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Girl with belly button piercing

BELLY BAR BASICS FOR BEGINNERS

Flashback to the early '00s, when the hottest thing to do was to get a belly button piercing. All the coolest celebrities (think Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton) had it, so why couldn’t we rock a cute belly bar strategically placed above our low-rise denim and crop top? We’re not alone, right?

16 August 2021 Editor - H. Samuel

Harking back to our 15-year-old self and we’d do just about anything to convince our parents to let us get our belly button pierced. After all, we’d obediently sported bedazzled flip phones and platform sandals. And of course, who could forget that pairing that defined the early 2000s: low-rise jeans and a crop top. So, naturally, like any good Britney and Christina-loving tween, we were desperate for a belly button ring. You know the kind: that big silver bar adorned with translucent balls on either end (we would have chosen pink). We truly thought our life was over the day mum gave her final ‘hard no’ on the body piercing. So, for the entirety of 2003, we forlornly watched all the cool girls showing off their newly bejewelled navels.

Of course, like anything you just had to have as a teenager, the idea fell off our radar as we got older (and wiser) — until now. Fast-forward nearly two decades, and here we are craving the same early-’00s look. Low-rise loose jeans? Check. Belly-baring crop top? Check. Yet, we’re still missing the infamous belly bar, which up until a few months ago, we’d been glad we’d listened to mum’s advice. Keep reading to find out why we’ve changed our mind on the trend nearly 20 years later. Plus, see why belly bars are so much more addictive than they were back in 2000.

Should I get my belly button pierced?

Why, you ask, would we want to resurrect this relic of our youth as we enter our thirties? Well, for one thing, as with the aforementioned Y2K staples, the navel piercing is making a comeback. In fact, the hashtag ‘Y2K’ on TikTok has over one billion views, with ‘belly ring’ racking up nearly 50 million. So, we’re calling it – the navel piercing trend is on the rise for 2021 and with crop tops also on the up, a little belly bling is necessary. Plus, when you know the professional piercers and H. Samuel trend specialists (check out our blog on virtual appointments), it's easy to keep up with the latest on jewellery trends.

And secondly, piercings have got way chicer. As a cool Gen Z-er, you will be pleased to hear that 2021 belly button jewellery is much more subtle compared to its ‘00s predecessors. No longer are we talking big, chunky bars — dainty is now the name of the game (with just the right amount of sparkle for all you magpies out there).

Yes, belly button piercings will help with your style cred but they actually require serious commitment. They heal slower than many other types of body jewellery piercings, and they require a significant amount of aftercare. Scroll for our tips on how to care for your piercing and what to do if it does get infected. If you follow our advice, you'll be showing off a piercing that is both stylish and healthy in no time.

Aftercare: when can you change your belly bar?

In general, expect to wait three months to a year before you're able to switch out the original jewellery. You must wait the amount of time necessary — don’t be fooled by the healing process. You might think it’s safe to change your belly bar, but if it’s done too soon you could experience redness, swelling or infection.

If you’re still in the healing process or have irritation from the belly ring, the skin will become red or pink. It’s also possible for some fluid to be excreted from your belly button piercing, which can become crusty on your belly ring. If this happens, keep in mind that you’re still in the recovery phase, and this is normal.

A good sign that it's done healing is that you can move it easily. The skin around your piercing should also look more or less the way it did before you got pierced. There should be no swelling or any discharge.

How to change your belly bar for the first time

Read on for our step-by-step guide on how to change a belly bar for the first time:

  1. Unscrew the top ball of the new belly bar
  2. Slide the belly button ring into the piercing from bottom to top, taking care not to force the jewellery or cause undue trauma to the area
  3. Secure the belly button ring by replacing the ball
  4. Wipe the area down with a clean saline wipe

How to clean a belly bar

Before you touch your belly button bling, guess what you’re going to have to do? If you said wash your hands, you get a gold star. Handwashing is as important when handling your jewellery as it is when touching your piercing site. Apply a small amount of soap on the new piercing and the area for about 30 seconds. Then, rinse thoroughly afterwards. The next step is to use a sterile saline solution to soak the area for 5 to 10 minutes once a day before using a paper towel to gently pat dry.

What should I do if I have an infected belly bar?

An infected belly button piercing is an unwanted side effect, so you’re smart to be on the lookout for any signs that an infection is setting in. Sometimes, a belly button piercing that is healing without any complications can still look pretty bad, especially in the first few days and weeks, so don’t begin to worry too soon, but be vigilant throughout the healing process. So, how do you know when something is going wrong? Scroll down for some of the common signs:

  1. Pain
  2. Swelling
  3. Warmth
  4. Redness
  5. Discharge

Buy belly bars at H.Samuel

With a major resurgence of belly button piercings, it's clear that belly bar jewellery is not to be forgotten any time soon — and plenty of celebrities agree, including Jessica Alba, Priyanka Chopra, and Beyoncé. True, you won't see many of them showing it off on the VMA stage with an albino Burmese python wrapped around their necks (Britney, we’re looking at you), but you may catch a subtle glimpse of it here and there. If you want to rock a belly button bar the 2021 way, you can shop the full collection at H. Samuel.