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Published Wednesday, January 25, 2023

How To Hide Your Nose Piercing

Over the last 30 years, piercings and tattoos have become increasingly popular. And while we’re modifying our bodies for our own personal reasons, at work we’re transforming the professional standards for self-expression. Progress like this can be slow, however, there are still circumstances in our daily lives when it is more convenient to hide our piercings.

The strategies discussed below are for well healed piercings. If you will need to hide a fresh piercing, it’s best to discuss that with your piercer when you are having it done, so that they install jewelry that is both the right size and material to facilitate healing while also being subtle enough to meet your needs.

Also, if it’s likely that you are going to have to hide your piercing frequently, it’s worth it to weigh the pros and cons of getting pierced before committing to it. Many of us have experienced circumstances where it eventually became easier to remove our jewelry and let the piercing close up. However, if you love your nose ring and taking steps to safely hide your piercing is worth it, then the following options may be useful to you!

What to Wear to Hide a Nostril Piercing

It’s possible to use small bandages or make-up to camouflage a nostril piercing, but using a retainer or another type of hider jewelry works better if you are concerned about keeping it open. For some people a piercing can start to shrink within a short time if left empty. While it’s unlikely to close entirely it can be difficult and uncomfortable to re-insert your jewelry if left out for too long.

Glass Retainers

Glass Hider Nosebone
Glass Hider Nosebone
Glass Straight Bend Hider Nosecrew
Glass Straight Bend Hider Nosescrew
Pyrex Glass Nosescrew
Pyrex Glass Nosescrew

Every material used to hide a nose piercing has its own advantages and limitations, but glass retainers are one of the best choices for most piercings. It is extremely biocompatible, easy to insert and comfortable, and the material is a good choice if you are thinking of stretching your nostril piercings. Glass retainers are usually made out of quartz or borosilicate glass, which are heat treated in order to make them as strong as possible. Both types of glass can be sterilized in an autoclave and are easy to clean with soap and water.

It’s important to consider what color to use when choosing a glass retainer to hide your piercing: you can use either clear glass or a tinted glass that will blend in with your skintone.  Clear glass retainer jewelry will not hide the piercing so much as minimize it. They can be difficult to see depending on lighting conditions, but there are angles at which the piercing is more likely to be visible. If you want to conceal your piercing, borosilicate glass nostril retainers are available in a variety of fleshtones. Although most glass nose hiders will retain a glossy finish, it is often possible to find a shade that will blend in well with your complexion. And If you can’t find a match for your skin tone, a common strategy is to use a hider color that resembles a freckle or mole.

In addition to color it is also important to consider which glass retainer shape will work best for you, a nose bone or a nosescrew. Nosebones are nostril studs with a gemmed or plain front, and a straight wearable post flared slightly at one end. This back flare is usually a small ball, and it’s used to keep the stud from falling out. The benefit of wearing a nosebone is that, like the design itself, it is very straightforward and usually simple to pop in or remove. On the other hand, the flared bulb can be as much as 0.5mm larger than the post. Inserting this design can cause irritation in an unhealed or inflexible piercing. They are designed to only be worn when your piercing is well healed. Nosescrews also have a straight wearable section that sits in the piercing. However, instead of a thicker back flare, they have a bent section that is worn inside the nostril and comes in two styles. A straight bend nosescrew, has a back section that is left straight, usually bent at a right angle to the post, forming an L-shape that sits in your nostril. A nosecrew with a curved back, also has a 90 degree bend in the post, but the back section has an additional curve in it. This curve is rotated through your piercing, much like a corkscrew in a cork, to gradually insert the piece.

Of course, any glass will never be as strong as steel or titanium, and common nostril jewelry sizes like 18g and 20g have the risk of breaking that metals don’t. And I’d like to add that, like anything small and clear, glass nosescrews and nose bones become virtually invisible when dropped on the floor.

PTFE and Other Flexible Polymer Retainers

Bioplast Nosebone
Bioplast Nosebone
Bioplast Nosebone
Bioplast Nosebone

If you're looking for a nostril retainer with a little more give than glass, you might want to consider a flexible retainer. There are several flexible retainer material options which are available in both the nosescrew and nose bone styles.

PTFE (Monofilament nylon) is a 100 percent safe flexible material that is very popular for piercings where more flexibility is needed (the navel during pregnancy or for surgeries). It has a smooth surface and can be used in initial piercings. It can be sterilized in an autoclave, but at home it’s best to avoid harsh chemicals and use soap and water to keep the jewelry and piercing clean. 

Other flexible acrylic jewelry comes in a greater variety of colors than PTFE, which is limited to translucent or black. Acrylic jewelry can usually be worn for short periods of time, but it can be porous, and are not designed to be worn in fresh, unhealed piercings or against sensitive skin. Some flexible acrylic pieces can be sterilized in an autoclave and others cannot. If the material description of the retainer that you are considering doesn’t specify, it’s always a good idea to ask the vendor about it.

Silicone Retainers

Silicone Hook Retainer

Silicone retainers are another great flexible option for work or regular wear, and the color range of skin tones available makes them ideal for hiding a piercing for longer periods of time. Like the glass retainers described earlier, if an exact skin tone match isn’t available, it’s just as easy to find a shade that could pass as a freckle or mole.

Implant grade silicone is entirely safe for body piercing use and is great for people with metal allergies or sensitivities; it can be autoclaved and it is simple to care for. Because it is so incredibly bendy, small gauge silicone jewelry can sometimes be difficult to insert. It is easier to put in with a skin friendly lubricant, and having a pair of tweezers handy can be a life saver. Silicone is not made to be used to stretch your piercings, but it is sturdy enough to keep your piercings at the size they are currently.

Labrets with Hider Ends

Threadless Mini-Discs

Although hider versions are not very common, wearing labret studs in your nostrils is a growing trend. They have to be inserted from inside the nostril, but some people find that it is more comfortable than inserting a nose bone through the piercing or having the tail end of a nosescrew sitting inside their nostril. Some people prefer using labrets in nostril piercings because they can be made from high grade steel or titanium, and have a variety of threaded and threadless choices. There aren’t many hider options currently available for this style of jewelry, but there are a few ends that are beginning to address this need. The Neometal Matte Mini-Discs are one example of a labret end that can be used to disguise a piercing. As wearing labret jewelry in nostrils continues to become more well known, more options are sure to be developed.

In The End,

We’ve all encountered circumstances where disguising your piercing is the most practical choice, whether we compromise for a job requirement, a school dress code, or some other social event. Finding the right jewelry can help you conceal your piercings, and by hiding them we can keep them for ourselves. Retainers will probably not be your favorite nose ring, but they can be a useful addition to a growing jewelry collection.