing the circular barbell is the easy part, but many proudly pierced individuals find putting that dang ball back in place the most frustrating part of all.
Here at BodyCandy.com, we carry a variety of useful tools that can help you get to your perfectly pierced style more smoothly and with minimal stress on the jewelry. You should avoid using household tools to open and close your captive ring because this method can scratch the metal ring leaving a rough surface that can damage your piercing (not to mention it’s not exactly sanitary!).
If you’ve been having trouble handling your captive ball or if your BCR is of a larger gauge size, one of these tools should provide you with exactly the assistance you need:
Ball Removal Tool
This can and will literally save your balls! Many don’t know that this type of tool exists, but it is an essential accessory for any pierced style. It’s small and portable, so you can change styles on the go without worrying about fiddling with tiny ball ends. The ball removal tool has a rubber end that grips the ball to give you a little friction to twist it off from your jewelry without the risk of dropping it. This is a great tool for those with butter fingers or hands too big to handle little pieces.
Ring Opening and Closure Pliers
For stubborn captive rings that need some adjustment, there are a variety of tools that can be implemented to make your life a little easier. Ring opening pliers create enough wiggle room to allow the ball to more easily be placed back in its spot on the ring.
How to Use Ring Opening Pliers:
1. Place nose of pliers into the center of the captive ring.
2. Squeeze the handles together until the captive ring is held fast by the pliers and rests within the appropriate grooves.
3. Squeeze the handles gently until the captive opens just slightly and the captive bead becomes loose. Be careful not to squeeze too much or else the jewelry may be damaged.
Start by using the tool in small increments and then remove the jewelry from the pliers to check the progress (measured by how easy or difficult the ball is to move) so that you don’t bend the ring too far, but just in case you do, we have a tool for that too. Ring closure tools look a lot like the pliers used to open up the jewelry but are used to adjust a ring to make it smaller, just in case you don’t know your own strength and made it too big trying to open it up.
Ball End Grabbers
Since we are well aware that holding onto those tiny balls can be quite damaging to our mental state, lower the risk of a dropped ball with tools specifically designed to keep a tight grip. These types of tools come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you’re getting one designed for what you need. One option is a tool that has a claw-like grabbing mechanism to grasp ball ends that are rolling around in your jewelry box; another option is a tool that looks a lot like tweezers with rounded tips that are used to hold the ball end while you are maneuvering it into the grooves to fit back into the captive ring.
Next time you have a stylish captive ring in your sights, don’t pass it by. You’ll be able to buy and use this type of body jewelry with confidence knowing you won’t have to fight it to wear it.
Captive rings come in so many different sizes that there are very few piercings in which they cannot be worn. To size a captive ring, two measurements are needed: the gauge size and the diameter of the ring.
The gauge size is the thickness of the ring itself (the part that actually goes in your piercing), and the diameter is found by measuring across the widest part of the ring from one inside edge to the other.
Captive rings are most commonly found in a range of 18 gauge (the size of the average nostril piercing) to 00 gauge (10mm thick), but specialty sizes can be found if need be.
The most common measurements for captive rings’ diameters start at around 1/4″ (6mm) and go up from there. The more abundantly stocked diameter lengths include 5/16″ (8mm), 3/8″ (10mm), 7/16″ (11mm), 1/2″ (12mm), and 3/4″ (19mm).
Small to Medium Diameter:
1/4″ (6mm) – This is a small diameter and can only be made from a small gauge (such as 20, 18. 16, and 14). This is a good size for tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, and upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix).
5/16″ (8mm) – septum piercings, tragus cartilage piercings, nostril piercings, upper ear cartilage piercings (such as helix), lip piercings, ear lobe piercings, and eyebrow piercings.
3/8″ (10mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings (labret, monroe, etc.), and nipple piercings.
Medium to Large Diameter:
7/16″ (11mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, and nipple piercings.
1/2″ (12mm) – septum piercings, ear lobe piercings, eyebrow piercings, navel piercings, lip piercings, nipple piercings, and intimate piercings.
3/4″ (19mm) – This large diameter size can be made from many different gauge sizes, but it is most frequently made with larger gauges such as 2, 0, and 00. This is a good size for stretched holes and piercing locations that require a little more girth.
Remember that this information is what is regarded as the standard sizing for captive rings and their accompanying piercings; every body is different and your piercing may differ from the standard. Always be sure to measure accurately to get the right size, and if you can, visit your local piercer to get first-hand assistance in finding the right size diameter for your particular piercing before purchasing your new captive ring.
Want More Information?
We’ve got you covered. Check out our blog’s BCR category for more information on this type of body jewelry and keep your eyes out for future blog posts regarding style and frustration-free use of these versatile rings.
Know your size but not sure about your style? Check out our post on finding the right style captive ring for your piercing!
Or if you already know what you’re looking for, browse our latest styles in circular barbells and captive rings to pick out the best way to express yourself!
Still have questions? Contact our customer service team via phone (toll-free: 1-800-694-1426 or internationally: 716-650-2999) or by e-mail (email@example.com) during our normal business hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm EST Monday through Friday. They’re always happy to help and have extensive knowledge on body jewelry to help you choose the best style and size for you and your piercing.