Frowny Piercing: The Enigmatic Piercing Revealed

Frowny piercing has been around since the early 2000s, but have you ever wondered what makes them so intriguing? Frowny piercing isa type of mouth piercing that have become increasingly popular in recent years. This unique and eye-catching piercing, also known as a frowning piercing, is placed above the upper lip, creating a distinctive appearance. With its quick healing time and easy concealment, it’s no wonder this piercing has been gaining popularity.

In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about frowny piercings, from the procedure and aftercare to the pros and cons. So, if you’re ready to stand out and express your individuality, keep reading to explore the fascinating world of frowny piercings!

Key Points

  • The Frowny piercing is a piercing of the web between the gums and the lower lip.
  • It is an anatomy-dependent piercing, as not everyone has enough of a web to pierce.
  • Jewelry options for the Frowny piercing include curved barbells, circular barbells, and capped bead rings.
  • Like most oral piercings, it can cause gum and enamel erosion, so proper aftercare is essential.
  • The Frowny piercing is an easy, quick-healing, and hideable piercing that is rare and not very painful.

What is a frowny piercing?

A frowny piercing, also known as a tongue web piercing, is a type of mouth piercing that involves piercing the small tissue connecting the lower lip to the lower gum, called the frenulum. This relatively uncommon and discreet piercing is placed inside the mouth and is typically only visible when certain expressions or movements are made. Frowny piercings have gained popularity in recent years for their subtle yet edgy appearance, offering a unique form of self-expression for those who want to stand out while maintaining a level of discretion. Frowny piercing is typically done using a small gauge needle, and various types of jewelry can be used, such as labret studs, barbells, and rings.

Type of Piercing Placement Cost Pain Level Healing Time
Frowny Piercing Frenulum, under the lower lip $30-$70 3/10 4-12 weeks

Frowny piercings are also easy to conceal with your mouth closed, which makes them a good option for those who want to have a piercing but need to hide it for work or other reasons. Additionally, some people feel that frowny piercings can enhance the appearance of their smile, which can be a confidence boost.

However, there are also some risks associated with frowny piercings. The placement of the piercing can cause damage to your gums and teeth, particularly if the jewelry is too large or you frequently play with it. Additionally, frowny piercings have a higher risk of rejection compared to other piercings due to the location and the type of tissue they go through.

Frowny Piercing Procedure

The frowny piercing procedure is a fairly simple and quick process performed by a professional piercer. Here’s a step-by-step description of what you can expect during the procedure:

  1. Consultation: Before the procedure begins, you’ll have a consultation with your piercer to discuss any concerns, questions, or preferences you might have. They will assess your frenulum to ensure it’s suitable for a frowny piercing and help you choose the appropriate jewelry.
  2. Preparation: The piercer will start by thoroughly washing their hands and putting on a fresh pair of gloves. They will then clean the area around your frenulum with an antiseptic solution to minimize the risk of infection.
  3. Marking: Using a sterile, single-use marker, the piercer will carefully mark the entry and exit points of the piercing. You’ll have the chance to check the placement and make sure you’re satisfied with it before proceeding.
  4. Clamping: The piercer will use a small, sterilized forceps or clamp to secure the frenulum and make the piercing process more precise and comfortable. This also helps minimize movement and ensures proper alignment.
  5. Piercing: With the clamp in place, the piercer will swiftly and carefully insert a sterilized, hollow needle through the marked points on your frenulum. This creates a small hole for the jewelry to be inserted.
  6. Jewelry insertion: After the needle has created the hole, the piercer will promptly insert the chosen jewelry, such as a curved barbell or ball closure ring, into the new piercing.
  7. Cleaning and aftercare instructions: Once the jewelry is securely in place, the piercer will clean the area again to remove any traces of blood or debris. They will also provide you with aftercare instructions and guidelines on how to care for your new frowny piercing during the healing process.
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Do frowny piercings hurt?

Frowny piercing, although potentially more painful than some other facial piercing due to its location in the mouth, are generally considered less painful in comparison to many other types of piercings. This is because the frenulum, where the frowny piercing is situated, is a thin piece of tissue with fewer nerve endings than other parts of the body. In fact, many people rate the pain level as a 3 out of 10 on the pain scale.

