For anyone who doesn’t know, an industrial piercing is a set of two holes pierced across from eachother along the helix (the outer cartilage rim) of the ear and connected with a single, long barbell. The barbell is called an industrial barbell, construction bar, or industrial project bar. Although any set of two piercings or more through the cartilage planes of the ear has come to be called an industrial, for our purposes, we’ll stick to the aforementioned traditional style.
Because the angle of an industrial piercing and the size of an individual’s ears vary so greatly, industrial barbells come in a wide variety of lengths to ensure an optimum fit. They generally start at approximately 28 millimeters (just over an inch), and can be found as long as two full inches (about 50mm). Here’s what some of the basic sizes look like:
Most industrials will be found in the standard 14 gauge and come with five or six millimeter balls. The gauge is the thickness (as measured in diameter), and for correct sizing you’ll need to know gauge size and length.
Some of the more popular non-traditional styles of industrial bar include those that spiral, wave, and have dangling elements. Though these items may appear to be difficult to measure, length is always measured directly across from the base of one ball to the other, and never along the curves or spirals, so the same set of sizing measurements still applies.
As always the best way to get a good fit is to have your piercer measure for you and tell you exactly what you’ll need. An industrial project bar that’s too long may cause irritation to the piercings themselves due to excessive movement, and one that’s too short just won’t fit altogether. For more about body jewelry sizing and styles, check out our jewelry sizing category here, and happy shopping.