From the deep recesses of history books comes a practice that, while typically associated with women, has become an increasing popular trend amongst males – ear piercings (for men).
We’re used to seeing women getting their ears pierced from as early as infanthood – men, not so much. In recent years, however, ear piercings for men have become more mainstream, especially in pop culture and amongst the young.
Looking to get your ears pierced, but unsure what the process entails? You’ve come to the right place.
Ear Piercings For Men – An Overview
The growing popularity of ear piercings for men has contributed to the rising number of parlors and centers that cater to just that. Not only are their procedures safe, these centers (or at least most of them) also sell some of the coolest men earrings around.
Before getting your ears pierced, it is of utmost importance to choose a center that practices safe ear piercing for men. Here are some things to take into consideration:
- Read reviews of centers and parlors online. Most of these ear piercing salons would probably already have established themselves in the market. If they have, and if they are performing that well, they must already have received good reviews online. Also, you may want to check if they have posted photos of their works.
- The sterilization process is another important consideration. Call the salon and ask. Poor sterilization procedures can lead to the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B and C.
- The jewelry should be made of surgical steel, 14k gold, titanium, or wood or stone for stretched ears. At no point should you be considering any other options.
- You may also want to check if they are using single-use needles in their procedures. Before the piercing procedures begin, make sure that they prepare the needle in front of you.
Now that we have that in place, here are 15 super cool ear piercings for men.
1. Lobe Piercing
Let’s start with the simplest and most common ear piercing for men: the lobe piercing.
Apart from being the most popular type of ear piercing, the lobe piercing also comes with the lowest risk of injury.
A small hole is punctured using a stud gun, which usually takes no longer than a few seconds.
If you’re sensitive to pain, this is probably the best option for you: the pain involved is minimal and hence bearable for most people.
2. Tragus Piercing
For those unfamiliar with the word “tragus”, it refers to the part of your ear that helps hold your earphones. While it’s an unpopular ear piercing for men, the tragus piercing, when done, makes for a trendy look.
A piece of advice though: tragus piercings can be quite painful. Also, as the tragus is constantly exposed to dirt, the risk of infection is quite high. Have this done by a professional and ensure that adequate aftercare is given.
If you’re a fan of big and heavy men earrings, the tragus piercing is unfortunately not for you: due to its size, it is able to support only smaller jewelry such as studs.
3. Anti-Tragus Piercing
If the tragus piercing is a bit too “hardcore” for you, a good substitute is the anti-tragus piercing. This one here is a little less intimidating than its tragus counterpart as it is done on the inner cartilage. There is less pain involved and the healing process is also shorter at just 4-6 weeks.
Like the tragus piercing, take size into consideration when choosing this type of ear piercing: big earrings are a no-go, while ideal choices include studs or ball closure rings.
4. Rook Piercing
Agreed upon by most ear-piercing artists as one of the hardest yet most popular designs, the rook piercing involves perforation of the cartilage of your ear. Take note, though, that having a cartilage fold is ideal for this; without it, the rook piercing would be difficult to execute.
Although painful, the rook piercing will give you a rugged, masculine look. Try this with a hook with balls. Small loops can also be used for this type.
5. Daith Piercing
A Daith piercing essentially refers to a perforation on the inner cartilage of the ear. It is considered to be the most difficult and painful ear piercing of its kind. It also comes with a high risk of infections, so you’ll have to be extra careful in taking care of your ears.
If done properly, though, the Daith piercing can be much cooler than other types of piercings (see above image). Rings are popular for Daith piercings. Take note, however, that the hole can easily close once the ring is removed: make sure you wear your ear rings often!
6. Industrial Piercing
From the pain involved to the healing time required, the industrial piercing (otherwise known as Scaffold piercing) is not for the weak of heart. Due to the potential complications involved, it is also the kind that requires extra care post-piercing.
An industrial piercing involves making two holes on the ear cartilage. These two holes are arranged to face each other. A long male earring connects these two opposing holes, building the connection between the two punctures.
As the piercing can take up to a few months to heal, patience and diligence (in caring for your ears) are required.
7. Helix Piercing
Although painful, the Helix piercing is considered to be one of the most stylish options of its kind. The helix piercing is done more with a sterile needle, and healing takes as much time as the lobe piercing does.
In the helix piercing, the puncture is done on the upper cartilage of the ear. Depending on your preferences, you can have more than one such hole pierced.
For this type of ear piercing for men, the earrings you can use may include little hoops. You can also use studs, a bar, or even a cuff for that punk rock look.
8. Forward Helix Piercing
Yet another helix piercing is the forward helix piercing. Since we refer to the outer rim of the ear as “helix”, the forward helix piercing involves the front side of this rim. This type of ear piercing for men is as popular as the earlobe piercing. This is because whatever male earring you use, it is easily noticeable. Talk about a subtle show of your piercing!
