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Industrial Piercing Internal Threading External Threading Body Jewelry FreshTrends Piercings
By Laurrel Allison 11/14/2017

There are plenty of people who have piercings yet are unaware of what the term “threading” means. I say this as previously being part of the aforementioned crowd. But when you take your jewelry for granted and expect it to stay the same regardless of how you treat it, you could end up shortening the jewelry’s lifespan.

What is threaded jewelry?

Essentially, there are two types of body jewelry. Threaded and unthreaded. Threaded jewelry refers to pieces that you have to screw in order to tightly fasten. Unthreaded jewelry will be French-hook earrings, pop-fit labrets, hinged rings, captive-bead rings, and stud earrings. Pieces that don’t have any screw mechanisms. Threading pertains to specific parts of jewelry. Usually, it’s a part of jewelry which has barbell ends or small pieces that you screw onto a post. If you have an industrial piercing, you normally have two balls at each end of the post. When you take off these balls, you can look at the post and are able to see small lines circling the end of it. This is the threading. Specifically, external threading. External threading is commonly found in circular, bent, and straight barbells

What is the difference between internal and external threading?

External threading is certainly very common amongst most barbell-styled body jewelry. You’d have to search for internally threaded pieces specifically in order to find what you want. Internal threading is the precise opposite of external threading, as the name suggests. Rather than being on the outside of the post, the threading is actually on the inside. The post will not be pushed into the ball. The ball is actually pushed into the post. 

Internally Threaded Titanium Body Jewelry Internal Threading
Internal Threading Implant Grade Titanium Replacement Ball

External Threading Body Jewelry
16G External Threading Replacement Ball

Internal Threading Body Jewelry
16G Internal Threading Replacement Ball

Which threading is more durable?

While internally threading lasts longer and is quite durable, external threading can be rather fragile. It’s crucial to realise that it’s easy to damage your threading if you are rough with your piercings. When you tighten a ball on one of your barbells, stop when the ball stops. Don’t force it to go any further than it has already gone. If you force it further, you could break the threading and make the ball lose its grip on the barbell. When this happens, the ball will easily be able to fall off the piercing. Depending on where you are pierced, that means that the rest of the jewelry could fall out without you even noticing. So be aware of your piercings and your jewelry. Be gentle and take care of them. This can extend the life of your jewelry.

External Threading Gold Body Jewelry Externally Threaded
External Threading 14K Gold Replacement Ball

Internally Threaded Body Jewelry Internal Threading
Internal Threading 14K Gold Replacement Ball

If you are trying to make a choice between external or internal threading, first think about how fresh your piercings are. Internal threading will be gentlest on your new piercings. External piercings are good for piercings that are fully healed. The reason for this is that the ridges visible on the outside of barbell bars can be abrasive to new piercings. Take the utmost care of your piercings and ensure that you get the best type of barbell. 

Laurrel Allison

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