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Everything You Need To Know About Helix Piercings

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Does it hurt? How do you clean it? What jewellery should I put in it?

Helix piercings may not be the most well known piercing but they are, quite possibly, the best looking piercings going in our opinion here at Grazia. And we aren't the only ones. The piercing has been sported by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Aniston and Kylie Jenner, too.

They're subtle and chic, flashing cheekily when your hair is tucked behind your ear. So, it goes without saying that we've found out everything we possibly can about them so you don't have to...

Ear Piercings: Helix

I’ve already got a few piercings, some of which you already know about like my 90s-style belly bar and tragus piercing, and I also have two in both ear lobes. So in the name of investigative journalism Grazia decided to go and get our helix and forward helix pierced (respectively) because, what better way to tell you everything you need to know about helix piercings, than going and doing it? We even filmed it so you can get a better idea of the process. We hope you appreciate the blood, sweat and pain that went into it. Here’s everything you need to know about helix piercings.

READ MORE: Septum Piercings: Everything You Need To Know

What is a helix piercing?

A helix piercing is a fancy name for any piercing on the upper cartilage of the ear. A double helix piercing is two piercings under one another, in this area.

Forward helix piercing:

If you follow the curve of the top of your ear around until it meets your head, that little nook of your ear is where the forward helix piercing goes through. This is also known as the anti-helix and inner helix piercing.

Triple and double forward helix:

A triple helix is when there are two more studs going up from the initial forward helix, creating a line of three studs. If you get a double forward helix piercing, then it’s two studs in total.

What jewellery should you get for a helix piercing?

I wanted to get my forward helix pierced with a hoop, but the piercer recommended getting a bar instead, because hoops are more susceptible to infection. This is because bacteria can get caught in the curve and then be moved around the ear into the hole. Instead, I got it pierced with a curved bar so it fits better – a straight bar would have dug into the back of my ear.

Is a helix piercing painful?

It wasn't overly painful but you can definitely feel it.

Is a forward helix piercing painful?

This was definitely the most painful piercing I’ve had; I’d give it a 6/10. I think this might be because I had it done with a slightly thicker bar (1.6mm) so it stung more when it was going through. I’d do it again though; it wasn’t that bad.

How much does a helix piercing cost?

Prices will vary depending on where you go. We paid £20 for each of them but some places we went to charged up to £40. And some places may charge more for a forward helix.

What’s the helix piercing aftercare?

Clean the piercing twice a day using a clean cotton bud and a sterile saline solution, making sure you remove any dried blood or discharge. Gross. Don’t twist the jewellery though! Turning it doesn’t help; all it does is irritate it and make it more prone to infection. If you think it’s infected, go back to the piercer who can advise you on what to do next.

How long does a helix piercing take to heal?

Our piercer said it can take up to 12 weeks for the piercing to properly heal, although it depends on the person because everyone’s different. Make sure it’s properly healed before you change the jewellery, lest you make it all angry. You’ll know when it’s okay to change because it shouldn’t be painful, sore or weeping.

Amazing Helix Earrings for Your New Piercing

You wouldn't want to roam the streets of Shoreditch looking basic with your new helix piercing, now would you? So we've selected some of the mother nature's best helix earrings from the ever artsy-fartsy Etsy. Trust us, you'll blend in with the ear-pierced hipster crowd there.

1. Seashell by the Seashore

Channel your inner mermaid with this handmade gold seashell helix earring, £6.41 (includes shipping). The 316L surgical steel plated gold helix stud post is externally threaded, 16 gauge and 1/4 inch long with a screw-on ball backing.

2. Here Comes the Sun

If your style star is Vanessa Hudgens and your favourite fashion programme is the Coachella Festival, then this silver celestial sun helix hoop earring, £6.41 (includes shipping), is perfect for your boho style. The 316L surgical steel hoop earring measures 10mm and is made with 16, 18 or 20 gauge wire. It comes in an endless hoop with no closure, allowing the hoop to freely move.

3. Birds of a Feather

Another Boho-chic helix hoop earring, but this one comes in the form of a feather, £7.05 (includes shipping). This sterling silver helix hoop is made of 20 gauge or 22 gauge wire, and is also available in 14k gold filled if that suits your fancy.

4. Dreams

Bad dreams will be filtered out with this small amozonite dream catcher helix hoop earring, 11.65 (includes shipping). It is of 316L surgical steel hoop measuring 10mm, with the dream catcher charm measuring at 25mm. Its colours range from a light aqua blue to a light whitish blue.

5. Heart-Shaped Box

You can never go wrong with hearts. This simple heart helix earring, £7.83 (includes shipping), comes in sterling silver, 14k rose gold filled or 14k gold filled. It is approximately 12mm across by 10mm tall, and comes in 20 gauge or 16 gauge. It's simple yet chic.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Things You Only Know If You've Got A Nose Piercing

Tragus Piercing: Everything You Want To Know

In Defence Of The Noughtie's Belly Button Piercing

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.