Originating from Indian and Australian culture, nose piercings made an enormous ascent in cultures all around the world in the 80’s and 90’s with punk and young subcultures. Nowadays all walks of life parade nose hoops and studs. Having a comfortable piercing here takes a little bit of knowledge on gauge sizes, length, and diameter. The nose is the main route for breathing so the fewer traumas inflicted on this region, the better.
Everyone has a unique nose and because of this, gauge sizes for nose piercings vary slightly. Professional piercers are the ones to determine this. The most common sizes are 20 and 18 gauge, or .8 and 1 millimeters (18-gauge being vaguely thicker). People with petite noses can be pierced with a 22 gauge, which entails specialty jewelry. People with larger noses might consider going to a 16 gauge. Most nose jewelry will be available in 20- gauge since this size is predominately used just for nose piercings.
When it comes to the length of the jewelry, too short or too long can be a game changer. The length is measured from the end of the decoration or gem to the beginning of the curved/bent section whether that be an L-shaped stud, curved ring, nose bone, or nose screw(fishtail). The section in the middle of the piece of jewelry is what is determined as the length and is often referred as the ‘wearable surface’. This is important to determine for a couple of reasons. When you first get your nostril pierced, there will be swelling. Your piercer should give a length that will compensate for the swelling that will entail. When the swelling goes down, the fun part begins as you now have options for style. The gauge will need to remain the same but the length will most likely be shorter than the original jewelry piece. The average length is 6 millimeters. For thinner cartilage tissue, 5 millimeters is ideal. For thicker, 7 millimeters is optimal. To be sure of this, ask your piercer to determine the length. You do not want your nose jewelry to slip out or be too tight.
Diameter is the measure for nose hoops. For hoops, the diameter is decided by how far up your piercing is and the thickness of your nostril. Although, one can pick out hoop sizes on what they want for style as well. For those seeking the best fit, 5/16" (8mm) and 3/8" (10 mm) are generally the most popular sizes. As with length, those with a smaller nostril or lower piercing, a smaller diameter would work well. Those with a larger nostril or a higher piercing, a larger diameter needs to be chosen.
There is one more aspect of your nose jewelry that is measured. This part is enjoyable because it is what you and others will be admiring. The gem that is outside of your nose has a diameter. People can be bold or simple with this. Most of the time this part is flushed against the nostril so it does not catch on anything. There is a picturesque quality to arbitrating the size of this. Sizes can be as small as 1.3 millimeters and can go all the way up to 8 millimeters. 1.5 mm to 3 mm tend to be the most common settings on nose gem sizes.
Knowing the right gauge, length, and diameter are important so that your nose jewelry will not slip out of position or show from the bottom of your nostril. It is all right to ask your piercer questions to figure out the size that will fit you best! Best of luck with your nose piercing!