Wanna take a step forward to a trendier style? Get a forward helix piercing! Don’t get us wrong, we love your oversized thrifted sweaters and joggers. But this cartilage piercing can help you say, “I wear my grandpa’s clothes, and these edgy earrings.” Macklemore would be proud.
But, we get that this type of ear piercing can be intimidating, since it’s in kind of an unusual location. Here’s everything you need to know before you get a forward helix piercing including pain level, aftercare, and the healing process.
What Is a Forward Helix Piercing?
See that little ridge of cartilage toward the front of your ear, close to where your ear meets your head? That’s where a forward helix piercing goes. It’s also sometimes called an anti-helix piercing.
And no, that’s not an antihero piercing. Although Deadpool did book the next appointment.
Unlike your upper cartilage or your lobes, like the conch, this area of your ear can be tricky to pierce because it’s narrow and hard to reach. The shape of it also varies. Some people can get one forward helix piercing, but some can get two or three if they have more space.
The different piercing options will make your look unique, but they demand different aftercare and budget considerations. Don’t worry, it’s still going to be easier than taking care of that Tamagotchi you killed in third grade.
How Much Does a Forward Helix Piercing Cost?
If you are a bargain hunter, put away your coupons for this one. Piercings are an investment, so expect to spend anywhere from $40 to 90 per piercing. You also may need to pay an additional cost for the jewelry that’s put in at the salon. This price is going to vary based on style and material.
And since this is one of the trickier locations to get a piercing, this shouldn’t be something you try and do at home. A forward helix piercing won’t be a problem for a professional piercer, but this isn’t a piercing for a novice with a needle.
How Painful Is a Forward Helix Piercing?
Just like people have different tolerances for spicy food, the amount of pain people will feel with a piercing varies as well.
Professional piercer Scott Wilkinson provides some insight in the video below, saying, “As far as the pain goes for this piercing, it’s middle to high. If you’re just getting one, the pain level is not going to be so high. If you get a second or a third [forward helix] piercing, it’s probably going to be higher than that.” We’re not great at math, but this does seem to add up pretty well.
Most people who are getting a single forward helix piercing compare the pain level to a tragus or other cartilage piercing. But since this area is close to your face, you may have some extra sensitivity.
How Long Will My Forward Helix Piercing Take to Heal?
Patience is a virtue… except when we’re waiting for our takeout to reheat. Wilkinson says, “If you’re just getting one piercing done, then maybe three to six months [to heal]. But any cartilage piercing can take up to a year. The more piercings you get, the longer it’ll take to heal.”
It’s like when Facebook keeps bringing up our embarrassing teenage memories. The more you poke at it, the more it’ll hurt, and the more you’ll cringe. Why did we all wear such big belts?
What’s Good Forward Helix Piercing Aftercare?
If you want to heal your piercing as fast as possible, don’t sleep on that side since lying on it can cause swelling. You should also be cautious of your hair and of your glasses, which can get tangled up in the piercing and cause major ouchies. That’s the technical term!
You also need to stick to a consistent cleaning schedule. Use a saltwater or saline soak twice a day for a couple of weeks. Wash your ear with unscented soap, and avoid submerging yourself in bodies of water, like pools, oceans, and vats of chicken noodle soup.
What Jewelry Is Best and When Can I Change the Jewelry?
A piercer will use either a 16 or 18 gauge needle to pierce through your cartilage, and most people wear a labret stud in this area since hoops can easily catch on your hair. Studs are simple, but you can choose between something that’s silver or gold, and the type of stone that’s used. We hear Infinity Stones are all the rage.
But no matter how eager you are to try out a new look, put those fingers down! Don’t change out your jewelry until your ear is healed, which can be six to eight months. You’ve waited that long to clean your kitchen, so we know you can handle this.
When you first get a forward helix, your piercer will use a longer stud since your ear will swell a bit. After you’re healed, go back to the shop so they can change it out for one that’s a bit snugger so it won’t get caught on your clothes or hair.
If the professional orders a new piece of bling, who are we to argue?
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