Best Ear Piercing Ideas for Summer 2022
Summer is finally here. As temperatures rise, this new season offers the perfect opportunity to switch up your look and stay cool with a new piercing or curated ear. Stacking multiple ear piercings (aka the curated ear) has become one of the most popular jewelry trends over the past decade. There are nearly limitless options for styling your desired curated ear. Stacked ear piercings are ideal for summer because they allow you to elevate your look for work or the weekend without adding extra layers to an outfit that would have you overheating. A curated ear adds more personality to your Zoom call attire and dresses up any day-to-night ensemble.
The biggest ear piercing trends for 2022 focus on concentrated, customized and stacked piercing options – suitable for nearly every placement on the ear. Some popular piercing trends include stacked lobes, flat or lobe constellations, stacked helix, double piercings and asymmetrical curated ears.
Read on to learn more about the different types of ear piercings and 40 ear-piercing ideas to inspire you for the season ahead.
Different Types of Ear Piercings
Before exploring ear-piercing combination ideas, see the ear-piercing chart below to familiarize yourself with the different types of ear piercings worth considering. These most common placements fall into two categories: lobe piercings and cartilage piercings.
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While many individuals get their first (standard lobe) piercing as a child, you can expand your ear party with a double or triple lobe piercing (stacked lobe piercings). A transverse lobe piercing (two horizontal piercings connected with a barbell) offers an edgy alternative to a standard lobe piercing. Lobe piercings are considered the least painful ear piercing options.
All of the other placements on the ear are cartilage piercings. Some of the most common cartilage piercings include the helix, forward helix, daith, conch, tragus, anti-tragus, orbital and flat piercings. These piercings are generally considered to be moderately painful ear piercings. Some of the most painful cartilage piercings include rook, industrial and snug piercings.
Consider your personal pain tolerance when exploring potential piercing options. Do extensive research to find the best piercer in your area (and price range). Before committing to a certain placement, your piercer will confirm whether you have the proper ear anatomy to support a specific piercing.
With price and style preferences aside, your individual pain tolerance is a factor to consider when deciding which piercings to pursue. If you’re nervous about the pain, ask your piercer whether a numbing cream can be used for your session. Zensa Numbing Cream contains 5% lidocaine to minimize pain without any vasoconstrictors, making it a safe option to use before piercing procedures. This product should provide a numbing effect on the skin for 2-3 hours after application and is a vegan, steroid-free formula.
Most experts recommend cleaning the area with a saline solution twice a day during the healing process. Always wash your hands before handling the new piercing. Make sure to listen and follow your piercer’s advice precisely to prevent any infections or unnecessary mishaps during recovery.
An auricle piercing is a cartilage piercing located between the helix and your earlobe. Auricle piercings are one of the least painful cartilage piercings you can get and generally ranks at around a 4/10 on the pain scale (similar to a helix piercing). The healing time for an auricle piercing is between 3-9 months. For jewelry, you can wear a small hoop or a flat-back stud in your auricle piercing. Wear these dainty piercings on their own, with other small earrings for a minimalist curated ear or to balance out larger jewelry in your lobe piercings.
Ear Styling Tip: Balance a small auricle hoop or stud with a single, bold earring in one (or more) of your lobe piercings. Create a uniform ear party with equally-dainty piercings in your auricle piercing throughout your lobes, helix and forward helix placements.
A snakebite ear piercing includes two small piercings made close together. You can get a snakebite piercing on any part of the ear. However, they’re commonly done on the lobe, helix, forward helix (some of the least painful ear piercings) and flat placements. If you already have a single piercing in one of these placements, add a second hole close by to create a snakebite piercing.
Snakebite piercings can support small stud or hoop earrings. Choose identical or mismatched jewelry, depending on your personal preferences. The healing time for a snakebite piercing will vary depending on its placement. As a general rule, the lobe piercings will take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal, while the healing time for cartilage piercings is around 4-12 months. Because the two holes are so close together, increased swelling is likely to occur during the healing process. So, be extra attentive and diligent with your after-care practices for a snakebite piercing. Certain snakebite piercings will be more painful than others – depending on their placement. Snakebite piercings on the lobe should be low on the pain scale (around a 2/10), while a double flat piercing could rank up to a 7/10 on the pain scale. However, the double holes with a snakebite piercing might make the experience a little more painful in any region than when there’s just one.
Ear Styling Tip: Streamline your ear party with matching stud earrings. Try a standalone snakebite piercing in the helix for a minimalist yet edgy look. Elevate this refined pairing with coordinating classic hoops or studs in your lobe piercing(s). Embellish this refreshed take on the curated ear with an inner conch or tragus piercing to add some dimension and ‘cool,’ modern appeal.
