Bent barbells, which are also known as banana bars and curved barbells, are a popular style of body jewelry for a number of piercings. They're the most popular style of jewelry for belly button piercings and eyebrow piercings, but did you know that bent barbells are also the perfect jewelry for vertical clitoral hood (VCH) piercings? You can wear them in nipple piercings and Prince Albert (PA) piercings, too. If you really wanted, you could even wear them as earrings in standard ear piercings. Bent barbells come in a wide variety of length, gauge and ball size combinations so that you can wear them in just about any piercing!
In addition to being available in different sizes and styles, bent barbells come in a variety of materials. Choose from titanium, surgical stainless steel, acrylic, gold, and other materials. Whatever combination your heart desires, you'll find it here on Painfulpleasures.com. We have more options than you'll find nearly anywhere online, and all at wholesale prices!
Bent Barbells for Belly Button Piercings
If you want a new belly button ring, but you're not sure what size to get, don't fret! Typically belly piercings are done with either 14g (1.6mm) or 12g (2.0mm) needles, with 14g being the most popular size for belly button rings. If you're not sure what size you were pierced at, err on the side of caution and get yourself a 14g belly button ring. (12g is a bit thicker and may be hard to get into your piercing without help from a piercer and possibly some water-based lubricant if you were pierced at 14g.) You should get a belly ring that has a 5mm or larger top ball and an 8mm or larger bottom ball; those are the ball sizes that most often come standard with belly button rings.
As for shaft length, 7/16" (11mm) and 3/8" (10mm) are the two most popular size barbells that people get with their belly rings. If it turns out that you need a different size, you can purchase a single bent barbell shaft in our Body Jewelry Parts: Shafts & Anchors section. You can learn how to change out the shaft of your belly ring by watching this quick tutorial video, How to Change Your Belly Ring Shaft. We also have a video posted that will teach you how to change out your belly ring charm, if you're interested in doing that, too.
For information on the belly piercing healing process, help choosing the perfect bent barbell to wear as a belly button ring once you're fully healed, and other belly button piercing resources, check out the pages below. Or, visit our Belly Button Rings section to start shopping for a new navel ring now.
- The Belly Button Piercing & Healing Process
- Quick Tips for Choosing a Belly Ring
- How to Buy the Best Belly Rings for You
- What You Need to Know About Cheap Belly Button Rings
- Tips for Picking a Custom Belly Button Ring
- Investing in a Gold Belly Button Ring
Micro Bent Barbells for Eyebrow Piercings
The little bent barbells used for eyebrow rings are nearly the complete opposite of belly rings when it comes to length and decorative ends. With a belly ring, typically the bottom ball is much larger than the top, but with micro bent barbells, the balls or other decorative ends are usually (but not always) the same small size. They're also much shorter and the same gauge as, or slightly finer than, belly button rings.
Although eyebrow rings are more often than not micro bent barbells, you can wear other styles of jewelry in an eyebrow piercing, like a captive ring or a circular barbell. The most common starting gauge is either 16g (1.2mm) or 18g (1.0mm). It's best not to go any smaller than that, because eyebrow piercings are surface piercings, which are prone to migration and full-on rejection. The heavier gauge jewelry you wear and the more deeply you're pierced, the better chance you have of keeping your eyebrow piercing long-term. In fact, you can get pierced with or stretch to a 14g (1.6mm) or 12g (2.0mm) bent barbell to minimize the likelihood of migration/rejection.
As far as length goes, the most popular sizes for micro bent barbell eyebrow rings are 1/4" (6mm), 5/16" (8mm) and 3/8" (10mm). It varies by person, based on the height of their brow and how deeply they're pierced. If you're not sure what length is best for you, you can either ask your piercer to tell you the ideal size or buy a couple bent barbell shafts in different lengths and mix and match until you find the perfect size.
For information on eyebrow piercings, the healing process, and the best body jewelry to wear in your eyebrow piercing, read our article, Eyebrow Piercing Tips: Aftercare, Eyebrow Rings & More.
Since every woman's anatomy is different, each VCH piercing requires a different size bent barbell. On average, though, 14g (1.6mm) and 12g (2.0mm) are the sizes most frequently used for VCH piercings. A very petite woman may need a finer-gauge barbell, or she may just need a shorter 14g or 12g barbell. It's best to just ask your piercer what size your jewelry is at the time you're pierced and what size s/he recommends you wear after the initial healing period. (Your starter barbell will likely be longer than what you'll want to wear going forward, once any swelling has subsided.) Once you have that info, you'll be able to find the perfect VCH ring in our Bent Barbells section or even in our Micro Bent Barbells section.
