There are thousands of different body piercing jewelry styles out there, and one of the most popular and versatile is the captive bead ring. Captive bead rings have some advantages over other common styles of piercing jewelry, such as being less likely to snag on clothes or bedding, as well as being customizable and easy for the wearer to install or remove on their own. For those reasons, many piercers like to install a captive bead ring for new piercings. Additionally, captive bead rings can be installed in many different types of piercing, including ear lobe and cartilage piercings, lip piercings, eyebrow piercings, nose piercings, and even belly button piercings.
How do captive bead rings work?
Captive bead rings are simple. They consist of two parts: a ring and a bead. The ring has a small segment missing, and the bead is slightly larger than that segment. When the bead is inserted into the empty space, natural tension holds it in place, closing the ring. While you can open and close captive bead rings with only your hands, the process can be simplified using a piercing ball grabber.
Styles of captive bead rings
While “captive bead rings” in the strictest sense consist of a broken ring and bead, there are other styles of jewelry in the CBR family, as well.
- Pinchers: Pinchers are horseshoe-shaped rings that are usually held in place by putting o-rings on either side of the piercing. They’re most common and popular as septum piercing jewelry, but they can be used as nipple or ear jewelry as well.
- Screw-on ball rings: Screw-on ball rings are a hybrid of captive bead rings and circular barbells. Instead of the bead being held in place by tension, it screws into one side of the ring and does not make contact with the other. Screw-on ball rings are great for ear, nose, and nipple piercings.
- Seamless rings: Seamless rings are the simplest of all captive bead ring variants. They consist of a broken loop or other shape that is installed into a piercing and closed simply by gently applying pressure to the jewelry itself with your hands or a tool – no additional hardware required.
- Segment rings: A segment ring is another simple alternative to captive bead rings. Instead of a ball filling the gap in these rings, they have a segment that hinges or that can be removed from the ring entirely. Once your jewelry's in place, simply snap the removable or hinged segment back into place for a continuous-ring look.
Browse the PainfulPleasures store for our full selection of captive bead rings and other piercing jewelry, and check out our info center for more information on installing and removing different styles of captive bead rings.