Double Down (Two Ear Piercings):
The two-ear piercings look steps up your ear styling game without committing to a fully-stacked curated ear. Whether you’re getting both done at once or want to elevate a standalone piercing, double ear piercings (two consecutive piercings placed on the lobe or cartilage) have become a popular ear piercing trend that adds some edge to your look. Double ear piercings are most commonly in the lobes, but these consecutive piercings can be done on the cartilage, too. The most common double cartilage ear piercings are located in the helix, forward helix or flat placements.
If you already have a standard lobe piercing, you can get a second hole to achieve this look. This additional piercing updates your ear party with minimal pain and healing time. Both holes can also be done at once. However, you should expect more swelling, pain, delayed healing time and be more diligent with your after-care routine. Assess your personal pain tolerance before deciding to get two piercings done at the same time. Double lobe piercings are one of the least painful ear piercing combinations. These piercings tend to rate at around a 3/10 on the pain scale. The healing time for a double lobe piercing is around 8 weeks.
Ear Styling Tip: Adorn your double lobe piercing with classic small hoops or studs for a minimalist look. If you’re seeking an edgier ear stack, layer a standard lobe piercing with a helix piercing with a chain earring (you can also wear an ear cuff if you only have your lobes pierced). Double cartilage piercings allow you to get creative when balancing out your curated ear. Consider a combination of a helix, forward helix, conch and tragus placements for a cool ear stack with no lobe piercings required.
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A constellation piercing is a group of piercings either arranged in a concentrated cluster or scattered throughout the ear. Constellation piercings offer endless options to customize your arrangement for the perfect curated ear. This personalized element has made constellation piercings one of the most popular ear piercing trends over the past few years. While constellation piercings are the most commonly placed on the ear lobe, cartilage-only constellation piercings offer a unique, refreshing take on this customizable style. Cartilage constellations are perfect for individuals who never got their lobes pierced, let the holes close up or prefer the lobe-less ear party look.
Cartilage piercings are generally more painful than lobe piercings and require a longer healing period. Some less painful cartilage piercings include the helix, forward helix and tragus piercings, while conch (inner or outer conch) and flat piercings are considered moderately painful placements. The healing time for most cartilage piercings is between 3-9 months. However, these piercings can take up a year to fully heal.
Ear Styling Tip: Flat constellations offer an edgy alternative to a lobe constellation. Style them alone with small studs or charms for a minimalist look or add a conch, helix, tragus or forward helix placement(s) to balance your ear piercings. If you prefer a more scattered look, place uniform studs or diamonds in different cartilage piercings for a streamlined yet dynamic appeal. For individuals with fewer piercings, choose 2-3 bold earrings for the helix and upper ear (flat, upper helix, rook, etc.) placements to create a bold curated ear without much pain or healing time required.
While the term is used to describe any two piercings connected by a barbell, a traditional industrial piercing is located on the rim of cartilage along the outer upper ear. Industrial piercings are known as one of the most painful ear piercings (generally rank at around a 7/10 on the pain scale) and require a healing time of around 4-12 months. Consult with your piercer to ensure that your ear anatomy can support an industrial piercing. While most individuals’ ears are suitable for an industrial piercing, those without a prominent outer ridge of cartilage might not be eligible for this placement.
Ear Styling Tip: When styling a curated ear with an industrial piercing, stack your lobe piercings with small studs, hoops or charm earrings. Layered double or triple lobe piercings will balance out this bold placement. Use a sleek gold or silver barbell earring in your industrial piercing for a refined look, or try a chain-embellished option to embody an edgier style.
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A minimalist curated ear is a contemporary classic that can be worn for nearly any occasion - from work to weekend errands or a night out. Double (or triple) lobe piercings work well on their own as a daily go-to accessory. Whether you have a standard lobe piercing or not, it’s simple and nearly pain-free to graduate to a stacked lobe piercing look. Elevate these entry-level piercings with 1-2 cartilage placements for a customized yet refined ear party that inspires your creativity.
Ear Styling Tip: Choose earrings that either all have a uniform shape, hardware or gemstone to maintain a clean, minimalist look. Don’t choose any bulky jewelry or earrings with large charms. Incorporate either a rook, helix or flat piercing (or a combination of 2) with your stack lobe piercings to balance out your curated ear.
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In The Hoop:
While classic, hoop earrings – especially stacked hoops – have been one of the main jewelry trends for the past few seasons. These layered hoops offer a simple, versatile way to style a curated ear that doesn’t involve much thought and is ideal for daily wear. Try loading your double (or triple) lobe piercings with small hoops for a refined stacked lobe look. Extend these hoops into the helix with one or multiple helix placements. You can also place a small hoop in a conch or rook piercing for an edgier look.
Ear Styling Tip: Depending on your style preferences, you can either style a more timeless or contemporary curated ear. For a classic look, select small hoops that are either identical or in similar sizes and hardware colours. Add a diamond-encrusted hoop or a small stud into the mix to add some intrigue to your ear party. If you’re seeking a more modern look, try playing with proportions and mixing metals throughout different placements. This contrast offers a sleek and refined way to update your curated ear.
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