Consequently, the piercing process is usually relatively quick and not too uncomfortable. Keep in mind that everyone’s pain tolerance varies, so what may be a breeze for one person could be more challenging for another. If you’re thinking about getting a frowny piercing, it’s a great idea to chat with your piercer about any concerns you might have and ensure you’re mentally ready for the experience.

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How much does a frowny piercing cost?

The cost of a Frowny piercing generally falls within the range of $30 to $70. The price can vary depending on factors such as the location of the piercing studio, the piercer’s experience, and the type of jewelry you choose. It’s worth noting that frowny piercing costs are comparable to other similar mouth piercings like smiley or tongue web piercings.

Keep in mind that the most important aspect is finding a reputable and experienced piercer to ensure a safe and satisfactory experience. Don’t hesitate to shop around and ask for recommendations to find the best piercer for your frowny piercing within your budget.

How long does Frowny piercing take to heal?

Frowny piercings typically have a relatively quick healing time of 4 to 8 weeks. However, since everyone’s body is different, healing times can vary greatly between individuals. Factors such as skin type and proper aftercare can influence the healing duration. Some people might experience a quicker healing time of around 3 weeks, while others could take up to 6 months for the piercing to fully heal. It’s essential to keep an eye on your piercing for signs of infection or complications and reach out to your piercer if you have any concerns.

During the healing process, proper aftercare is crucial. This includes regularly cleaning the piercing with a saline solution and avoiding irritating substances like tobacco, alcohol, and spicy foods. It’s also important to refrain from playing with the jewelry or changing it too soon, as this can prolong the healing process and increase the risk of infection or other health issues. Remember, following your piercer’s aftercare instructions is key to a smooth and successful healing journey.

Frowny Piercing Aftercare

Following your piercer’s aftercare instructions is crucial for a smooth healing process. Some key points to remember include:

  • Rinse your mouth with a saline solution or alcohol-free mouthwash after eating, drinking, or smoking.
  • Avoid touching the piercing with dirty hands.
  • Clean the area with a saline solution or mild, unscented soap.
  • Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and excessive mouth movements during the healing process.
  • Refrain from oral contact, including kissing, until the piercing is fully healed.

Understanding Frowny Piercing Risks

As a frowny piercing is a web piercing in the lip area, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with it.

  • Choosing the Right Jewelry

As the area of your mouth where the frowny piercing is placed is quite delicate, it’s essential to be cautious and considerate when choosing your jewelry. Your piercer will determine the suitability of the piercing based on your frenulum’s size and suggest the appropriate jewelry size accordingly.

Curved barbells and ball closure rings are common types of jewelry used for frowny piercings. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of how the jewelry will sit in your mouth, as it can cause damage to your teeth or lead to receding gums if it constantly rubs against sensitive areas. A great suggestion is to choose stainless steel or titanium bars with softer rubber balls or even jewelry without balls at all, as these are the parts most likely to cause harm.

  • Dealing with Rejection and Migration

Frowny piercings are known for their higher rejection and migration rates compared to some other types of piercings. The placement of the piercing and the amount of tissue available play crucial roles in determining the likelihood of rejection. Essentially, the less tissue there is to hold the piercing securely, the greater the chance that your body will react to the piercing and try to heal the wound by pushing the jewelry out.

If you notice signs of rejection or migration, such as the piercing appearing closer to the surface of the skin or an increase in redness and discomfort, it’s essential not to remove the jewelry yourself. Instead, head straight to your piercer, who is experienced in handling such situations and can safely remove the jewelry for you.

Frowny Piercing Jewelry Options

The most common types of jewelry for frowny piercings are captive bead rings (CBRs), small curved barbells and ball closure rings. Both options allow for easy movement and minimal irritation during the healing process. Your piercer will help you choose the appropriate size and material for your jewelry, taking into account factors such as allergies and personal preferences.

