It all started around a year ago when I bought a fake septum piercing online for a costume party. I popped it in and thought, this looks alright, and then left it to gather dust with the rest of my unused jewelry. I went through phases where it was all I could think about—I’d constantly look up photos on Pinterest and Instagram and be all inspired, then I’d think about actually going through with it. The pain. THE PAIN. I’d get cold feet and bail.
Then, Sam and I went to Europe, and I was like, This is it. THIS. IS. IT. And it was—I finally got it done in London. Since then, I’ve had a heap of questions, so if you’re thinking about setting up your septum on a blind date with a huge, enormous needle (jokes, it’s not even big, mate), than have a cheeky squiz at this septum piercing FAQ.
D I D I T H U R T ?
This is definitely the question I get asked the most, and the answer is a big fat no! Get your pointer and your thumb out and chuck them up your nose, close to the tip (go on, do it). Feel that meaty, fleshy bit? It’s pretty thick, right? Now go up a bit further, see how it’s thinner there? That’s called the “sweet spot”, that’s the bit that get pierced—it’s thinner than your earlobe.
For me, I’d say it was about a 3/10 on the pain scale—my ears and my naval hurt way more, and I’m a pretty big wimp. The pain factor was the only thing putting me off getting my septum done, and I don’t know what I was so worried about! It just felt like a little sting, it was over really quickly and my eyes didn’t even water.
The reason it hurts a lot for some people is usually because they are pierced in the wrong area. Either in the super thick bit you felt before, or way too far up through the cartilage—yikes! Of course it can still be painful even if pierced correctly—it’s a needle breaking the skin, after all.
I S I T E A S Y T O H I D E ?
You betch’ya. I decided to get pierced with a circular barbell (an open circle) that can easily be flipped up. I always wear it up at work and occasionally in my everyday life. A septum piercing is great because it’s so easily hidden, and if you do choose to permanently remove it, it won’t leave a visible scar.
W H E R E D I D Y O U G O ? H O W M U C H D I D I T C O S T ?
Well, this probably won’t help you out if you’re anywhere but London, but I got it done at a piercer called Extreme Needle Tattoo. Because I was absolutely terrified of getting it done, I was really careful about choosing a place. I looked up a lot of different piercers in London and even some a bit farther away because I wanted to be sure I was getting pierced by a professional. Extreme Needle Tattoo had amazing reviews, and I must have read around one hundred testimonials, which were all positive.
It’s important to be pierced by an experienced piercer for any body modification, but especially for a septum because the piercer can’t actually see what they’re doing. They do it all by feel, and sometimes it’s really difficult to find the sweet spot—everyone’s is different.
The staff at Extreme Needle Tattoo were so accommodating. I made a point of letting them know how nervous I was, and they were great at reassuring me, whilst not pressuring me to go through with it. My piercer, Raphael, was lovely. She made me feel super relaxed, explained everything she was doing and was incredibly hygienic.
The place I went was pretty pricey, but I was willing to pay a bit more for a good piercer. It cost me £40 (about $65 AUD) to get it done and I paid another £10 for the antiseptic spray.
H O W L O N G B E F O R E Y O U C A N C H A N G E
T H E J E W E L L E R Y ?
Extreme Needle Tattoo told me I had to wait four months before changing it, but I’ve heard other piercers say it’s okay to change it after just two months. I’ve decided that when I do want to change it (I really want a pretty closed ring) I’ll go to a piercer and get them to check that it’s healed and okay to change. Most piercers will change your piercing for you if you buy a product from them.
D O E S I T S M E L L ?
Sometimes. I didn’t smell anything at all for around the first four weeks, then, BOOM. Woke up one morning and it literally smelt like someone had dropped a turd on my face (sorry for the visual, but that’s how bad it was). I didn’t even realise it was my piercing at first and went on a mad cleaning spree to discover the source of the odor. Realised it was me. From inside my nose. I thought, I’m doomed! There’s no escape!
It wasn’t because I hadn’t been cleaning it regularly—I had and still do, its just part of the healing process. The needle leaves an open wound, which has all kinds of bacteria going into it all the time, sometimes it’s just a bit pongy due to the buildup of natural oils and shedding of dead skin cells. It happens with every piercing, this one is just a bit more obvious because it’s all up inside your schnoz.
The smell came and went over a few days and I haven’t smelt it since.
W H A T D O P E O P L E S A Y ?
Lots of things. Mostly the response has been an encouraging one and I’ve had a lot of people say really kind, positive things, even strangers. I do get the occasional backhanded compliment, “You’re far too pretty for that!” Like, I know you’re trying to be nice but . . . Come on. I haven’t been told I look like a bull yet, or that I’ve “ruined my face”, so, that’s a bonus.
The fact is, I didn’t get a septum piercing because I wanted to impress other people, I just think they look seriously cool. I’ve got to say, when I had it done, I felt seriously cool, too. Wearing it makes me feel weirdly confident and happy—I have absolutely no regrets!
(Want to hear a little more about my AMAZING Europe trip? Click here.)