Even if you are an enthusiastic member of the piercing world, you will find that there are many piercings that are so unusual that you have never seen one.
The rhino piercing is something like that.
Although rhino piercing (also known as vertical nose tip piercing) has been part of the western piercing scene since the early 2000s, it remains under the radar for most people. This makes it the perfect piercing for those of you looking for a new look that almost nobody has.
The unique aesthetic of the rhino piercing ensures that your rhino piercing becomes unique.
Rhino piercing is a bit difficult, however. Since it appears in the tip of the nose, where there is complicated cartilage, it must be placed precisely to avoid damage. It is not a piercing that you want to pursue on a whim.
Here’s what you need to know and how to prepare before getting a rhino piercing.
What is a rhino piercing?
First, we should discuss exactly what this piercing contains.
The rhino piercing is so named because it appears on the tip of the nose. (The other name, the vertical nose piercing, also describes well what this piercing looks like.) It consists of an entry hole at the top of the nose tip and an exit hole in the area between your nostrils. Due to this placement, only curved dumbbells can be picked up.
Getting a rhino piercing may seem complicated, but it’s not much different than any other piercing. Your piercer marks the entry and exit points with a marker that you approve. Then they take a hollow needle and push it upwards through the tissue.
While the shape of your nose and anatomy largely determine how your rhino piercing is placed, there is a variation of rhino piercing: deep rhino piercing. This style simply places the upper part of the piercing higher on the nose. The deep rhino piercing has an interesting aesthetic, but you have to be careful. The cartilage that makes up your septum appears in the middle of your nose, and you need to make sure that the piercing avoids this. Therefore, deep rhinoceros piercings are often slightly crooked to make room for this cartilage.
They’re also rarer than standard rhinoceros piercings, so you may find it difficult to find a piercer who has experience with this particular piercing (and because it’s so technical, finding an expert is a must). If you opt for deep rhino piercing, exercise caution and make sure that you have fully examined both your piercer and the piercing before making an appointment.
How much does a rhino piercing hurt?
When you look at a rhinoceros piercing, you may think first: “It must be painful.” (Surely this author did it.) You may be surprised to learn that even though it is one of the more painful piercings, you feel more discomfort than pain.
Even if you can get a little dramatic about pain, rhino piercing should be more uncomfortable than painful.
Cartilage hurts more in fleshier areas than piercings. So if you’ve pierced your ears or nostrils, you already know what to expect in terms of pain. The discomfort of piercing is due to the fact that the needle has to go through a significant amount of tissue and you will feel it. If you get a piercer who has experience with rhino piercings (which you should), the process should still be fairly quick and smooth. For example, it takes a little longer than a helix piercing.
Of course, the pain you feel depends on your personal pain tolerance. But you might be happy to know that most of the people who got the rhino piercing said that it hurt less than they expected.
What do I have to do before I get a rhino piercing?
As with all piercings, you should take the time to really imagine the rhino piercing on your nose to see if it’s aesthetic for you. This piercing in particular will stand out. We therefore recommend that you take time in real time to think about the style and get opinions from trusted friends.
Once you’ve decided that this is the piercing for you, it’s time to find a piercer. As previously mentioned, rhinoceros piercing is more technical than other types of piercing, and you want to find a piercer who has rhinoceros piercing experience and a thorough understanding of nasal cartilage. The rhino piercing – and in particular the deep rhino piercing – must be placed precisely to avoid complications.
If you live in a rural area, it can be difficult to find someone with this special expertise. If so, you should take a trip to find someone who knows how to do this piercing. While other types of piercing tend to be more forgiving, this should be done by someone who has done this piercing many times or who is supervised by someone who has.
Rhinoceros piercing aftercare
It takes time to heal a rhino piercing, but the aftercare process is no different from other piercings.
Follow the instructions given by your piercer after you have finished piercing, and soak your piercing 2 to 3 times a day in a salt solution or homemade sea salt for about five minutes. To do this, you can fill a Dixie cup with the solution and dip your nose.
As with any piercing, the best thing you can do is maintain excellent basic hygiene and keep your rhino piercing clean.
Try not to move your jewelry too much. They are initially given a larger piece to compensate for swelling. As soon as the swelling has subsided, you can go to your piercer to get a smaller piece.
You can expect at least 6 to 9 months to heal, but many people spend up to 12 months or more. Before stopping aftercare, have your piercer check that your piercing has healed completely. The piercing appears to be healed on the outside before it is healed on the inside. Because the rhinoceros piercing has such a long fistula, a professional eye is required to determine if the healing is complete.
Rhino piercing jewelry
Once your piercer has confirmed that the piercing has healed, you can replace your jewelry. The standard rhino piercing uses a curved barbell, while the deep rhino piercing uses a straight barbell. Ask your piercer for the right size. Too large jewelry can get stuck, and too small jewelry can push against your piercing, which can lead to complications such as jewelry rejection.
While standard ball ends are always classic, gemstones offer a beautiful look in this already seductive piercing. You can also choose barbells with mismatched ball ends, charms, opals, or pearls.
Would you like to be inspired? Here are some of our favorite options for curved barbells for your rhino piercing.