With the slew of celebrities sporting body piercings, men, women and youngsters alike have been attracted towards different kinds of body piercing jewelry. Popular choices are the nose ring or stud, and of course the several types of barbell jewelry.

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About Barbell Style Jewelry

Barbell style jewelry, of course is vastly different from other piercing jewelry such as nose stud. A barbell-type piercing jewel is composed of a straight bar and a bead on each end. One or both beads can be screwed for changing and/or removal of the beads. Mostly, one of the beads is fixed, either through welding or epoxy so that only one bead is unscrewed to install or remove the jewelry. The barbell threads commonly turns right-handed. These body piercing jewelry gadgets have be so named because they are much alike the barbells that are used in weight training workouts or weightlifting competitions.


There are essentially two types of barbells depending on the threading used which are not employed in other piercing jewelry like a nose ring. The first is the externally threaded barbell wherein the shaft of the bar has threads at both ends to allow beads with receiving threads to be attached. This type of barbell, however, is losing popularity because of potential irritation or damage to the piercing when the threads come into contact with the skin as the jewelry is removed or inserted.

To remedy this situation, some higher-end manufacturers designed step-down threading in externally threaded barbells. In this design, the threaded section has a smaller diameter than the wearable section, reducing the possibility of damage or irritation to the piercing. Less irritation during initial placement is also possible if this step-down threaded barbell is inserted into the blunt end of a hollow piercing needle

The barbell type growing popular these days is the internally-threaded variety. This version has threads tapped into the end of the bar, resulting in a smooth end. The bead upon which the bar is matched has a threaded post machined into its center which mates with threaded receiving tube of the bar. This design is much less prone to cause irritation and damage to the piercing, especially if it still fresh. Hence, this barbell variety is acknowledged as superior to externally threaded jewelry which could be the case for some older versions of a nose stud. However, externally threaded barbells are more expensive because of the higher labor costs involved in their manufacture.

Curved Barbells

A piercing jewelry style mechanically similar to the straight barbell is the curved barbell. Threading at the ends may also be internal or external in design. Curvature in the curved barbell varies from nearly straight to circular, with some actually like a nose ring in design. There are some curved barbells that are spiral in design with overlapping ends separated to enable jewelry insertion and removal. Another version is a J-bar that is also referred to as a bananabell or banana barbell and features slight curvature with a 90-degree bend near one end. This barbell is used in vertical navel piercings to properly position the decorative end of the jewelry.


Then there are the circular barbells sometimes also called horseshoe barbells because of their shape. These are versatile body piercing jewelry, like a nose stud, for it can serve as earrings or nasal septum jewelry.

Surface Bars

For surface piercings, the barbell type to wear would the surface bar. This barbell type has a couple of 90-degree bends going in the same direction like a staple wire. With this design, pressure felt in other types of piercing jewelry can be minimized. Surface bars are mostly made to fit an individual piercing.

The appearance and design of beads for barbells vary widely, with most simply spherical. Other shapes include cylinders, cubes, cones, disks, triangles, and other basic shapes that threads can be tapped into. Flattened circular beads are especially suitable for large-gauge barbells used in tongue piercings. This design prevents the jewelry from damaging the teeth and gums and allows free tongue movement.

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