What is A Helix Piercing: The Complete Guide (2024)

Are you looking for cool ear-piercing ideas? If yes, it is time for you to try the helix piercing. It is quite different from other types of ear piercings and gives you a cool and unique look. Instead of the ear lobe, it is done on the top part of the ear. You can customize it with different jewelry styles to add a personal touch. From Miley Cyrus and Rihanna to Scarlett Johansson and Kylie Jenner, many celebrities sport helix piercings. If you are planning to get this piercing, we can help you. In this blog, we are going to discuss everything about helix piercing, from its cost and healing time to jewelry and aftercare.

What is a Helix Piercing?

what is Helix Piercing

A helix piercing is a type of ear piercing in which the cartilage is pierced. The placement of this piercing is around the upper ear instead of the ear lobe.

As the outer cartilage is pierced, it is also known as cartilage piercing. There are many different types and variations of this piercing. It is very popular among the Gen Z crowd and celebrities.

The best thing about a helix piercing is that it truly stands out with its placement, and you can style it in many different ways. If you want to make a bold style statement, you can try different helix piercing ideas.

Here are some facts about helix piercings:

PlacementOuter Cartilage
Pain Level4 to 5/ 10
Pricing$30 to $75
Healing Time3 to 6 months

Types of Helix Piercings

While there are many different types of helix piercings, we are going to discuss the most common ones.

Classic Helix Piercing

Classic Helix Piercing

This is one of the most common types of helix piercings. Here, the piercing is done at the upper part of the ear in the outer cartilage. If you want to wear huggie earrings, this is the best type of piercing. It will cover the outer edge of your ear, giving you a cool look.

Forward Helix Piercing

Forward Helix Piercing

Forward helix piercing is the opposite of classic helix piercing. The piercing is done right above the tragus (side of your face). It follows the curve of your ear and sits on the opposite side on the forward end. As the piercing site is on one end, it gives you a unique appearance.

Double Helix Piercing

double Helix Piercing

As the name goes, this type will have two piercings around the same spot. It is the double version of the classic helix piercing. If you want to wear multiple earnings, you can go for a double helix piercing.

Triple Helix Piercing

Triple Helix Piercing

It is the same as a double helix piercing, with the only difference being that instead of two piercings, there are three on the same spot. It is another classic version.

Cost of a Helix Piercing

Cost of a Helix Piercing

The cost of a helix piercing depends on many factors. However, on average, it will cost you around $30 to $75, depending on the variation and the studio you choose.

The price greatly depends on the location of the studio, the experience of the piercer, and the jewelry. At some locations, you can also get a helix piercing for $15 to $20, but it is best to avoid these studios.

Make sure you select a good studio with experienced piercers to avoid any problems. Also, when it comes to cartilage piercings, avoid using a piercing gun, as it can lead to problems like cauliflower ear or skin problems.

Jewelry Material Used for a Helix Piercing

If you are going for a helix piercing, the best jewelry materials are titanium or stainless steel, as they are inert and don’t lead to a reaction. Here are the different jewelry materials you can use:


Titanium helix piercing

Titanium is the best jewelry material for helix piercings. It is a solid choice and is available in many variations. It is just like stainless steel but is much safer as it doesn’t contain nickel. You can easily find earrings in titanium for helix piercings.


Gold helix piercing

You can also choose gold material earrings for helix piercings. While most people don’t choose gold, as it is too expensive. However, you can choose a gold earring if you want to match your piercing with other gold jewelry. Make sure you go for jewelry that is at least 14 karats to get a solid accessory.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel helix piercing

The majority of people use stainless steel material when it comes to jewelry for helix piercings. It is an affordable choice and is available in different styles. The jewelry made from this material is long-lasting and doesn’t lose its shine. However, stainless steel contains nickel, so make sure you avoid it if you are allergic.

