Everything You Need to Know About Helix Piercings

woman showing multiple lobe, cartilage and helix piercings in ear woman showing multiple lobe, cartilage and helix piercings in ear

Que our simple 'how-to' guide designed to empower you to make the most of your stack styling... And perhaps take the leap with an easy, ear-elevating piercing: The helix. But, before you take the plunge, get to know what a helix piercing actually is, what you can expect from the piercing process, and then get excited with some styling inspiration (AKA the fun part).Whatever the reason for our collective love affair with ear stacks, this is a trend that more and more of us are getting on board with. So, if you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to adopt the trend for yourself.Maybe you’ve made the foray into ear stacks with second lobe piercings, and now you’re looking to level up. After all, it’s when your piercings hit your helix zone that it really becomes an ear party.

ear with earring stack pierced from lobe to helix ear with earring stack pierced from lobe to helix

What is a Helix Piercing?

A helix piercing is made to accommodate an earring in the helix part of your ear.Your outer ear anatomy is largely made up of two zones – lobes and cartilage. However in the world of piercing, this cartilage is further divided up into zones including the conch, helix, rook, daith, and tragus. If those names mean nothing to you, you aren’t alone – you can get a run-down on the variousear piercing types here.

Let’s focus on the helix for now, though. Your helix is the cartilage that runs along the outer edge and top of your ears, finishing where it curves in to meet the side of your face.

diagram of different ear piercings in the ear diagram of different ear piercings in the ear

The different helix piercing types & placements

There are a variety of different helix piercing styles that have become increasingly popular due to their aesthetic appeal and endless styling possibilities! Wondering if the helix could be your next piercing? We break down the most common helix types below:

Types of Helix Piercings:

diagram of single helix piercing in ear

Single Helix

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diagram of double helix piercing in ear

Double Helix Piercing

Want a helix piercing that makes a visual impact? A double helix piercing is typically two helix piercings stacked vertically with one piercing above the other. This sits on the outer edge of the ear below the natural curve of the top of your earlobe. A common styling technique is to include two small diamond studs next to each other for a simple and minimalist jewellery approach. 

diagram of triple helix piercing in ear

Triple Helix Piercing

If you’re looking for the ultimate curated ear look, a triple helix piercing is a simple way to elevate your ear styling. This group of piercings line the outside of the ear following the natural curve at the top of your earlobe. It creates a beautiful shape to the ear and with small studs can provide the simplitstic and refined fine jewellery style everyone is after. 

diagram of forward helix piercing in ear

Forward Helix Piercing

Directly across from a regular helix piercing, the forward helix piercing is similar to a daith piercing and sits in the inner cartilage of the ear. It sits slightly higher than the daith piercing where the cartilage is a bit thinner. This is a stunning piercing style and is often styled with a small hoop or stud. 

Piercing through cartilage: Everything you need to know

First things first: how are helix piercings performed? Cartilage piercings should always be done using a needle, as this is a sensitive area. It’s pretty rare to have any ear piercing done with a gun these days, but there certainly shouldn’t be a piercing gun anywhere near your cartilage!

A common question with any piercing is – how much will it hurt? Cartilage piercings are commonly more painful than earlobe piercings, but the good news is that the helix is said to be the least painful cartilage spot to get pierced. So, expect a bit of a pinch or sting at the piercing site.

The helix piercing healing time

Cartilage piercings also take a bit longer to heal than lobes; expect it to take six to nine months, or possibly longer – everyone is different! Help the healing process by keeping your piercing clean, and by avoiding sleeping on it or moving your piercing jewellery around too much. Your piercer should be able to provide all the info you need to ensure proper healing.

ear with threader ear stack pierced from lobe to helix ear with threader ear stack pierced from lobe to helix

But you don’t just want to take our word for it, right? Our eCommerce Coordinator, Jacqui, rocks a helix piercing so we asked her for the low-down.

“I made sure I went to a professional piercing store, as I wanted someone who knew exactly what they were doing (experience and hygiene are crucial when piercing!).

My number one tip is to request having the piercing position marked on the ear with a pen first. Unfortunately, they can’t try again after they pierce... and you don’t want a lopsided piercing!

It may seem a little daunting to get a piercing through cartilage vs lobe, but to be honest, the experience is over before you know it (and totally worth it!).
It took about nine months for my helix piercing to heal, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat! It was a little tender for a while, so I found myself sleeping on the opposite side or on my back. I also made sure to be a little more careful when brushing my hair, I didn’t want to get my hair caught up in my piercing (which happened a lot at first).”

When can you change your helix piercing?

So you’ve finally got a helix piercing but are trying to figure out the day you can finally update that standard piercing store stud into a beautiful hoop or single stud? As helix piercings often take the longest to heal, they also require the most amount of time before switching out the jewellery. But trust us - it’s well worth the wait!

While we recomend taking the advice of your professional piercer, typically it takes between three to six months for the piercing to heal before changing it out. Our top tip is to visit your piercer for the first time you change your helix piercing. This will ensure it’s healed up correctly and help to avoid infection in the long run. On top of that, you can also learn how to change out the earring like a pro right from the first switch-out.

How to change a helix piercing? 

Whether you’re an earring expert or this is your very first piercing, changing your helix piercing is a simple process. Plus, once you’ve got it down it can be a really quick thing to switch out on the go!

