It's no secret that many people with piercings dread changing their piercing jewelry! Those little balls have a mind of their own, and the captive bead ring may as well have come from hell itself. The struggle can be real, but the feeling of having all new jewelry in is totally worth it! Today I'm sharing all of the tips and tricks that I know to make revamping your look easier.
I like to change my piercing jewelry every 2-3 weeks, because I love putting together new looks with new and old jewelry! There are just so many pretty jewelry options!
First, make sure your piercing is healed! You shouldn't change the jewelry in an unhealed piercing because it will delay the healing process.
Note that when buying jewelry you need to know the size of your piercings. The gauge is very important! If you buy a 14 gauge piece of jewelry, it won't fit in your 16 gauge piercing hole unless you want to stretch it a gauge size. You can easily ask your piercer what gauge you were pierced with!
Wash your hands before you start! On top of your hands being clean to touch your piercings, washing them eliminates any oils that make the jewelry slippery.
Wash your new jewelry as well! You can wash it with antibacterial soap and warm water just like your hands. Be sure to rinse it well, but leaving it slightly wet with warm water will help it slide in easier.
Find your location. Where do you have good lighting, the ability to get your ear close to a mirror, and the ability to be comfortable for as long as it takes? I usually change mine in my bathroom, but note that if you're changing jewelry over the sink or even near the sink, you should block the drain to avoid losing your precious jewelry forever. I just use a paper towel or a cap to cover the hole!
Lay out your new jewelry on a paper towel and remove/open any parts ( the ball of the captive bead ring, the top of a labret, the ball of a barbell, open a seam ring) so all that you have to do is insert the jewelry.
It's time to take off your existing jewelry! Sometimes threaded pieces are very tight and hard to remove. This is easily remedied by wearing disposable gloves! They provide grip on the slippery metal and will save you a LOT of frustration. If you have a hard to reach piercing, invest in a good pair of hemostatic forceps to grasp the jewelry with. For captive rings, grab the ball with one hand and keep the ring steady with the other. Pull out on the ball and see if it releases. If not, use your hemostatic forceps or a captive bead ring tool. Place the tip inside the ring and open until pressure is on both sides of the ring and the ball is released. If all else fails you can always see your piercer to change your jewelry for you! You can ask them to show you how to do it yourself next time.
Once you get all of your jewelry out, clean your piercings with saline or a gentle hand soap. Rinse and let them dry!
Now the best part: Carefully insert your new jewelry! If you're having trouble getting the jewelry in and you're sure its the correct size, using a water based lube or some warm soapy water will help. Be sure you put jewelry back in every piercing because if you leave a hole empty it will probably close up. Piercings are meant to have jewelry in them! Labrets can be hard to insert because they have to go in from the back, but you can check out this video on how to use a taper to easily insert your labrets stress-free.
Remember that you don't have to change your jewelry on your own! Your piercer should be more than happy to help you out with a jewelry change, so you shouldn't be afraid to seek their help.
If you're like me, and you're determined to do it on your own, remember to have patience with yourself! Changing jewelry is a skill that takes lots of practice and more than a boatload of patience. Change your jewelry often enough and you'll trim minutes off the time it takes you!
I hope this is insightful and allows you to change your jewelry with less stress!