The Ashley piercing, also often called by it’s more technical name, “inverse vertical labret,” is a modern lip piercing in which one end rests inside the mouth (normally in the area where a standard labret would fall) and the other end is visible in the center of the bottom lip. Although there are variations of this piercing done in pairs or to the side of the lip, unlike most others of its kind, all of them are generally referred to by the same name.
There is little information directly available concerning how the Ashley piercing got it’s name, but it is suspected that as with many other contemporary piercings it came from either the piercer who invented it, or the first person to successfully wear it. And although it is similar to both a vertical labret and a jestrum (named for the first woman to be seen with it, Jesika Bornsen), the Ashley has not been around as long as either of these piercings, and is likely an inventive modification of traditional vertical labrets.
As with other piercings that pass through the tissues of the lip itself, many professional piercers who are familiar with this type of piercing recommend the use of a curved barbell to lessen the risks of migration and rejection. Healing time is usually longer for an Ashley as well, averaging anywhere from three to twelve months, due to the fact that it’s placed in an area of the lip more prone to irritation and jostling from movement. Normally Ashley jewelry is purchased or modified by its wearers to have a flat disc or dome instead of an actual ball on the inside of the lip, and is done in either a 14 or 16 gauge.
If you haven’t heard of the Ashley, it’s probably because of it’s age! This piercing is still in the stages of being perfected and standardized, so much so that many piercers who have been practicing for years have never even performed one. It’s new, it’s interesting, it’s pretty to look at; it’s definitely one of the coolest piercings you may have never heard of.