Whether you’re getting your first lip piercing or deciding what kind of lip piercing to get next, the possibilities are endless. While the thought of having several options could be intimidating at first, it’s also an exciting prospect. We’ll walk you through 19 different types of lip piercings that are all the rage lately.
First, you need to understand that there are three different lip piercing categories. These are:
- Single lip piercings
- Double lip piercings
- Quadruple lip piercings
Each category gets its name from the number of piercings used to create a certain style. As you’ll see throughout the article, there are various styles that can be created with up to four piercings. But if you’d like to think outside the box, you can always add more to create your unique look.
15 Great Types of Lip Piercings
15 may seem like a big number where piercings are concerned, but trust us when we say that you’ll want to have options.
Not all lip piercings styles or types might be a good fit for you— and that’s okay! It’s always better to stick with piercings that fit your personality and desired look because then, you won’t have to work your way around how to re-style your outfits.
The Labret Piercing
The labret piercing is one of the most popular lip piercings.
It’s a single lip piercing placed centrally underneath your lower lip. It perforates a tiny spot beneath the lip without touching the lip itself.
Most people say the pain from this piercing is manageable and rank it at a 4 out of 10. The styling options for the labret include 14-16 gauge pushpin posts, flat back barbells, captive rings, and circular barbells.
The perforation will likely heal within 3-5 weeks, leaving you looking like a rockstar.
💡 Warning: Captive rings and circular barbells for your labret piercing may damage both your gums and teeth as they will have constant contact with your gum.
The Side Labret Piercing
The side labret piercing is placed below the lower lip on either the left or right side.
You’ll feel moderate pain as it falls between 4 and 5 on the pain scale. Side labret jewelry options include 14-16 gauge hoop jewelry, captive rings, circular bells, seamless hoops, and clickers.
The puncture should heal in about 6-8 weeks. The side labret is a great choice if you like the traditional labret piercing but want a more unique style.
The Vertical Labret Piercing
The vertical labret piercing is placed on the lower lip just like the regular labret.
However, it has an exit puncture point at the top of the lip, creating a vertical piercing.
Most people rank this piercing at a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale. However, some people (especially those with thicker lips) have experienced more pain than that. In 6-8 weeks, you’ll be healed and ready to dazzle.
The most popular jewelry style for this piercing is curved barbells with basic ball closures. Swap the ball closures with gem accents or spikes for a more stylish look. Other options include vertical labret bars and enclosed hoops.
The Medusa Piercing
The Medusa piercing is a single lip piercing placed in the groove above the upper lip (philtrum), right below the nose.
It ranks between 4 and 5 on the pain scale and takes 6-8 weeks to heal.
Labret studs are the most popular jewelry for the Medusa piercing. It’s the go-to piercing for a subtle yet stunning style.
The Monroe Piercing
The Monroe piercing gets its name from the Hollywood icon’s beauty spot. It’s located on the left corner of the upper lip.
It sits at a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale, and the swelling goes down by the third week. Professional piercers recommend giving it 6-12 weeks for complete healing.
A flat back labret stud is the go-to choice for Monroe piercing jewelry. If your style is vintage, this is the piercing for you.
The Madonna Piercing
The Madonna piercing mirrors the Monroe piercing on the right corner of the upper lip.
Just like the Monroe piercing, it ranks at a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale and takes 6-12 weeks to heal.
Flat back labret studs are the perfect accessory for this piercing. Just like the Monroe piercing, the Madonna piercing is perfect for you if you’re into vintage and timeless style.
The Ashley Piercing
The Ashley piercing goes directly through the center of your bottom lip to the back of the lip inside the mouth. It’s only visible at the front.
It ranks higher than most lip piercings on the pain scale at a 5 or 6 out of 10 and heals by 12-16 weeks.
Labret studs are popular for the Ashley piercing, but hoops and bars are alternative style options.
This is a top choice if you’re looking for a new and trendy piercing.
The Jestrum Piercing
Similar to the vertical labret, the jestrum piercing goes through the upper lip instead, underneath the septum. It’s also known as a vertical medusa.
Everyone’s pain tolerance differs, but the jestrum ranks at a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. After 6-12 weeks, you’ll boldly rock this piercing with either a curved barbell or a captive ring.
The Dahlia Piercing
The Dahlia piercing is also known as the joker piercing because of the comic book villain’s scars at the corners of his mouth.
It ranks at a 4 out of 10 on the pain scale and takes 12-20 weeks to heal before you can rock some basic or bejeweled studs. The two studs will bring attention to your mouth and give you an elongated smile.
This piercing was named after the Black Dahlia case in which an actress was gruesomely murdered in the 1940s. Her murderers had curved a smile into her face. So if you’re into everything spooky but chic, this piercing might suit you.
The Snake Bites Piercing
This double lip piercing resembles a snake bite with two piercings in the lower lip, close to either corner of the mouth.
Pain rating differs for each person, but it stands between 3 and 5 out of 10 on the pain scale. The healing time for this piercing is 8-12 weeks.
Labret studs are great for snake bites. If your style is edgy or bold, spiked studs are great but if you’re more simple and chic, choose bejeweled studs. Hoops are also a style option.
The Cyber Bites Piercing
This piercing combines the labret (a piercing in the philtrum) and the Medusa (a piercing below the mouth) to form a symmetrical lip piercing.
The cyber bites piercing ranks at a 5 out of 10 on the pain scale, and healing time is 6-8 weeks.
Accentuate your cyber bites with the popular labret studs in your preferred style. Or you could style your upper lip with a stud and your lower lip with a hoop to make your piercing pop.
The Angel Bites Piercing
Angel bites are a pair of symmetrically placed piercings above your upper lip on each side of your philtrum.
