Ear piercings are one of those fashion trends that will never go out of style. A little bit of ear jewelry never goes astray when it comes to creating a fashionable and unique ensemble. But with so many ear piercings out there, things can get a little confusing. No longer do people have one piercing in each ear. These days, you can have upwards of five in each! If you’re considering getting a piercing and aren’t sure which one you’re after, our expert guide will help you find what you want, and make you sound well-versed in all the piercings that exist.
Ear Piercing Chart
Before getting an ear piercing, it’s important to do your research, so you know exactly what you’re after. Read on to find out about all the different types of piercings you can get.
Types of Ear Piercings
An industrial piercing is sometimes referred to as a scaffold, bar, or construction piercing is a double perforation of the upper ear cartilage. If you’re looking for an eye-catching piercing, then the industrial piercing is the unique one on the market.
As the name suggests, a lobe piercing is a piercing in the earlobe. Being in the fleshy, bottom part of the ear, it is one of the least painful to get. Lasting approximately six weeks, the healing time is also one of the quickest. This piercing is very versatile once it is healed, so feel free to experiment with different styles! The possibilities are endless.
Transverse Lobe Piercing
Transverse lobe piercings are a modern take on an old classic. With this piercing, a barbell runs horizontally through the earlobe rather than from the inside to the outside. The angle of the transverse piercing is dependent on the shape and size of the ear lobe. The only disadvantage to this piercing is that it often takes longer to heal compared to other types. This also means that a transverse piercing runs a higher risk of infection.
If an ordinary piercing isn’t enough, why not up the ante with a cartilage piercing. This type of piercing is a particularly popular choice for both men and women. For most people, getting the cartilage piercing done isn’t bad at all. The hard part is the first two weeks after getting it done, where you can expect some mild pain and discomfort. But after that’s all done, you’ll be just fine.
An orbital piercing is defined by any two piercings that are connected by one piece of jewellery. It is typically done in the lobe region of the ear.
Spunky and stylish, the helix piercing is a cartilage piercing which sits on the upper section of the ear. This piercing ranks low on the pain scale as it is done using a small needle. Typically, you will notice barbells are used on this type of piercing. However, you’re free to use whatever you like!
Forward Helix Piercing
The difference between a forward helix piercing and a regular helix piercing is the location. The forward helix piercing sits lower down the ear, near the root of the helix. Popular jewelry of this type tends to include studs, for the most part, though forward helix piercings can be used with a range of different jewelry.
A daith is the hoop that hugs the cartilage inside your ear. What’s best about this type of piercing is that it is surprisingly versatile and suits most people. Some even believe that the daith piercing can help ease anxiety-related migraines!
The tragus piercing is very versatile and looks good with a number of jewelry styles. However, it can be quite painful to get depending on the size of your tragus, the part of your ear in front of the ear canal.
The anti-tragus is a type of cartilage piercing done just above the lobe. It is actually fairly similar to the tragus piercing in regard to its characteristics, despite its name.
The snug piercing is situated in the inner cartilage, down near the ear’s outer rim. If you’re after something unique, this piercing is one of the most distinctive you can get. Being such a shallow location, you’re likely to use micro jewelry.
The eye-catching conch piercing is a type of cartilage piercing that can be of the inner or outer variety. However, it can often cover both. The name of the piercing was derived from this section of the ear which resembles conch seashells.
A rook piercing is done near the inner ridge of the ear cartilage, parallel to the outer rim of the ear. This distinctive, impressive piercing is a prime example of how creative piercings have gotten over the years.
3 Ear Piercings
The three ear piercings are a bold and unique choice for a piercing. These usually feature three studs, hoops, or cuffs in a row. Place them across your lobe or cartilage for a subtle and stylish look. Start with one or two and work your way up to the full set.
Double Ear Piercing
A major trend in the ’80s, the double piercing does just as the name suggests. With two earrings side by side, it can go along your lobe or cartilage, either using studs, hoops, or cuffs. You can mix and match different styles for a dynamic and unique style.
