Тypes Оf Ear Piercings: Coolest Designs and Ideas

by John Griffith

Piercings are one of those trends that will never go out of style. Ear piercings are a fashion statement dates back to nearly 5,000 years ago. Even the ancient Egyptians, like the pharaoh King Tutankhamen had their ears pierced. And we know why. Even the tiniest piece of jewelry can make a noticeable difference to a look, creating something fashionable and unique. It’s a way of expression. A way of showing your personality through magnificent pieces of jewelry. You can be subtle or bold, have only one piercing or many! You can do anything, and that’s the beauty of it. There are plenty of cool designs, accessories, and placements to choose from when piercing your ears. But if you don’t know where to start, or you’re wondering where you can put another one, check out our guide on the types of ear piercings, pain level, heal time, as well as some cool design ideas.

Ear piercings are a form of self-expression 

tragus piercing pain fka twigs

Different Types of Ear Piercings

There are many ear-piercing placements to pick from. However, do keep in mind that depending on where you decide to get it may be more or less painful and each place requires a different healing time.

Anatomy of the ear

helix ear piercings anatomy of the ear

Least Painful Piercings

If you can’t tolerate a lot of pain, or you simply don’t want to wait for a longer healing process, here are some piercing you can try out.

Lobe Piercing

The lobe piercing is one of the most common types you can find. It’s simple, versatile, and pretty low on the pain scale. They are also pretty fast in healing time. It usually takes between six and eight weeks after your session. The lobe piercing is easy to maintain, it’s super versatile to stile and there are many earrings on the market to match different your aesthetic or party outfits.

Lobe piercings are the most common type of ear-piercing

least painful piercings lobe piercing

Transverse Lobe Piercing

This type of piercing is similar to the traditional lobe piercing. The main difference is that it goes through the lobe horizontally. It isn’t that much painful that your standard lobe piercing, so it’s a cool choice if you want a less painful piercing but with a unique look. It also takes roughly around two months to heal.

Transverse lobe piercing goes through the lobe horizontally 

most painful piercings transverse lobe piercing

Gauging Piercing

Gauging involves stretching out the skin to form a larger hole. Although it’s not always seen as a piercing, it is a modification done to most types of piercings. The most common being the lobe. Although it looks a bit scary, the pain is relatively tolerable, as the skin is stretched gradually.  It’s recommended you wait at least six weeks in between the gauges.

There are see-through, patterned, and colored jewelry for gauging piercing 

different types of ear piercings gauges earrings

Anti-Tragus Piercing

This type of piercing lies on the inner cartilage of the ear next to the earlobe. Anti-tragus is a bit more painful, and it can sting quite a bit. This is because the needle has to go through the ear cartilage. It usually takes between two and four months to minimally heal.

This type of piercing can be painful 

cartilage ear piercings anti tragus

Orbital Piercing

The orbital piercing is created by featuring two holed being connected by one piece of jewelry. Most frequently a circular ring. It has a moderate pain level and typically takes around eight to ten weeks. This type of piercing can look cute and feminine or edgy and cool. It also depends on how you want to style it.

This type of jewelry is connected by a circular ring

mid helix piercing orbital piercing

Daith Piercing

The daith piercings located right at the innermost part of the cartilage. Keep in mind since the area is thicker compared to the rest of your ear the pain level will be a bit higher. This type of piercing also takes up quite some time to heal – around three to nine months. A fun fact about this piercing is that except its stylish appearance, it’s also thought to provide some relief to those who suffer from regular migraines.

Daith piercing can help with migraines 

pain ear piercings chart daith piercing

Helix Piercing

Also, commonly known as a cartilage piercing. A standard version of this piercing sits on the upper side of your outer ear. A helix generally refers to all piercings in the outer upper region of the ear. This type of piercing may be considered by some more painful as the outer cartilage area is harder to pierce through. You can create a double or triple helix look to get more of a statement. These piercings usually take around four to twelve months.

Helix piercings are found on the upper side of the outer ear

transverse lobe piercing helix piercing

Most Painful Piercings

They do say beauty is pain. These piercings are really cool but do tend to hurt a bit more, so keep this in mind, if you’re looking into them.

Conch Piercing

With a healing time of six to nine months, this piercing is considered to be more painful, but also quite tolerable. This type of ear-piercing can be found on the middle section of the ear. There are different types of conch piercings. You can have an inner conch, which is often a stud pierced right through the middle.  There is also an outer conch where most typically a hoop will start in the middle, but hug the outer edge of the ear. Both are super cute.

Rihanna has an outer conch hoop piercing 

helix piercing men rihanna conch earring

Tragus Piercing

Although this is not considered the most painful of piercings, it does reside on the dense part of the cartilage in front of the ear canal, so do expect discomfort. It takes from three to six months to fully heal. These are super customizable and stand out!

