Captive Bead Ring – CBR

Captive Bead Rings Captive bead rings better known as the CBR or captive ball rings are almost rings but with a little gap between the two ends where a ball accepts the two ends of the ring, completing the ring shape. The ring’s tension holds this ball in place. The ball has two dimples in which the ends of the ring fit.

These are ultra cool to wear on ear piercings. These are a bit tricky to open and insert the bead, especially when the ring gauge size is bigger, and you might need to use ring pliers to expand the ring to remove the bead easily.

The better the quality of captive bead rings the better the finish. A good quality ring will have smooth ends, which not only fit the piercing comfortably but also sit snugly into the ball or bead without the risk of pinching your skin.

You will find a massive assortment of captive bead rings being sold. The beads themselves are made of a variety of materials ranging from glass to acrylic to metal while the bar can be of stainless steel, titanium, gold and niobium.

Captive bead rings are quite common and come in different variations. If you plan to wear a captive bead ring on your piercing, it is a good idea to get used to handling it before you actually begin to wear it. Get accustomed to snapping the ball in and out. If the gauge is too thick or too thin you must find out how to wear it from the piercer rather than risk hurting yourself.

For fresh piercings, you might be able buy captive bead rings in sterile packing. Take care not to open it until you need to wear it. The best thing to do, when you are ready to wear it is to wash your hands properly to avoid infections. Take care to open the pack only after you clean your piercing. If the captive bead ring is not sterile you might want to wash it with soap and water and pat it dry. If it is a standard gauge CBR, you can insert it yourself by. Larger gauge CBRs are best left to a professional to insert! πŸ˜‰

But anyway – it’s a good idea to get special pliers for opening the captive bead ring – even if it’s not a large gauge one.

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Circular Barbells

Circular Barbells

We already know that barbells come in different forms: straight, curved, spiral and circular barbells with either internal or external threading. In particular, the circular barbell is bent almost like a ring but with a little gap between its two ends.

So you get a ring that is as easy to wear as a barbell! These are also referred to as horseshoe barbells for their similarity in shape. They make a great choice for nipple piercings, ear piercings, septum piercings, and a lot more.

As with most body jewelry, circular barbells also come in different diameters – gauges – to suit different piercings. One or both the beads can be threaded, so that you can fix a variety of beads and ends to the same horseshoe bar. This barbell is also called a three quarter bar, which is obviously because it seems to cover three quarters of a circle.

Circular barbells are quite similar to the captive ball rings because you can wear them in practically any piercing, just like CBRs. Some people prefer circular barbells because it is more flexible, with the two balls that are threaded on to the bar.

Back in the 1990s they had barbells in the shape of the actual horseshoe with straight ends. Today, this shape is not as popular as the circular barbell, which is used in a variety of piercings like ear, navel, nipple, labret, eyebrow and genital piercings. The size ranges from 18 gauges to half an inch at the other extreme. You will find circular barbells in acrylic, titanium, surgical grade steel and white and yellow gold.

Embellishments on the circular barbells come in the form of pretty UV sensitive glow in the dark acrylic balls, cones, spikes, cubes, flowers, dangles, with gemstones embedded in different captivating colors and designs. They are also quite inexpensive, so you can easily build a collection of circular barbells that you can wear for various events. You can usually get different colors and styles of beads or other embellishments that you can use with the same bar by just threading it on to it! πŸ˜‰

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Ball Closure Ring – BCR

Ball Closure Ring The Ball Closure Ring or BCR is often used synonymously with captive bead rings because of their similar appearance. However, it is important to know that a slight but significant difference exists between the two.

While both have the bead or ball, in CBR the bead has depressions on its head to take the ends of the ring, so that they fit into it snugly. In the Ball closure ring, it is a full bead and the ends of the ring hold it.

The reason for this is the following – most ball closure rings are large gauge, and it’s technically much easier to make them as BCRs rather than CBRs! ❗

It is good to know the difference, even though you will come across the two names being used for the same jewelry. Some people even claim that CBR is American while BCR is European. Now you know the real difference between the two – but anyway – in the real life you’ll hear both BCRs and CBRs referred to as captive rings. πŸ˜‰

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Surface Bars

Surface BarSurface bars are used in surface piercings. In surface piercings, the piercing does not travel fully through the skin. Rather, it goes through the surface layer of the skin. Surface bars are mainly barbells with two right angled bends in the same direction like a staple pin. It is two-pronged.

