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We’ve all been there – you’re putting in your new body jewelry and the ball drops to the floor, never to be seen again. For those accidents that occur with a bead captive ring, you’re going to need a different type of replacement ball than what you would get for threaded barbell body jewelry. The ball for securing BCRs is held in place with the help of tiny divots or dimples on each side, which securely fit in the opening of the circular ring.

Since captive rings are one of the more difficult styles of body jewelry to remove and insert into your piercing, the best chance you have of getting that ball back in the ring is to visit a local professional piercer who will correctly and efficiently assist you in getting your jewelry to function. Many piercers will change your jewelry free of charge, and since they have the proper tools and sanitation to deal with body piercings, it is the safest, easiest way to change out your captive jewelry.

If that just isn’t an option for you or you would like to have a go at it yourself, we have some tools, tips, and tricks to assist you in showing off your BCR like it was meant to be:

Tips Before Getting Started
  • Change your jewelry in a place with a lot of light like your bathroom because the beads are usually tiny and difficult to handle.
  • Cover the drain of the sink if there is one in the vicinity with a paper towel or tissues so that you won’t lose the ball down the drain.
  • Get a clean small cup or dish to put the jewelry in when you’re exchanging the pieces so nothing escapes while you’re in the process.
  • Practice popping the bead in and out of the captive ring several times prior to actually trying to insert into your piercing (if you’re not sure how to do this, read through the step by step directions below before trying).
  • If you’re having trouble removing the bead from the captive ring, try to wedge your thumbnail under the edge of the bead, but be careful not to drop the bead when it pops out!
  • Keep your hands and your jewelry clean throughout the process to prevent infection (ESPECIALLY if you drop any part of the jewelry!)
  • If you feel the ring getting caught on any part of your skin when changing it, slide the ring back into its original place and try again.
  • Try not to look in the mirror while changing your jewelry because this is often more confusing than helpful when compared to changing it assisted by your sense of touch.
Step by Step
  1.  Remove the bead from your current captive ring and slowly rotate the ring through your piercing until the ring opening is lined up with either end of your piercing.
  2. Hold the ring firmly between your thumb and forefinger before grasping the bead tightly between the thumb and forefinger of your opposite hand. Twist the ring slightly while applying pressure on the bead – it should pop right out.
  3. Gently slide the ring out of the hole.
  4. Clean the captive ring you just removed before putting it into the cup or dish you have ready.
  5. Remove the bead from your new captive ring, place that new bead into the cup or dish with your old jewelry, and slowly put the end of the new captive ring’s opening into the hole of your piercing.
  6. Gently rotate the jewelry through your piercing until the end of the ring comes through the opposite hole.
  7. Once it’s inserted through your piercing, hold the new captive ring’s bead and line it up between your fingers so that you can see the dimpled indents on both ends of the ball. Rest the bottom indent on one end of the captive ring’s opening and steadily hold the ring while carefully pushing the top indent to fill the opening – you should hear it snap into place.
  8. Ta-da! Look and feel fabulous

So, the most important part of all that? Keep everything as clean as you can! If you follow those rules, then wearing your new BCR will be easy, fun, and fashionable without the stress and frustration of going at it alone.

Ready to look for a captive ring of your own? Check out our previous style guide post on everything captive rings have to offer!

Not sure about the size you need? Check out this posting on proper sizing of captive rings to ensure you get a perfect fit.

Watch and Learn

If you’re someone who prefers to see something done before they do it themselves, then this video is perfect for you! Inserting and removing the circular barbell is the easy part, but many proudly pierced individuals find putting that dang ball back in place the most frustrating part of all.

Helpful Tools

Here at BodyCandy.com, we carry a variety of useful tools that can help you get to your perfectly pierced style more smoothly and with minimal stress on the jewelry. You should avoid using household tools to open and close your captive ring because this method can scratch the metal ring leaving a rough surface that can damage your piercing (not to mention it’s not exactly sanitary!).

If you’ve been having trouble handling your captive ball or if your BCR is of a larger gauge size, one of these tools should provide you with exactly the assistance you need:

Ball Removal Tool

This can and will literally save your balls! Many don’t know that this type of tool exists, but it is an essential accessory for any pierced style. It’s small and portable, so you can change styles on the go without worrying about fiddling with tiny ball ends. The ball removal tool has a rubber end that grips the ball to give you a little friction to twist it off from your jewelry without the risk of dropping it. This is a great tool for those with butter fingers or hands too big to handle little pieces.

Ring Opening and Closure Pliers

For stubborn captive rings that need some adjustment, there are a variety of tools that can be implemented to make your life a little easier. Ring opening pliers create enough wiggle room to allow the ball to more easily be placed back in its spot on the ring.

How to Use Ring Opening Pliers:

1. Place nose of pliers into the center of the captive ring.

2. Squeeze the handles together until the captive ring is held fast by the pliers and rests within the appropriate grooves.

3. Squeeze the handles gently until the captive opens just slightly and the captive bead becomes loose. Be careful not to squeeze too much or else the jewelry may be damaged.

Start by using the tool in small increments and then remove the jewelry from the pliers to check the progress (measured by how easy or difficult the ball is to move) so that you don’t bend the ring too far, but just in case you do, we have a tool for that too. Ring closure tools look a lot like the pliers used to open up the jewelry but are used to adjust a ring to make it smaller, just in case you don’t know your own strength and made it too big trying to open it up.

Ball End Grabbers

Since we are well aware that holding onto those tiny balls can be quite damaging to our mental state, lower the risk of a dropped ball with tools specifically designed to keep a tight grip. These types of tools come in different shapes and sizes, so make sure you’re getting one designed for what you need. One option is a tool that has a claw-like grabbing mechanism to grasp ball ends that are rolling around in your jewelry box; another option is a tool that looks a lot like tweezers with rounded tips that are used to hold the ball end while you are maneuvering it into the grooves to fit back into the captive ring.

Next time you have a stylish captive ring in your sights, don’t pass it by. You’ll be able to buy and use this type of body jewelry with confidence knowing you won’t have to fight it to wear it.

Have a look at our latest and greatest styles in captive ring jewelry by clicking here!

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