In some cultures, they believe that pierced ears protect you from evil and for others, it is a tradition.
In Eastern medicine, the ear contains vital acupuncture points and ear piercings can even have therapeutic value.
Sailors in the Middle Ages pierced their ears in the hope that when they drowned, their jewelry would pay for the burial as their bodies washed ashore.
Between the 4th and 16th centuries, the ear piercing lost popularity in Europe because hairstyles usually covered the ears. They returned to fashion again until the First World War, when clip-on earrings took over.
The most common piercings are placed in the earlobe but the possibilities for ear piercings are endless!
Both the harder (cartilage) and softer parts of the ear are suitable for piercings.
There are so many styles and choices that it is can be quite overwhelming and difficult to decide which ones you want. There are also various follow-up instructions and healing processes for different ear piercings. So think carefully about which piercing is best for you, read up on it and don't be afraid to ask around. Of course, it is also possible to have multiple piercings but beware, it can be addictive! :)
Below you will find a short overview of the many ear piercings that you can choose to create your own customized look.
Helix piercings are cartilage piercings that are placed along the top ear. This piercing often does not hurt because there are no nerve endings in this part of the ear.
Although it is possible to wear studs, a lot of people choose to wear a captive bead ring or barbell.
Forward Helix Piercing
The location for a Forward Helix piercing is similar to that of a regular helix piercing but slightly lower, near what is called the root of the helix.
Although there are many jewelry choices for the forward helix and it can even be incorporated into an industrial piercing, most people like to wear jewelry with studs.
Industrial piercings are actually a pair of piercings that are connected with a single piece of jewelry. With industrial piercings, one piercing is in the forward-helix area and the other is on the opposite side of the ear.
Generally, a single barbell is used to connect them, although a lot of various styles are used.
The snug piercing is one of the most distinctive ear piercings, as it's located in the inner cartilage area part-way down the ear's outer rim, just above the anti-tragus. It's a very shallow location, which is why you're likely to use micro jewelry when you get a snug piercing.
The rook piercing can be considered as sort of a cousin of the snug piercing. However, it's vertically oriented and found above the tragus on the ridge separating the inner and outer conch. This piercing looks really cool with either curved barbells or captive bead rings.
This cartilage piercing can either be of the inner or outer variety, though a lot of conch piercings cover both areas and use a captive bead ring for an eye-catching look. The name of the piercing comes from this part of the ear's resemblance to conch shells regularly found on ocean coasts.
Orbital piercings aren't exclusive to the ear, as they are technically any two piercings that are linked together with one piece of jewelry. Orbital piercings are particularly popular in the helix area or anti-helix.
The tragus is the part of your ear right in front of your ear canal. This piercing can be more or less difficult depending on the thickness and size of your tragus. However, it's also versatile and looks good with a number of jewelry styles.
Anti-tragus piercings are cartilage piercings located just above where traditional lobe piercings are done. Despite its name, the anti-tragus is actually really similar to tragus piercings in terms of characteristics and healing time.
The lobe piercing is still perhaps the most common piercing throughout the world. It's quite possibly the first piercing you ever had done and also one of the quickest to heal. Many who love body modifications and piercings start with this one.
Transverse Lobe Piercing
Transverse lobe piercings are a new twist on an old classic. With transverse lobe piercings, a barbell is used to go horizontally through the earlobe instead of from the outside to the inside.
This one is highly subject to the shape and size of your earlobe, of course.
Daith piercings are performed through the innermost cartilage fold of the ear and can be difficult to access. For this reason, they should be done by a professional that you trust.
After the piercing is done, most opt for captive bead ring or curved barbell jewelry. One cool thing about this piercing is that it's often credited as a potential remedy for migraines.
Also known as rim piercings, auricle piercings are found on the rim of the cartilage near the outside of the ear. They are usually done in conjunction with one or more lobe piercings but can complement whatever piercings you already have with ease.
Dermal piercings are a catch-all term for piercings that have just one visible point on the surface of the skin, but in terms of ear piercings, they can be located just inward from the tragus.