So, you’re thinking of getting a helix piercing.
Once upon a time, you went to Claire’s and got your lobes pierced by a 16-year-old with a piercing gun. It felt like an initiation into the secrets of adulthood—or at least an excuse to get an Orange Julius.
But now you’re all grown up and you’re not afraid of needles anymore. Sort of… look we’re super tough now, ok? You’re curious, but you have a few questions about the process, like, “How much is this going to hurt my wallet? And, what’s the healing time like? When can I sleep on this thing?
What Is a Helix Piercing?
A helix piercing is a cartilage piercing around the outer rim of the ear. There are many different types of helix piercings: You’ve got your forward helix, your double helix and your triple helix, not to mention your single forward helix, your double forward helix and your triple forward helix. Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry. By the end of this article, you’ll be an expert.
How much does a helix piercing cost?
A helix piercing can run you anywhere from $55-70, depending on the jewelry you choose. If that sounds like a lot, consider that you’re letting someone near your head with a sharp needle and you want them to prioritize safety and sanitation, not when their next break is. Rabb!t recommends doing your research and looking for a studio with APP (Association of Professional Piercers) certification.
What are the Different Helix Piercings?
Single Forward Helix Piercing
If you draw the outer curve of your ear, the forward helix is the front of the curve where your ear meets your head. A single forward helix piercing is one piercing at this location. Think of it as an ear party of one.
What is a Double Forward Helix Piercing or Triple Helix?
One thing you can say about this part of the ear: There’s a lot of piercing area available, so doubling or even tripling up on piercings is common practice. A double forward helix piercing is two piercings at the front of the helix. A triple helix piercing is three piercing in a row along the helix. They are both extremely popular versions of your traditional helix piercing and allow for a variety of jewelry styles.
How Painful are Helix Piercings?
On a scale of one to watching Cats for the first time, helix piercings tend to fall somewhere in the middle. “Everyone has their different pain tolerance,” says Rabb!t. Your relationship with your piercer is key. If you feel comfortable, you’ll be more relaxed during the process, the actual piercing part of which is pretty quick. If you need a number on the pain scale, Rabb!t says it can be “anywhere from a three to a five.”
How Long Will My Helix Piericing Take to Heal?
Good news: Healing time can take an average of three to four months. Bad news: It could take much longer if you don’t care for it properly.
Rabb!t defines “healed” as when scar tissue has formed around the piercing making the jewelry easy to remove and replace. According to sources online, healing can take up to a year. Healing time depends on how well you take it.
Potential risk factors include getting your piercing caught on your hair or clothing, hugging people (just think of the dangers) and sleeping on your piercing. Finally, your insomnia is doing you some good!
How long do I have to wait until my helix piercing stops hurting?
Your helix piercing might be sore or tender for three weeks to a month, but again, this all depends on how diligent you are about taking care of it. Protect the helix piercing. Protect it with your life.
One tip from Rabb!t: Get your helix pierced on the side you don’t sleep on. If you prefer sleeping on your left side, get pierced on your right ear and vice versa.
Sleeping on your piercing can cause pressure and irritation—and that’s right, it can drag out the painful part of the healing process. To protect your piercing while you sleep, consider using a travel pillow or rolling up a clean towel or sweater in a U-shape where you can rest your ear.
What’s Good Helix Piercing Aftercare?
I get it. Getting a new piece of hardware is exciting. It’s tempting to treat your brand-new piercing like the fidget spinner you never had. But helix piercing aftercare can be summed up in two words, NO TOUCHY. Pretend that it is a beautiful but poisonous flower. Look but do not touch.
“You don’t twist it, you don’t turn it, you don’t rotate it, you don’t move it back and forth, you don’t put all these crazy products on it,” states Rabb!t, clearly cognizant of the average person’s tactile tendencies.
He recommends using saline wound wash that you can purchase at the piercing studio and any soap that doesn’t contain perfumes, scents or colors. Another pro tip: Eat well because “the healthier you are, the more adaptive your body is to heal.” Ugh, fine, we’ll put down the donuts. But just until it heals.
Can you put regular earrings in a helix piercing?
In the words of Rabb!t, “Do some people wear regular earrings in their cartilage piercings? Some do. Do we suggest that? Never.” You can’t use normal earrings in a helix piercing, but that doesn’t mean your options are limited. When it comes to styling, the options are vast and varied.
There are studs, rings, shields and more available specifically for cartilage piercings. Of course, wait for your piercing to heal before switching out the jewelry. Rabb!t suggests starting with a stud then upgrading from there.
Some of the available types of earrings include:
- Cartilage stud
- Captive bead rings
- Helix hoop earrings
- Ear cuffs
- Cartilage shields