Circular Barbells

by RITIKA CHANGRANI

Circular barbells are also known as horseshoe barbells. However, some horseshoe barbells are U-shaped instead of the usual circle. This horseshoe shaped design was all the rage in the early 1990s but has now faded out.


What is the connection between weightlifting and body piercing? Barbells of course! Circular barbells are a very popular type of body jewelry mostly seen in eyebrow, naval, nose and tongue piercing. They are so called, as they resemble the barbells used by weightlifters.

A barbell is a trendy piece of jewelry worn in body piercing. Barbells can either be straight or curved. They usually have small balls or beads at each end to keep the jewelry in place. The beads can usually be unscrewed from one or both ends for ease of wearing and removal. Sometimes, one bead is fixed, either it is welded or by epoxy. In such cases, only the other bead can be used to fix or remove the piece of jewelry. The barbell threads are usually right handed though left handed ones are also available. The gauge of barbell jewelry ranges from large (0 ga) to small (20 ga)

The barbells that are curved into a circular shape are called circular barbells. It is in the form of an incomplete circle (typically three quarters of a circle) fitted with balls at either end with a small gap between them.

Circular barbells are also known as horseshoe barbells. However, some horseshoe barbells are U-shaped instead of the usual circle. This horseshoe shaped design was all the rage in the early 1990s but has now faded out.

A circular barbell is most apt for piercing where captive bead rings can be worn. Circular barbells are usually heavier than captive bead rings especially because of the balls, and so it may not be a good idea to use it for all types of new piercing.

Circular barbells are most commonly found in eyebrow, nose (especially septum), nipple, naval, ear lobe, ear cartilage, cheek, tongue and genital piercing. There are different types of circular barbells, each with different barbell diameters to suit the various types of piercing.

Circular barbells for the Nose

There are quite a few options available for nose piercing. You can have a circular barbell between the nostrils, a simple stud or a barbell at the bridge.

For new piercing, it's best not to experiment with the funky bone or horn tusks. You need a good septum retainer for nasal septum piercing. A circular barbell works very well at this stage. It is a comfortable, discreet and simple way to start. You must select a circular barbell in a diameter that flatters your facial features. The proportional rings, especially those with a 1/2" or 7/16" diameters are very popular. However, what is more important is the look you want and your nose. Here you will have a lot of variety in ball sizes. Select one carefully as this can dramatically change the look of your face.

For the Eyebrow

Eyebrow piercing was introduced by the punk generation of the 1970s. It is usually done vertically. Circular barbells are very popular to be worn in eyebrow piercing especially at the outer end of the brow.

For the Lip / Labret

Introduced by early African tribes, lip/labret piercing have become a style statement today with teens and adults alike. This type of piercing is also known as Madonna and Monroe named after the divas who flaunted them. Circular barbells are apt for such piercing. They add a whole new dimension to the face. It's simple, highly appealing with hardly any chances of infection, and hence quite safe.

For the Ear

Circular barbells are often worn in ear lobe as well as ear cartilage piercing. It is so popular that people don't stop at one. A large number of people opt for 3 - 4 piercing in each ear and wear circular barbells of varying diameters.

For the Nipple

Nipple piercing in males can be dated back to the era of the Roman centurions. In the 14th century, Queen Isabella introduced a style of dressing that exposed the nipple. It was then that women started adorning their nipple with rings and barbells.

For nipple piercing, circular barbells are the perfect type of jewelry. The diameter obviously differs for men and women. For men, 14 gauges of larger barbells are used and 12 gauge or larger is the preferred size for women.

Types of Circular Barbells

One is spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting circular barbells. The diameter of course depends on a number of factors like type of piercing, position etc. There is a huge variety of designs and materials that circular barbells are available in. Some of the more common ones are:

- 14K Gold
- 18K Gold
- Sterling Silver
- Surgical Stainless Steel
- Acrylic
- Niobium
- Titanium

Barbell Ends

The most common circular barbell ends are round balls. They may be of gold, stainless steel, acrylic or titanium. However, this is not where it ends. Today you have a large selection of barbell ends to choose from. Gemstones and jewels are set in circular barbell ends of gold and silver. Spikes, dice, skulls and a host of other complex shapes are also available as barbell ends. It adds a whole new look to your circular barbell.

For new piercing, it is advisable to opt for regular balls as barbells ends since the other shapes are often heavier and hence uncomfortable.

Removal of Circular Barbells

In a circular barbell, at least one end unscrews. It should be removed with great care and caution. Take gauze and seize one end of the barbell. The gauze will strengthen your grip. Using your other hand, gently unscrew the ball at the other end. To help the jewelry slide easily from the skin, you can lubricate the metal post.


Circular barbells are the preferred jewelry option for most types of piercing as they are easy to fit and look extremely stylish. With the huge variety of designs available, you can choose one that suits your own style and flaunt it to your heart's content!
 
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