Other Accessories / Piercings

10 Bull Nose Rings To Add Edge to Any Look (Even if You Aren't Pierced)

Anna Anna 18 Feb 2019 170

Body modification is one of the oldest forms of humans adorning themselves. There is evidence of both tattooing and piercings that pre-date written history. Certain archaeological digs have unearthed evidence that species before humans entered the historical record. Early humanoid species may have pierced their ears and noses with animal bones and wood.

Today, more and more extreme piercings are becoming popular. From embedded facial jewels to bull nose rings through the septum, if you can imagine it, there is probably a piercer who is capable of creating it for you.  

Celebrities Rocking Septum Rings

Scarlett Johannsen, Aviril Lavigne, and Chloë Grace Moretz all rock a pierced septum. For the most part they keep their body mod fairly subtle. But there are some stars that really notch it up at every opportunity.

Chloë Grace Moretz

2015 saw Rihanna taking her septum piercing very seriously. She was out and about with it on the regular, She even posted a dramatic look featuring a charmed bull nose ring. We love the styling that looks both edgy and a little boho. 

Also on Instagram, Madonna wore a dramatic pearl bull ring in a wonderful yellow gold. Against her naturally milk skin, it was a graceful, exotic look.   

Of course, Lady Gaga, who we firmly believe will try anything once, rocked the septum piercing with a curved barbell studded with gems. She is proof you can make it both glamour and rock depending on the styling. 

bull ring

Candice Swanepoel paired a lovely, bright white gold bull ring with a very fashion-forward layered look. Lots of mismatched earrings and a chunky layered look would have been great. But the addition of the septum ring added a bit of bite to the already fierce look.  

Types of Septum Rings

Clickers – Most bull ring piercings are clickers. They typically feature either a straight or curved bar that actually slides through the piercing.  The hoop or decor then snaps into place using pressure. When secured it makes a little click, hence the name. Typically these are stainless steel.

clicker
Clickers

Horseshoe Ring – This piece of steel, shaped in a curvy U or sideways C shape, capped with two threaded balls is the most common of septum piercings. Each side of the ring hangs underneath each nostril. The beads are sometimes decorated with gems or silicone. These can be made of acrylic or silicone as well.

Horseshoe Ring
Horseshoe Ring

Captive Bead Rings – This is similar to the clicker except that instead of the bar snapping into place, the ring holds a ball bearing or bead in with pressure. The ring is most often stainless steel but the ball bearing can be acrylic, glass, stone, or steel.

Captive Bead Rings
Captive Bead Ring

Pressure Cuffs – These are septum rings for people who do not wish to get an actual piercing. These can be made out of any number of materials as they do not have to pass through a piercing. While fine metals such as silver or gold, or hypoallergenic stainless steel are recommended, especially around the thin tissue inside your nostrils, pressure cuffs can have a little more leeway.

Pressure Cuffs
Pressure Cuffs

Septum Retainers – This is a thin piece of metal shaped similarly to a staple. Some are curved while others are straight. They add a subtle touch.  One of the best features of this style of septum ring is that it can be flipped inside your nostrils to preserve the piercing for events are locations where you may not want to display your facial piercing.  Since the tissue of the nose heals quickly there is always a risk of your piercing closing up if you must go too long without wearing your septum ring. Septum retainers offer a solution.

Septum Retainers
Septum Retainers

We are just a little bit obsessed with bull rings right now. These are anything that joins as full ring under the nose. We have located ten fantastic bull rings that we love on Amazon. And as a bonus, you do not need to get pierced to wear some of these. We included clip-ons as well!

Our 10 Favorite Picks!

To start we will review our top picks for a pierced septum.

1.Pearl and Steel Bull Ring Clicker

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We will start with a lovely bull ring that combines shining steel and a gorgeous set of simulated pearls. Seven creamy stones stand out brilliantly against the high polish surgical grade stainless steel. A straight bar passes through the piercing and clicks safely closed.

This is a fairly dainty piece so it is not overly flashy. It makes for a great pop of edgy look for daily wear without crossing into overtly punk territory. We can absolutely see this one as part of a progressive professional look. Of course not all business will accommodate facial piercings, but if your company does, this is a perfect choice. Pearls and silver are a wonderful combination that adds a touch of both shine and elegance to your look. It will transition wonderfully to your evening looks as well.

