Updated: May 26, 2022
Navel piercings are arguably one of the most popular that many piercers offer. These classic piercings have been popular since Alicia Silverstone’s body double got one in the Aerosmith video, and since Brittney Spears put one in center stage with her crop tops and skirts. They are also unfortunately one of the piercings we see done incorrectly the most often. This little writeup is to share some information about navel piercings, and what to look for to ensure you are seeing an artist who is piercing you correctly.
To start, navel piercings should always be placed inside the navel. Not in the tissue above or in front of the navel. Regardless of the shape or size of your navel there is never any reason to pierce just the tissue in front of the navel. When you stand, sit, and lay the bottom of the piercing needs to be inside the navel. I have heard clients told that their piercing couldn’t be in their navel because of shape, size, placement, weight, or other factors. This is blatantly untrue. A navel piercing should always be in the navel. This is something you can check portfolios for, and if you see someone who is piercing them outside this area, I would strongly suggest you not be pierced by them. A red flag would be a piercer who doesn't check your anatomy before showing you jewelry, or during marking. Checking placement for clients can be tricky, but the best way I've found is to use a mirror to look at your piercing while laying. Is it obviously inside your navel? Perfect! Are you unsure, or does it look to be in front of your navel? Time to see a reputable piercer and have this checked in person.
Navels come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and should be handled and pierced according to the clients anatomy. This often means starting with one of two types of jewelry. More commonly seen online is a double gem navel, where there is a gemstone on both the top and bottom. This is a great look for someone with a navel that retains its shape when they stand, sit, and lay. The other style is a floating navel, where there is a gem on top and a small disc on the bottom. This is ideal for someone whose navel collapses when they sit or lay. These styles are not interchangeable. If your navel is suited for a floating navel being pierced with any other jewelry will cause irritation and migration. Likewise, the disc commonly put on the bottom of a floating navel can sometimes cause rubbing and irritation on a classic navel during healing. That said, once fully healed you can wear whichever style you prefer. It’s purely for the healing time that you must leave your initial style in. I know being patient is hard, but it’s worth it for a healthy, happy piercing that you can wear for a lifetime!
Navels are, generally speaking, surface piercings. This means they can be a bit more fragile and delicate than other piercings, and can be prone to migration and rejection. This makes it doubly important to ensure you are wearing high quality jewelry for the duration of the healing. This means implant grade, internally threaded jewelry with a mirror finish from a trustworthy brand. Don’t be afraid to ask your piercer more about the jewelry. Who makes it, how it assembles, why they support this brand, etc. A good piercer will be excited to answer your questions and give you more information.
During healing make sure you are making smart choices with your wardrobe. This means avoiding high wasted pants, skirts, and stockings for the full duration of healing. Anything high wasted enough to sit against the piercing can rub and cause irritation and issues during healing. I know all the high wasted stuff is super cute, but not worth it! If you must wear something like that, such as a uniform to play sports, a hard vented eyepatch works great to cover and protect the piercing. These also work will if you tan regularly, as tanning sprays and self tanner in your navel while it’s healing is not the best for it.
Navels are super cute, and super popular for good reason. That said they are also pierced incorrectly very often. So make sure you do research, find a great piercer you trust, and ask good questions. You only have one body- you deserve a perfect piercing!