Full Ear Piercing
Why have one single piercing when you can go all out? Mix and match different piercings across your entire ear for a sparkling and beautiful appearance. Whether you choose a helix, tragus, a forward helix, or a line of studs up your lobe, it can give you more jewelry options for your favorite outfits.
Simple Ear Piercing
Clean, minimalist, and elegant, the simple ear piercing is a stylish and timeless choice. This style features delicate and plain jewelry, such as silver or gold studs or small hoops. This works well if you have a handful or a few piercings.
Unique Ear Piercings
Why blend in when you were born to stand out? Combine your favorite colors, styles, and earring types that are unique to you. Layer studs, hoops, and cuffs together in varying metals for a multi-dimensional set of piercings.
Top Ear Piercing
Unlike the helix piercing, the top ear piercing sits further towards the tip of the ear. Most popular jewelry featured in this location includes small hoops or sleepers and studs. For a bold look, you can mix and match other piercings, such as the lobe, tragus, or a forward helix.
How to Get Your Ears Pierced
There are many different locations to consider when it comes to piercing your ears, each with varying degrees of pain and discomfort. Most ear piercings will pierce through cartilage and therefore need to be done with a needle at a professional studio. The exception would be with earlobes, one of the least painful and most commonly pierced areas. It can be done with a needle or a piercing gun. That said, there are some cons to the piercing gun, including proper sterilization and the fact that the tool requires little skill to operate, meaning the individual performing the piercing may not be adequately trained. This is especially true if you opt to get your ears pierced at a mall or local jewelry store.
Preparing for the Piercing
When preparing for your ear piercing, you need to consider the location of your piercing and understand the varying levels of discomfort. Some of the most painful spots include the conch and helix, while the earlobes will only cause very mild discomfort. It is helpful to do your research beforehand to have realistic expectations for the pain and healing times and find a reputable establishment. If you are getting your ears pierced with a needle, these are sterilized and individually packaged for one-time use. There are also various metals to consider for your piercing. These include stainless steel, titanium, and yellow, white, and rose gold.
Use a Professional Establishment
It is important to use a professional establishment because these individuals are trained to pierce efficiently and safely. Your piercing will not be botched, and there is little risk of infection; because these facilities take the utmost care with cleanliness and sterilization. You also want your piercing to be handled by someone who has been well-trained and at a business with a license. To find the best shop for you, do your research beforehand. Read reviews from other people who have used it before. Ask the professional any questions or concerns you may have beforehand.
Your ears may bleed after a piercing, and this is entirely normal. Other things to consider with aftercare are how you will clean your piercing and how long it will take to heal. Depending on the chosen location, there are varying healing times, with a conch piercing taking around three to nine months to heal fully, while earlobes are the quickest with just one to two months. Do not use hairspray or perfumes near your piercings, and avoid touching them with your hands as this can introduce bacteria. Instead, use a cotton bud and clean it every day with a gentle, antibacterial soap or saline spray. Don’t change the jewelry and leave it in; continue to clean it. You should also not remove your piercing before it has had time to heal, or it may close. If you do get an infection, consult a medical professional.
How to Pierce your Ear Safely at Home
What is the most painful ear piercing?
You shouldn't feel more than a pinch when the needle goes through your ear with lobe piercings, cartilage piercings are known to be quite painful, initially feeling a sharp shock before turning into a throbbing duller pain.
How much are ear piercings?
Ear piercing pricing will vary depending on the type of piercing you go for. In general, you can expect to pay between $15 to $70 USD.
How to pierce your own ear?
Piercing your own ear involves many steps to correctly sterilize and prep the ear for piercing. It is advisable to see a professional to pierce your ear who has many hours of experience in the task at hand.
How to clean ear piercing?
Using a cotton ball or pad dipped in rubbing alcohol, gently clean the skin around the piercings twice a day to keep away germs and prevent scabbing. You may also apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly around the opening.
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