Nose piercings – more specifically, nostril piercings – are some of the most fashionable, ‘in’ piercings a person can get, no matter their gender or style. In this day and age, it is becoming more common to see someone with a stud in their nose than their ear lobes.
A nose stud or ring is a great way to express yourself, giving your outfits an edge for the foreseeable future.
If you have decided on getting a nostril piercing, you may be facing a slight dilemma: which side should you get pierced? Which side is best? Does it even matter?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having either nostril pierced, as well as some cultural implications that may affect your decision overall.
Picking A Side: Things To Think About Beforehand
Here are some aspects of nose piercings that you may want to consider before choosing a side.
Keeping It Symmetrical
Everybody’s faces look different: that is a fact.
Even if you’re an identical twin, there’s a good chance that you will have certain facial markings and blemishes that your sibling doesn’t, and vice versa.
Therefore, it should come to no surprise that your face shape and appearance comes into play if you are unsure about which side to have your nose pierced.
Of course, if you know which side you want pierced, it doesn’t matter what shape your face is: you are free to select any side you please. However, if you are stuck making a decision, this is a factor that may help you.
It’s possible that you have a prominent beauty mark on your left cheek, in which case your nose stud may look better on the right side to balance the out markings. Or, maybe you have a lip piercing on the right side of your mouth, so it would look better to have your left nostril pierced!
Snapping Your ‘Best Side’
In today’s age of technology, most people have taken a selfie at some point. It is a part of life, and we cannot avoid it! Whether we are taking a picture for a dating profile, our Facebook pages, or simply to send a friend, we want to look good.
Many people have discovered, over time, that they have a ‘good’ side and a ‘bad’ side in photographs.
From the left side, your jawline may appear more prominent, or perhaps your cheekbones appear sharper from the right. Stronger and more distinct qualities are more aesthetically pleasing, according to photographers, resulting in a more fascinating shot overall.
So, you may want to get your piercing on the ‘good’ side of your face, so you can get a good glimpse of it in photographs in the future.
Do you know which side is your ‘good’ side? Take a selfie from both angles and decide which you prefer!
The Side You Sleep On
This point is more about the comfort factor of your piercing, rather than the aesthetic.
When you get a new piercing, you are basically taking care of a healing wound for, potentially, months on end. After all, your nose will have been stabbed with a needle.
The most frequently asked question about piercings is, ‘does it hurt?’, questioning the pain during the procedure. People don’t realize that, unfortunately, the piercing often hurts more during the healing period – and it hurts for a lot longer!
If you sleep on your side, you may find more comfort choosing to get your piercing on the opposite side. For example, if you sleep on your left side, get your right nostril pierced.
You may think that this is a silly observation to make, as your nostril doesn’t touch the bed while you sleep, but it is better to be safe than sorry! You don’t want to risk hitting the piercing during the night, waking up to a pang of pain.
The Ayurvedic Principles
For those unfamiliar, Ayurvedic medicine is a comprehensive, holistic philosophy that connects the mind and body, which extends back to ancient times.
According to Ayurvedic beliefs, piercing the left side of the nose might help relieve the discomfort of menstruation and/or childbirth, hence this is the side on which most women get their noses pierced.
Note: it is uncertain whether this is a genuine Ayurvedic notion, or a concept introduced by the Western world in the 1960s. Either way, Hindu women traditionally get their noses pierced on the left side of their face.
Feminine Vs. Masculine
Did you know that there is a side that females usually get pierced, and a side that males get pierced? Let us explain…
The ‘Feminine’ Side Of The Face
As we already mentioned, it is believed by those who practice Ayurvedic medicine that women should get the left side of their noses pierced for health reasons. Therefore, many Hindu women get this side pierced, and it has become tradition over the years.
This tradition ended up influencing women all around the world. Nowadays, it’s usually thought that the ‘feminine’ side of the face is the left side.
So, if you are a female, you could take this into consideration when deciding which side of your nose to get pierced.
The ‘Masculine’ Side Of The Face
Most people are aware of the ear-piercing notion that straight men get the right side done, and gay men get the left side done.
This trend started in the 1960s, when the gay community began wearing earrings as a code to indicate to others that they were homosexual. During this time, it was socially unacceptable for males to get their ears pierced, so only those in the gay community would have them.
At some point, the trend changed to the right side being the ‘gay ear’, but nowadays, it doesn’t really make much of a difference.
The same notion went for nose piercings, and again, it doesn’t really matter in today’s age. You can be gay, straight, or anything in between, and get any side of your face pierced without judgement*.
*Older generations may still take this belief into consideration, but otherwise, we’re pretty sure everybody else has forgotten which side was/is which anyway.
Does This Even Matter?
So, can you get a nose piercing on your left or right side, as a guy, without others thinking that you are another sexuality? Does it matter which side you choose?
As we mentioned before, the old ways of assigning sides of the face to gender or sexuality are now outdated. Thankfully, in today’s age, a person does not have to use a code to express their sexuality to others; at least, not in the way that they would have in the sixties.
Additionally, for females, you do not have to get your left nostril pierced. Although, if you have done research into Ayurvedic practices and would like to try it for yourself, there is nothing restricting you, either.
The Cultural And Historical Significance Of Nose Piercings
For those interested in the history behind nose piercings, here is a short summary of where they came from, and how they ended up being popular today.
The initial wearing of a nostril ring dates back over 40,000 years, in Australian Aboriginal cultures. This discovery was made during this century, when animal bones were found carved into small sticks, and professionals stated that they were used as piercings.
Aboriginal people adorned their nasal septums with handcrafted bone nose embellishments, which they continued to do until recently.
Techniques for manufacturing crafts from bones originally evolved in Africa, so it is possible that the early settlers in Australia adapted this approach to match the animal bones available in their environment.
The Middle East And India
While it is thought that the Aboriginal people were the first to wear nose piercings, the modern prevalence of nose piercings may be traced back approximately 4,000 years to activities in the Middle East.
Did you know that nose piercings are mentioned in the Bible? In the Old Testament, Abraham gives his daughter-in-law a golden nose ring after she marries his son Isaac. In some civilizations, this subsequently became a tradition.
The practice of wearing nose jewelry eventually spread to India, where it had become ingrained in the local culture by the 1500s.
The Western World
Western cultures adopted the tradition of nose jewelry in the twentieth century, when American citizens visited India and appreciated the aesthetic of the piercing.
Since the 1960s, nose piercings have become more and more common throughout the Western world. However, unlike those in other cultures who wore piercings for cultural or religious reasons, Americans and Europeans wore them as a fashion statement.
Nose piercings were considered rebellious and ‘punk’ in Western culture at the time, and they were still considered that such until quite recently.
In fact, some individuals still think of them this way to this day.
So, now that you have received all the information about nose piercings – their history, cultural meanings, and connotations to gender and sexuality – you may find it easier to make a decision.
If you are still having difficulty choosing, why not get both sides done? This way, once they have fully healed, you can take the one piercing out and sport the other side alone, and vice versa. It’s great to have options!
We hope you found this article interesting and helpful, and that it helped you come to a decision.