Images courtesy of BodyCandy, used solely to illustrate the subject under Fair Use Doctrine.
Types of jewelry:
Internal threading is the gold standard. APP shops only stock internally threaded jewelry. Your character might buy cheap, externally threaded jewelry from Hot Topic or Claire’s, but if s/he went to an APP shop, the piercing would’ve been performed with internally threaded jewelry.
Externally threaded jewelry screws directly into the ball, whereas internally threaded jewelry has a smooth barbell or ring that clicks into a short connecting piece on the ball. APP piercers only use the latter because it’s much more comfortable and reduces the risk of microdermabrasions and trauma.
Think of it this way: Would you prefer to screw something with rough, sharp ridges directly through a wound, or would you prefer smooth objects?
Mass-produced jewelry retailers opt for external threading because it’s much cheaper, but health is nothing to fool around with. I was so grateful for internal threading when I sadly had to remove my navel barbell due to advanced rejection I’d been in denial about.
Labret posts (again, the T is NOT silent!) are used in many ear piercings, labrets, philtrums, Madonnas and Monroes, and sometimes nostrils; i.e., single-point piercings with a fairly thin layer of flesh. If there are problems with swelling (as there were with my right third lobe), a longer bar can be substituted.
Barbells (curved or straight) are used in tongues, cheeks, certain ear piercings, nipples, tongue webs, surface piercings, eyebrows, navels, bridges, septums, and genitals. It’s best to use a curved barbell in surface piercings, to reduce pressure against the skin and thus the chance of rejection.
Some barbells (esp. for navels) have little charms dangling from them, but it’s not recommended to wear them longterm. Ideally, you only want to wear them for a brief, special occasion, like a day on the beach or Halloween. When I have my navel repierced and it’s hopefully healed this time, I can’t wait to wear all sorts of fun Halloween barbells in it.
Captive bead rings are used in ears, nostrils, septums, nipples, labrets, and genitals. They can be worn in navels, but it’s not generally recommended.
Circular/curved barbells are most familiar in septums, the so-called horseshoe that can be flipped up to hide it in conservative workplaces and schools. They can also be worn in ears, nipples, nostrils, genitals, and labrets.
Clickers are worn in septums, and have so many great designs. Body Vision Los Angeles has two awesome bat clickers I’d love to wear during October when I’m finally back in an area with an APP piercer and can get my septum pierced. Believe it or not, some of us liked that piercing long before the Woke™ crowd added it to their uniform’s checklist.
Industrial barbells are worn in ear industrial piercings, at the top of the ear. Not everyone has the anatomy to properly support a traditional industrial piercing.
Nostril screws are pretty self-explanatory! They’re also extremely difficult to remove and insert on one’s own, though that’s not a bad thing. For the longest time after my nostril emergency in early 2015, I was paranoid about my jewelry falling out again, and constantly checked my new screw was still in.
L-bars are much easier to remove and insert in the nose, though they don’t seem as secure as nostril screws. They can easily fall out.
Nostril studs are extremely cheap and liable to fall out. I knew better than to wear cheap, short nostril studs after finally removing the very long, light blue nostril screw I was pierced with, yet I did it anyway.
Plugs are worn in stretched ears. There are lots of pretty, original designs these days. Your characters aren’t limited to boring metal or wood if they’re contemporary. Plugs can also be worn (albeit not as large-gauge) in stretched labrets, philtrums, nostrils, cheeks, Madonnas, and Monroes.
Eyelets are also worn in stretched ears, though they’re hollow instead of solid. Many people mistakenly call them tunnels.
Dermal anchors are worn in single-point surface piercings. Since the skin grew over the back of my tragus piercing, it now functions as a dermal anchor. As soon as I’m back in an area with an APP piercer, I’m getting it fixed.
Surface bars are staple-shaped barbells worn in surface piercings.
Hanging weights are for stretched ears, either worn in smaller-gauge piercings or inside eyelets. Think thick, curved or curled designs in metal, wood, or glass.
Retainers are usually non-metal and meant to disguise piercings in conservative schools and workplaces. They may be plastic, silicone, acrylic, or nylon. Others may be metal that blends into one’s skin tone. It really sucks that some employers still forbid certain piercings, or more than a set amount, but wearing a retainer isn’t a serious hardship.
Tapers are used to stretch piercings, and NOT intended to be worn as longterm jewelry!
Any of these can be anodized in the shop if they’re metal. E.g, you might like a captive bead ring to be bronze with purple beads, a rook barbell to be blue with one green ball and one yellow ball, or the ball on a nostril screw to be rainbow.