The pearls are polyresin, which is industry jargon for plastic. Normally this might be a detractor but since this is facial jewelry, polyresin is a good choice for the sake of caring for your piece. Gems must be cleaned to protect them from oils and daily grime. Since your bull ring is going to be exposed to the facial oils as well as any makeup you choose to wear, cleaning your facial jewelry is of paramount importance. Cleaning the polyresin pearls is much easier as you can dip your entire piece in warm soapy water and wipe dry.

2. Vintage Clicker

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Our next pick for pierced septums is this very vintage inspired bull ring by Pierced Owl. Made of 316L surgical grade stainless steel, this clicker does not need beads or gems to sparkle and shine. Dots of polished steel glisten from a burnished, blackened background.  It has texture but not overwhelmingly so.

The creators may have drawn inspiration from a few different eras from art deco to Elizabethan to Victorian. Depending on how you style it, you can highlight those. To us it feels very art deco. Art deco was all about lines and architecture and interesting shapes. This gently curved fan shape manages to give dots a very geometric feel. Even the shape of the bull ring itself reminds us of all the decorative fan and shell shapes you saw all over the 1920s decor and fashion.

At just a quarter of an inch, this is another daintier piece.  It feels refined enough to be incorporated into your daily wear look without forcing the punk rock aspect.  We can absolutely see this with a denim and sterling silver ensemble. It is also a piece that is absolutely festival ready. It may have a vintage feel, but styled right you absolutely have the tribal charm as well. Add a bit of turquoise and drape yourself with lace and leather to really pull home the look.

3. Three Opal Bull Ring

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This piece takes a simple bull ring design and adds a pop of brilliant prismatic color. Three beautiful, lab-created opals shimmer from prong settings underneath your nose. Choose from three base colors for your opal. The classic white with all its iridescent shimmer is available as well as a bright blue variant and a purple variant. All three options offer the striking play of light opal is most known for.  

The warmer is great for cooler skin tones. It picks up on the oranges and greens beautifully. This will complement skin tones that refract from the cool side of the color spectrum. The blue is perfect for warmer skin tones with more reds and ruddy undertones. The white is a beautiful mix of both spectrums and appropriate for just about everyone. Slashes of red, orange, green and yellow will add a full rainbow of visual interest to your look.

We really love this bull ring for pairing with particularly feminine looks. The juxtaposition of the edgier piercing with the traditionally airy looks of the feminine dress just strikes our fancy. Consider adding this bull ring to an outfit in blue or purple pastels with lots of whites. A white pair of linen slacks paired with an airy, flowing blouse and dainty sandals would be perfect!

4. Elephant Captive Ring

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This next one touches on the Hindu and Indian history of the bull ring septum piercing. It is also the first on our list to combine gold tones. This is one of our favorite trends in jewelry wearing. That said, this is also one of our favorite pieces on this list.  

A 316L surgical grade stainless steel ring holds in place a bead that features a gold-toned elephant head. Aside from the elephant figure being ultra popular in fashion and jewelry right now, it is also a symbol of luck.  

Elephants in Indian and other Asian cultures represent wealth, good fortune, and luck.  In African cultures, they are a symbol of family, strength, power, and longevity. This particular elephant on this bull ring is an African elephant. That is indicated by the shape of its ears. Asian elephants are smaller with rounder ears. African elephants are larger with ears shaped similarly to the continent of Africa.

Whether you need luck or power, this is a wonderful septum ring with a lot more unique visual interest than other available on the market. It’s not every day you see a beautiful piece of elephant jewelry successfully used in facial piercings.

5. Silver Scrollwork Clicker Ring

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For us this bull ring definitely pulls on some Indian or perhaps Morrocan influence. Overall it is simple, 316L surgical grade stainless steel is styled into beautifully dainty scrollwork in a half moon shape. Silver steel dots the rounded edge. A straight clicker bar inserts through the piercing. As far as design elements go this is a get what you see, see what you get type of situtation.  We love it because it absolutely takes the guess work out of styling.

This is a wonderful piece for a concert or festival look. It is also a prime candidate for wedding jewelry if you have a more extreme aesthetic and are carrying that vibe through to your wedding styling. It will evoke Indian wedding styles but remain appropriate with even the most haute couture dress.

Pair this one with the bright vibrant colors typically of Indian and Morrocan inspiration. A bright fuschia, sari-inspired blouse will work really well with this piece. Or consider a near-floor-length flowing sheer vest with blousy linen pants and a sandy colored top to get that desert Bedouin feel.

