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Why do females wear nose rings?

Nose rings, also known as nostril rings or nath, have been a popular body decoration for thousands of years. Women wear nose rings for a variety of reasons, including cultural tradition, religious purposes, and self-expression. While practices vary between cultures, some common motivations for females wearing nose rings are explored below.

Cultural Tradition

In many cultures around the world, wearing a nose ring is a long-standing tradition for women. Some examples include:

  • India – Nose piercings and rings have been worn by Indian women for thousands of years as a symbol of marital status and prospering after marriage. They are thought to make women more attractive to their spouses.
  • Middle East – Women in countries like Iran and Afghanistan wear nose rings as an enhancement of beauty. The practice dates back to ancient times.
  • Africa – Tribes such as the Maasai and Berber view large nose rings as a sign of wealth and social status. The bigger the ring, the more influential the woman.
  • Polynesia – Septum rings made from bone, tusks, and shells were common rites of passage for women entering adulthood in tribes of New Guinea and the South Pacific.

In these cultures, nose rings are seen as a normal part of everyday adornment for women. The tradition is so ingrained that females often start wearing nose jewelry in their youth and continue throughout adulthood.

Religious Purpose

Aside from cultural meaning, nose rings hold religious symbolism in some faiths. Two key examples are:

  • Hinduism – According to the Vedas and Puranas, Hindu texts, wearing a nose ring is auspicious and associated with Goddess Lakshmi. It is thought to bring good luck, prosperity, and fertility.
  • Ayurveda – In this traditional Indian system of medicine, nose piercings are said to ease childbirth and menstrual pain due to pressure point connections between the nose and female reproductive organs.

Hindu women may wear a stud, ring, or chain in the left nostril in reverence to cultural and spiritual traditions. The jewelry is seen as protective and spiritually uplifting.


Today, nose rings have expanded beyond cultural roots. Many women in Western countries now view nose rings as a fashion statement allowing self-expression. Reasons for wearing one include:

  • Style – Nose rings come in a variety of shapes and materials. Women may enjoy decorating their face with a sparkling gemstone, simple stud, or bold ring as an accessory.
  • Uniqueness – Facial piercings stand out and give women a means to differentiate themselves through edgy or unconventional style.
  • Increased Confidence – Some women feel more self-assured and empowered when wearing a nose ring, seeing it as a projection of inner strength.
  • Artistic Flair – The nose ring is viewed as a wearable symbol of creative identity or as part of an alternative punk/goth aesthetic.

While cultural significance still exists today, young women increasingly view the nose ring as a way to be trendy, commanding, and express their personal tastes.

Common Nose Ring Styles

For women interested in getting a nose ring, there are several classic and modern styles to choose from:


  • Petite jewel or metal post fitted into nostril piercing
  • Subtle, dainty appearance
  • Common as a starter ring until piercing heals
  • Comes in simple steel, gemstones, elaborate shapes

Hoop Ring

  • Circular ring that sits inside rim of the nostril
  • Larger and more noticeable than studs
  • Silver, gold, platinum – wide range of materials
  • Can be decorated with charms or gems

Septum Ring

  • Passes through thin septum cartilage between nostrils
  • Usually circular barbells, can also be spikes, clickers
  • Flip up inside nose for more subtle look
  • Alternative punk/gothic vibe

Nose Chain

  • Delicate chains connecting stud or hoop to ear piercing
  • Bohemian, tribal look
  • Silver, gold, beaded, etc. many styles
  • Intricate appearance, harmonizes with face

How Nose Piercings Are Performed

Getting an actual nose ring requires a piercing procedure, usually done professionally at a tattoo and piercing studio. Here is an overview of how it works:

  • The piercing area is marked and thoroughly cleaned with an antiseptic.
  • A receiving tube made of surgical steel is carefully inserted through the nostril.
  • A piercing needle slides through the tube to create the perforation.
  • Jewelry such as a stud or hoop is immediately inserted into the fresh hole.
  • Aftercare solution is applied to clean and promote healing.
  • The initial jewelry remains in place for several weeks during the healing process.
  • Once healed, the starter ring can be replaced with the permanent jewelry.

Though it looks simple, precision is required to correctly align the piercing. Reputable studios adhere to strict health codes and only use sterilized needles to minimize risks.

Pain and Healing Expectations

Nose piercings are relatively quick procedures, but do involve some pain and extended aftercare. Common experiences include:

  • Brief sharp pain as the needle passes through the nostril tissue.
  • Stinging sensation and watery eyes immediately after piercing.
  • Tenderness, swelling, and bruising around the site lasting up to 2 weeks.
  • Potential for infection if aftercare instructions aren’t followed.
  • Full healing takes 2-6 months with proper cleaning and jewelry rotation.
  • Avoiding irritants like touching or bumping the nose during initial weeks.

While unpleasant at first, most women tolerate the piercing process well. The pain is fleeting and manageable. Following the studio’s directions can lead to proper healing.

Nose Ring Precautions

Though popular, nose piercings do come with some precautions women should consider beforehand:

  • Higher risk of infection due to bacteria inside nose
  • Possibility of keloid scarring or granulomas
  • Difficulty breathing during allergy season
  • Bleeding if ring is bumped or dislodged
  • Potential tear if ring gets caught on items
  • Permanent hole after removal unless repaired
  • Job discrimination in some industries (banking, food service, etc.)

Women should think carefully before getting pierced and be diligent with aftercare. Additionally, certain medicines like blood thinners make piercings riskier. Consulting a doctor is wise if any conditions are present.


Nose piercings hold deep cultural meaning for women worldwide, but also allow for creative choice and self-expression. From elegant nose studs to ornate rings, they make a striking facial statement. If considering a nose ring, be mindful of the healing process and risks. But also enjoy this ancient and beautiful adornment that connects females across countries and generations.