Surface bars are considered ideal for surface piercings because they exert less pressure compared to other body jewelry. The chances of rejection are also lower. Invariably, surface bars are custom fit to suit the specific piercing.

For some people, surface piercings are hard to heal since the body can reject the jewelry. Here the jewelry is pushed to the surface making the piercing protrude. A professional piercer must do the surface piercings, locating it properly and also choosing the right surface bars. If done the right way, surface piercings can last a long time. Once fixed, the surface bars are never removed until the person no longer wants the piercing. Even then, it is advisable to get an expert piercer to help you. The ends of the surface bar unscrew, similar to other threaded jewelry; however, there is a specific method by which to do this. The skin is handled in a specific way when the surface bar is removed.

Surface bars are used in common surface piercings like a Madison piercing that goes through the skin at the front of the neck above the collar bone, a vertical tragus in front of the ear via the tragus, a nape piercing at the back of the neck, a neck piercing or vampire bite which is a series of piercings that looks like a bite, a hip piercing in the pelvic area near the hip bone, hand web piercing on the skin between the fingers, a sternum piercing through the breast bone. Other surface piercings where surface bars are worn are wrist, forearm, stomach, knuckles, finger, clavicles or shoulder bones, etc.

You usually get surface bars in titanium and surgical steel and also internally threaded surface bars in different sizes. The visible beads can be changed often although the bar portion stays permanently.

Plug Body Jewelry

Plug Body Jewelry Plugs are often associated with earrings because they are worn in earlobe piercings when the piercing is stretched. In fact, all stretched piercings, no matter where they are, are adorned with plugs. Plugs are ideal when they fit the piercing comfortably. While there are standard lengths and gauges, they are often custom made as per specifications.

You can get solid or hollow plugs and these come in almost all the material that is used for body jewelry. You can expect to find acrylic, steel, titanium, organic materials, glass, silicone, or niobium. Size also ranges widely starting at 10 gauge, although you can get smaller sizes as well. The plug has flared or threaded ends or even rubber or silicone o-rings to hold it in place.

Check out different plugs below!


You will find different styles of plugs out there. There are solid plugs that are shaped like cylinders and have grooves to keep the o-riings intact. The cylinders are not hollow and feature one o-ring at either end to keep its place in the piercing. There are plugs that are single or double domed. In the single domed plug, one side is flared while the other has an o-ring whereas in the double domed, both ends are flared. The double domed plug is not used in stretching the piercing.

Another type of plug is the tube, which is hollow and uses an o-ring to keep it in place. The eyelet plug is also hollow but has flares at the ends. You will come across single flared eyelet and double flared eyelet. There threaded tunnel plugs that are hollow as well as flared on one end while the other end is threaded so that a piece can be threaded in to keep the plug in place in the piercing.

The plugs, earlets and tunnels are commonly used in ear lobe. But you an also wear them in stretched septum piercings and labret piercing. You can get plus in a huge range of materials, colors and styles that look very attractive. Some of the interesting materials used are horn, bone, wood, acrylic, steel and white howlite crystal. You also get steel plugs and tunnels. Some of the plugs are engraved or inset with different designs for variety.

Nostril Screws

Nostril ScrewIf you have a nose piercing, you’re most likely wearing a nostril screw. This lovely body jewelry is a shaft that has a decorative end that is visible on the outside. The shaft passes through the piercing and turns at a right angle inside the nostril to end in a C shaped curve that fits comfortably inside. This curve can be a left or a right curve.

The nostril screw is so called because it is actually screwed into the nose piercing and looks like a stud, but without the stud at the other end to keep it in place. Often, piercers buy straight nostril screws of smaller gauge and then bend it to the desired shape.

Most nostril screws are generally pre-bent and ready to wear. They give you the nice look of a stud when worn. Although easy to wear, some people consider them harder to clean than rings. Getting the nose screw out is also easy.

Check out the nose screws below!

Nose Screws

Gold Nose Screws

Bioplast Nose Screws

When you need to take off the nostril screw, you must first clean the inside of the piercing and make it free from any crust around it. After that the stud must be raised until you reach the angle at the piercing. You then rotate the C shaped curve to take out the nostril screw. The first time can be a bit tedious when you are not used to it, but you will get the hang of it as you go along! πŸ˜‰

Preferably, nostril screws must not be removed for at least two months, until the healing is complete. If you remove it too soon, it can be painful and your piercing will close up quickly. Nostril screws are a good option for those who have had a small gauge nostril piercing. As we said earlier, the piercer can custom bend it to suit you after allowing space for swelling and cleaning. Once it heals, the nostril screw is bent again to fit snugly.

