Vertical Labret Piercing: Placement, Healing, Pain, Price, Jewelry, Sizes, Aftercare

Vertical Labret Piercing: Placement, Healing, Pain, Price, Jewelry, Sizes, Aftercare

Vertical labret piercings are a popular type of body piercing that creates a unique and stylish look while drawing attention to the lips. If you are interested in getting a labret piercing, this guide will provide you with the information you need to help you make your decision. 

What Is a Vertical Labret Piercing?

A vertical labret piercing is located in the middle of the bottom of the lip and is a variation of the basic labret piercing. Both ends of the jewelry remain visible on a vertical labret piercing.

Labret vs Vertical Labret

A labret piercing is a single piercing located just below the lip. It is usually done with a flatback stud and only the top is visible, which is different from the vertical labret. Both ends of the latter are visible.

Vertical Labret Healing

How long does a vertical labret take to heal? The healing period takes 6 to 8 weeks if complications don't arise. 

However, it’s advised you wait 6 months before changing your jewelry to ensure it’s completely healed. During this time eat soft foods, avoiding hard, crunchy, and spicy products.

Right after you get pierced, you may experience redness and swelling at the piercing site. Pain, discomfort, redness, and swelling should go down over the next few weeks with no blood or discharge.

When the piercing is fully healed it will not hurt, won’t have any discharge, will feel comfortable, and will move freely.

Vertical Labret Piercing Price

How much is a vertical labret piercing? Depending on the piercing studio, location, jewelry, and your piercer's experience, you can expect to pay between $30 and $100.

Vertical Labret Piercing Pain

How bad does a vertical labret hurt? The tissue around the mouth is particularly sensitive, so lip piercings tend to hurt more than others. While piercing pain is subjective, some consider vertical labret piercings to be slightly more painful than other lip piercings.

Vertical Labret on Small Lips or Thin Lips

Can you get one if you have small lips? While enough tissue is necessary for the piercing to remain stable, some people with thinner lips can receive a vertical piercing if their facial structure supports it and if they use an experienced piercer.

Vertical Labret Jewelry Types

1. Curved Barbells

Vertical Labret Piercing: Placement, Healing, Pain, Price, Jewelry, Sizes, Aftercare

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The goal of any piercing is to ensure the jewelry enters and exits as vertically as possible to reduce the chances of rejection. Due to the shape and placement of the piercing, curved barbells are the standard jewelry for vertical labrets.

2. Vertical Labret Hoops

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An enclosed hoop wraps around the entire pierced area, similar to an earring hoop.

Can you put a hoop in a vertical labret? Once their piercing has healed, some people change out their barbell for a fully enclosed hoop. After your piercing has healed, the jewelry you choose to use comes down to personal preference.

Can You Use Eyebrow Jewelry for Vertical Labret Piercings?

The most common type of eyebrow jewelry is curved barbells. If the length and gauge are the correct size, you can use eyebrow jewelry for a vertical labret.

Vertical Labret Jewelry Sizes

1. Gauge

What gauge is a vertical labret? The barbells used for vertical labret piercings usually measure 14 or 16 gauge and curve around the lip with a bead at each end.

2. Length

As for the length, this depends on how thick the person's lip is. Your piercer will measure your lip and recommend the appropriate length for your piercing jewelry.

Typically, the lengths for vertical labret jewelry range between 8 to 12 millimeters long. However, the initial jewelry may be longer, so there is enough room to accommodate swelling.

After your lip heals and the swelling subsides, you can return to your piercer to switch your jewelry to a more fitted option.

3. Diameter

The diameter for hoop lip ring piercings will vary depending on your individual anatomy and how snug you prefer your jewelry. However, the standard sizes for labret lip rings are 1/4 (6 mm), 5/16 (8 mm) or 3/8 inch (10 mm). 

Metals for Vertical Labret Jewelry

1. Titanium: About $20-$40

Titanium has a reputation for being the best metal for piercings for many reasons. It is lightweight, hypoallergenic, durable, nickel-free, non-corrosive, and won’t tarnish.

Its non-porous nature reduces places bacteria can hide, promoting healing.

Titanium is also hypoallergenic, meaning it is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Titanium is nickel-free.

Its high density-to-strength ratio means your jewelry is very durable.

A lower density also makes Titanium lightweight, a big plus in many user's eyes. Finally, the metal comes in many colors because you can anodize it.

The only real downside to titanium jewelry is that you will pay more for all those positive traits. Shop for implant-grade titanium with designations like ASTM F-136, ASTM F-67, or ISO 5832-3.

2. Surgical Steel: About $5-$30

Although surgical steel is nonreactive, it can contain nickel. Choose a different option if you are concerned about irritation or a nickel allergy.

Steel combines iron and carbon, improving its strength and ability to resist fracturing.

However, this silver alloy can contain other elements, including nickel. Make sure to buy surgical-grade steel jewelry. These will have ratings: ASTM F-138, ISO 5832-1, ISO 10993-6, ISO 10993-10, or ISO 10993-11.

One of the pros most people cite for steel jewelry pieces is the lower price point. Steel is also a durable option. These pieces are low maintenance because the steel does not corrode, rust, or tarnish.

Weight is the top complaint for those using steel jewelry pieces. Steel can be less comfortable if worn in piercings for long periods. 

