Sometime in the last couple of years, having an ear full of piercings became a top tier style trend. An easy 50% of chic models, influencers and fashion folk have at least two or more different types going on, and every few months there’s a new hot piercing that does the rounds on social media.
But what are they all? And which ones can you handle in terms of your pain threshold (coz obviously, stabbing a needle through someones ear is gonna hurt), and maintenance? We did the hard yards for you – here’s everything you need to know before hitting your local piercing parlour.
Let’s start with the basics. Most of Australian women and a hell of a lot of Aussie men have at least one lobe piercing. It’s like a teenage right of passage, waiting for Mum to let you go to the chemist and get some Studex studs. If you’re a piercing beginner, getting a second lobe piercing can be a great place to start – these are the least painful given the lack of cartilage, and you can play with the cute trend of popping a sleeper hoop or chain earring through the two so it sits horizontally. These usually heal after around 6-8 weeks.
Another super popular piercing of late, the tragus is the little knobbly bit of cartilage poking out from your head. People often go with a stud or a small hoop here, but damn if this piercing doesn’t hurt. It also takes quite a while to completely heal – expect to be waiting 4-8 months for it to be completely sorted. This is cos cartilage has less blood flow, therefore takes longer to heal up. Worth it for how good it looks though, right?
That little bit of cartilage right above your earlobe? That’s called the anti-tragus, and it’s another cool spot for an extra piercing. Since it’s similar in thickness to the tragus, the healing times and pain level are similar.
Any piercing on the cartilage that runs from the end of your earlobe, right around to the top of your ear is called a helix piercing. Getting a couple close to the top with two sleeper hoops is like the lazy persons easy take on this whole piercing trend – they look super cool, and you can just leave ’em in – dainty sleeper hoops go with everything. The annoying thing about helix piercings is they take a bloody long time to heal – expect to wait up to a year. Pain with these is debatable – some people say it’s not that bad, others say it’s on par with a tragus piercing.
This one’s become popular in the last year – the daith is that little row of cartilage that ends your helix, running along your inner ear. Daith piercings are not for the faint hearted – they hurt, arguably the most painful ear piercing of them all, and they take 6-12 months to heal up. Daith piercings look best with a small hoop or small bar through them.
Piercing through the inner, flat part of your ear is called a conch piercing. There’s the upper conch, which is the top flat part, or inner conch – the lower section. They’re on par with the daith for pain levels, which makes sense given how thick the cartilage is there. But a small stud on your conch can really compliment a few lobe piercings. You can also get your conch pierced closer to the helix, and try a sleeper ring running around it like above. Again, expect to wait 6-12 months for full healing to take place.
The most important thing to remember when getting any kind of fancy piercing beyond the simple, single lobe kind is to go to a trained piercing specialist. Most people will tell you piercing guns should not be used for anything beyond a single lobe, and even that is up for debate these days. Basically, a professional using a needle will be able to get accurate placement and are actually considered more hygienic.
Got a beauty-related side hustle project you’re trying to get off the ground? You should enter our comp c/o Set for Life – you’ll win $5k to go toward your side-hustle, plus a luxe weekender in Sydney where you’ll meet ultra boss lady Eleanor Pendleton of Gritty Pretty.
Image: Instagram / @catbirdnyc.