Which Side Should a Nose Piercing Be On?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on May 29, 2023
    Last Updated: May 29, 2023

You’ve thought long and hard about it and decided to get your nose pierced. You even picked out the nose ring you want to use. Then it occurs to you: you’re not sure which side of your nose you should pierce.

The more you think about it, the more you realize you haven’t noticed whether people wear their nose piercings on any particular side. Plus, most people have a fairly symmetrical nose, so chances are you don’t have a side of your nose you consider to be the “good side” (and even if you did, would you use the piercing to enhance your good side or give the other side a boost?)

How will you choose which side to pierce? Will it just come down to a coin toss?

Which Side To Pierce?

Left Side

The left side of the nose is oftentimes the preferred side to get pierced, although there is usually no logical reasoning for this. However, in some Hindu cultures, women get their noses pierced on the left side in the belief that it strengthens their wombs and suppresses menstrual and childbirth pain. Unfortunately, there have been no scientific studies to prove this connection.

Right Side

While some say that men should only have their noses pierced on the right and women on the left (and sometimes the other way round, depending on who’s telling you), there is, in fact, no real reason to choose one side over the other – it’s all down to preference.

Indeed, the ‘gender rule’ of nose piercings is largely a myth, more of a result of societal conventions and traditional norms rather than a strict rule to be followed. Today, people of all genders are choosing to express themselves with piercings on either side, or even both sides, of their nose, breaking away from outdated stereotypes.

There have even been ongoing myths for years stating that the side of a nose piercing should be decided upon a person’s sexuality, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Wear your nose piercing exactly how you would like to, and whichever way is most comfortable for you.

Nose Piercing

Factors To Consider

Choosing the side of your nose piercing will depend on:

Your Current Style

When deciding on which side to get your nose pierced, consider your personal style. A nose piercing can act as a permanent accessory, so think about how it will fit in with your overall aesthetic and complement your features.

If you tend to wear certain types of accessories, such as earrings, other facial piercings, or glasses, you might want to consider how a nose piercing would balance these elements. For example, if you have multiple piercings in one ear, you might choose to get your nose pierced on the opposite side to create symmetry or a sense of balance.

Similarly, if you wear glasses or sunglasses often, the frame may impact your piercing placement. The side of the piercing can either contrast with or match the side of the glasses that has more ornamentation, depending on your preference.

The jewelry style you favor could also influence your decision. Some people prefer large, bold pieces that stand out, while others prefer subtle, small jewelry. Your lifestyle, profession, and everyday activities may dictate the practicality of your jewelry choice. For instance, if you lead a very active lifestyle or work in a profession that requires certain safety precautions, a small, secure stud might be more practical than a larger, more decorative piece.

Moreover, if you have a preference for a certain hairstyle or often wear hats, this can impact the side you choose as well. You may prefer to have the piercing on the side that’s more frequently exposed or on the side where your hair parts.

Ultimately, the side of the nose piercing is an integral part of your personal style and self-expression. It should reflect your individuality and feel like an authentic extension of your personality

Cultural and Personal Beliefs

As mentioned earlier, in certain cultures, the side of the nose piercing has significance and is tied to traditions or beliefs. You may want to respect these or have your own personal beliefs that could dictate the side of your piercing.

Future Plans for More Piercings

If you plan on getting more piercings in the future, you might want to consider how a nose piercing would fit into those plans. The side you choose now can impact the placement and balance of future piercings.

Nose Piercing

Practical Considerations

There are also a few practical reasons to favor one side over the other.

If you have a tendency to sleep on one side, you could decide to pierce the nostril on the opposite side to avoid any discomfort while the piercing is healing.

There’s also the practical consideration of a person’s dominant hand; some people find it easier to take care of a new piercing if it’s on the opposite side of their dominant hand to minimize the chances of accidentally knocking or irritating it.

These are admittedly small concerns, but if you’re really at a loss for which side to pierce, it might be a good way to come to a decision.

Try It Out

If you’re really worried you might change your mind after getting one side of your nose pierced, you can always try out both sides and see which suits you best. Buying a fake nose ring is one way to test out both sides before committing to one.

A simpler and cheaper method that should still give you a good idea of which side you prefer is to simply draw a dot where your piercing would be and then looking in the mirror. Try it on both sides and see whether one looks better or feels more natural.

Alternatively, you can temporarily stick on some rhinestone beads and that may give you an idea of what you’ll like most, too.

Ask Your Piercer or a Trusted Friend

You can also enlist someone else to help you decide.

Your piercer might have some insights into which side would look better. They’ll have done countless nose piercings and might have developed good instincts for the aesthetics of a nose ring.

Alternatively, you can also ask a trusted and honest friend to give you their opinion. They probably see your face more often than you do and might have a really good idea of what piercing would compliment it best. At the end of the day, though, it’s your face and completely your choice.

Why Choose Just the One Side?

If you really can’t make up your mind, you can always get a piercing that allows you to avoid making the decision altogether.

Piercing Both Sides

One thing you could do is what a lot of people do when they pierce their earlobes: get both sides pierced.

This lets you avoid the decision, keeps your piercings symmetrical, and can look great. Although, be aware that many piercers will recommend only getting one side pierced at a time and allowing the first nostril to heal completely before piercing the second. If that’s the case, you might end up having to choose which nostril to get pierced, even if you’ll ultimately get both of them done.

Septum Piercings

A septum piercing is a piercing that goes through the cartilage between your nostrils.

If you’re considering a nostril piercing, a septum ring is quite different than what you envisioned. Some people also claim that getting your septum pierced hurts more than piercing your nostrils (though the pain is only momentary).

There’s also the fact that it’s still uncommon when compared to pierced nostrils. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re not comfortable standing out or drawing too much attention to yourself, it might not be the best choice for you. Piercing your septum does, however, have one distinct advantage: because the jewelry sits in the middle of your nose, you don’t have to choose a side.

Septum Piercing

Leave It to Chance

Finally, if you really can’t make up your mind, you can always leave it to chance. Flip a coin, make a friend choose for you, or just ask your piercer to surprise you.

Whichever way it turns out, rest assured that nose piercings look great on either side.


There are a lot of things to consider when deciding which side of your nose to pierce, but in the end, it all comes down to personal preference. There’s no choice that’s inherently superior.

Left, right, or both – as long as you pick the side you’re most comfortable with, that’s all that matters.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals as best as it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application.

When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​ Click here to buy from Amazon

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