You can wear nostril screws with jeweled tips in different colored gemstones both prong set and bezel set. Some have a flower or a shape at the tip. Nostril screws come in surgical steel, titanium, Bioplast, platinum, silver, white and yellow gold. The UV acrylic tips come in dazzling colors that look very striking!

Curved Barbells

Curved Barbell Barbells, which is the most popular type of body jewelry, come in different shapes apart from the traditional straight bar with beads at either end.

Curved barbells are generally used for navel piercings, eyebrow piercings, genital piercings etc. and are designed like a curved bar with beads at ends. These are also called banana barbells or bent barbells.

Your piercer will avoid curved barbells for surface piercings as there is a risk of the jewelry being rejected. They are best suited for belly button piercing and eyebrow piercings. You can also wear them as nipple rings and earrings, if you want.

Most curved barbell body jewelry is made of surgical grade stainless steel and titanium, though you will also find acrylic and gold. They come with internal or external threading. You probably know that internal threading is superior because it is safer. It is also more expensive as the process of making it, is costlier. Curved barbells are available in a variety of gauges although the larger gauge size can cost more – and that again depends on where you buy it. For eyebrow piercing, 16 gauges are used, but for navel piercing – 14 gauge curved barbells are standard.

Check out the curved barbells below!

Curved Belly Barbells

Eyebrow Curved Barbells

When you shop for curved barbells, you will come across universal curved barbells that are good to wear on a variety of piercing. Expect to find an amazing variety of these. If you used to wear a captive bead ring earlier and are planning to try new types of jewelry, you will find that curved barbells are a good choice.

The moment people speak of banana barbells, it is the navel ring or belly ring that comes to our mind, though it is not really a ring. In curved barbells, often one bead is larger than the other, with a 5 mm ball on top and an 8 mm ball at the other end, if worn in the navel piercing. You can get many designs with pretty gems and dangles in different creative styles and themes. As with the straight barbell, the curved barbell also features, apart from the beads, pretty cones, dice, half ball shapes, spikes and many combinations. So you should definitely consider building your own interesting collection of curved barbells! πŸ˜‰

Barbell – The Most Common Body Piercing Jewelry!

Body Piercing Barbell Barbells are probably the most popularly used body piercing jewelry for a variety of body piercing locations.

The name comes from the β€œbarbells” 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!

Belly Button Barbells

Tongue Barbells

Industrial Barbells

Labret Barbells

Nose Barbells

Tragus Barbells

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!

Labret Studs

Labret Stud A labret stud is worn on a body piercing called a labret piercing, so called because it is done at the facial lip or labrum. It is the lower lip that is generally pierced.

If you are the sort that likes a bit of history, then you will be interested to know that labret piercing goes as far back as the 14th century to the Aztecs in Mexico and the Mayans among whom the males of higher caste had a labret piercing and wore labret studs.

You would be surprised to know that the labret piercing is also called the Mao as it is believed that it has its origins from Mao Zedong, a Chinese leader who had a mole below his lower lip.

Check out the labret stud styles below!

Labret Body Jewelry

Internally Threaded Labret Rings

Some people prefer what is called fishtail labrets. The labret stud is designed as a straight bar attached to a flat disc at one end and a bead or spike at the other. The disc end rests on the inner lip while the bead or spike is visible outside. The bar sits in the piercing.

Actually you can wear the labret stud with a variety of other piercings also like the inner and outer conch piercing. This is a piercing done at the innermost shell of the ear near the ear canal or the outer shell. Labret studs can also be worn on hand web piercings.

The labret stud is worn in different types of labret piercings. Labret piercings vary based on where they are located on the lower lip. Some people wear a vertical labret stud through the top of the lower lip instead of the front of the lip tissue. You can get snake bite piercings which are really two piercings close to each other and look like fangs. Here you can wear two labret studs. A labret piercing very low closer to the chin is the lowbret. You can also wear labret studs on upper lip piercings and frenulum.

Labret studs range in size from 18 gauge to 8 gauge, though the standard size is 14 gauge. You will find them in steel, titanium acrylic and gold. Apart from the common labret stud that has a disc and a bead, you can also get internally threaded labret studs where you can unscrew both ends so that you can add a variety of designs to it.