A guide to ear piercings

Posted in Jewelry Education on May 15, 2020

Ear piercings have been around for a while and we’ve moved on from just lobe. It’s a bit of a headache to remember them all, thus this guide to ear piercings was born. 

Did you come across a picture on Instagram and were left wondering what is that piercing called? Perhaps you want to broaden your earring collection? - you may have been bitten by the piercing bug. No worries, we’ll cover the following information.

We will go over safety and good to know first. Then we go over the list of piercings. Nowadays having more piercings than one is not that uncommon anymore. Hopefully, you’ll find the next information you are looking for. Want to know how different types of piercings might hurt? What a good choice? We got you covered!

Photo of ear with multible piercings

Safety first!

Do your research - you don’t want to be left with piercing that you might regret later, think about this first. Choose a good professional, be knowledgeable about the aftercare.

Know your pain tolerance -  piercing a lobe is not the same as piercing cartilage. Be honest with your self and ask if yourself if you can handle sharp pain.

Allergies - sometimes an allergic reaction to a particular type of metal might happen. Getting to know you’re allergic to nickel after you’ve pierced your ears will lead you to an unnecessary road of pain. For more information see Can you be allergic to earrings?

Ears come in different shapes and sizes - you might not we able to get the piercing that you want just because of your ear structure. Always listen to your piercer if they advise you to not do it don’t do it.

Go to reputable professional - you might want to choose a budget piercing or even try to do it at home. Don’t! The trouble that might come with it is not worth it, getting your ear infected, more pain, it’s not worth the trouble. But if you know what you are doing and are willing, go ahead. Just a piece of thought when it comes to body modifications choose professionals, you only got one body.

Take a close friend with you - having emotional support with you is always helpful. Someone that can comfort you and decrease your fear is good.

As with anything in life, good preparation is wise. Knowing what, how, and what to do when what if happens will give you confidence and decrease your chances of things going wrong. Now we’ll dive into the vast variety of ear piercings.

Types of ear piercings

This may look overwhelming list at first but it’s not that hard to remember. We’ve also added a pain level threshold for your guidance, do note however that they are individual experiences and may wary from your experience. Let’s get right into it.

Lobe piercings


This is the most common piercing which is relatively painless. The wound from the piercing heals quickly usually since is it quite small. Children under parent’s supervision can get them done, the first experience might be a bit painful however soon after they don’t even remember it. 

Pain level - low

The Helix piercing


This one is also relatively painless and is cartilage part of the ear. There are no nerve endings near that area which makes this a good choice when it comes to piercings. It’s located at the upper part of the ear, they got popular during the 80s. You can wear studs, bead rings or barbells depending whats your style and what you want to wear.

Pain level - low

The forward Helix


Almost like the previous but piercing is placed at the closer to start of the cartilage. This piercing can be difficult to do since ear anatomy might not align up perfectly. It can be moderately painful too. This piercing works well with studs or even with a captive ring, circular barbell, or a seamless ring.

Pain level - medium



This one is quite eye-catching piercing, it’s fancy and unique. Industrial piercing is composed of two piercings that hold single jewelry, usually a barbell. You can experiment with other types of design as well. Since this piercing needs to align perfectly you shouldn’t use previous helix piercing holes for this. This procedure can be quite painful too.

Pain level - high

The snug piercing


It is located at an antihelix rim, basically between the helix and above the anti-tragus. This one is also eye-catching and perhaps even more than industrial. Since it is a tiny place for earring you’ll have to go with a micro jewelry route. This piercing can also be a bit painful.

Pain level - medium/high

Rook Piercing


Placed vertically above the tragus or just above the daith, where a ridge sits. Jewelry choice for this spot is usually a curved barbell or a hoop whichever you prefer. It’s not painless nor it’s too painful.

Pain level - medium

The conch piercing


Close to snug piercing, bit more inwards, in other words, a middle section of the ear. A marvelous and unique look, while unfortunately being quite painful. A good choice of jewelry for this type of piercing is a hoop or a stud.

Pain level - medium/high



Typically it’s done at the lobe region of the ear. It’s defined by two piercings that are done in the same part of the ear. A hoop is worn with this type of piercing. This type of piercing can be done at any part of the ear but most common are lobe and helix region. The pain can wary on this one.

Pain level - medium/high



The tragus is directly above your lobe, an inner piece of cartilage. This is a popular piercing that looks awesome with studs, hoops, or with any other jewelry.  The piercing could be challenging if your tragus is thick, but it’s well worth it since its very versatile.

Pain level - medium



Basically an upper lobe piercings. Similar to tragus piercing. The pain level is also quite similar to tragus piercings. Jewelry choice is also versatile for this piercing.

Pain level - medium

Transverse lobe


A piercing that goes through the lobe horizontally and at the lower part of the lobe. A curved barbell goes through it horizontally, rather than the classic piercing. It takes longer to heal and is at higher risk of infection. 

Pain level - medium

The daith piercing


This one is placed at the innermost part of the cartilage near the tragus. A difficult piercing indeed, challenging to get close to and get done correctly. Definitely seek professional to get this done. Once done, however, its definitely one of the most stylish piercings of all. The jewelry for this piercing is quite versatile and it suits most people.

Pain level - medium

The Auricle

Placed on the outer rim of the ear, commonly half-way up. Since it is a cartilage piercing expect longer healing time (about 3-4 months) and a bit more pain. The auricle piercing is great for bold rings or witch ever suits your tastes. 

Pain level - medium/high


Styling together multiple earrings is not that difficult, do your research, know what piercings you’re comfortable with. Don’t worry multiple ear piercings are hugely accepted fashion statements in societies.

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