The forward helix piercing is unique in that you can have double or even triple piercings for your earrings. For the forward helix piercing, earrings for men you can wear are studs and simple rings.
9. Conch Piercing
The conch is considered as the largest part of the ear. This part of the ear can be pierced two ways – the outer conch or the inner conch. Piercing the outer conch involves a puncturation of the lower part. The outer conch pierce, on the other hand, involves a puncturation of the upper part.
The pain you experience in conch piercing may depend on the size of the hole. It may increase depending on the jewelry that is being used. Care should involve regular quick cleaning. Neglecting to regularly clean can result in a longer healing time overall.
Only a handful of men can do away with this kind of piercing. If you are one of them, use studs or horseshow circular barbells. Rings would also look cool on the conch.
10. Snug Piercing
A snug piercing is also known as an anti-helix piercing. The reason for this is that the snug piercing involves a puncture at the inner part of the rim, which is the part just adjacent to the helix.
This may be a bit painful than the others but it surely adds points in the looks department.
When sporting a snug piercing, you can use any circular men earring.
11. Orbital Piercing
In its simplest sense, an orbital piercing refers to two punctures that are connected by jewelry. The most common ear part for the orbital piercing is in the helix areas. The earlobes and the outer rim of the ear may also be pierced.
This is perhaps the most versatile of all ear piercings for men. This is because you can always experiment with the part of the ear that you would like to perforate.
Smooth rings with two balls or ball enclosures are the most common earrings for men used for the orbital piercing. But, as with other types of ear piercings, you can always experiment and see what you like/what suits you the best.
12. Earlobe Gauging
This next entry is best known as tunnels. To “gauge” an ear means to expand and stretch an existing hole.
While most common amongst punk fashion enthusiasts, you’re also likely to meet men sporting tunnels while walking along the street.
This is done is by piercing a size that is stretched by a couple or so of millimeters: the process is a gradual one, done until the hole is at its desired size.
13. Auricle Piercing
The auricle is that part of your ear that lies between the helix and the lobe. This is the part that is just visible outside of the head. And yes, it can also be pierced for a fancy look.
Auricle piercing has been gaining popularity as of late. It is becoming an ideal part of the ear where fancy rings look best.
14. Upper Lobe Piercing
The upper lobe piercing is the piercing style for men that call for small and intricate piercing.
Some men can fit up to two or three piercings between the upper and lower lobes. This, of course, would have to depend on one’s ear size and the size of the jewelry.
15. Transverse Lobe Piercing
Now, this here is perhaps one of the coolest ear piercings for men. The transverse lobe piercing requires for it to be done the long way. Instead of piercing from the back to the front, the earring just goes straight inside the lobe. The transverse lobe earring requires a little bit more in terms of the length. In contrast, the lobe piercing requires shorter, smaller earrings for men.
What happens is you have to have that earring transverse the sagittal or the vertical plane of your lobe. This is why it’s called a transverse lobe.
Now that we have this settled, what should you do after getting your ears pierced?
Ear Piercings For Men – Aftercare
- The healing time required depends on the kind of piercing you chose. Simple ear piercings for men – like the earlobe piercing – will heal in about 2-6 weeks, while more complicated piercings can take more time to heal. You also have to remember that proper care for the piercing can also result in a faster healing process.
- To clean the pierced area, you should use an unscented antibacterial soap twice daily. When available, you can also use a saltwater solution soak for about 2-4 times per day.
- No picking or touching of the piercing (or jewelry). Remember that dirty hands can cause infections. Take time to wash your hands thoroughly before touching the pierced area. Also, you’ll need to be careful that your ears don’t make physical contact with anything: changing of clothes, answering the phone, and even sleeping.
- During the healing process, do not resort to hydrogen peroxide or any kind of alcohol as it irritates the pierced area that is still healing. Avoid antibiotic ointments and gels or anything that can trap dirt and eventually cause an infection.
Which leads us to this: what if your ears get infected?
How To Deal With An Ear Infection
If a piercing gets infected, one of the most common things we do is to remove the jewelry – we do not recommend doing this.
Remember that if your jewelry is removed, the piercing will close itself. The outer part of your ear may heal on its own but whatever infection inside remains there.
When the piercing gets infected, take note of the following:
- Keep the infected pierced ear away from people. No touching of the infected area, please.
- Your phones, earbuds, sunglasses, or anything that touches or relatively goes near your infected ear should be kept clean at all times.
- No swimming (or any other water activities) for now, bud. Make sure to stay away from pools, lakes, tubs, until you’ve healed. Also, no direct sunlight for your ear, no tanning beds, sand, oils, lotions, or anything that can potentially irritate the infected pierced ear.
- Stay away from stress, alcohol, and smoking.
- Consult a doctor if your ear infection persists.
Ear piercings for men have always been a growing trend. Although the process can be painful and the aftercare a hassle, it’ll all be worth it once the piercing heals. Badass? 100%.