TO PIERCE OR NOT TO PIERCE?
The practice of piercing ears became popular and prevalent about 5,000 years ago and has heavily evolved from just lobe piercings to various different parts of the ear – the daith, helix, tragus, rook, industrial, and conch – with multiple piercings (pioneered by pierceist to the stars, Maria Tash) being the modern choice to create a look or vibe.
The classic look of one earring per lobe will always hold its place, but wearing several (often mismatched) ear pieces on each ear creates an interesting and asymmetrical look.
Today, the ear is considered as a ‘total work of art’ and earring combinations are a means of expression. The great thing about ear piercings is that you can be as creative as you want by mixing different types of jewellery and metals to express yourself and your personal aesthetic. The right look is a combination of comfortable and aesthetically pleasing pieces which match the individual’s personal style, face shape and skin colouring.
Both earrings and ear piercings are massive trends for 2020/21, specifically stacking and layering unique pieces of jewellery. The key thing that stops this look from being too punkish is the choice of jewellery worn; dainty, delicate jewels are best, rather than oversized, garish trophy-danglers, making for a pretty, girly aesthetic.
See also our blog on layering HERE
BUT NOW, LET’S TALK PIERCING AND PAIN
Pain is subjective, and there are also many factors that can contribute to the pain experience (not just in piercing, but in pain in general of course). The pain level associated with each area of the body is usually a function of how nerve-dense the area is and how thick the tissue is. Couple this with the individual’s capacity to withstand pain (through yogic breathing, other experiences etc) and you have some kind of pain algorithm. For piercing, the quality of the needles, the skill of the piercer, the comfort level with the piercer, and the level of anxiety of the client will all contribute. Cartilage is less vascular than lobe tissue, so it takes longer to heal. However, almost all piercings on the ear take a second or less to perform, are finished before realised, and most clients are very happy and surprised with the low level of discomfort when pierced by a skilled practitioner and high level tooling.
RANKING THE PAIN…
The ear lobe seems to be one of the easiest areas of the ear - a quick heal and more vascular than cartilage. Thinner parts of the lobe, as it heads up into the cartilage (3, 4, 5th lobe placement) tend to be very easy too, as the lobe tissue thins. In cartilage, the thicker the tissue the longer the heal, in general, but all piercings take about 1 second or less. The key is to concentrate on the end result - the beautiful jewellery, and the pride for overcoming fear to help get through any discomfort with the momentary piercing sensation.
Author: Cathy Martin (@cathymartin)