Exploring the world of piercings can be quite a journey with all the options out there! Sometimes, it's tricky to figure out what a piercing is called or where it goes. This is not an exhaustive list but we tried to cover the piercings you’d come across most often. Don't worry, though – we're here to help you out with this handy guide! And if you don’t know the name of something, no worries, if you've got a picture or just want to point to the spot you'd like pierced, that's totally cool too. No need to stress about knowing all the lingo!
Any piercing that goes through the soft tissue of the ear including your classic “first” piercings. These are typically started with studs but once healed rings and more ornate hoops and dangles can be worn. How many true lobe piercings you can fit will depend on your ear and how far up the soft tissue goes. These will be some of the faster healing piercings on the ear since they don’t go through cartilage.
These started as a fun way to deal with off center or asymmetrical piercings that people were unhappy with but has morphed into a trend of fitting multiple earlobe piercings on the lobe in fun clusters, stacks and designs. These can be a bit tricker to heal than standard lobe piercings but are still fun!
Helix piercings typically refer to piercings around the upper outer edge of the ear. These are pierced with studs but once healed rings can be worn. You might hear folks call them cartilage piercings too, even though pretty much anything that's not on your earlobe is technically in the cartilage territory. While many people associate them with being a very common piercing they can actually be a little tough to heal due to how easy it is to bump and snag them! Be sure to follow up with your piercer for downsizing to minimize snags and angle shifts!
Piercings in the inner bowl of the ear are a great spot to showcase statement pieces but are also often worn with rings or chains once healed. These piercings tend to do well since they are more tucked in and protected from accidental snags. They can be a great center piece to the start of an ear curation!
Piercings along the cartilage ridge closest to the head. The internet fell in love with these when pictures of a triple forward helix began to circulate but sadly not everyone has the anatomy for three.
A rook piercing is an ear piercing that's located on the inner cartilage of the upper ear, specifically in the fold of cartilage between the upper part of the ear and the innermost ridge. Typically performed with a curved barbel but rings can be worn once healed. These tend to stay swollen and puffy for awhile but once healed offer a lot of fun versatility in jewelry styles.
A faux rook piercing is similar to the flat piercing but mimics the appearance of a traditional rook piercing by being placed near the rook fold but exits out the back of the ear. They can be a bit easier to heal than a traditional rook piercing but you’re limited to just studs in this placement. Also be sure to follow up with your piercer to have your jewelry downsized as these love to tilt if the long post is left in too long!
The flat piercing is located on the flat part of the upper ear, between the helix and the forward helix. They offer a great spot to put unique jewelry choices and can be done as a single or even multiple for a fun look. The line between the flat and faux rook is kind of blurry so like the faux rook be sure to get your piercing downsized in a timely manner to avoid issues with tilting.
The antitragus piercing is positioned on the small ridge of cartilage just opposite the tragus, on the inner side of the ear. Depending on your anatomy these could be done with a variety of jewelry styles. They can be quite tricky to heal and somewhat temperamental.
Situated on the small, triangular piece of cartilage that partially covers the ear canal tragus piercings can add a fun balance if you have a lot of piercings on the outer helix of your ear. You will have to avoid earbuds while they’re healing because they both occupy the same space.
The industrial piercing, also known as the scaffold or bar piercing, involves two holes connected by a single long barbell. This piercing typically runs horizontally across the upper ear but can also be placed in the conch or other creative placements depending on anatomy, creating an edgy and eye-catching look. An industrial piercing is simply two separate piercings that are connected with a singular barbell.
An orbital piercing consists of two separate holes that are connected by a single piece of jewelry, often a hoop or ring. These piercings can be placed in various locations on the ear with vary degrees of healing difficulty. The internet has taken to calling conch piercings with a ring orbitals much to the confusion and frustration of piercers and piercing enthusiasts alike, but "orbital" refers to two separate piercings that are connected with one ring.
