Size Matters: Healed Piercings

Size Matters! At least, when it comes to piercings it does. Now, in piercing size could refer to a number of different things: The thickness of a piece of jewelry, aka the gauge, the length of straight or curved jewelry, or the diameter of round jewelry. For this article, we are focusing on Healed Piercings! Once you’ve gotten through the work of healing, and all the swelling is gone, you can get your ideal, perfect fit. That being said, getting the perfect fit is easier said than done for sure.

Lots of clients will say “I just need the normal size for X piercing.” But that’s the same as saying “I need the normal shoe size” or “The normal bra size”. There is no normal! It’s about the right size for you and your body, and that might differ from person to person and piercing to piercing.

What does an Ideal healed fit look like?

You’ve heard me say it before- we don’t have one size fits all bodies. I’m staying it again. There is no single ideal fit! It looks a little different person to person, and piercing to piercing! Let’s however review some generalizations, although these in no way cover every way an ideal fit could go for someone.

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Lobe- A fully healed earlobe can often most comfortably wear a perfect fit. This often means a short post where both the backing, and the front, rest against the lobe. Now, this doesn’t mean that either side should be indenting into the ear- a common issue with butterfly backs is people press the backing too tightly against the ear, causing irritation and issues. If you are wearing butterfly backs please be sure you aren’t pressing them too tightly. For hoops, they can snugly wrap around the lobe, but shouldn’t press up into the ear or indent the skin. Some clients prefer a post with some extra room for ease of cleaning and and swapping jewelry. A little extra room is great, but you don’t want it to be so long the jewelry is hanging forward, or getting caught or snagged constantly.

Helix- Fully healed helix piercings often wear a fairly snug fit. This means a short post where the backing and front touch the ear, or for a hoop, one with a snug diameter that has a little bit of hang. With hoops, they often won’t stick straight out unless they are too tight. A hoop should still have enough room to move back and forth comfortably and for the ear to bend and move comfortably. Depending on the location of the piercing and the angle, a stud may need some extra length to fit and sit correctly. The size and design on the front can effect this. What you don’t want is a bar that’s too long and gets caught often, as a bad snag even on a healed helix can cause irritation.

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Flat- Flat piercings follow the same healed fit rules as helixes. Some people have very thin flats and may need to custom order barbells for an ideal fit. Flat piercings don’t often wear hoops, even healed, as they have to be very large to wrap around the ear, and can be a bit cumbersome. While I know some folks like a bit of extra length for cleaning and changing, be mindful as flats can migrate easily when slept on while healing or wearing jewelry with too much extra room once healed.

Conch- these follow the same healed fit as helixes, with an exception for hoops. Some clients are able to wear very snug, very tight fitting hoops here. You still need to be cautious a fit is not so tight as to cause migration or issues, bit some clients are willing to forgo sleeping on this side indefinitely for an ideal hoop or cuff. These pieces should absolutely be sized and installed by a piercer.

Tragus- A tragus you definitely want a great fit on. Any extra length can make wearing earbuds impossible. That said no extra room plus the placement makes these tricky to change at home. I strongly advice clients to have a piercer assist them with swaps on this placement, unless they are very very comfortable working with their jewelry. Hoops in this placement always have a little extra room, and generally some hang as they tuck into the little valley under the tragus, since the tragus is tall but very thin.

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Forward Helix- Much like flats, a perfect fit is essential here. Forward Helixes can be fragile piercings, and any extra room just loves to get caught and tangled in your hair. For hoops, they should fit with a bit of hang, and be comfortable when you sleep or lay on them. Some clients struggle finding a hoop they feel is comfortable in this placement, and it can be some trial and error.

Rook- A healed rook can comfortably wear a perfectly fit curved barbell, or one with some extra room. Some folks prefer the aesthetic of seeing more barbell, and since the rook is fairly protected by the shape of the ear snagging is low risk. The benefits of longer jewlery are typically aesthetic, enjoying the look of more visible barbell, or in the case of a J curve allowing for larger and more decorative pieces on the bottom. With hoops, much like a tragus the hoop won’t be perfectly snug and touching all the way around. Then rook has a shelf shape, and the ring needs extra space to wrap around that. That said, hoops here are still super adorable, and this is a great placement for some fun decorative rings. Note that some clients struggle to adjust to a hoop comfortably, as rooks have a reputation for being somewhat bratty piercings, even well healed! This piercing can be tricky to change on your own, and given how fragile it can be, is a good one to have a piercer assist you with changing.

Daith- A healed daith has a sea of jewelry choices. Hoops of all styles, from big bold and beautiful to dainty and small all fit. For a small or snug hoop, be mindful that its not putting too much pressure on the entrance and exit of the piercing. Hoops that are too small, even in a healed daith, can cause irritation. Once healed, you can wear curved barbells in this placement, however be aware of their tendency to flip inwards, which can cause irritation even in a healed daith. Daiths also get super fun shapes, like hearts and moons, which are impractical in other locations. These unique shapes should absolutely be installed by a piercer to ensure they are put in properly, and in general this is a good piercing to have a piercer help change because of its awkward location.

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Industrial- An industrial, once healed, typically wears a straight barbell, but in recent years their have ben many fun takes on this. Decorative barbells, chain pieces, etc are all possible! You can wear an industrial as two separate piercings as well, but we aware if anything happens to cause one or both to migrate (including bumps, snags, wearing low quality) you may not be able to safely wear the full barbell again. A good fit has the tiniest bit of space on the bar for the ear to flex and bend and for sleeping, but only the smallest bit. For some clients that fit is flush, with the ends touching the ear on both sides. For others, its 1-2mm extra barbell overall. Industrials don’t need any extra length, even you are changing them on your own, and extra room just makes them get caught or snagged more often.

Anti-Tragus- If f you’ve healed an anti tragus, or a Snug, congrats, these piercings are tricky! Ideal healed fit is a perfect fit, either curved or straight barbell depending on your anatomy (and please wear the shape correct for your unique ear) with the ends just touching the skin but not indenting. Hoops can also be worn in these piercings once healed, although they will have some extra room on certain anatomy. Anti tragus piercings are very organic shapes on the ear, and as such fit differs widely ear to ear.

Other ear piercings are more individualized. For orbitals, the ideal fit for a depends entirely on the placement, and piercing method of your piercing. Please see your piercer to be fitted for this piercing, and to ensure pieces are sized and installed correctly. Transverse lobes fall in the same category, as do multi point industrials, custom industrials, and any other very unique or special ear piercings. If you plan on getting work like this, be ready to become good friends with your piercer and see them often for checkups, most jewelry changes, and other needs!