Buying piercing jewelry can be difficult. There is a wide variety of piercing jewelry out there, which makes it confusing to decide what you should go for when you’re at the piercing shop. It’s good to have a basic idea of the various body jewelry types before you get a piercing done. From studs to retainers, here are the most common types of piercing jewelry you will come across:

1. Barbells

A barbell is like a tiny metal rod finished with threaded balls on one or both ends. Straight barbells are commonly used for eyebrow piercings, industrial piercings, tongue piercings and nipple piercing.

Curved barbells are a variation of the standard, straight barbell. They are somewhat C-shaped and are usually worn in belly and ear cartilage piercings.

Barbells can range from plain metallic designs to more decorative pieces that have colored stones or engraved ends. The decorative ones look best in belly piercings and ear cartilage piercings, such as helix, daith, conch, and tragus.

2. Studs

A stud, or straight post, is another commonly worn piercing jewelry. One end has the design or embellishment and the other secures the piercing with the help of a stopper.

3. Labrets

A labret is a term used for both the piercing at the center of the lower lip and the jewelry that is worn there. It’s a kind of a barbell with a ball or decorative piece on one end and a flattened piece on the other so that it easily fits between the insides of the lip and the gum.

4. Captive Rings

Captive ring or captive bead rings are tiny hoops with a suspended bead in between the two ends. The beads can be removed, replaced or resized, depending on your preference. These rings are a common sight on the ears, corset, nipples, and belly. You can get a bigger embellished bead for the ring as well as any other 3D charm.

5. Segment Rings

These are similar to captive rings, but the difference is they do not have a bead. Instead, a small portion of the ring unsnaps when you have to take it out. These are commonly worn in nasal septum piercings and can be removed with greater ease.

6. Clickers

Clickers are a type of ring that has a small segment swinging out on a hinge. From one end, the segment is hinged and from the other, it can be closed to form a complete ring shape. When you close the segment, it makes a ‘click’ sound. These are primarily worn through ear piercings and septum piercings. They are available in plain monochromatic designs but there are other varieties too that contain decorative elements such as rhinestones.

7. Retainers

Retainers are non-metallic pieces usually made up of acrylic, nylon, or silicone. They are either translucent or available in nude shades. The purpose of retainers is to keep a piercing open but nearly invisible. You need a retainer if you don’t want to show off your piercings at all times.

After reading this guide, we hope you can get the right jewelry for your piercing.