6. Classic Bull Ring Five Piece Set

Jstyle 5 Pcs a Set 316L Stainless Steel Septum Piercing Nose Hoop Clicker Ring 16G 12mm

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Our final selection for pierced septums is a five-piece set of your plain jane bull rings. The bright, elaborate, decorative pieces are wonderful.  But every jewelry lover knows you need your basics and you need your classics. This is both. Aside from the horseshoe bar, the bull ring is a standard look for septum piercings. This set of five is perfect to add to your collection to cover that base.

One silver, one gold, one black, one rainbow, and one rose gold-toned hoop in your choice of three sizes are included in this set.  You can match any look, outfit, ensemble, or occasion with one of these. Plus it keeps your piercing present but subdued. These are great for times when you do not need to necessarily hide your facial piercing but you are not exactly wanting to draw attention to them either.

As a bonus, these are multitaskers as well if you have multiple piercings.  You can wear these anywhere you can wear a hoop piercing. From lips to ears and everything in between.  If it fits, you can wear it there. If you have enough piercings you could, theoretically, manage to wear all five hoops somewhere and really get fantastic use out of the set!

Non-Pierced Septum Hangers

Now we move on to our picks for the non-pierced folks. Everyone has excellent reasons for getting pierced and excellent reasons for choosing a less invasive way to get the look. It may be for professional or athletic aspirations that you decided to evade the septum piercings. It might be you just do not want to commit to something quite so permanent for the sake of a really cute piece of jewelry. Whatever the reason, modern jewelry is such that you do not have to skip the trend just because you need to skip the needle. These clip in place by lightly pinching the prongs around your septum.

7. Lacey Opal & Silver Ring

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This clip on reminds us of Madonna’s septum piercing with all the frilly lacey metal work and shining feature stone. This septum hanger bull ring is brass plated with stainless steel.  It comes in your choice of white, pink, blue, or purple simulated opal.

We love how the stone stands out brilliantly from the high-polish silver. The look is perfect for a daily wear piece. Plus, as a clip on, you can simply add or remove as needed. This makes this one ideal for that killer outfit you have that transitions effortlessly from day to night.

8. Jeweled Spike Four Piece Bull Ring Set

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Our lists typically tend to feature a lot more sparkle and shine. Therefore when we found this one we had no choice but to include it. Brilliant rhinestones bedazzle this four-piece set, adding glitter and glitz to the otherwise hard-edged spikes of these bull ring clip ons.

This set includes yellow, white, black and rose gold-toned bull rings. They are alloy metals which means they may not be ideal for folks with metal sensitivities. But for those who can wear them, you have one that will match pretty much every look and jewelry collection. The stones are in varying sizes which adds a bit of texture.

9. Sunflower Bull Ring

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This is our favorite selection on the non-pierced section of the list. Yellow gold-toned alloy is sculpted into beautiful, blooming sunflowers.  The leaves and eyes of the bright yellow flowers are tinted to green and black, offsetting the gold petals perfectly.

We adore this for a boho look or even a daily wear look. The iconic flowers of summer and happiness will add such warmth to any outfit.  It feels so lighthearted and cheery. We cannot get enough of it!

It is a very clever design for a piece of jewelry often styled with a bit more of a rebel with a cause feel.  Sunflowers could not be more perfect to add a whimsical fun look to a facial piercing piece.

10. Silver Twenty Piece Bull Ring Set

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Finally, this last set has something for just about everyone. While it only comes in silver, it has everything from complex scrolling designs to simple bull ring hoops in clip on. You can keep it simple and subdued or you can get dramatic and wildly alluring depending on which of the twenty you select.

Several of these are very clearly inspired by the Indian Natori styles. Others have more of a biker chick look. This set also offers a bit of multitasking as several of these can be used as a clip on for a nostril piercing, cartiledge clip on, or orbital clip on.

A Note on Metal Choices

Normally we are big fans of choosing those pieces you love for the look and not just the name, material, or stone choice.  However, with facial or non-traditional piercings, we recommend only using 316L surgical grade stainless steel. This type of metal is designed and forged specially for this type of use. It is incredibly durable. Difficult to break, even under pressure and nearly impervious to rust, if cared for properly, it is the safest metal for piercings. It is especially for piercings through or around mucous membranes such as the nasal cavity and mouth. Extra adornments on your facial jewelry may feature other types of metals but any piece that must pass through the piercing itself should be of 316L surgical grade stainless steel for your health and safety.

surgical grade stainless steel
Surgical grade stainless steel

If you are choosing a clip on, while 316L surgical grade stainless steel is a bonus, it is not as necessary so long as you do not struggle with metal allergies or sensitivities.  If you can wear the dollar store jewelry with no reaction, then steel plated is likely fine. However, if you tend to react to lower quality metals, best stick with the surgical grade.

