For example, when Sincere Williams was in high school, she let her best friend pierce her belly button — a poor decision that has since left her with a crooked hole and scarring where it closed. Now, as an adult, Williams finds herself missing the "glam" of her vintage belly button charm and wants to bring it back this summer, but needs the help of a trained professional to pierce around the scar tissue.
In the latest episode of Refinery29's YouTube series Macro Beauty, Williams visits Aesthetic Ambition, a licensed piercing studio in Marina Del Rey, California, where she books an appointment with the brand's seasoned navel piercer, Luci Doll. "Belly button piercings have been popular since the '90s — since the Britney Spears revolution — and they really haven't gone out of style," Doll explains during Williams' consult. "They're still a very popular piercing that I do all the time."
For Williams' case specifically, because she's being re-pierced, the process is a bit trickier. "When we have a scar from a previous piercing, especially with a belly button, it can be pretty significant," Doll explains. "In this case, the fistula of the scar is pretty long, so unfortunately we can't pierce through it because the skin will have the heal a brand-new fistula. Luckily, the scar is slightly off-centre, which makes it pretty easy to get around it."
Doll marks the skin where she'll pierce with a sterile marker then preps the soft tissue with Iodine. "I have Sincere take a nice deep breath in, as soon as she exhales, that's when the piercing happens," Doll narrates. "Once we are through, I transfer the jewellery through the piercing and attach the top. Once the jewellery is in place, I clean off the excess Iodine and marker, and she is set to go."
For the aftercare, Doll tells Willams to apply a sterile saline solution to the piercing 1-2 times a day. "The belly button is a soft tissue, but it's a high movement area, so it usually takes about six months to fully heal," she explains before showing Williams her re-pierced belly button. "It's so cute," Williams exclaims, admiring the new opal charm that sits level in her navel. "And it's straight; I'm really happy that you can't see my previous scar. I can't wait to go to the beach and show my friends."