Out of all the types of piercings that exist at this point in time, the Helix piercing is probably the most common one. It’s also the one you might have seen the most on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and simply around you worn by almost everyone you know. It’s just that you didn’t know it was called a Helix piercing.
So, let’s take the time to delve into this extremely popular fashion and style trend. We have devoted this entire article to defining what a Helix piercing is, what are the best ways of getting it, how to take care of a Helix piercing, the most common FAQs, and everything in between. This is your one stop guide to everything you ever wanted to know before getting a Helix piercing. Enjoy!
What Is a Helix Piercing?
Simply put, a Helix piercing can be defined as any type of piercing that you get on the upper part of your ear. This area of the ear is made entirely out of cartilage. Therefore, the Helix piercing can be described as a type of piercing that you get on the upper part of the cartilage of your ear.
However, here is the trick. This is something that many people don’t know. Not even a lot of people that want to get or have already gotten a Helix piercing. There are different types of Helix piercings other than the standard. You can get one on the outer upper cartilage, which is the classic or traditional type. However, you could also choose to get what is referred to as a forward or a double, or even a triple Helix piercing. Let’s see what the difference between all those types of piercings is.
What Is a Forward Helix Piercing?
With your finger touch your ear around the conch area. The conch of your ear is that part in the middle of the ear that is small and convoluted, resembling a sea shell, which means to say a conch. Trace the outlines of this convoluted little area in the middle of your ear all the way up on the outside until you get to the side of your face. This entire space is what we refer to as the forward Helix.
What is a double and triple Helix piercing?
As we mentioned above, the classic or traditional Helix piercing means that you must pierce the outer upper cartilage of your ear. As a result, if you choose to have put in more than one piece of jewelry, respectfully two or three which will be placed above each other, this is what is referred to as a double or triple Helix piercing.
To answer a question that we are sure you are by now asking yourselves, yes the pieces of jewelry, be it studs or rings, will have to be placed stacked. This means above each other for the Helix piercings to be considered forward double or triple. If they are placed one next to the other or in a row, they cannot be referred to as double or triple Helix piercings anymore.
How to Take Care of a Helix Piercing
A very important thing that you must understand if you are considering getting a Helix piercing is the following. This type of piercing needs to go into the upper part of your ear which is entirely made of cartilage.
Seeing as cartilage is a very different type of tissue then skin, it will require a distinct type of practice when it comes to taking care of your ears after the piercing process has happened. It is the only way you can ensure that you will not be left with a scar or tiny cartilage bumps. Here are a few tips and tricks that you can do during the healing process.
Do not move the piercing around
In the first few weeks after getting the Helix, you should be extra careful. Moving the piece of jewelry or displacing it could damage the skin around the hole. This, in turn could lead to a cartilage bump. This is definitely something that you don’t want. As a result, please try not to move your piercing around too much until it has completely healed.
Clean your Helix piercing with Saline solution
The best way to keep your new piercing clean is with a Saline solution or a salt bath. Always use sea salt and not regular salt, as sea salt is organic and natural. Dissolve two to three tablespoons of sea salt in a cup of lukewarm water.
Soak a cotton ball into this Saline solution and hold it to your pierced ear. Keep it in place for three to five minutes. Do this at least two or three times every single day. As you do this please try not to move your new piercing around too much. When you are finished, dry the area using a clean paper towel.
Keep your Helix piercing as dry as possible
As you might already be aware, piercings and moisture don’t mix. As a result, you will need to keep your new Helix piercing away from dampness as much as possible. The reason is that dampness attracts and breeds bacteria. Therefore, if you don’t dry your piercing carefully after you have taken a shower, a bath, or after you have been to the pool, this might lead to infection of the cartilage. It could also lead to cartilage bumps. Some of these bumps can be cleared away in a surgical intervention but they can leave scars
Always use a clean pillow
As mentioned above, the number one thing you need to do when taking care of your Helix piercing is not introduce any kind of bacteria to your ear. As a result you will need to pay extra attention when you sleep. Most professionals as well as people who have already had at least one Helix piercing experience recommend that you buy a new pillow and a new set of pillow cases.
Apart from that, they also recommend that you change your pillow case every single night during the healing process. This will make sure that absolutely no bacteria is introduced to your ear. At the same time, if you want to avoid dirt, debris, build up, and lint, try to use a silk or satin pillowcase instead of a cotton one.
Helix piercing FAQs – All You Need to Know in One Place
As cool as it may be, and we do agree that a Helix piercing is one of the absolute coolest accessories you can get, it’s also true that this type of piercing can go very wrong very quickly if not done correctly. As a result, we have assembled a list of commonly asked questions that we know you have if you are planning to get a Helix piercing in the near future. Study them closely because they will come in handy!
How much does a Helix piercing cost?
We have good news! A Helix piercing does not cost all that much. Of course, it all depends on the piercing salon you visit, as well as the piercing technician who will do the procedure, and the type of jewelry you wish to use. All of this will dictate the price of your Helix piercing. However, if you simply want a classic, basic piercing, it should not cost you more than $40-$50.
Here is some very important information that you need to know. If you visit a salon that only charges $20 for a Helix piercing and will perform the procedure with a piercing gun, please do not accept!
