The truth about helix piercings

In 2019, Miley Cyrus brought our attention to helix piercings. Situated almost anywhere along the upper rim of the ear, when we last counted, she had over five on her left ear alone. And now, we can't stop thinking about getting a few ourselves. But we have questions. Lucky for us, Kevin Lamb, head piercer at Maria Tash in Liberty London, recently spoke to Byrdie and discussed everything you need to know about helix piercing before getting on yourself.

Lamb believes that helix piercings suit almost everyone. As the upper ear rim is quite long, you can choose whether you want a stud or a ring then place it anywhere you feel comfortable with. In terms of pain, Lamb claims it hurts a little less than getting your eyebrows done, adding, "Of course, cartilage is going to pinch a wee bit more than a normal lobe, but if it's the location you want, don't let that side of things worry you too much — most procedures are over and done with very quickly."

Helix piercings can take up a to a year to heal

According to Lamb, helix piercings can take anywhere from three months to a year to heal, admitting he'll never do more than three piercings at a time, as the healing can take even longer. Other cartilage piercings, such as the conch piercing or the tragus piercing, can have similar healing times as well, so this isn't totally unusual. 

However, just because your piercing may feel normal after three months, it doesn't mean it has fully healed, and Lamb advises those with new piercings to sleep with a certain type of pillow to combat any aggravation. "I always suggest that clients get a travel pillow and just put their ear in the middle of the hole when sleeping; it stops you from putting a prolonged amount of pressure onto the area, and also your body will wake you up if you try roll onto it, so it really helps with the healing process," he said. 

Immediate aftercare of a helix piercing is just as important as it is with any other piercing. To avoid infection, Lamb recommends using saline solution on a paper towel and dabbing it around the hole multiple times then drying with your hair dryer (with the heat on low, obviously). "Do this twice a day for around two to three months without picking, playing or twisting your piercing," Lamb advised. Once it's fully healed, continue to keep up a regular cleaning routine and avoid touching at all times.