Vertical labret: Healing, pain, cost, aftercare, jewelry, and so on

Vertical labret lip piercing

The vertical labret piercing is perfect for those who love piercings and want to show them off. It goes through the top of your lower lip and exits right at the bottom. As you might have guessed, it’s done with a curved barbell.

The vertical labret isn’t as popular as some other piercings (like nostril piercings and septum piercings). It’s noticeable and pretty much impossible to hide, so it’s perfect for real piercing aficionados!

What is a vertical labret piercing?

Vertical labret lip piercing

A vertical labret is a distinct form of labret lip piercing. The piercing runs from the middle of the bottom lip to the outer and upper surface of the lower lip. In this type of piercing, the ends of the jewelry are visible from both sides.

An individual should expect a sharp pain that subsides in a short time. Within six to eight weeks, the piercing will start to heal. However, it takes four months at minimum to completely heal.

The curved barbell is most suitable for a vertical labret piercing as it curves and fits the natural shape of an individual’s lips. The gauge can be a 14 or 16 gauge which may be 8mm to 12mm long depending on the client’s lips.

Vertical labret piercing pros and cons

Thinking of getting a vertical labret piercing? Check out these pros and cons:


  • One of the most common and popular lip piercings.
  • The piercing doesn’t touch your teeth or gums.
  • It has a look that’s both delicate and noticeable.
  • As piercings go, it’s not too painful.


  • Since it’s around your mouth, it’s relatively easy for it to get infected.
  • You have a limited selection of jewelry for this piercing.
  • Not everyone can get this piercing; you need to have the anatomy to support it.
  • It’s noticeable and pretty much impossible to hide

Vertical labret healing

Within six to eight weeks, the piercing will start to heal. However, it takes four months at minimum to completely heal. And it could take longer depending on an individual’s skin type.

Vertical labret piercing pain

How bad does a vertical labret piercing hurt? An individual should expect a sharp pain that subsides in a short time. The pain level is slightly below average, ranging from 4 to 5 out of 10. That being said, pain tolerance varies in different people.

How much is a vertical labret piercing?

The cost mostly depends on the location and price of the jewelry. Most stores charge between $30-$80. Some websites list their charges, and it would be wise to go through them before visiting the store.


1. Inverse vertical labret: Ashley vs vertical labret

Ashley lip piercing

What is an inverse labret piercing? An inverse vertical labret piercing is a variant of the vertical labret piercing. It’s sometimes called an ashley piercing.

The inverse vertical labret piercing goes through the top of your lower lip. However, unlike a vertical labret, it comes out on the inside of your lip. As a result, one end of the jewelry is on top of your lip and the other is inside your mouth.


  • It’s a great way to stand out, as this piercing is highly unique.
  • Its minimalist look won’t make your facial piercings look too crowded.
  • Depending on your anatomy, it may be a better fit than a vertical labret.


  • Since one side of the jewelry is in your mouth, there’s some risk of gum irritation and recession.
  • Because one end of the piercing is in your mouth, it can be hard to clean.

2. Double vertical labret

Double vertical labret

3. Labret vs vertical labret

Labret lip piercing

Labret piercing is common, and the piercing studs get their names from it. The style is a single perforation of the central part below the bottom lip—people who experience the labret rate the pain on the lower end of the pain scale.

In eight weeks, the wound from the piercing should have healed. Most people prefer the 14 gauge with a length of 3/8 inches. The style is versatile, and you can opt for a piece of flat-back stud jewelry, captive beads rings, or a circular barbell.

Vertical labret on small or thin lips

Not everyone has the anatomy for a vertical labret piercing. It’s generally easier for a piercer to perform this piercing on someone with full lips. This is especially true if the lower lip curves outward.

That said, if you have thinner lips, it might be possible for you to get a vertical labret piercing. Make sure you consult an experienced piercer. They can take a look at your anatomy and tell you whether or not you can safely get a vertical labret piercing.

