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Confused by all of the different types of ear piercing out there? Earrings are a timeless accessory that never goes out of style, and we’re here to help you make the best decision.
If you’re thinking about getting a new piercing and you’re not sure what you want, in this post, we’ll uncover all of the ear piercing types you can get. The lobe is the most common area, but piercings like the helix, industrial, and conch have become increasingly popular.
There’s a lot to consider before going under the needle — the earring placement, the pain level, and the healing time. We will help you discover the top earring trends, placements, and jewelry pieces.
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Gun or needle? Getting a piercing with a gun is generally quicker and less painful, but the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) cautions against this because they are hard to sterilize between uses, which can lead to infection.
Finding an experienced piercer is essential, especially if you’re interested in more unique piercing styles. Always look at online reviews and ask to see the piercer’s portfolio and references.
Ear piercing is considered safe, but it may be best to check with your doctor first if you are pregnant, immune-compromised, or have a bleeding disorder or heart condition.
Lobe piercings are the most common as they’re the least painful and easiest to heal due to being the fleshiest part of the ear. The pain level is low at around a 2/10, and they can heal within 6-8 weeks with the right aftercare. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider going for a double or triple lobe piercing at the same time, which allows them all to heal together.
There are different types of ear piercing for the lobe if you want to spice things up or go for a more modern take. Traverse lobe and orbital piercings are both different variations of a barbell running on the inside of the earlobe. These take longer to heal but have a very unique look, and they may be right for you if you want to try something different.
Helix piercings are placed along with the outer cartilage of the ear and are often a popular first choice when moving away from traditional lobe piercings.
There are four different types of helix piercing — low, mid, helix, and forward helix. It’s possible and common to have multiple helix piercings on one ear. The pain level is slightly more than a traditional lobe piercing at around a 4/10.
The conch is located in the middle of the ear cartilage, and its name comes from its resemblance to spiral conch shells. There are two types of conch piercings — the inner conch and the outer conch.
These can be pierced with a stud, double stud, or a cuff, and the pain level is 4–5/10.
Sometimes referred to as a scaffold or bar, an industrial piercing is one of the more unique ear piercing types. It’s a straight barbell through the top of the ear cartilage connecting one side to the other through a piercing on either side.
While they look eye-catching and unique, be mindful that the pain level for this is around a 7/10, and they can take a while to heal. It’s important to be especially careful if you wear glasses or if you have long or curly hair.
The daith is a hoop that hugs the cartilage on the inside of your ear, and it requires a skilled piercer to do it right. It’s rumored to alleviate migraines, with many people saying it reduces their migraine frequency and severity.
Daith piercings suit most people, but the ability to pierce this area depends on the size of the cartilage you have available. These can take up to 6–9 months to completely heal, with a pain level of 6/10.
The rook piercing is one of the more unusual styles. It’s inserted in the inner cartilage above the daith.
The rook is becoming a popular favorite alongside tragus and daith piercings. Similar to other cartilage piercings, the pain level is around 6/10.
Your tragus is the small flap that covers the ear canal, and the anti-tragus is the small fold of skin just above your earlobe, directly adjacent to the tragus.
These styles don’t suit everyone’s ear shape, so it’s recommended to speak to a professional to get their opinion first.
Ear cuffs have made a huge comeback in 2021. If you want to see what you look like with a cartilage piercing before committing to getting the piercing done, these are a great place to start.
They are easy to wear, weightless, and adjustable, and can be found in a variety of styles and colors. Try a thin minimalist hoop, make a bold statement with a bulkier patterned cuff, or even wear multiple cuff earrings together for a layered feel.
As a general rule of thumb, piercings on and around the lobe are less painful and quicker to heal, and piercings on cartilage are more expensive and painful and require more experienced piercers.
We recommend speaking to a professional to look at your ear size and shape before coming to a decision, as they can look at your unique ear shape and make a professional recommendation.
Always remember to ask your piercer about aftercare. For all piercings, try to keep touching to a minimum while they heal, and avoid harsh chemicals coming into contact with them.