Ethnic Nose Job – Features of Non-Caucasian Noses

Understanding the Ethnic Nose Job – Features of Non-Caucasian Noses

The world of plastic surgery is diverse, and no one-size-fits-all approach applies when it comes to altering one’s appearance. Ethnicity plays a significant role in determining the unique characteristics of an individual’s facial features, particularly the nose. Non-Caucasian noses, in particular, come with distinct attributes that require a nuanced understanding of surgical alterations.

Below, we delve into the features that differentiate non-Caucasian noses, the specific goals of ethnic rhinoplasty, and how these surgeries cater to diverse cultural and aesthetic preferences.

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 What is Ethnic Rhinoplasty?

Ethnic rhinoplasty, also known as racial or cultural rhinoplasty, is a specialised branch of cosmetic surgery that focuses on altering the appearance of the nose while preserving or enhancing the patient’s ethnic or cultural features. This type of rhinoplasty recognises the unique nasal characteristics of individuals from various ethnic backgrounds and aims to provide aesthetic elements that respect and complement their cultural heritage.

Unlike traditional rhinoplasty procedures, which often emphasise Westernised nasal aesthetics, ethnic rhinoplasty is tailored to the specific traits and desires of patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It acknowledges that the requested nose shape can vary significantly from one culture to another and is more inclusive in its approach.

Nasal shapes and skin types of Ethnic Noses – What’s the difference?

Like many other parts of the face, the nose shapes vary significantly within the human population. While genetics has played a predominant role in human evolution, environmental selection has influenced certain external physical traits. These traits include skin pigmentation and facial shape due to their environment.

Research shows that the width of the nose is strongly correlated with temperature and humidity. Wider noses are more common in warm, humid climates. Whereas, narrower noses are more prevalent in areas with cold-dry climates. While anthropologists agree that nasal variations are due to adaptation to the environment, this subject requires further research. Climate is not the only factor that determines the nasal shape, other options are worth exploring too.

European Nose

The nasal bridge in Europeans is usually narrow. Generally speaking, men and women from northern parts of Europe have wide-base noses alongside protruded lips whereas their counterparts from northwest Europe have pointing-up noses. Compared to other parts of the world, Europeans may have slightly wider and longer noses. However, keep in mind that globalisation makes it difficult to describe a certain nose shape as “typical” as cultures mix.

Asian nose

Ethnic groups from Asia are numerous, and so are the nose shapes. Compared with Europeans, Asians typically have shorter, wider, and less projecting or protruded noses. The shape of the nose also dictates procedure goals. Whereas Europeans usually seek nasal reduction, those of Asian heritage tend to Choose augmentation of the nasal structures.

Visit our page on Asian Rhinoplasty Surgery.

African-American nose

African-American men and women have a flatter nasal bridge and a slight projecting tip. They have the widest and most prominent noses indicated by enlarged nostrils, wide and rounded tips, and the absence of a protruded nasal bridge.

In most cases, ethnic rhinoplasty in African-Americans aims to elevate the dorsum of the nose and alter the projection of the tip. The nasal dorsum (nasal ridge) is the border between the root and tip of the nose.

Hispanic and Mediterranean nose

Hispanic and Mediterranean noses tend to have a dorsal hump over the nasal bridge. The tip of the nose is broad and downward facing.

Mediterranean descent includes people from southern Europe, northern Africa, and some parts of Asia, e.g. the Middle East.

Those of Arabic descent usually have a nose shape similar to men and women of African ancestry. Arabic noses typically have a rounded, fleshy tip.

The most common goals of ethnic rhinoplasty, in this case, are the hump removal, elevation, and narrowing of the nasal tip.

Ethnic Nose Issues and Concerns

was originally developed, it was based on features and characteristics of the traditional Caucasian nose. The fact that most patients were Caucasian was probably the reason behind developing the procedure to primarily suit their aesthetic and cosmetic needs. However, times have changed.

Ethnic Nose procedures have become more accessible, and social perception changed. Plastic and cosmetic surgery is not as taboo as it used to be. As the demand for Nose Surgeries has increased, so needs to ensure the procedure accommodates the specific needs of each ethnicity.

The main concern, of course, was how to perform ethnic rhinoplasty without impairing the delicate balance of facial features that define patients of a certain descent.

Ethnic Rhinoplasty usually addresses concerns and issues involving a wide bridge, wide tip, flat or undefined tip, wide nostril base, asymmetry, crookedness, a nose too close to the upper lip, or a low bridge. Blocked breathing in conjunction with crookedness or other external imperfections can also be addressed with ethnic Septo-Rhinoplasty.