How to drink with vertical labret?

Once you get a vertical labret piercing, you may find that it’s hard to drink with the piercing in. But if you can avoid letting the piercing touch your glass or mug, you should have an easier time.

You can make sure the inner surface of your lip touches the glass so the piercing doesn’t. Alternatively, you may find it easier to drink from a straw.

Does a vertical labret touch your teeth?

They don’t—that’s one of the benefits of a vertical labret piercing! The piercing only goes through your lip and doesn’t touch the inside of your mouth.

How to pierce vertical labret?

Like many piercings, the process for this one is relatively simple. Here’s how piercers usually perform a vertical labret piercing:

  • First, the piercer will clean your lip with an antibacterial solution.
  • The piercer will give you a special antibacterial mouthwash to minimize the number of harmful bacteria near the piercing.
  • Your piercer will then mark where the piercing will go with a marker.
  • Then they’ll clamp your lip and gently pull it forward.
  • Your piercer will then push the needle through quickly but gently.
  • Then they’ll remove the needle while inserting your jewelry. Most often, it’s a curved barbell.

Vertical labret jewelry size

1. Vertical labret bar length

Depending on your lip, the vertical labret bar length may be 8 mm to 12 mm long. If you are unsure what size to use for your lip piercing, consult with the piercer.

2. What gauge is a vertical labret piercing?

14 gauge (1.6 mm or 1/16-inch in thickness) or 16 gauge (1.2 mm) is most suitable for the vertical labret. For this piercing, piercers often use a slightly larger needle to make healing easier.

Vertical labret jewelry

The curved barbell is most suitable for a vertical labret piercing as it curves and fits the natural shape of an individual’s lips. However, hoops are also popular choices.

1. Vertical labret barbells

Curved barbells are a popular choice among all types of lip jewelry. They have a curve that takes the shape of an arch with two balls on either end. You can go with a traditional round bead or opt for other shapes and accents.


  • They are a great option, especially when you’re going for a vertical labret piercing.
  • Barbell jewelry can be a great statement piece and can stand out
  • The curved shape can make lip piercings more comfortable
  • They are available in a very wide variety of designs


  • They may not be the best option if you’re looking for something subtle
  • They also may get caught easily on items like clothing.
  • They heal more slowly than studs
  • They tend to be prone to migration or rejection

2. Vertical labret hoop

The hoop rings are typically designed as segment rings. This feature allows a single segment of the hoop to be removed entirely. It provides for reduced infection risks and gives extra comfort when adorned on the lip. When getting a piercing with the hoop and ring, the best material is stainless steel, platinum, or 14 karat gold.


  • Lip rings and hoops are classic and timeless
  • They offer a clean look.
  • They’re also less likely to get caught on clothing because of their closed design.
  • They usually remain securely in place
  • They are comfortable.


  • Thin hoops can be bent very easily
  • They can be hard to insert at first
  • You may need to be careful to avoid distorting the shape as you open and close the jewelry.

Vertical labret aftercare

  • Take care to avoid contaminating the piercing.
  • Avoid touching it or applying makeup very close to it.
  • Avoid getting in water that might be dirty.
  • Clean your piercing twice per day using a saline/salt solution or a piercing aftercare spray.
  • When brushing your teeth and cleaning your mouth, use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash.
  • And of course, make sure to avoid snagging on clothes or towels.
  • Don’t move the piercing before it heals. Pulling on a piercing early in healing is painful, but it also can get in the way of healing or damage the piercing itself.

How to clean vertical labret piercings?

  1. Make a salt solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with one cup of water. Stir the solution until it dissolves. As an alternative, you can buy ready-to-use piercing aftercare sprays.
  2. If you see signs of infection, you can also use antiseptic solutions, such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it around the piercing site. Don’t remove the jewelry!
  4. Take clean gauze or tissue and pat the area dry.

Your piercer should give you detailed instructions on keeping your piercing clean once the piercing has been placed.

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