History of Septum Piercing

Septum rings, most especially bull nose rings, were often part of the body modifications made by warriors. Evidence of septum pierces dates back to biblical times and before. The Aztecs, Mayan, a variety of African cultures, Indian and Bengali peoples, Aborigines, and nearly every island based culture show evidence of nasal and septum piercing.

It was especially common among the North American Native Americans or First Peoples.  Several tribes have histories that include giving a septum ring to a young man coming of age.  Often these rituals involved surviving an unaccompanied stint in the wilderness. Upon the young man’s return, his septum would be pierced as a sign he had achieved manhood.

surgical grade stainless steel

The prominence of nasaland septum piercing was so notable, one North American tribe even garnered the name we now know them by as a result. The Nez Perc tribe were given their name by French fur traders in the nineteenth century. Nez Perc translates to pierced nose.  This was a misnomer and must have been the result of some confusion. The Nez Perc, despite the name, were not known for nasal piercings. Nevertheless, someone in the area did pierce their noses. As did several other Native Americans tribes across the US and Canada. Nineteenth-century Shawnee chiefs Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa are both pictured with septum rings. In fact, Tenskwatawa even wore a bull nose ring

In Indian tradition and Hindu religion, the septum is a popular piercing location. Hindu god Vishnu and one of his consorts Radharani are often depicted wearing septum rings. The particular way these celestial beings wear their septum and nasal rings is called Nathori style.  Most often Nathori styles are oversized hoops that pass through the septum and one nostril. Occassionally they will pass only through a nostril but lay across the septum as well due to their size. Chains join the hoops to the septum, ears, and other facial piercings. Nathori style piercings are often used at Indian weddings to this day.  

Warrior cultures often used piercings to add fierceness to their appearance. Nasal and septum piercings were sported by the strongest, most fearless warriors.  A bone through the septum was often a sign of a highly victorious warrior. This is particularly true for several African tribes and Aboriginal warriors.

The Aborigine people, native to Australia, often use a wide, flat piece of bone.  It is pierced high through the septum so that the bone pushes the nostrils flat. This is to help the person appear intimidating.

Septum Piercings Today

In Western culture, septum piercings have become very popular over the last four decades. Through the eighties, septum piercings were almost exclusively associated with fringe culture. Over the following ten years, they emerged further and further into pop culture. Today, septum rings are slightly more common, Admittedly, with the exception of the Vocal Music Awards or exceedingly eccentric personalities, they really have not made it en masse to the red carpet just yet.

Bengali women still often wear Nathori style septum rings as a sign that they are married.  Some Indian, Nepalese, and Bengali women also use nasal and septum piercings as indicators of membership in their tribes or their social status.

A Brief Look at Bull Nose Rings for Animals

Bull nose rings are used for a couple of different reasons with cattle. Mostly they are used to control or quell undesirable behavior in cattle and pigs. They can also be used to help with weaning. Just like with the jewelry versions, there are pierced and clip on bull nose rings in animal husbandry.  

Rodeo bulls are often equipped with a nose ring. Because that is one of the most sensitive parts of the animal, pressure applied by pulling on the ring will typically subdue them. It helps regain control of a rowdy or potentially renegade bull quickly and with minimal damage to handlers.

surgical grade stainless steel

For pigs, nose rings are used to snuff out the rooting behavior. While it is a natural instinct for pigs to use their snouts to uncover foods and treats, it can injure the pigs. Worse though, it can damage the enclosure and properties of pig farmers. Rings are used to discourage the natural inclination. In some regions of the world, pig nose rings are required for pigs who are released to freely forage during some portions of the year.

As with most elements of animal husbandry and control methods, there are always opponents who cite this is a form of animal cruelty.  We take no position on this. These methods for working with cattle date back as far as written history. Illustrations from the Sumerian peoples, the first people we know of to develop a written language, show oxen and other cattle wearing nose rings.

We do wonder how we got from tools for cattle to edgy jewelry option.It turns out that septum piercing and the use of rings is almost as old as the use of them in animals.