Type of Jewelry Used for a Helix Piercing

Helix piercing gets its real appeal when it is paired with a piece of good jewelry. You can style it with different types of earrings. Here are some good options:

Hoop/ Ring

ring helix piercing

It is a popular type of earring that you can wear with helix piercings. As the name goes, the earring is like a ring or hoop shape which you can bend to wear around your ear. The two ends of this type of earrings open and close easily. To wear it, simply insert one end in the piercing hold and then close it around.


stud helix piercing

This is another type of earring you can wear with a helix piercing. Unlike a ring-shaped earring, it is a single piece with a thin and long back that you can insert in the hole. There is a small fixture with this earring that you can attach at the back to fasten it.

Pain and Healing Time

pain and healing in helix piercing

Ear piercings normally hurt a bit as the skin is pierced. However, the pain is minimal. While most people assume that helix piercings hurt more because of the location, it is not true.

According to experts, the cartilage where the piercing is done is very thin, and the needle goes through easily. This type of piercing falls low on the pain scale and is roughly around a 4 or a 5 out of 10.

You will feel only a slight pinch and a low throbbing for a few days. Also, there is not much swelling and bleeding involved. However, make sure you let the piercing wound heal properly to avoid any bumps and infection.

Make sure you don’t move the jewelry around during the first few days. Also, it is best to choose an expert piercer to avoid any pain and risk of infection.

The healing time for helix piercing is around 3 to 6 months. Cartlidge takes a bit more time to heal properly. To get the right estimate, it is best to consult your piercer. The healing time is different for everyone, but it should not take long.


aftercare for helix piercing

Helix piercings are different and need special aftercare for quick healing. Complications like bumps and scarring can occur when you pierce the cartilage, so it is important to follow the aftercare rules.

Here are some things to follow:

  • Be gentle when cleaning your helix piercing. Use a salt bath or saline soak 2-3 times a day, but avoid moving the jewelry to prevent skin damage and scars. Hold a saline-soaked cotton ball still for 3-5 minutes and pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Keep the piercing dry, especially for cartilage piercings. Moisture attracts bacteria, potentially causing infections and cartilage bumps that are hard to remove.
  • Avoid moving the jewelry, sleeping on it, or wearing headgear. Opt for a cartilage stud to minimize jewelry movement.
  • Maintain clean pillows, as they can harbor bacteria and dirt. Consider using a new pillow during healing or changing your pillowcase nightly for hygiene. You can also cover your pillow with a clean t-shirt each night to keep it fresh.

Side Effects of Piercing

side effects of helix piercing

The main risks without proper piercing care are infection and scarring:


Scars may develop if the piercing becomes excessively irritated during aftercare, leaving marks around the piercing site.


This can occur if you don’t follow aftercare instructions or if the piercing gets too irritated. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, green or yellow pus, and tenderness.


Keloids are raised scars that form when the skin overreacts to the piercing, causing excessive scar tissue to grow. They can vary in size, are generally painless, and consist of only scar tissue.

How to Change Out a Helix Piercing?

How to Change Out a Helix Piercing

It is very easy to change out of a helix piercing, but make sure you do it only after the healing is complete. If you don’t want to take any risk, it is best to visit your piercer for the first change. They can help with the steps and how you do it.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  • Step 1: Remove the backing from the piercing or open the ring to slide it out.
  • Step 2: Now insert another earring in the same manner.


How Painful Is a Helix Piercing?

On a scale of 1 to 10, the pain level for a helix piercing is around 4 to 5.

Which Side of the Ear Is Best for Helix Piercing?

It is best to choose an ear on a side where you don’t sleep to help with healing.

Are Helix Piercings Safe?

Helix piercings are safe if you do it from a reputable studio with the help of an expert piercer and take proper aftercare measures.


In conclusion, helix piercings are a popular and stylish way to accessorize your ears. They are relatively affordable and have a moderate healing time, but it is important to choose the right jewelry and follow proper aftercare instructions to prevent complications

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