Navel bars are a type of curved piercing jewellery that are specifically designed to be worn in navel or belly button piercings. Find out more about navel bars, below.
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Navel bars or belly bars, as they are more commonly known, are curved pieces of piercing jewellery that are designed solely for use in navel piercings. Navel bars tend to be categorised into two types - dangly belly bars and plain belly bars. Plain belly bars tend to feature a small gem on the end for decoration whereas dangly navel bars have a decorative piece that hangs in the centre of the belly button.
What is a belly bar?
A navel bar is a curved piece of piercing jewellery, similar to a curved barbell, which is specifically designed for navel piercings also known as belly button piercings. A belly bar often comes with a decorative gem or hanging detail to the end. Most navel piercings are placed above the belly button which means the detailed section of the piercing jewellery sits in the middle of the belly button.
What size belly bar do I need?
Most navel piercings use a 1.6mm (14g) size belly bar but you can also be pierced with a 1.2mm bar. Always check with your piercer what size your belly bar is so you can make sure your new bar will be the perfect fit. You will also need to get the right length which is the measurement of the bar without the balls. This generally ranges from 8mm – 10mm. Belly bar sizes will help you to get a snug fit that will help prevent your piercing jewellery from catching on clothes. You may need a longer size belly bar to begin with to allow room for swelling.
When should you change your belly bar?
Belly bars usually take 6-12 months to fully heal. You should only change your belly bar after your navel piercing is completely healed. Some piercers recommend waiting about 3 months after the healing time in order to ensure your piercing is fully healed. Changing your belly bar when your piercing is still healing will cause too much movement to the piercing wound and may result in it re-opening. Your piercing should only be changed to belly button bars of the same gauge.
Can you get different length belly bars?
You can get different belly bar lengths to suit your needs. You may be given a longer belly bar to allow for initial swelling which will then be changed to shorter belly bars once the swelling has subsided. Everyone is different so make sure to use the length of navel bar that your piercer has recommended as this is likely to be the most comfortable fit.
If you experience significant weight gain or weight loss it is advisable to consult your piercer as they may recommend a different length belly bar which will be more comfortable. This includes during pregnancy. The changing shape of the body can put pressure on the piercing and it is often recommended to retire a belly button piercing while pregnant.
What is the best metal for belly bars?
One of the best metals for belly bars is titanium. Since it first came onto the market in the 90s, titanium has become one of the most popular types of piercing jewellery due to its hypoallergenic, durable and non-corrosive qualities. Surgical Steel is also a great choice for healed belly piercings due to its durability and low cost.
Are stainless steel belly bars safe?
When buying steel belly bars it is best to choose surgical steel rather than stainless steel. Surgical steel is safe because it is specifically designed to be worn in piercings. It is a higher-grade of steel that is biocompatible and durable. It is not always best to try to save on cost when it comes to piercing jewellery as it may compromise your comfort. Cheap belly bars are not always the most cost effective option as they are likely to become worn very quickly unlike surgical steel or titanium.
You may want to consider using titanium belly bars. Most piercers will recommend using a titanium belly bar while your piercing is healing because it is hypoallergenic, durable, and non-corrosive. Titanium is one of the most popular types of piercing jewellery and is available in a range of colours, at a reasonable price.
If you need hypoallergenic belly bars then you may find titanium is the best option but if you have a metal allergy then you can wear acrylic piercing jewellery. Acrylic navel bars are easy to clean and contain no metal but are best worn in healed piercings. If you are struggling to get your piercing to heal with a titanium navel bar, your piercer may recommend trying acrylic jewellery.
Other materials for navel bars include:
- Gold belly bars
- Sterling silver belly bars
- Silver belly bars
Here at Blue Banana, one of our top piercings is navel piercings which means we also sell plenty of belly bars UK. Making sure you have high quality belly button piercing jewellery is incredibly important to your comfort and to making sure your piercing stays healthy. Having a belly bar that is too long may cause it to get caught on clothing but having a jewellery piece that is too short will also be uncomfortable. If you are unsure as to the size of navel bars you need, it is best to consult your piercer for advice. Once you know the size, you can enjoy picking out some cool designs and switching up your navel piercing.
Picking Out Navel Bars
It is important to choose the right size and material for your piercing jewellery as your body may react differently to different materials. Getting the size of the piercing bar right is important for the health of your piercing. Your piercer may use a longer bar during the initial healing of your belly button piercing to allow for swelling. This can be changed in-store by a piercer for a shorter bar once the swelling has reduced.
- Size: Navel Bars are measured by the length and gauge of the bar. The first number is the gauge (displayed in mm) and the second is the length e.g. 1.6 x 10mm.
- Threading: An internally threaded bar means that the screw is on the end of the removable ball. An externally threaded bar means that the screw is on the bar.
- Material: Choosing a high quality material such as titanium will provide you with a hypoallergenic material that is perfect for everyday use. Surgical steel is also a good choice for healed navel piercings as it is durable. If you have a metal allergy then acrylic navel bars are available.
Inserting/Removing Navel Bars
If your piercer has advised you to swap to a shorter bar after healing for a few weeks, it is best to return to the store to have your piercing changed. This must be done delicately so as not to damage or re-open the piercing wound. Once your piercing has fully healed, you will be able to change your navel bar yourself. If you are still unsure about how to change your jewellery you can always visit one of our piercers for help.
Before handling your piercing, always make sure to wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
To remove your navel bar simply unscrew the ball on the end of the bar. If you find that your belly bar is difficult to unscrew then you can either visit one of our piercers for assistance or use a pair of jewellery pliers to help remove your jewellery. Only use pliers if they are proper piercing pliers and have been sterilised thoroughly.
Gently insert your new piece of jewellery ensuring that is has been sterilised first and tightly screw in the ball.
Where can you use navel bars?
Navel Bars are suitable for use in navel piercings only. This specially designed piercing jewellery is styled to adorn your belly button with gems and other designs. Generally, belly bars are either designed as a bar with an add on ball that features a decoration such as a gem or a dangling element that hangs from the end of the add on ball. Your personal preference and lifestyle are likely to influence which belly bars work best for everyday wear.
Other Guides & Ranges
- Find Your Local BB Studio
- Age Restrictions & Prices
- Aftercare & Cleaning
- Piercing Size & Gauge Guide
- Inserting, Changing & Removing Jewellery
- Piercing Pain: The Ultimate Guide
- Piercing At Blue Banana
- Piercing Laws Around the UK
Please Note: Blue Banana piercing information is based on knowledge from our experiences as one of the UK's top piercing studios. All details provided should be read alongside professional advice. Please see our full Piercing Articles Disclaimer, here.