Looking for a piece of jewelry that suits almost all body piercings?

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The barbell is one of the most popular and versatile jewelry pieces when it comes to body and facial piercings. Barbells come in various shapes and sizes, and are made up of different materials. This piece of jewelry is tailored according to the specific area of the body or face where it is to be worn.

So, what is a barbell exactly?

If you haven’t seen a barbell before, you can visualize it as a tiny post with a straight center and beads on either end. Depending on the type of barbell, you may be able to remove one or both the beads from this piece of jewelry.

Barbells also have the option of being internally or externally threaded. Although externally threaded barbells are far more common as they avoid irritation to the piercing site, this choice mainly relies on one’s personal preference.

Barbells are also highly versatile as they can be customized to suit certain situations or circumstances. For instance, some people, specifically pregnant women with navel piercings are required to wear flexible plastic barbells to allow for extra movement and bending of the piercing site.

Types of Barbells

Straight Barbell

Most commonly used in tongue piercings, a straight barbell is exactly like its name suggests, it comes with a straight post with two beads on either end. A straight barbell can also be worn in the nipple, eyebrow, industrial, and genital piercings, and are often heavy gauge, depending on the piercing location.

Circular Barbell

Circulars barbells are also known as horseshoe barbells mainly due to their shape. It is basically curved and forms an incomplete circle; it has a small gap in the center with balls at either end. This versatile piece of jewelry is worn in multiple piercings, including ear lobe, septum, cartilage, navel, genital, nipple, and lip piercings. However, they are most popularly worn in-ear and septum piercings. Circular barbells are available in different gauges, which depends on the piercing location.

Curved Barbell

A curved barbell entails a slight curve, but not as much as a circular one. Most people also refer to this unique jewelry as a bent barbell due to its shape. Curved barbells are extremely popular for eyebrow and navel piercings, but can also be used in vertical labret piercings. However, one should avoid using them in surface piercings as they have a considerably high rate of rejection.

The J-bar is a type of curved barbell that features a bend 2/3 of the way down the post, making it look like a J. This piece of jewelry is often found with some interesting balls such as beads at either end.

Industrial Barbell

Barbells became popular due to the industrial piercing. Also known as a scaffold piercing, an industrial piercing entails two or more piercing in the eye that are connected via a single barbell. An industrial barbell is a version of a straight barbell but is typically longer in size because of the purpose it serves.


A twister is a type of barbell that is more twisted than a circular barbell, bringing the ends so close that the beads almost line up with each other. This jewelry type is popular for lip, earlobe, and cartilage piercings.

Now that you are aware of all types of barbells, which one will you choose?