Before touching your ear, it is important to sterilise your new helix piercing by wiping it down and spaying it with an earring disinfectant. Place on a paper towel on a flat surface in preparation to change it out.

Next, wash or sanitise your hands and take our your existing helix piercing. Once your helix piercing is exposed, wipe it down with a clean towel and water and clean the old earring. You can also use a fragrance-free soap or saline solution to clean the surface of your ear. Then add in your newly sterilised helix earring and you’re ready to go!

How to clean a helix piercing?

To clean a helix piercing follow a similar process to the steps outlined above in our ‘how to change a helix piercing’ section. Simply start by washing your hands and cleaning the surface with an earring cleaning spray. Next, pat the area dry gently using a paper towel or tissue and repeat the process as necessary.

Regularly cleaning your helix piercing is a great hygiene practice to get into, but it also stops the ear from getting infected - a double win!

How much is a helix piercing?

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and treat yourself a beautiful helix piercing? The cost of a helix piercing can differ greatly depending on the type of piercing parlour you visit and the helix piercing placement. This will change between ear piercing chains, chemists, boutique piercing salons, ear curation stylists and more. 

Often pricing starts at around $40 if you’re looking to get an estimate, but we do recommend consulting with your chosen piercing expert to get an accurate quote. 

The difference between a normal stud and helix stud

The key differences between purpose-made helix studs and regular stud earrings, are the backings and the way they are fastened.

While stud earrings generally have a butterfly backing that you slide onto the earring post to secure them, helix studs are designed with a threaded screw backing, finished with a flat end.

Basically, the front section of your helix stud earring is inserted into a tube-like backing which is screwed on to ensure a secure fit. The backing has a flat section at the end to ensure comfortable wear, and prevent the earring post from poking you. This is important for cartilage piercings, because this part of your ear sits close to your head.

diagram difference between butterfly stud and flat back stud diagram difference between butterfly stud and flat back stud

Difference between 6.5mm and 8mm post

You might of noticed we now offer (most) of our helix flatback studs in two sizes, a 6.5mm and a 8mm post length. You may be asking, what helix post length is best for me? Ultimately, deciding between post lengths depends on the maturity of your ear piercing and the position of that piercing on your ear. 

 We find our 8mm post length a great intro length to helix jewellery. This is perfect for when your piercing is still healing within the first 6-9 months. This allows room for any swelling that may occur. 

 The 6.5mm post length on the other hand is perfect for your healed piercings, providing a tighter fit - meaning less movement and more comfort in your tragus, helix, or conch piercing.

diagram between 8mm and 6.5mm helix post length diagram between 8mm and 6.5mm helix post length

How to style a helix piercing

The reason you got a helix piercing was so that you could get amongst the ear party, right? So, you should have fun with styling your ear stack, and use your cartilage earring(s) as a key part of your overall look.

We love dainty, diamond-adorned styles to bring a modern, minimalist touch of sparkle to your look.

Style a full diamond look, or mix up diamonds with your favourite gold or sterling silver earrings. For ultimate style points? Stack a mix of precious metals, white and black diamonds in hoops, studs, and personalised styles.

TLDR: What do I need to know before getting a helix piercing? 

Pain and Healing Time: Let's talk about the elephant in the room – yes, there might be some discomfort during the piercing process, and your ear might feel a bit tender afterward. But don't worry, it's totally manageable! Healing usually takes between 3 to 6 months, so patience is key.

Piercing Studio Selection: It's crucial to choose a piercing studio that's top-notch. Look for experienced piercers who prioritize cleanliness and follow strict sterilization procedures. Your health and safety come first, so don't compromise on this!

Jewelry Selection: Quality matters when it comes to jewelry. Opt for materials like surgical-grade stainless steel, titanium, or gold to minimize the risk of irritation. Your piercing journey should start with the right bling!

Consultation: Before taking the plunge, have a chat with your piercer. Ask questions, voice any concerns, and make sure you're crystal clear on the aftercare routine.

Commitment to Aftercare: Consistency is key! Commit to following your aftercare routine religiously – it's the secret sauce to a happy, healthy piercing. Clean it twice a day with saline solution or a gentle cleanser. And remember, hands off! Avoid touching it unnecessarily, and be gentle with your hair care routine.

ear with diamond helix earrings with chain earrings ear with diamond helix earrings with chain earrings

Curate your perfect, individual look with our new range of single helix earrings, including diamond and micro diamond helix studs, and diamond helix huggies, crafted in 10k gold or sterling silver. Single earrings give you ultimate control to style your unique look, whether you have one helix piercing or multiple.

Our team member Jacqui lives in her Medley micro diamond helix stud.

“I am currently wearing the micro diamond helix stud in silver paired back with some plain silver hoops. The best thing about our new helix studs is that they are designed to be left in, so I can wear this everywhere and not have to worry! I am all about ear styling at the moment, so I consider my helix piercing as the final touch. But next time you catch me, I will probably have a few more!”

Style your ear party with our range of single earrings.

Our Fave Helix

The Diamond Helix Single Stud Earring in 10k Gold will top off your gold or diamond ear party. Available in both 6.5mm and 8mm post lengths, 10k Gold and 925 Sterling Silver.

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