The name comes from the “barbells” which is used by weightlifters. Jim Ward who is reputed to have designed a lot of early body jewelry made them famous back in the 1970s. These are very easy to wear and come in different materials, designs, shapes, sizes and colors. Barbells are usually made of a straight bar that has a bead at each end.
You will often find that you can interchange the beads in a barbell, letting you use the same bar for a huge variety of beads. The common type is the barbell that has one permanent bead with the other being removable. The removable bead is internally or externally threaded.
For most initial body piercings, barbells are the best choice. The bar goes through the piercing and beads hold it in place. Since the bar is available in different lengths, longer barbells are used for fresh piercings, and later, shorter barbells are used. As far as threading is concerned, internally threaded barbells are the best since they don’t graze against the piercing. In internally threaded barbells, it is the bead that screws into the bar of the barbell, causing less irritation. In the externally threaded one, it is the bar that screws into the bead.
Check out the different barbells below!
Barbells are worn in tongue, nipple, eyebrow, nose, septum, nasallang, ear, belly and genital piercings. You can expect to see all kinds of gauge sizes if you look at the gauge chart, but the most common is the 14-gauge barbell. Materials used are generally surgical grade steel, titanium, PTFE, Bioplast, niobium and gold.
Straight barbells are not the only type available. You also get curved barbells, banana barbells, and circular or horseshoe barbells. Surface bars are also considered to be a type of barbells used in surface piercing. Just like the bars, the beads also come in a variety of shapes like cubes, triangles, cones, disks etc. Barbells are made with lathe, taps and dies. If you opt for the handcrafted barbells you end up paying more as they use better quality material and you get jewelry items that are better finished!