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Centered Eyebrow Piercing 101

A few weeks ago we talked all about eyebrow piercings, from anatomy to placement to healing expectations. This week I want to delve a little more into one of the most popular eyebrow piercing trends currently, and also one of the more difficult ones when it comes to healing. Today, we are looking at centered eyebrow piercings. If you haven’t yet, I suggest reading Eyebrow 101 before this blog, as that is the foundation for eyebrow anatomy and healing considerations we will build on.


As we discussed in Eyebrow Piercing 101, the ideal anatomy for an eyebrow piercing is a protrusive ridge with enough tissue to support the piercing. The same goes for center brows, except we have a little more to contend with here. In the centered placement, protrusion of the ridge and proximity to the eyelid becomes more important. Folks may have good anatomy for a classically placed brow, but find that on a centered placement, there is not the same amount of protrusion. Some folks have fairly low brows that rest close to their eyes and eyelids, which can make placing centered brows tricky. Pressure from the eye and lid, or pressure from the bottom bead of the jewelry resting on the upper ridge of the orbital socket, can all cause irritation and issues for centered brow placements. It’s always important that your piercer do a thorough assessment of anatomy before piercing you, but it’s extra important with these.


Placement for centered brows largely depends on anatomy. Generally, I like to use the pupils when looking straight ahead as guidelines, and then work from there based on a person’s specific anatomy. Exact placement will vary, with some folks wearing these a little further out, some dead center, and some more inward. As long as the placement works with your anatomy, and you like it, that’s what matters!

It’s important to remember when we are doing these that eyebrows are siblings, not twins. Let’s be honest- sometimes they are barely first cousins! Brows naturally grow differently and rest differently, and that means piercers are working with an asymmetric surface when doing these. We do our best to make things look as symmetrical and balanced as possible, but there will always be slight differences thanks to the shape of your brows. This is why I like to use the pupils as a baseline for placement, as the eyes tend to be a bit closer to symmetrical than the brows themselves. It helps to have reasonable expectations for placements on paired piercings like this.

Initial Jewelry

Just like classic brows, centered brows are going to start off with curved barbells. However, I do find that the curvature of the jewelry plays a bigger role in success and failure for these. This comes down to a debate of threaded vs threadless, and 16g vs 14g. Threadless curved barbells can work here, but it very much depends on the anatomy. Threadless curves tend to be less curvy, and more of a gentle sloping shape. This may cause these pieces not to sit perpendicular on some anatomies. In contrast, threaded curved barbells are very curved, and this tends to be more ideal on many anatomies. I tend to be pretty strict on when I’ll use threadless curves in eyebrows in general, and much more so on centered brows. However if someone's anatomy does support threadless curves, this can be an ideal way to feature gemstones, decorative ends, and directional tops. Likewise, the thickness of the jewelry can also play a role in the stability of these piercings. Depending on the anatomy and goal for the piercings, different sizes have varying rates of success. This should be discussed with your piercer, after an assessment of your anatomy and a discussion of your goals for these. I am often more strict with centered placements because of the unique issues I see these sometimes struggle with during healing.

Healing Expectations

Classic eyebrow piercings we already know can be more prone to migration and rejection, slightly more fragile while healing, and easy to bump and snag. Centered placements turn this up a notch, with the addition of the orbital socket and eyelid becoming major factors in anatomy, placement, and healing. Centered brows also run the risk of bruising after initial piercing much like traditional eyebrows.

Much like a traditional eyebrow, centered brows are also prone to migration and rejection. I will say that due to the thicker and often more pronounced area in the middle of the brow, I see full rejection less often than traditional placement. However, the exchange is irritation bumps. Centered brows struggle with irritation bumps in my experience far more often than a traditional placement. I usually see two primary types of irritation on these. The first is your classic irritation bump.

These bumps can be caused by a range of factors, most commonly catching and snagging them. It can also happen from low-quality jewelry, improper aftercare, irritation from makeup and skincare, not downsizing, and a lot of factors! These are your classic irritations, and if you are experiencing these on your centered eyebrow piercings I encourage you to head back to your piercer. They can help you determine the cause of the irritation, and come up with a plan to get it to go down.

Now the other type of irritation I often see on these is a moisture and drainage irritation.

These bumps are usually larger in size, below the skin, and sometimes quite firm or hard to the touch. Now these irritation bumps can still occur on traditionally placed eyebrow piercings, but they tend to be more common on centered brows. They are usually caused by issues with moisture and drainage. I find I often see these more on centered brows because of rubbing and pressure from the eye and eyelid on the bottom bead. I also often see these more on folks with very oily T-zones who naturally build up more moisture and secretions in this area. The way to treat these can vary based on specific circumstances, but it’s important to go back to see your piercer ASAP. Especially since centered brows have such close proximity to your eyes, it’s important to take irritations and issues with these fairly seriously.

Centered brow piercings are super cute, and I do love that they have become more popular. I think these piercings are super fun, and a little different, and we all know I adore anything paired and symmetrical. That said, these have some extra considerations that traditional brows don’t, and clients interested in centered brows should be prepared for the slightly more advanced healing that comes along with them. Happy healing!

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