Eyebrow Piercings: Everything You Need To Know

Brow jewels? Officially in.

Rooney Mara eyebrow

by Rachael Martin |
Updated on

Piercings are everywhere this summer. A somewhat surprising favourite? The eyebrow piercing - and we're looking at you, Jacob Elordi. These days there’s an abundance of piercings to consider, from the helix and the tragus to the daith and the snug. And, of course, the aforementioned eyebrow piercing.

'Eyebrow piercings actually dropped in popularity after the 2000s but have seen a resurgence recently with the movie Saltburn,' explains Meghan Garry Senior Piercer and Assistant Manager at Metal Morphosis. 'In our salon we've also noticed more unique placements becoming popular. Paired eyebrow piercings in the middle of each brow are highly requested.'

Image credit: Instagram @saltburnfilm

Thinking of taking the plunge? Then we’re hear to provide you with the full eyebrow piercing 101.

What is an eyebrow piercing?

An eyebrow piercing is, essentially, a surface level piercing created with a needle.

'It's a piercing anywhere on the eyebrow placed vertically,' further explains Garry. 'It can be at the tail of the eyebrow, the arch, the middle or even at the front of the brow.' The traditional placement? 'Usually at the arch or the tail.'

Like many other piercings, they are anatomy dependent. 'You need to have enough tissue to support the piercing,' says Garry. 'Someone with very flat eyebrows without a “ridge” or protrusion of the brow wouldn't be a suitable candidate. Without enough tissue to support the piercing it can start to reject.'

It’s also worth noting that you’ll likely be left with a scar.

How is an eyebrow piercing done?

Turns out an eyebrow piercing appointment should be a relatively speedy one.

'Eyebrows are marked with ink at the point where the client would like the piercing to be situated,' says Garry. 'Eyebrows can be pierced with clamps or preferably a free hand using disposable single use hollow needles. They are easy piercings to perform as the tissue is very soft.'

This starry design makes for a fun eyebrow bar. Opt for silver for a classic look, or perhaps black for an edgier finish. The options are endless - just ensure your piercing is fully healed. Consider this your warning.

Pain Levels

Does an eyebrow piercing hurt? Short answer? It depends.

Most commonly, it’s the end of the brow which is usually less painful than other types of piercings- like nipple piercings, tongue piercings, septum piercings or dermal piercings. However, if you get the middle of the brow pierced then it may be slightly more painful – this is because it’s where the supraorbital nerve sits. Just like a cartilage piercing and a daith piercing, you can expect some swelling and redness for approximately three to five days afterwards – that’s normal.

'While all pain levels are relative, in my professional opinion these piercings are on the lower end of the pain scale. Let's say a 4/10,' says Garry. 'Bruising can be common after having an eyebrow piercing, though this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong - it should go away within a week.'

What jewellery is best?

After some dazzling diamonds? Hold your horses.

'Eyebrows are pierced with curved barbells at either an 8mm or 10mm length depending on the persons anatomy, with the idea of the jewellery being downsized once swelling as subsided,' explains Garry. 'Ideally, you want the jewellery to be internally threaded implant grade titanium with a mirror polish finish. Generally, just plain titanium balls are on either end of the barbell but there are other decorative options like a claw set opal or gemstone. Any other styles such as straight barbells or rings should be avoided as these are more likely to lead to rejection and migration.'

Aftercare

One of the most important parts of maintaining a healthy eyebrow piercing is adhering to the correct aftercare – it’s an open wound, after all, and prone to infection. While you should always follow the advice of your professional piercer, it can also be a good idea to clean it twice a day with a saline solution like the Studex Advanced Piercing Aftercare Solution, £8. Simply pop it onto a cotton bud and swipe it across your brow once a day for six to eight weeks, or if it's still not looking right, longer.

'I'd also suggest avoiding makeup and skincare products until the piercing is fully healed - these can lead to clogging of the piercing hole,' advises Garry. 'Hair removal should be avoided until the piercing is healed as this can lead to irritation.'

When can I change my eyebrow piercing and will it close over?

The best time to change any piercing? Only when you’re totally sure that it’s fully healed. Read: No weeping, crusting, or pain - with eyebrow piercings this can take upwards of 3 months. 'Eyebrow piercings will generally take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to fully heal,' confirms Garry. And when in doubt, be overly cautious and leave your jewellery in that little bit longer. If you’re struggling to remove your eyebrow piercing, then consider going back to your professional piercer who’ll be able to do it for you in a sterile environment. Eyebrow piercings close over pretty quickly, so if you do want to change your jewellery then consider swapping it over ASAP.

A pop of colour makes for the perfect summer adornment and here you can choose between 8 colours. A baby-blue diamond against a tan and sun-kissed strands? A rom-com worthy piercing, if there ever was one.

Cost

How much does an eyebrow piercing cost?

You can expect to pay anything upwards of £35 for an eyebrow piercing conducted by a trusted professional. Of course, in capital cities, like London, it's normal to pay a more premium price.

Eyebrow Piercings: Potential side effects

'Infections are rare when it comes to body piercings, but some signs to look out for are swelling, inflammation, redness, the area being hot to touch and the the secretion of dark green puss,' says Garry.

And can eyebrow piercings be rejected? 'Migration is generally the first step of rejection, where the piercing will start to move or migrate out of the original placement. Migration can happen without leading to rejection but once a piercing has migrated there is no way to get it back to the original placement.'

Silver and sparkle combine for a timeless eyebrow bar that makes for a statement look. If it was good enough for Fergie in the '00s...

How to pick your piercer

Choosing a reputable salon is everything when it comes to piercings. The Association of Professional Piercers have some recommendations of questions you can ask. Take a screenshot of the below, ahead of your appointment:

'how long your piercer has been piercing, how they learned, and what they do to keep their knowledge-base current – such as taking continuing education courses on anatomy, aftercare, aseptic technique, etc.'

Which celebrities have eyebrow piercings?

Keke Palmer, Rooney Mara, Fergie and Ruby Rose have all been spotted sporting brow jewellery.

One finishing note? It should go without saying that that anything beyond a basic ear piecing should warrant some careful research to ensure the most professional result.

Metal Morphosis are a widely renowned piercing brand, specialising in body piercing, hypoallergenic jewellery, ear curations and trouble shooting. They currently have two stores in London (Carnaby Street & Hackney) and are due to open their third store and flagship in Covent Garden, this spring.

Rachael Martin is Grazia’s Junior Beauty Editor. Originally from Northern Ireland, she studied English Literature at Queen’s University Belfast, before moving to London to pursue a career in magazine journalism.

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