  • Curved barbells: These are the most popular option for frowny piercings. The curved shape allows the jewelry to sit comfortably in the piercing, and it can be easily adjusted as needed. Curved barbells also come in a variety of materials, including titanium, stainless steel, and gold.
  • Circular barbells: Another option for frowny piercings is a circular barbell. This type of jewelry has a horseshoe shape and comes in a variety of sizes and materials. While circular barbells can be comfortable to wear, they may not be as secure as curved barbells and can sometimes flip or twist.
  • Captive bead rings: A third option for frowny piercings is a captive bead ring. These rings have a bead or ball that sits in the center of the ring, and they come in a variety of materials and sizes. While captive bead rings can be comfortable to wear, they can sometimes cause irritation or discomfort if the bead is too large or if the ring is not properly sized.

Frowning Piercing Pros and Cons


  1. Unique: Frowning piercings are less common, offering a distinctive appearance.
  2. Quick healing time: Generally, frowning piercings heal within 4-8 weeks.
  3. Easy to conceal: With your mouth closed, frowning piercings can be hidden for work or other situations.
  4. Enhances smile: Some individuals find frowning piercings to complement their smile.
  5. Confidence boost: Like any piercing, frowning piercings can boost self-confidence and enhance attractiveness.


  1. Gum and teeth damage: Frowning piercings may damage gums and teeth if the jewelry is too large or frequently played with.
  2. Rejection: Due to the location and tissue type, frowning piercings have a higher rejection risk compared to other piercings.
  3. Difficulty removing jewelry: Removing frowning piercing jewelry, especially with threaded ends, can be challenging.
  4. Infection risk: Frowning piercings can become infected if proper aftercare is neglected.
  5. Painful procedure: The mouth location and tissue type make frowning piercings more painful to get than other piercings.

Frowny Piercing vs. Smiley Piercing

Frowny piercing and smiley piercing are often confused, but they are different. The main difference between smiley and frowny piercings is their placement within the mouth. Frowny piercing goes through the small fold of tissue that connects the upper lip to the gum, while smiley piercing goes through the thin piece of skin that connects the upper lip to the gum behind the front teeth. The visibility of these piercings also differs, with smiley piercings being more visible when smiling or lifting the upper lip, and frowny piercings being more discreet and primarily visible during specific expressions or movements.


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Une publication partagée par Herz Bube Steyr (@herzbubesteyr)

Both smiley and frowny piercings are considered less painful than many other piercings due to the thin nature of the frenulum tissue and the fewer nerve endings present. However, individual pain thresholds can vary, and some people may find one piercing more uncomfortable than the other. Generally, both piercings are relatively quick and cause minimal discomfort during the procedure.

The healing process for smiley and frowny piercings is relatively similar, with both typically taking between 4 to 8 weeks to heal completely. However, individual healing times may vary depending on factors such as proper aftercare, overall health, and potential complications.

Feature Frowny Piercing Smiley Piercing
Location Above the upper lip Under the upper lip
Visibility Visible with the mouth closed Visible when smiling or with the mouth open
Healing Time 4-8 weeks 6-8 weeks
Pain Level Moderate Moderate to low
Jewelry Styles Curved barbells, labret studs Circular barbells, captive bead rings
Risk of Gum/Teeth Damage Moderate, depending on jewelry size Moderate to high
Ease of Concealment Easy to conceal with the mouth closed Easy to conceal with the mouth closed
Uniqueness Less common More common
Potential for Infection Moderate risk Moderate risk
Impact on Speech Minimal Minimal to moderate

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I hide my frowny piercing?

Frowny lip piercings are relatively easy to hide, as they are located inside the mouth. However, during certain movements or expressions, the jewelry may be visible. For individuals who need a completely hidden piercing, a piercing retainer can be used once the piercing has fully healed.

Can I eat and drink after getting a frowny piercing?

It is recommended to avoid eating and drinking for at least an hour after getting a frowny piercing. After that, it is important to avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and smoking to aid in the healing process.

Are frowny piercings easy to hide?

Yes, frowny piercings can be easily hidden with the mouth closed, as they’re located above the upper lip. Opt for smaller, less protruding jewelry or use a clear retainer for better concealment when needed.

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