Septum piercings are nothing new, but it's definitely one of the more unusual places to get pierced. Yet I'm spotting more and more people on the streets of London flaunting a hoop through the middle of their noses. Now, this may be TMI, but have you ever plucked a hair out of your nose (I know it's not just me)? Well, it stings. Your eyes water. You sneeze.
Surely, a piercing right through your septum would be an unbearable experience? According to Maria Tash's head piercer, Kevin Lamb (known as @kevinthepiercer on Instagram), it's not all that bad. And I trust Kevin—he gave me my recent conch piercing (the hole that goes right through the ear), and it was surprisingly, jaw-droppingly painless. Tempted to get your septum pierced? Read on for our Q&A with Lamb.
How do you pierce the septum?
You can either pierce a septum freehand, using a receiving tube or popping some clamps onto the area. I prefer to use clamps, but in my eyes, there's no wrong or right way to do them as long as the piercing is straight!
It looks like an awkward position to pierce. Does this make the piercing more painful?
Not at all; we pierce through a part of the skin we call "the sweet spot," so it's a lot less painful than what people imagine! Some piercers like to pierce them sitting up, and some do them with the client lying down; again, piercing is a self-regulated industry, so as long the piercer and the client feel comfortable, there's no wrong or right way.
Can you describe the pain you're likely to feel getting a septum piercing?
I can't remember, as I got mine done donkey's years ago, but from clients' experiences, they tend to find it a quick, sharp sensation, but once the needle is out and jewellery is transferred, everything then relaxes, and it goes to a warmer feeling. It does make your eyes water, though, so bring a tissue!
Does this piercing suit certain types of nose or face shapes?
Yes, definitely, some septums can be very deviated, so even when you pierce it straight, it can look wonky! Your piercer should be able to compensate for the deviation as long as it's not too bad.
I'm guessing you pierce with a ring?
I always pierce them with rings, but they can be pierced with circular barbells and even retainers so you can flip them up and hide them!
How long does it typically take to heal?
Septums tend to take around three months to heal as long as you do as your piercer tells you.
What does the aftercare involve?
Same as most piercings: Saline-soak twice per day; dry the skin after; no picking, playing or twisting the piercing; and try not knocking it!
What happens if you get a cold or hay fever during the healing process?
It happens; you just need to be a little gentler when blowing your nose and aware that you have a fresh piercing that may take longer take a little longer heal, as your body will be concentrating on healing you instead of your piercing.
Does sneezing/blowing your nose hurt or be avoided?
You can blow your nose fine.
Anything else our readers should know?
Get one—they're cool!