Learn more about HCH and VCH piercings by reading our article, Sensitive Subjects Series: Clitoral Hood Piercings.
Using Bent Barbells as Nipple Rings
As a general rule, straight barbells are the ideal type of starter jewelry for nipple piercings, at least during the initial healing process. The reason is that straight barbells put less downward pressure on the healing fistulas (piercing holes) than any other type of jewelry. They're a significantly better starter jewelry option than circular barbells or captive rings, but only slightly better than curved barbells. In some cases--particularly for those with inverted nipples--bent barbells can actually be a better option than straight barbells. Trust your piercer's judgment when s/he makes a recommendation for starter nipple rings.
To learn more about nipple piercings, the healing process, how to change your nipple rings, and other answers to frequently asked nipple piercing questions, visit our Nipple Piercing FAQs page.
Bent Barbells for PA Piercings
PA, or Prince Albert, piercings are a popular type of male genital piercing. Bent barbells and circular barbells are the most popular style of starter jewelry for these piercings. The two most common starting gauges are 12g (2.0mm) and 10g (2.5mm). As for length, it really depends on your anatomy. You don't want the top and bottom balls pressed too tightly against your skin, so be sure to talk to your piercer about the ideal length PA barbell for you before purchasing a new one.
As an alternative to bent barbells, some men enjoy wearing PA wands. You should always have a back-up style jewelry on hand for everyday use, though, since PA wands aren't particularly comfortable for many men to wear out and about.
Learn more about the history of Prince Albert piercings, including how they got their royal name and what purpose they originally served, in the PA Piercings section of our History of Body Piercings article.
Bent Barbell Options
You have loads of options from which to choose when it's time to shop for new bent barbells for your belly button piercing, eyebrow piercing, nipple piercings, VCH piercing, PA piercing, or other piercings. Here are some of the types of bent barbells we offer; just click a category link below to go right to that section and start shopping!
Acrylic Bent Barbells - These typically have stainless steel shafts, although other materials are available. They're then outfitted with balls, spikes and other ends made from acrylic material in a wide variety of decorative styles and colors. We even have ones with mini game dice that screw onto either end!
Black Bent Barbells - We offer several styles of black bent barbells that have everything from standard balls on the ends to gems, cones/spikes, and more.
Gold Bent Barbells - If you're looking for an extra-special bent barbell, check out our 14k and other gold bent barbell options.
Jeweled Bent Barbells - Add some color and bling to your wardrobe with a bent barbell capped with gem balls! Jeweled bent barbells are especially popular for belly button piercings.
Micro Bent Barbells - These little bent barbells are perfect as eyebrow rings and in other smaller piercings.
Surgical Steel Bent Barbells - If you have a metal allergy or are just looking for a simple, inexpensive yet good-quality bent barbell for your piercing, check out our stainless steel bent barbell options.
Threadless Bent Barbells - These bent barbells are a pop-fit style that some people prefer to threaded barbells. Internally-threaded and threadless bent barbells are the best in the sense that they won't scrape the fistula when passing through your piercing.
Titanium Bent Barbells - If you have a metal allergy, the absolute best option for you is a titanium bent barbell. Titanium is the most inert metal that body jewelry is made out of, and it's therefore the least likely to cause an allergic reaction. The key with titanium jewelry is to get solid titanium, not the coated stuff that many of our competitors offer. Coated titanium can chip, exposing a lesser-quality underlying metal that can irritate your skin or trigger an allergic reaction. We sell only solid titanium bent barbells and other titanium body jewelry here at Painful Pleasures.
Unique Bent Barbells - We offer a variety of unique bent barbells in fun styles to give you unparalleled variety in your jewelry collection. Choose from bent barbells with slave doorknocker ends, jeweled ends, cool decorations like little cherries, snakes, swirls, and more!
Bent Barbell Retainers - If you need a transparent bent barbell to hide your piercing, or just one made of acrylic or glass that'll be safe for you to wear during a medical procedure or test like an MRI, then check out our bent barbell piercing retainers.