Common Reasons for an Ethnic Rhinoplasty

The reasons for ethnic rhinoplasty include altered self-esteem and positive self-image. However, the procedure may also cause identity issues for ethnic patients and their near relatives. These issues often worsen in the absence of a Skilled surgeon’s skills to achieve the goals of an ethnic nose job without affecting other ethnicity-related facial features.

Proportions of the Ethnic Nose – Aesthetic Ideal

Research studies show that facial proportions are not an indicator of beauty, but they can help a surgeon to plan the treatment approach. Of course, the facial proportions are used in conjunction with other techniques.

The aesthetic ideal is an oval-shaped face with a height to width ratio of 3:4. The human face is divided into horizontal thirds which are rarely equal. In Caucasians, the middle third of the face is less than the upper third, and both areas are smaller than the lower third. On the other hand, in Asians, the middle third of the case is bigger than the upper third and equal to the lower third. The lower third of the face is also divided into smaller thirds which define chin, upper, and lower lips.

The shape and size of the nose should complement other facial features such as the forehead, eyes, cheeks, lips, and chin.

See the nose surgery before and after page for more examples of ethnic rhinoplasty.

Ethnic Nose Surgery Procedure

Surgically speaking, ethnic rhinoplasty works in the same way as the “Traditional” Rhinoplasty. Your nose surgeon uses the same anaesthesia and places the incisions the same way as in traditional rhinoplasty. The placement of incisions is either inside the nostrils or on the bridge between the nostrils. There is no big difference here; it all comes down to the specific technique the specialist surgeon chooses upon examining the structure of your nose.

The Ethnic Rhinoplasty itself tends to take slightly longer than traditional Rhinoplasty. In most cases, Ethnic Rhinoplasty involves a narrowing of the nostrils or extension of the nasal tip, which calls for the use of some type of graft to “enlarge the nose”. The graft will be of cartilage taken from inside the patient’s nose, from the ear, a rib, a donor rib, or an artificial substance.

The Procedure

The procedure usually includes:

  • General anaesthesia
  • The duration of the procedure is about 2-3 hours.
  • Closed technique: incisions made on the nasal membrane to access different parts of the nose are sometimes adequate.
  • The open technique requires an incision made under the tip of the nose. Then, the nasal skin is retracted backwards to dissect the nose cartilage. Redefining and reshaping of the nose ensues, and grafts can be stabilized more effectively with sutures.

After the procedure, you may notice swelling around the nose, cheeks, and eyes. Facial bruising is also present.

Regardless of the type of procedure, whether it’s a traditional or ethnic nose job, the recovery and the process are the same. The actual recovery time depends on the technique.

Recovery and Healing after Ethnic Rhinoplasty

The healing process following ethnic rhinoplasty is similar to that of traditional rhinoplasty, but there are some unique considerations due to the diverse nasal features of patients. Immediately after surgery, patients can expect swelling and bruising, but these subside over time. Nasal packing, which may be used in some cases, is removed after a few days.

Patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities and protect their noses from sun exposure during recovery. It’s crucial to follow the surgeon’s post-op care instructions, as the nasal tissues need time to settle into their new shape. Complete healing and the final results can take several months, but the outcome should be a nose that maintains its ethnic characteristics while achieving the patient’s aesthetic goals.

How much is Ethnic Rhinoplasty? Prices and Costs of an Ethnic Nose Job

Every patient is different, therefore the prices vary. You will be given a price quote after your first consultation. This will include a Surgeon’s fee, Anaesthetist fee, a Surgical Assistant fee, and hospital fees.

There may be a functional nature of the nose surgery so Medicare and your Private Health Insurance may contribute some of the cost.

Further Reading – Medical References about Ethnic Noses

Choosing the most experienced Ethnic Nose Surgeon for you

When choosing the right surgeon for your Ethnic Nose Surgery, you should always keep in mind that experience, training, and credentials have greater importance than the price tag. Special deals, fixed prices, and big discounts should raise a red flag. Usually, those kinds of procedures lead to another disappointing result and in the end line cost more and produce more stress, pain, take more time, and discomfort than one procedure conducted by a professional and experienced surgeon.

What to expect at a Nose Consultation and Nasoendoscope examination

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid – Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon


MBBS – Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery and Bachelor of Medicine
FRACS – Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Rhinoplasty, Septoplasty and a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

If you want to find out more about a procedure book a consultation.

Further reading about an Ethnic Nose Job


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Last updated: 29/11/2023
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Dr Stephen Kleid - ENT Surgeon MB, BS FRACS
Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for aesthetic nose surgery. rhinoplasty and a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

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