Everything you need to know about getting pierced and looking sharp!
Less is more? Not when it comes to the ear looks we’re loving, and cool combos abound. Here’s a handy guide, with help from L.A.’s Body Electric owner Brian Keith Thompson—who’s pierced everyone from Bey to Rihanna to FKA Twigs—to what each piercing is called, how much it hurts (10 being the most intense), and how long it takes to heal. Of course, pain is relative and be sure to follow your piercer’s aftercare instructions! But as Thompson says, “95 percent of my clientele is women, and they are way better at dealing with pain than men are. By far! Women are strong as nails.” —Lisa Butterworth
A. Industrial: Pain: First piercing, 4; second piercing 6, but it’s very short-lived. Heal time: 5 to 12 months, depending on placement.
B. Rook: Pain: 4 to 5. It’s very quick; worst part is getting the jewelry in. Heal time: 4 to 6 months.
C. Daith: Pain: 4 to 5. You can hear more of what’s going on because it’s tucked into the ear canal. Heal time: 4 to 6 months.
D. Tragus: Pain: 2 to 3. More pressure than pain; you can hear everything, but it’s quick. Heal time: 3 to 5 months.
E. Anti-tragus: Pain: 3 to 4. Heal time: 4 to 6 months, but this location can be problematic. Piercings here can get snagged on clothes and towels, which can hinder healing.
F/G. Standard lobe: Pain: About a 2. Heal time: 8 to
H. Upper Lobe: Pain: About a 2. Heal time: 8 to 12 weeks.
I. Orbital: Pain: 3 to 5, depending on placement. Heal time: 5 to 12 months, depending on placement.
J. Conch: Pain: 2 to 3, but very quick. Heal time: 4 to 6 months.
K. Snug: Pain: 3 to 4. Heal time: 4 to 6 months, but this location can be problematic for the same reasons as piercing (E).
L. Helix: Pain: 3 to 4. Heal time: 3 to 6 months.
Top Photo courtesy of Stacie Hess; Illustration by Caitlin Keegan
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