A daith piercing is situated in the innermost fold of the ear, near the ear canal. They look super cool and you can start them with a ring. They also make a great focal point for a curation. You will need to avoid earbuds, stethoscopes, ear plugs, or anything that goes into the ear canal during the healing time.
The bridge piercing is placed horizontally through the bridge of the nose, typically in the space between the eyes. These are pierced with straight barbells and tend to be a pretty easy heal on ideal anatomy! With less-than-ideal anatomy they are prone to migration and can leave visible scarring afterwards.
A piercing through the eyebrow, placement is dependent on anatomy. Typically performed with a curved barbel but rings can be worn once healed. Not to be confused with a horizontal eyebrow piercing (which goes horizontally above the eyebrow), which would be considered a surface piercing done with a surface barbell instead.
A nostril piercing is a common facial piercing that goes through one of the nostrils. They are pierced with studs but various types of jewelry, such as studs, hoops, or screws can be worn once healed. If you’re looking for symmetry you can pierce both sides or double or even triple up on one side!
A septum piercing is placed through the center of the nose between the nostrils. It typically goes through a “soft spot” of tissue but can also be pierced through cartilage if required by the anatomy. It's versatile and can be adorned with circular barbells, horseshoe rings, or other jewelry styles. These tend to be a super easy heal and can be easily hidden for work, family or school.
High nostril piercings are placed higher on the nose than traditional nostril piercings and can be a much harder heal than traditional nostril piercings with swelling lasting for years and requiring multiple downsizes and upsizes during that time.
Lip piercings can refer to any piercing on or around the lips but it typically refers to piercings along the lower lip. There are various slang terms for the different placements but they are all lip piercings. They’re typically pierced with studs initially and then can be swapped to rings once healed. They are also referred to as labret piercings which is where the labret post gets its name from. Anticipate a lot of swelling with any lip piercing. Downsizing is very important with these to avoid issues with your gums and teeth.
A philtrum piercing, also known as a Medusa piercing, is centered above the upper lip, in the groove just below the septum of the nose. It's typically adorned with a stud. These can swell quite a bit and downsizing is important for the health of your teeth and gums.
A Monroe piercing is a type of lip piercing placed off-center above the upper lip similar to Marilyn Monroe’s beauty mark. These are pierced with studs and checking in with your piercer for a downsize is important to protect your teeth and gums.
The Ashley piercing is a variation of the vertical labret, with one end of the jewelry exiting at the center of the lower lip and the other end inside the mouth, creating a unique and stylish look. Also called an inverse vertical labret or vermillion piercing. These will swell a lot so be prepared to check in with your piercer for downsizes.
A vertical labret piercing goes through the lower lip vertically, with one end of the jewelry resting on the top of the lower lip and exiting below it. This is one of the few oral piercings that doesn’t come in contact with the teeth.
Also known as a belly button piercing, this piercing is placed through the skin above the navel. These are pierced with curved barbells or specialized navel curves that have a fixed gem. Depending on your anatomy your piercer may recommend a floating navel which utilizes a bead or disk on the bottom to keep the piercing from being jostled too much by the movement of your navel. It's very important to avoid high-waisted jeans or high-waisted compression leggings during healing, as the pressure from clothing can cause the piercings to migrate or reject.
Nipple piercings involve piercing one or both nipples at the base of the nipple. Nipple piercings do not go through the areola. These can be done at a variety of angles but typically people choose horizontal. These are pierced with straight barbells but can be switched to rings or have chains added once healed.
Surface piercings are placed on flat areas of the body, such as the nape of the neck, chest or side burn area of the face, rather than through a traditional fold or protrusion of skin. They require specialized jewelry and are known for their unique appearance. At our studio we use surface barbels which have an entrance and exit. Surface piercings can be prone to rejection and other issues even under the best circumstances. We do not offer single-point/microdermal/dermal piercings, which are a type of surface piercing that do not have an entrance and exit, but have a single point that they enter the body, due to their particularly high rate of rejection.
Click here for: Genital Piercings