What are the different types of ear piercings?

Posted by Clare Izaguirre on

Have you ever heard of a helix piercing? How about a tragus? 

Whether you're a piercing enthusiast or a newcomer, understanding the different types of ear piercings is the key to making the right choices about which one you want...and don’t want!

In this guide, we’ll explore the world of ear piercings, shedding light on various styles as well as learning the correct terminology so you can decorate your ears - your way.

Understanding Different Ear Piercings

Ear piercings have evolved beyond the standard lobe piercings many of us start with. Today, a myriad of options allows for creative expression and customisation. 

With earring stacks, ear crawlers and cuffs offering plenty of opportunities for your ears, multiple ear piercings are now commonplace for many of us.

Let's take a look at the different ear piercings out there and learn if they are the ones for you.

First, take a look at this ear piercing chart to see the many different ear piercings you could get on your ears.

Lobe Piercing

The classic lobe piercing forms the foundation for most initial ear piercing choices - it’s pretty much the entry point in the ear piercing world.

Where is a lobe piercing?

Positioned on the fleshy part of the ear, lobe piercings provide a versatile canvas for all earring styles.

What earrings work well?

Choose from small to large hoops, studs, drop earrings and huggie earrings in this piercing place although anything goes!

Image courtesy of Laura Bond

Helix Piercing

Where is a helix piercing?

Moving upward, the helix piercing is found in the upper cartilage of the ear. This ear piercing can be situated anywhere along the upper curve of the ear's cartilage.

This popular choice allows for a range of placements, from a single helix to an intricately curated cluster. 

It’s a frequent choice for those who have multiple ear piercings and It balances out lower ear piercing placements on the ear.

What earrings work well? 

Those with their piercing tend to wear small hoops, huggies and sometimes small studs. We think our 10mm Gold Sleeper Hoops make the perfect choice for those who like their jewellery with a texture golden glow.

Faux Ear Piercings

You don’t always need to go through with a piercing to get the benefits of it!

We have a range of ear cuffs that hug your ear and don’t let go, giving the illusion of a piercing like our Agonda Hammered Gold Cuff.

Cuffs are ideal for boho jewellery lovers and those who want to experiment with piercing looks - and not pain!

Tragus Piercing

If you’re looking for an ear piercing you don’t see every day, try the tragus piercing! 

Where is a tragus piercing? 

This piercing is typically done on the raised cartilage just above the ear canal. 

The rareness of tragus piercings makes them one of the more daring and trendy ear piercing choices if you’re looking for something a little bit different. 

What earrings work well? 

Lovers of tragus piercings tend to go for small diameter hoops, huggies and sometimes small studs in this location but hoops work better for comfort (trust me, I have them both pierced!).

Take a look at our Gold Huggies or sleeper hoops to see if they inspire your look.

Conch Piercing

No, we’re not talking about a sea shell here…

Where is a conch piercing?

The conch piercing is found in the central concave area of the ear, known as the concha. It can be done in two places: the inner conch (closer to the ear canal) or the outer conch (towards the outer rim). 

Both options are pretty popular and give an interesting visual texture to your ears and earring stacks. 

What earrings work well? 

Hoop earrings and stud earrings are often used here. The large surface area of the conch allows for the combo of bold, statement pieces or a collection of smaller, delicate earrings for a curated ear project.

Mastering the Terminology

Understanding the correct terminology means you can ask for exactly what you want (and don’t want) from the piercer in the piercing shop. 

Or perhaps you can step in when a friend asks for the wrong piercing!

It’s also good practice to know the terminology because if your piercing gets infected you can easily communicate the problem and location of the piercing for swifter care.

Let's break down some key terms associated with ear piercings:

The difference between cartilage piercings vs. lobe piercings

Distinguishing between cartilage and lobe piercings is crucial - no one wants the wrong piercing!

Lobe piercings involve the soft, fleshy part of the ear, while cartilage piercings target the tougher, higher regions. Both have different pain levels, healing time and earring options. 

What is a Closure Type?

This refers to how the earring fastens, including options like butterfly backs, sleeper posts and hinged closures.

What is healing time?

The length of time it takes for a piercing to fully heal which varies based on the type of piercing. Earlobe piercings typically take 4 to 6 weeks, while cartilage piercings may require 6 months to a year. 

What is ear piercing aftercare?

The care and cleaning routine necessary to promote proper healing after getting a piercing. 

Common aftercare practices include regular cleaning with a saline solution, avoiding trauma to the piercing, and avoiding contact with irritants. 

Only touch your piercing when necessary, too much fiddling with it and there is a chance it will become infected and inflamed.

All in all…

We hope you feel more confident about naming some of the common (and less common) types of ear piercings you may have or are planning to get. And that we have demystified the terminology relating to ear piercings.

So whether you are planning on getting a few new piercings or are just piercing-curious you can now confidently search for and ask for what you want - and help your friends!

Was this guide useful? We’d love to know your feedback and any of your top tips in the comments below.


← Older Post Newer Post →

Leave a comment