If getting not just one, but two ear piercings at once, sounds like your idea of a good time, you consider getting an industrial cartilage piercing.
Not only can this body modification hold your headphone wire close to your ear, if you still haven’t upgraded to this thing called “Bluetooth,” it also looks pretty cool.
Before you start poking holes in your ear (again), here’s everything you need to know about getting an industrial piercing. And yes, we’ll get to the part about the shiny jewelry you can add to your collection for all of you out there who are part crow.
What Is an Industrial Piercing?
The industrial piercing is a piercing that goes through the topmost part of your ear cartilage in two different points and is typically done with a sterile 14 or 16 gauge piercing needle.
The two points the bar goes through are known as the forward helix and the antihelix, one on the outside and inside of your ear. As if you needed another reason for your parents to joke about “needing another hole in your head.” Now you’ll have two!
How Much Does an Industrial Piercing Cost?
An industrial piercing is a bit more expensive than others because it is actually two piercings. Typically, it can range from $30-$100. Think of it as a solid Thursday happy hour with the girls where you leave with just enough buzz to think about signing up for The Price Is Right.
And remember, the piercing itself is usually priced separately from the jewelry. This cost will vary as well, depending if you want to get a regular surgical steel bar, or a solid gold bar. You know which one Bruno Mars would want you to get.
How Painful Is an Industrial Piercing?
The pain of an industrial piercing truly depends on the person. But most people would rate it a solid seven, since the cartilage in your ear is thicker than the lobe.
The process is also a bit more painful because you have to get pierced twice in both spots on top of your ear. How does the song go…double the pain, double the fun? And we thought that only related to root canals.
How Long Will My Industrial Piercing Take to Heal?
The healing time for an industrial piercing is anywhere from four to six months. This means you need to keep your original jewelry in for the entire four to six months. No exceptions.
Because this piercing has two holes instead of one, it typically takes a longer time to heal, explains New York dermatologist, Michele Green. Even if one hole is a speedy healer, you also have to wait until the second is ready.
What’s Good Industrial Piercing Aftercare?
Like any piercing, good industrial piercing aftercare is cleaning it twice a day, every day, with a saline solution. You can grab a bottle at any piercing studio, or even order a bottle from Amazon. Who knew they had more than books!
Because this piercing is so high up on the ear, you also want to be careful whenever you brush your hair. Some piercers suggest keeping your hair up and away from your ear for the first couple weeks. On the bright side, you now have another excuse to wash your hair less.
Are There Any Negative Side Effects?
Industrial piercings, as any other piercings, risk rejection. Piercing rejections are when your skin pushes the piercing out, literally rejecting the jewelry. The only way to fix it is to go to a professional and have it removed.
Industrial piercings can also create keloid scars. These are bubbles that form at the piercing site due to scar tissue. They’re generally not painful, but if you’ve had them in the past, you’re more likely to get them again. Check in with your doctor if this is a concern. We promise phone calls aren’t that scary.
When Can I Change the Jewelry and What Jewelry Is Best?
You’ll want to stick with surgical steel or gold, as those have the least chance of an allergic reaction. Avoid anything with nickel, as many people have nickel allergies that they don’t even know about.
When it comes to style, all the jewelry will be a the shape of a bar…more or less. Some options have designs on the ends or features in the middle. For a softer look, you can opt for two small bars or loops that are connected by a chain.