The Vertical Labret Piercing: Everything You Need to Know
If you’re wanting a unique look that’s less popular than other lip piercings, then you should consider the vertical labret piercing. Although the name might sound as though this piercing is only a variation of the labret piercing, it’s actually a different piercing altogether.
While the labret piercing consists of a single puncture through the skin directly below the lip, the vertical labret piercing is made of two punctures that go through the lip itself and exit below the lip where a labret piercing would be placed.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the vertical labret piercing is that it never touches the inside of the mouth. This means that your jewelry won’t scrape against your teeth and gums like other lip piercings, and it stays cleaner during healing since you don’t have to worry about the bacteria in your saliva.
If you have oral issues such as a receding gum line or enamel wear, then this might be the lip piercing for you. The vertical labret piercing is also perfect for those who want a stunning style that stands out.
How much does the vertical labret piercing hurt?
Since the vertical labret piercing has two puncture points that go directly through the sensitive lip skin, this piercing is slightly more painful than other lip piercing types.
Additionally, the vertical labret is pierced with a single motion; the piercing needle will be inserted vertically through your bottom lip and exit through the skin below your lip. The location means that there will be more skin to puncture through than other lip piercing options. If you have thicker lips, you might feel more pain.
As with most piercings, swelling, light bleeding, and throbbing are common. However, if you experience these symptoms in excess, it could be a sign that something is wrong, and you should consult a professional.
Vertical labret piercing healing process
The vertical labret has a relatively quick healing time of 6 - 8 weeks. As always, the healing process varies, and you should talk to your piercer before stopping aftercare practices.
Aftercare practices for the vertical labret tend to be easier than other lip piercing types because no part of the jewelry or piercing goes inside the mouth. Therefore, you don’t have to worry as much about the bacteria in your mouth having an adverse effect on your healing process.
The location of the vertical labret directly on your lip does mean that there are unique things that you must pay attention to while your piercing heals.
If you tend to bite or play with your lips, then the vertical labret piercing might feel a little invasive during the first few weeks. With any piercing, it’s important to refrain from touching or twisting the new jewelry until the piercing has fully healed, so you’ll need to take extra care to keep from licking your lips or subconsciously playing with your jewelry.
To help quicken your healing time, here are some tips:
Choose your food wisely. Even though the piercing doesn’t enter your mouth, you’ll still need to take care when eating certain foods. For example, the oils from chilis and other spicy foods can easily get into the piercing on the lip and cause discomfort. After you eat, you must ensure that no food residue has gotten lodged in or around the new piercing.
No kissing or oral play during healing. Although this is a common tip for all oral piercings, it’s especially important for the vertical labret since it’s located directly on the lip. Not only does kissing introduce harmful bacteria to the piercing, but it can also agitate the skin around the piercing, causing trauma and unsightly scarring.
Stay away from chapstick or lipstick during healing. You should stay away from any foreign substance around the piercing, except saline solution or other aftercare products. Chapstick and makeup can get stuck in the piercing and cause an infection.
Make sure the jewelry you wear during healing is large enough. Swelling is likely to occur at any point during the healing process, although it’s most common during the first few days. Your jewelry must accommodate this swelling, otherwise, the jewelry may become embedded in the skin.
Vertical labret jewelry styles
The shape of the vertical labret piercing means that curved barbells are almost exclusively used in this piercing type. Depending on the barbell length of your jewelry, the two beads of the curved barbell can take on a double-pierced aesthetic, with one ball appearing on the lip and the other directly below.
Most vertical labret piercings use a 14G or 16G curved barbell. Especially during healing, you should opt for an internally threaded piece, since it aids in smoother insertion of jewelry and less trauma to the skin surrounding the piercing.
Despite the limited jewelry types used in a vertical labret, you can still get creative with your curved barbell type. Many choose a smaller ball for more comfortable wear, but a bigger ball can add to a bolder look.
You can also choose curved barbells that have charms on both ends, a charm on one end and a ball on the other, or balls made from pearls, Baltic amber, or opal. Opting for a piece that has a ball that sits on your lip with a charm beneath adds adorable asymmetry to the otherwise symmetrical piercing and adds to the double-pierced look.
Why shouldn’t I get a vertical labret piercing?
Since the vertical labret sits on your lower lip, it draws attention to the area. If you don’t want to accentuate this area of your face, then you should probably opt for another piercing.
During healing, you need to keep foreign objects away from your piercing as much as possible. If you tend to subconsciously play with your lip, then healing might be more difficult for you. You’ll also need to stay away from things like chapstick, so if you’re more susceptible to chapped or dry lips, then you need to keep this in mind before undergoing the vertical labret piercing process.
Thinner lips won’t have enough surface area for this piercing. A quality piercer will be able to tell you whether or not they’re able to successfully pierce the vertical labret, but it’s also important to know your body type and whether or not your lips are thick enough to pull this piercing off.
How much does the vertical labret piercing cost?
The pricing of vertical labret piercing varies widely; piercers quote anything between $30 and $100.
Your lips have tons of nerve endings. A bad piercing could cause permanent nerve damage and other issues. On top of that, the vertical labret piercing requires a steady hand in order to properly align the two puncture points.
Since many things can go wrong with such a piercing, be careful when you choose your piercer. It’s always important to choose quality over price, but it’s especially important with a semi-complicated piercing like the vertical labret.
At the very least, make sure that your piercer uses a needle rather than a piercing gun. A needle is more accurate, more hygienic, and less traumatic to the skin than a piercing gun is.
Vertical labret piercing variations
Instead of going vertical, you can go for the horizontal labret piercing. In this piercing, both punctures are on the lip, placing the balls of the curved barbell side-by-side.
Like the vertical labret, the horizontal labret consists of two puncture holes that don’t enter the mouth; the piercer will thread his or her needle horizontally through the lip. This creates a double-pierced aesthetic with only one piercing.
This variation also uses a curved barbell with smaller ball ends.