The belly button is the most common body piercing site in the west, second only in worldwide prevalence to piercings of the human earlobe. So with an almost endless plethora of belly rings available, how do you know which ones are for you? Starting with the right style will definitely narrow things down.
There are five basic styles of navel piercing jewelry: the standard banana bell, curved barbell with dangle, spiral barbell, top mount, and BCR.
For new piercings, the unembellished barbell or “banana bell” is the standard. These items will have a simple ball, gem, or fixed decoration at the bottom, and a classic 5 millimeter ball at the top. Unsurprisingly, they’re often referred to as banana bells because their curved shaft and larger bottom decoration cause them to resemble the shape of a banana. This simple style is also good for those who engage in lots of physical activity, because there’s no extra chains, dangles, or charms to get snagged causing breakage or discomfort.
For special occasions, holidays, or low impact daily wear, there’s also the dangle belly ring. This style is your standard banana bell, but with decorative dangling elements that add a fashionable touch. Because of all the extra parts however, it’s not advisable to sleep or exercise in dangle items.
Our next style, the spiral barbell, is also best left to special events or short term daily wear. Some who were pierced with a regular curved barbell will have trouble getting into a spiral, but for the most part these pieces are designed to fit any belly piercing, and they definitely provide a fun and interesting look.
Those who have the bottom rim of their belly button pierced should opt for what are called “top mount” or “top dangle” navel rings. These items are specifically designed with the decoration or dangling charms attached at the top rather than the bottom, so they’re ideal for this type of piercing in general. They can, however, be worn in standard belly piercings, provided that the length of the barbell is correct for the piercing, which will prevent the jewelry from awkwardly sticking out or forward.
And our last style of belly ring, the BCR, is a popular 90s item that’s made a comeback in recent years. For those prefer to wear ball captive style jewelry, the belly button should be pierced using this type of belly ring from the get-go. Some who heal their piercing with barbells will be able to transition to captives with little difficulty, but for others it can be a daunting task. Although any BCR of the proper dimensions can be worn in the belly button, specialized pieces made specifically for the navel are available, and will always be clearly labeled as belly rings.
So now that you’ve picked the style you need, it’s down to sizing and color preferences. Belly ring buying mission: (almost) accomplished.