3. Solid Gold: About $40-$200

This metal will not rust or tarnish. It is also easy to decorate and shape. The added alloys in 18k, and especially 14k, make them more durable than 24k gold pieces.

One downside to gold jewelry is the price tag, which is expensive. Another concern will be that the metal is soft, making it susceptible to bends, breaks, and gouges. Gold can also be heavy, especially with more pure karat ratings.

4. Niobium: About $20-$60

Niobium is a light grey metal known for its hardness that is like titanium. The metal resists corrosion and tarnishing like others on the list, creating minimal maintenance for you.

It might be the best metal for a piercing if you want titanium-like durability with more malleability. That extra pliability makes it easier for jewelers to shape pieces. Niobium can come in various colors as it is something that you can anodize.

The only real downsides are that it weighs a bit more than titanium and you will likely pay a bit more due to the process involved in manufacturing this metal.

When Can I Change My Vertical Labret?

You can change your vertical labret jewelry after your piercing has completely healed. Attempting to change out the jewelry before it heals may lead to infection and other complications.

Kissing With Vertical Labret

Can you kiss with a vertical labret? Once your piercing fully heals, you can kiss with a vertical labret. However, you should avoid kissing while it's still healing, as this may cause bacteria to enter the piercing site, causing infections or other complications.

Does a Vertical Labret Touch Your Teeth? Can This Piercing Damage Them?

No, while some types of piercings may increase your chances of tooth or gum damage, a vertical labret doesn't pose the same risks. It does not touch your teeth.

With a vertical labret piercing, the jewelry doesn't scrape against the teeth or gums like other lip piercings can. It also stays cleaner than other piercings during healing since it doesn't come in contact with saliva (unless during kissing).

What Risks Are Associated With a Vertical Labret Piercing?

Like all piercings, vertical labret piercings come with a few risks. The main risks associated with labret piercings are:

  • Rejection: Your body may try to push out the piercing, which leads to rejection and scarring and increases your risk of infection.
  • Tooth and gum damage: While a vertical labret piercing is not associated with a higher incidence of tooth and gum damage, it may still occur.
  • Infection: All body piercings are at risk of infection. Symptoms may include green or yellow drainage around the area, bleeding, fever, and swelling.
  • Nerve damage: An improperly done piercing can cause nerve damage in your lower lip. This damage may cause a loss of feeling or mobility in your face.
  • Allergic reaction: Using the wrong jewelry can cause allergic reactions. Signs of an allergic reaction include crusting, weeping and itchiness.
  • Punctured blood vessels: If the piercing needle punctures a blood vessel, it may lead to bleeding that's hard to control.
  • Scarring: Thick scar tissue may form around the pierced area if rejection occurs or you decide to remove your jewelry for a substantial period.

Your risk of developing complications decreases if you choose an experienced piercer, use a high-quality piece of jewelry and follow all aftercare instructions from your piercing studio. However, even after taking all precautions, complications may still occur.

Vertical Labret Piercing Pros and Cons

Vertical labret piercings are a unique way to showcase your style and personality. However, you should weigh the pros and cons before booking your piercing appointment.


  • As far as lip piercings go, there is less contact with teeth and gums than with other piercings around the lips or mouth.
  • Vertical labret piercings are relatively easy to care for and heal quickly.
  • These piercings don't impact sleep positions like other piercings might.
  • Vertical labret piercings can be combined into groupings with other piercings around the mouth, creating a unique appearance.
  • You can customize your look with many different types of jewelry.


  • Because the lips are vascular and sensitive, there can be substantial swelling for the first few days.
  • Vertical labret piercings may affect how you eat and drink.
  • This piercing can quickly close if you do not keep jewelry inserted.
  • Vertical labret piercing jewelry is limited to only curved barbells or rings.

How to Clean Vertical Labret Piercings?

The best way to prevent complications is to perform the right aftercare. This involves cleaning your piercing at least twice a day. Your piercer may give you a saline solution, or, you can make your own at home by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm water.

To clean the piercing, you’ll soak something like a cotton ball in the saltwater solution. Then, you’ll apply it to the front and the back of the piercing to saturate the area. If needed, you can use a dampened cotton swab to gently brush away any crust.

Vertical Labret Aftercare

  • Opt for soft foods that aren’t overly spicy or acidic.
  • Chew very carefully to avoid biting your lip jewelry.
  • Avoid strenuous activities with your mouth until your piercings are fully healed.
  • Clean the piercings at least twice a day using a sea salt or saline solution.
  • Soak the outsides of your piercings for 3-5 minutes in the solution.
  • Gargle with salt water, paying extra attention to the front of your mouth to clean the backs of the jewelry.
  • Avoid mouthwash with alcohol.
  • Avoid touching and playing with the jewelry as this can introduce contaminants that contribute to infection.

Once your piercings are fully healed, you’ll be able to resume most of your daily habits. However, you may still find it difficult to eat certain foods or drink certain beverages that irritate the wounds. Be sure to talk with your piercer about concerns you may have.

To Conclude

Vertical labret piercings are a fun and unique way to showcase your individuality. Regardless of the piercing you choose, it's important to always do your research beforehand and go to an experienced professional piercer you are comfortable with.

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