With so many different kinds of ear piercings out there, it's important to do your research before you get pierced so you know exactly WHAT you want, WHERE you want it, and HOW.
We've put together a guide to all of the main ear and cartilage piercings you can get including the helix, tragus, and daith piercings – but if you get confused with all of the "inner rim," "outer conch," lingo, you might want refer to the picture below for a handy quick view.
The tragus is the inner piece of cartilage which sits over the ear canal directly above your lobe. This popular piercing can look great with studs, hoops, and in combination with lots of other jewelry.
Anti tragus piercing
The anti tragus is the little bit of cartilage next to your lobe and opposite your tragus (see below). Depending on your pain threshold this piercing can be pretty painful both during the process and in the recovery time afterwards.
Any piercing in the outer cartilage rim of the upper part of the ear is referred to as a "helix piercing." Two piercings placed one under the other in this area is called a double helix piercing.
The antihelix is the rim of cartilage inside your ear between the helix (outer rim of cartilage) and just above the anti tragus and this is where you find "snug" piercings.
Follow the antihelix round from the snug to the other end of the cartilage rim and this is where you find a rook piercing. You can rock this piercing with a hoop or barbell; whatever look you prefer.
The daith piercing is positioned at the end of the helix on the innermost part of the cartilage near to the tragus.
Standard lobe piercing
YOU KNOW THIS ONE GUYS.
Outer conch piercing
The outer conch is the dip in the ear in-between the antihelix and the helix (the two rims). The inner conch is the next "dip" after the antihelix and before the ear canal.
An orbital piercing refers to any piercing where two holes are made in the same part of the ear, so that a hoop piece of jewelry can pass through both. While these can be made in lots of places, commonly people have this piercing in the helix or the lobe.
Forward helix piercing
A forward helix piercing is made in the outer rim of your ear (the helix) at the top of the rim just above the tragus, it can often be quite painful as it is made through the cartilage in your ear. You can also get a double or a triple forward helix piercing (as below).
Rather than a singular piercing, an industrial piercing is usually two or more piercings through the ear cartilage (You brave child!). The most popular kind of industrial piercing is through the anti helix and helix, connected using a long piece of barbell jewelry (or cute arrow).
An auricle piercing is made on the outer part of the ear, usually half-way up, between the ear lobe and the helix. As it is a cartilage piercing, expect a longer recovery time and more *pain* than a lobe piercing.
Transverse lobe piercing
Instead of piercing through the lobe front to back like a standard lobe piercing, the transverse lobe piercing goes through the skin horizontally using a barbell. This kind of piercing doesn't involve cartilage, so in general more pain-free than other kinds of piercings.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.