Ashley Piercing: Everything You Need to Know

Body modification has evolved over the years, encompassing various forms of self-expression. Among the intriguing choices for piercing enthusiasts is the Ashley piercing, a captivating facial piercing named after the piercer and author Elayne Angel, who significantly popularized it. The Ashley piercing, often referred to as the inverse vertical labret, is a relatively recent addition to the world of body piercing. It gained prominence in the early 2000s, primarily due to Elayne Angel’s advocacy. Angel, a prominent figure in the body piercing community, endorsed the Ashley piercing, which significantly contributed to its rise in popularity. Continue reading to learn everything there is to know about Ashley piercings if you’re interested in finding out more. Before getting an Ashley piercing, gathering all the necessary information to make an informed choice is crucial. This guide will help you navigate the process and understand what to expect.

What is An Ashley Piercing?

An Ashley piercing, also known as a single-side vertical labret piercing, is a unique and eye-catching facial piercing. It typically involves a single puncture through the lower lip, exiting just above the lip line on one side of the mouth. This piercing offers a distinctive and edgy look that can be personalized with various jewelry options, such as studs, hoops, or curved barbells. Ashley piercings are popular for providing a bold and asymmetrical aesthetic while allowing for easy speech and minimal interference with daily activities like eating and drinking. However, like any facial piercing, they require diligent aftercare to prevent infection and encourage proper healing. It’s essential to seek a qualified and experienced piercer, as their skills and expertise play a significant role in the success of this unique facial adornment.

ashley piercing
Photo by Ilya Komov from pexels

Pre-Piercing Considerations

1. Selecting the Right Piercing Studio

Choosing a reputable piercing studio is your first step. Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Cleanliness and Hygiene: The studio should prioritize cleanliness and adhere to strict hygiene standards. Look for sterile equipment and a clean environment.
  • Reputation and Reviews: Find a studio with a history of satisfied customers by reading online reviews and asking friends who have had piercings for advice.

2. Evaluating Piercer Qualifications

When considering an Ashley piercing, it’s crucial to recognize that the person performing the procedure plays a pivotal role in its ultimate success. To ensure a safe and satisfactory experience, it’s imperative to prioritize two key aspects when selecting your piercer. Firstly, certification and experience are paramount. Your chosen piercer should possess the necessary qualifications and be well-versed in facial piercings. It’s advisable to request evidence of their certification and inquire about their experience in this field. Secondly, effective communication and trust-building are fundamental elements of the process. Your piercer should establish open and honest communication with you, guiding you through the entire procedure and addressing any questions or concerns you may have. This transparent exchange should help make you feel comfortable, confident, and secure in getting an Ashley piercing. By prioritizing these factors, you can significantly enhance your chances of a successful and satisfying piercing experience.

3. Jewelry Selection and Personalization

When it comes to jewelry selection and personalization for an Ashley piercing, choosing the right jewelry is not only a style choice but also a matter of safety:

1. Material Options:

  • Acrylic: Acrylic jewelry is lightweight and readily accessible in various colors and designs, making it a popular option for individuals seeking a more vibrant and customizable look. However, it may not be as durable as other materials.
  • Gold: Gold jewelry can add a touch of elegance to your Ashley piercing. Ensure it is made from high-quality, hypoallergenic gold, like 14k or 18k, to minimize the risk of skin reactions.
  • Niobium: Niobium is another biocompatible material known for its vibrant colors. It’s a suitable choice for those with metal allergies.
  • Gemstones and Decorative Elements: You can further personalize your Ashley piercing jewelry by choosing pieces with gemstones or decorative elements like opals, diamonds, or colored gems. These additions can add a touch of sparkle and individuality to your piercing.
  • Hinged Segment Rings: Hinged segment rings are versatile for Ashley piercings. They feature a hinged section, allowing easy insertion and removal, minimizing the hassle of changing jewelry.

2. Sizing and Style: 
Your piercer will help you select the appropriate jewelry size and style based on your facial anatomy and personal preferences.

The Ashley Piercing Procedure

1. Step-by-Step Walkthrough of the Piercing Process

The Ashley piercing procedure involves several stages, and it’s essential to know what to expect:

  • Marking: Your piercer will mark the exact placement of the piercing, ensuring symmetry and alignment with your facial features. This step is crucial for the final aesthetics.
  • Sterilization: All equipment and jewelry should be thoroughly sterilized to minimize the risk of infection. Hygiene is a top priority during the piercing process.
  • Piercing Technique: A hollow needle is used to create a hole through the lip, and the jewelry is inserted immediately after the piercing. This technique minimizes pain and discomfort.

