First popularized in the 1990s, helix piercings have been making a massive comeback over the past decade. Helix piercings are a great next step if you already have one or more lobe piercings but are interested in getting more piercings in your ears.
Helix piercings are increasingly more socially acceptable than they may have been even a few years ago. Now, a helix piercing is often admired by young people who are excited to get one of their own once they are old enough.
Helix piercings have been getting more attention in the media as many millennial celebrities, including Miley Cyrus, Lucy Hale, and Bella Thorne, have worn them in public settings. By doing a quick online search, you can see these celebs display some of the many helix piercing styles that brands offer. Helix piercing is also a favored body piercing option for those of all gender identities, whereas it used to be favored more by women. We believe that the more people out there with cartilage piercings they love, the better!
Read on to learn more about the helix piercing process and popular piercing jewelry options.
What Is a Helix Piercing?
The helix is the curved outer rim of the cartilage of the outer ear. A helix piercing can be located anywhere between the top of the curve to where the earlobe begins. There are also subcategories of helix piercing. Piercings between the top of the curve and the tragus are forward helix piercings. Some people even get multiple helix piercings close to each other, known as double or triple helix piercings.
Is a Helix Piercing the Same Thing as a Cartilage Piercing?
It is possible that in the past, you have heard the term cartilage piercing when referring to what we are calling a helix piercing. The term cartilage piercing is not inaccurate. However, the helix is just one small part of the cartilage, as the cartilage makes up much of the inner and outer ear. Other examples of cartilage piercings are tragus piercings, rook piercings, conch piercings, and daith piercings.
What Is the Best Material for Helix Piercing Jewelry?
When getting your helix pierced, the piercing jewelry should be 14k gold or implant-grade titanium. These are the highest quality metals for earrings. Genuine gold earrings, in particular, are easier to clean thoroughly and are less likely to cause infection. Some people are also allergic to the metals found in lower quality earrings, especially nickel; 14k gold earrings are a safe bet because they are doubtful to cause an allergic reaction.
Unless you are allergic to other materials, you can switch to helix jewelry made from a variety of materials after the wound has fully healed. Meeting with a professional piercer can help you confirm that the piercing is ready to be changed for the first time.
Is a Hoop or Stud Better for Cartilage Piercings?
It is always better to get a cartilage piercing initially done with a stud. It is easier for the piercing to heal on a long, straight post rather than a curved post. It also leaves room for the inflammation and swelling that immediately follows the piercing, which is common even when a professional does the piercing, and you follow the aftercare instructions correctly.
Once healed, you can change out the piercing’s stud for a hoop or any other style that fits your mood. Keep reading to learn more about the types of earrings that work best for a helix piercing.
Do You Need Special Jewelry for a Helix Piercing?
Although you do not need specific jewelry for a helix piercing, it is crucial to make sure that the earrings you do use are the proper size. The standard gauges for helix piercings are 16-gauge and 18-gauge, and the standard lengths are 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, and 4/8”. We recommend that a trained piercer help you take measurements of your piercing to ensure that you are wearing the right size.
What Kind of Earring Do You Use for a Helix Piercing?
There are tons of options out there for helix piercing jewelry. When it comes to helix earrings, most people go for captive bead rings, seamless rings, barbells, or labret studs.
Captive bead rings are a great option because of their unique combination of style and function. The small bead or gem that provides the decoration on the helix jewelry can also help keep the earring in place. The beads can be super simple or very elaborate — it is all up to your liking.
Many piercers recommend seam rings because they do not include the clicker segment of earrings that is present on the vast majority of lobe hoops. The seamless design allows the two parts of the hoop to slide together easily. Seamless rings are great if you are looking for smaller and more delicate cartilage piercing jewelry.
Barbells are longer, thicker earrings that are similar to studs. There are both straight and curved barbells, but straight barbells are far more common for cartilage piercings. Barbells can come with a simple ball on each end, or for a different design, a spike or gemstone on one end.
Labret studs are relatively similar to traditional lobe studs. The big difference is that labret studs have longer posts with a flat end on one side rather than an earring back. Labret studs are often used with cartilage piercings, especially at first, to give the ear adequate space to heal. Depending on the thickness of the cartilage area, many people continue to use labret studs as their preferred helix jewelry.
Our Favourite Helix Jewelry
Where Can I Find Helix Jewelry?
Here at pierced.co, we love piercing jewelry brands that are affordable yet do not sacrifice style or quality. Three of our favourites are Junipurr Jewelry, BVLA, and Buddha Jewelry Organics. We also recommend you check out the inventory in our online shop!
Piercing Studios Near You
Need an Experienced Piercer in Mississauga or Newmarket?
Working with an experienced piercer can make all the difference when it comes to your piercing experience. If you’re in the Mississauga or Newmarket, Ontario area and have any questions about ear piercing, body piercing or jewelry, give us a call or stop by our piercings studio today. We’d love to help walk you through what to expect and help you choose the right option.