Piercing guns are dangerous and very unsanitary. Apart from that, one of the main issues caused by piercing guns is called “cauliflower ear.” It happens when the hole in the cartilage of your ear takes the shape of a cauliflower caused by the blunt force trauma of the piercing gun. Apart from that, a piercing gun carries a lot more bacteria than a needle does.
Does a Helix piercing hurt?
People who have gotten a Helix piercing rate the pain as being medium on the pain scale. This means that it doesn’t hurt as much as you not being able to bear it but that you will be able to feel it. And that maybe it will make your toes curl up a little. Either way since the pain is on medium level you will be able to endure it.
It is very important to mention here that the area where the Helix piercing goes, meaning the cartilage of your ear, does not have any kind of nerves or nerve endings. As a result the pain should not be as difficult to take as in other areas of your body.
Is a Helix piercing safe?
Yes, Helix piercings are safe. Most people who have gotten a Helix piercing have reported that nothing wrong has happened to their ears or to their immunity systems. As a result we can qualify Helix piercings as being safe. However it is also important to mention that something can go wrong, especially if you don’t take care of your ear or piercing during the healing period.. Infections can happen both to the skin around the pierced area or to the auditory canal.
How long does a Helix piercing take to heal?
Seeing as a Helix piercing goes through the upper portion of the cartilage in your ear, it will take a lot longer to heal than your ear lobe, which is essentially a skin fold. As the result, this type of piercing will take between three and six months to fully heal.
It’s important to note here that a Helix piercing always heels from the outside toward the inside. Therefore, even if the skin on the outside of the ear looks as if it has healed that does not mean that the piercing in itself has done so completely. Please wait until your new piercing has healed entirely before you can move on to the next stages.
Can you wash your hair after a Helix piercing?
Yes, you can wash your hair after getting this type of piercing. The trick here is to get as little shampoo on your ears as you possibly can. At the same time, please attempt to not let your hair get caught up in your new stud or ring.
If you can, rinse your piercing after you have finished the shower so that no shampoo, soap, or conditioner is left in your ears. The reason is that, if not rinsed well enough these products will build up and may be a source of infection especially when you are dealing with an open wound.
Things you need to know before getting a Helix piercing
Even after you’ve done your research, and after you have read our blog from beginning to end, there are still some things that you may not be aware of when it comes to this type of cartilage piercing. But don’t worry, that’s why we’re here. In order to be as prepared as possible, here are the main things you need to know before you pierce your ear.
1. Pre piercing anxiety is a real thing
If you feel like your heart is pumping in overdrive, that your chest is swelling up and down, and your palms cannot stop sweating, it’s okay. You are simply feeling nervous and stressed about the fact that you are going to literally puncture a hole through your upper ear. This is the right moment to ask yourself if you are doing the right thing. Normally, getting a piercing, any type of piercing, should feel like you are doing a fantastic and amazing thing. Something that you have been waiting for a long time. Or something that makes you feel like a cool, fresh, and interesting person. However if getting a piercing makes you feel more scared and anxious then happy and excited this is a good time to stop and reconsider.
2. There is no crunch when getting a Helix piercing
Some might call this a stereotype but, in fact, it is rooted in something real. Years and years ago, which means to say the 80s and the 90s, when you went to get your ears pierced, it would mostly happen within a mall or a large department store. Classy and professional, we know. The procedure would happen with a piercing gun. As a result if you opted for a cartilage piercing just like the helix is, you would be able to hear a typical crunch. This was the piercing gun blowing right through the upper cartilage portion of your ear.
However, today we do not do that anymore. As mentioned above piercing guns were never designed to be used for cartilage piercing. Not only that but the APP has actually banned piercing guns today, The reason being that they are a danger to health and sanitation and because they cause severe tissue damage. Therefore, today when you get a Helix piercing or any type of cartilage piercing, it will be done with a needle. This is why you will not hear the typical crunch anymore.
3. Your body may reject the piercing
No matter how much you love your Helix piercing, your body might reject it. This has happened to several people and there are a few good reasons for it. Examples include allergies to metal, more specifically to the exact type of metal that can be found in the jewelry that you used. It might also be that the pierce was placed incorrectly in your ear. Or that it has triggered an infection or migration inside your ear that your body is now rejecting.
There is a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It states that out of all types of piercings, nasal and cartilage ones present the highest rate of infection. However you can fully avoid any of these problems happening as well as your body rejecting the piercings. You must take care of them properly during the healing process.
4. Sleeping might hurt
In the first few weeks after getting a Helix piercing, you might experience trouble sleeping. This should not come as a surprise. The new jewelry will be placed in the upper portion of your ear. As a result if you are a side sleeper you are going to have problems sleeping on that side. Most professional piercers recommend that you do not sleep on your side during the healing process. Trying to sleep on your back as much as you can.
5. Helix piercings are addictive
Yes, it might hurt a little to get a Helix piercing. It might even hurt a little to go through the healing process. But once you get it you will find yourself in a completely new state of mind. Most people who have already gotten a Helix piercing confess that it feels more like a rite of passage than anything else. They love the idea of showing off their piercing and the way it makes them feel. As a result, it might just be that you are now hooked and thinking of getting at least one more Helix piercing.
What do you think?
Are you ready for a Helix piercing of your own? If so, please let us know in the comment section below what type of piercing you would like to get and which design attracted you most. Don’t hesitate to check out our other blog posts where we detailed even more types of piercings!