Small earnings are usually the go to for this type of piercing 

upper lobe piercing tragus piercing

Rook Piercing

These types of piercings are particularly slow when it comes to healing. They take between three and ten months to heal. The rook piercing is located on the folded part of the upper inside in the ear. Even though it’s not the most common style of piercing, they do add a certain type of intrigue to a stacked ear. However, this type is on the higher side of the pain scale.

You can see this piercing on the folded part of the upper inside of the ear

forward helix earrings rook piercing

Flat Piercing

You can find this type of piercing on the inner cartilage on the top of the ear, right in between where a helix and rook placement would be. Flat piercings are still considered to be on more of the unconventional side of ear piercings. They can look quite dainty or unexpectedly edgy. This type of piercing takes around six to ten months and are relatively high on the pain level.

Flat piercings are still considered quite unconventional 

conch ear piercing flat piercing

Snug Piercing

The snug piercing is located in the middle outer rim of the ear, going through the inner and outer parts of it. As the cartilage is quite thick, the pain will be sharp, and you will feel some intense pressure during the piercing. It takes between four and six months to heal.

Snug piercings go through the inner and outer part of the middle outer rim of the ear

double conch piercing snug piercing

Industrial Piercing

The industrial piercing is known to be the most painful ear-piercing you can get. This is because it is a double piercing that goes into the middle part of the outer cartilage and through the top part of your ear. It’s most usually connected by a chain or bar. As you’re getting not one, but two piercings at once, the pain will also be double. But it does look really cool! Although the good thing is that just because it is the most painful, it doesn’t mean it takes the longest to heal. It only takes between four and six months.

This piercing is thought to be the most painful to get

double cartilage piercing industrial piercing

Do and Don’ts After Ear Piercing?

Okay, so you’ve decided on a piercing, and you went to get it pierced. Cool, right? Absolutely, but you also have to remember that ear-piercing, just like any other type of piercing, needs to be properly taken care of in order to avoid infection. Let’s learn the basics of aftercare.


  • Use antibacterial soap when cleaning them. Make sure to wash your hands before handling your piercings and pre-rinse your ears before applying the soap. It’s best to clean your piercings at least twice a day. Keep all of your earrings, bracelets, and rings clean.
  • Use surgical steel or titanium. After getting your ears pierced make sure to use 14k gold, titanium, or other hypoallergenic types of jewelry. The stainless steel your artist or doctor is using is also a great choice.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene. Make sure to take regular showers especially if you sweat often. Many infections stem from bacteria that can grow on unclean hair and skin.
  • Use your surgical jewelry throughout the whole healing process. It’s recommended to stick with the surgical jewelry your ears were pierced with until it’s fully healed.
  • Wait for the redness and swelling to calm down. Don’t worry, this is a normal part of the process. Just be patient.

Make sure to use antibacterial soap

ear piercings labeled soap


  • Do not use alcohol or peroxide. These types of solutions can be too harsh, especially when it comes to fresh wounds like piercings. Use a saline solution instead, or as we mentioned some soap and water.
  • Use metals with traces of lead like sterling silver. Many people are allergic to nickel and metals that have traces of lead are dangerous and harmful. Make sure to check the material before getting your piercings.
  • Do not over clean. Yes, while maintaining good hygiene is important, there is such a thing as over cleaning. Overdoing it causes your skin to be constantly wet, which will help create a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Don’t remove the jewelry before the piercing is healed. We know you want to get rid of the boring medical steel jewelry as fast as you can and put on some super cute earrings, however this will most likely lead to an infection.
  • Fiddle with your new piercings. This will make them swell even more and irritate it, slowing the healing process down.

Do not remove the jewelry before the piercing is healed 

auricle piercing woman with piercing

Ear Piercing Inspo

Well, now you know all the different types of ear piercings, let’s see some ways on how to bring them together to create some amazing designs. There really isn’t a wrong way to style your ears, however here are some ideas to help spark your imagination. You can go for a soft, minimalist design or go all out and create an ultra-stacked look. It’s really all up to you.

Dua Lipa also seems to love ear piercings 

cartilage ear piercings dua lipa

A mix of piercings 

helix ear piercings curated ear

You can stack on as many earrings as you like

the brit awards 2020 red carpet arrivals

A simple design 

conch ear piercing ear with ear piercings

Mix and match different styles of earrings 

different types of ear piercings ideas

FKA Twigs has many ear piercings 

double cartilage piercing fka twigs

You can do only the outer side of the ear

tragus piercing pain black girl with ear piercings

Small earrings can still make a statement 

ear piercing inspo blonde woman with ear piercings

Scarlett Johansson has a beautiful set of piercings 

most painful piercings ear ideas

We hope you found our guide on the types of ear piercings helpful and found what you want to get at your next appointment. Make sure to get some really cool jewelry and funky rings to match your aesthetic and rock them proudly!

Ashley Graham has a mix of ear piercings 

pain ear piercings chart ashley graham

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.