They rank between 3 and 5 out of 10 on the pain scale and will heal after about 12-16 weeks.
Angel bites are considered a unique iconic set. After all, they combine two iconic piercings – the Madonna and the Monroe. If you want to make a bold statement, rock this piercing with your favorite studs.
The Spider Bites Piercing
Spider bites feature two piercings next to each other towards the left or right side of the lower lip outside the pout.
On the pain scale of 1 to 10, it ranks between 4 and 5. The piercing will heal in 6-12 weeks.
The most common types of jewelry for spider bites are curved barbells, flat back rings, captive beads, and circular barbells. If you’re looking for a trendy and edgy piercing, this is it.
The Shark Bites Piercing
Consisting of four perforations in total, a shark bite combines two spider bites on either side of the lower lip.
It’s considerably painful at a ranking between 4 and 6 out of 10 on the pain scale.
After a 12-24 week healing period, rock your favorite labret studs or lip rings. Shark bites are a great choice for a daring look.
The Dolphin Bites Piercing
The dolphin bites piercing features two punctures placed close to the center on either side under the bottom lip.
It falls midway on the pain scale at 5 out of 10 and takes 8-12 weeks to heal.
Dolphin bites go perfect with labret bars and flat back studs. If you want to make your mouth look narrower, this one’s for you.
Our 10 Important Tips for Safe Lip Piercings
Piercings all come with some level of risk. If you don’t care for them properly, you’ll likely get an infection and take longer to heal. Here are 10 safety tips for your lip piercings:
Choose a professional piercer
Safe lip piercings start with the right piercer. A professional with experience knows where and where not to pierce. You don’t want a quack piercer nicking a blood vessel. Poor piercing can also cause your lip piercing to nest or embed.
Clean your piercing
Your new piercing is a habitat for bacteria if left unattended. Clean the area about four to six times daily using a sanitized cloth and saline.
Rinse your mouth
Is your piercing oral facing? Rinse your mouth with alcohol-free mouthwash four to five times a day, especially after eating. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash as it will cause a burning sensation and irritation around the piercing.
Eat slowly and chew carefully. Drink lots of water and only consume soft food like yogurt and mashed potatoes for a start.
Avoid fiddling with your piercing
Avoid touching the jewelry unless your hands are clean. Keep your tongue out of the way as best as you can to avoid moving the jewelry. Fiddling with the piercing will delay healing and may cause an infection.
Avoid swimming before your piercing heals
Chemicals in pool water are an irritant and will cause discomfort to your piercing. Also, pools and oceans harbor algae and bacteria which will cause infections to your lip piercing.
Avoid oral sexual activity
French kissing and oral sex will cause irritation and expose your piercing to harmful bacteria. Avoid these until your piercing heals.
Stay off caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine, alcohol, and aspirin are known to thin blood. If they come in contact with your piercing that may occasionally bleed, they will thin your blood and delay healing because the blood won’t clot.
Avoid cosmetics near the piercing
Keep lotions, balms, and oils away from the piercing as it will clog it and trap bacteria inside.
Keep the starter stud/ring in the piercing
Wait until the piercing is healed before you change your starter jewelry. Changing it before it heals may lead to infections. Also, you might hurt yourself as it’s still healing and not a proper hole yet.
When you’re healed, have your piercer change it for you as it will still be tender.
FAQs About Types of Lip Piercings
If you’re still curious about lip piercings, we’ve answered a few frequently asked questions to give you more information.
What is the least painful lip piercing?
The least painful lip piercings are the Medusa, Madonna, Monroe, labret, and side labret.
They all rank at a 4 on the pain scale because they are located away from the area of the lip that is dense with nerve endings.
That said, some people have a higher pain tolerance than others. Also, people with thicker lips may feel more pain and take longer to heal because they have more lip tissue.
What is the most common lip piercing?
The labret is the most common lip piercing because of its history in cultures around the world, dating back to 1000 B.C.E.
Originally, labrets were adorned with ivory, wood, bone, and metal. Many African tribes still don large wooden plates in their extended labrets.
How can I hide my lip piercing?
Hiding a fresh lip piercing is tricky but possible. You shouldn’t take the jewelry out of the piercing, or else it will close. Turn the stud so that the more noticeable side is hidden.
Also, consider covering the area with a circular blister bandage as long as it isn’t pulling at the jewelry or sticking adhesive on it.
When your piercing heals, replace your jewelry with a clear retainer or a flat piece that matches your skin tone.
Top Tip: Plan your appointment wisely. For example, if you don’t want your boss to see your lip piercing, plan your appointment for your annual leave. That would be enough time for the piercing to heal.
What is an angel kiss piercing?
The angel kiss piercing is another name for the vertical labret. It’s a double lip piercing that runs through the middle of the bottom lip to the bottom of it.
What does a lip piercing symbolize?
Centuries ago, the American Northwest Coast Indians had labrets as a status symbol. In some ancient Americas customs, girls of marriageable age got piercings on their lower lips as a womanhood symbol.
Although some cultures still attach traditional beliefs to lip piercings, most people have them as a symbol of style and self-expression.
Can you kiss with a labret piercing?
Yes, if the piercing is completely healed, you totally can. Having a labret piercing shouldn’t deter you from going about your life like usual, although you might need to get used to the feel of jewelry getting in your way.
Express Your Unique Style
With all the types of lip piercings we’ve shared, you’re spoiled for choice. One of them is sure to tickle your fancy.
Having a lip piercing is a beautiful experience and you get to flaunt your unique style. If you’re up for more experimentation and don’t want to stop at getting just a lip piercing, read about the different types of tongue piercings.
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