2. Managing Pain and Discomfort

Pain tolerance varies from person to person, but generally, you can expect:

  • What to Expect: Most people describe the pain as manageable, akin to a quick pinch or sting. The discomfort is typically short-lived.
  • Managing Pain: After the piercing, any discomfort usually subsides quickly. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate any residual discomfort in the days following the piercing.

Healing Duration

Ashley’s piercings, like many facial piercings, entail a healing period that typically spans several weeks to a few months. The exact duration of the healing process can differ depending on personal circumstances, such as your general health, immune system, and adherence to aftercare practices. During this healing phase, it’s common to experience some swelling, tenderness, and discharge, all of which are part of the body’s natural response to the piercing. It’s essential to follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions diligently, which may include regular saline soaks and avoiding touching or twisting the jewelry.

Cleaning and Aftercare Tips

An effective healing process depends on appropriate cleaning and maintenance:

1. Recommended Cleaning Solutions: Your piercer will recommend a suitable saline solution for cleaning the piercing. Regular cleaning will help prevent infections and complications.

2. Avoiding Irritation: Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands and be cautious with makeup or skincare products that could irritate the area.

3. Changing Your Ashley Piercing Jewelry: Your initial jewelry should be left in place until the piercing is fully healed. Consult your piercer for advice on when changing to different jewelry styles is safe. This step allows for personalization and adds variety to your style.

4. Oral Hygiene: Continue brushing your teeth and tongue regularly, being mindful of your piercing. Proper oral care is crucial to prevent infections and maintain good hygiene.

5. Makeup and Skincare: Use non-irritating products and be cautious around the piercing site to avoid potential irritations.

Cost of Ashley Piercing

The cost of an Ashley piercing can differ based on an Ashley piercing costs, such as your location, the piercing studio’s reputation, and the type of jewelry you choose. On average, an Ashley piercing can range from $50 to $100. Some studios may charge more in urban or high-cost areas, while others offer lower prices in smaller towns. The cost may include the initial jewelry, but upgrading to more expensive options can increase the total price. Remember that it’s crucial to prioritize safety and quality over cost when choosing a piercing studio and jewelry, as improper procedures and materials may lead to complications and additional expenses in the long run.

Side Effects

Ashley’s piercings can have side effects and potential complications like any other body modification. It’s important to be aware of these before getting the piercing. Some possible side effects and complications of an Ashley piercing include:

  • Pain and Swelling: It’s common to experience pain and swelling in the area after the piercing. This discomfort typically subsides within a few days to a week.
  • Infection: Infections can occur if the piercing site is not kept clean or if unsterilized equipment is used. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, discharge, and prolonged pain.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some people may develop allergies to the materials used in the jewelry, such as nickel. Allergic reactions can lead to skin irritation, itching, and discomfort.
  • Keloids and Hypertrophic Scarring: In some cases, the body may produce excess scar tissue around the piercing, resulting in keloids or hypertrophic scars. This is more common in individuals with a predisposition to keloid formation.
  • Tooth and Gum Damage: The jewelry in this piercing can come into contact with your teeth and gums, potentially causing enamel damage, chipping, or gum irritation. Proper jewelry sizing and aftercare can help mitigate these risks.
  • Speech and Eating Adjustments: An Ashley piercing may initially affect speech and eating habits. You might have a slight lisp or need to adjust your eating to avoid catching the jewelry.
  • Migration and Rejection: Sometimes, the body may push the piercing outward (migration) or completely reject the jewelry. This can lead to the piercing moving or eventually falling out.
  • Asymmetry or Crooked Piercing: Poor placement or alignment during the piercing process can result in an uneven or crooked piercing, affecting its aesthetic appeal.
  • Jewelry Loss or Swallowing: The small jewelry in an Ashley piercing can become loose, leading to accidental swallowing or loss of the jewelry if improperly secured.
  • Workplace or Social Implications: Some workplaces have policies against visible facial piercings, which could impact your job. Additionally, social reactions and stigmatization might be experienced by some individuals.

To minimize these risks and complications, it’s crucial to choose a reputable piercing studio, follow strict aftercare guidelines, and communicate openly with your piercer about any concerns or issues during the healing process. If you experience severe complications or discomfort, seek medical attention promptly.

Final Thoughts

Ashley piercing is a unique and visually striking facial piercing that has gained popularity in the world of body modification. This vertical labret piercing, situated through the lower lip, offers an edgy and avant-garde look for those who dare to express their individuality. While its aesthetic appeal is undeniable, the Ashley piercing also demands careful aftercare to prevent infection and ensure proper healing. It’s important to consult with a professional piercer to assess suitability and receive expert guidance. So, for those seeking a bold and unconventional statement, the Ashley piercing may be the perfect choice to redefine their appearance.

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