55+ Types of Earrings, Earrigns Backs and Ear Piercings

Types of earrings - faverie

It’s commonplace these days for young girls to get their ears pierced and wear earrings throughout their lifetime. While the popularity of males wearing earrings has slowed down quite a bit, there are still many males that opt for this variety of accessories on their ear lobes. 

This article is dedicated to different types of earrings. We will be discussing the history of the earring, how it is worn, the different styles available, and the different types of backs that are used to keep earrings in place.

You may find this article helpful if you’re considering getting your ears pierced for the first time, but it’s still very comprehensive if you’ve been wearing earrings for almost your entire life but simply want to know more about them. We’ll hopefully answer all of the questions you have regarding earrings.

Let’s jump right in!

Earrings fundamentals

Looking beautiful when you’re going out or just staying in is very important in regard to self-esteem and putting your best foot forward professionally and personally. Earrings have been around since 2500 BC in a few different forms.

There have been periods of time when women had actual holes pierced into their ears. There have also been popular clip-on earrings in the past that don’t require any kind of permanent change to the body. 

This type of accessory can highlight a woman’s best features and help her bring her entire outfit together. With so many different varieties available, there’s something for every ensemble and style.

Detail woman smile earring

This article is dedicated to the fundamentals of earrings. From what they are to the different styles available, we’ll cover it all. You might be looking for ideas of different ways to make use of your ear piercings. This could also be the first time you’re considering this type of accessory. 

Let’s get started with all the earring basics that you need to know about.

What are earrings?

An earring is a simple accessory that is worn in the center of the ear lobe. It has a post adhered to the back of the earring that will pass through a hole in the ear. A fastener will go onto that fastener behind the ear to hold the earring in place. There are also varieties of earrings that simply clip onto the lobe of the ear without the use of a permanent hole.

Earrings are traditionally worn by women as just another one of their accessory options. However, there have been periods of time when men also opted for a piercing in either one or both of their ears. 

From simple diamond studs to elaborate dangling earrings, there are many different styles to choose from. Most people change out their earrings frequently to stay current with their outfits or style. 

Though, when you first get your ears pierced, you are required to leave the same pair of piercing earrings in your lobes for a certain number of weeks so they heal properly, and the holes don’t close.

What’s the most popular earring style?

We’ve briefly touched on the fact that there are a number of different earring styles to choose from. What you select on any given day will really be determined by the outfit that you’re wearing and where you’re going. 

The most popular style of earrings is the stud. This is a thin post that is inserted through the lobe of your ear. It is fastened in the back, and there is something decorative in the front. For the most part, studs usually have something very simple in the way of detail.

The stud is a popular earring style because of how comfortable and practical it is. You don’t have anything dangling, posing a safety risk if your earring were to get caught on something. However, you still get to accessorize. 

Woman posing looking side

Studs can usually be left in the ear lobe for days on end. You can sleep in them comfortably without issue. A larger hoop earring or something that hangs low off the ear would move around too much.

History & origins of earrings

Approximately 5,000 years ago, a man named Otzi perished in the Alps near the border of Italy/Austria. Otzi is Europe’s oldest preserved human. He was frozen in the Alps from about 3300 BC to September 1991. 

Because of the preserved condition he was in, archaeologists were able to gather quite a bit of information about him. It was noted that he had large holes in his ears, suggesting that the piercings had been there for much of his lifetime.

Hoop earrings were quite popular in the area of Asia and the Middle East approximately 4,000 years ago. The Ancient Egyptians were known for wearing earrings from around 1650 BC. 

They were exclusively worn by pharaohs before this concept eventually spread to the rest of society. It wasn’t uncommon for other cultures to use earrings as a way to express a person’s background or political loyalty.

In the 1970s, piercings became popular on other parts of the ear. Earrings could be placed on the helix, tragus, rook, and daith. The jewelry for these piercings was a bit different, featuring much thicker stainless-steel designs.

What’s the back of a stud earring called?

The most popular method of keeping an earring in the ear is by way of the push-back or butterfly earring closure. It slides directly onto the earring post, on the back end of the earring behind the ear. The size of these backs can vary based on the size of the earring/post. 

The metal/material of the backs also varies. Most are made of the same material as the earring post. There are other varieties you can purchase to fit onto your existing earrings if you react to certain backs/metals.

Some earring backs will have a small piece of rubber on them to protect the back of your ear and to promote a more comfortable fit of your earring. If you’re wearing a clip-on earring, there is a comfortable pad on the back of the clip that will hang onto your ear lobe without digging into the skin. 

There are earrings that have a French clip on the jewelry. The post of the earring will fit through the piercing. However, the lower part of the earring will have a small clasp that fits under the ear lobe and attaches to the part of the post that reaches through the ear to the back.

We’ve touched base on some of the basics of earrings, their history, and their design. In the coming chapters, we’re going to discuss different types of earrings, different types of backs, and different types of piercings. We hope you’ll stay with us to learn more.

Types of earrings

Knowing what type of earrings you should wear for a specific event is critical. Thus, you must be familiar with the different types available out there. From very simple studs to more elaborate dangling earrings, there are so many different varieties to choose from based on what you’re comfortable in and what looks nice on you.

An iceman mummy in the Italian Alps was discovered a few decades ago. He had somewhere between a 7 to 11-millimeter diameter earlobe piercing, and it is likely he lived approximately 5,000 years ago. So, we know that ear piercings have been popular for a very long time. 

However, cultural customs and recent fashion trends have dictated the kinds of earrings that have been created. Let’s start by looking at the different types of earrings that are popular or have been popular in the past.

Stud earrings

Stud earrings are a type of jewelry that usually have a center stone or adornment that is attached to a narrow pole that goes through the piercing in the ear lobe. An ear backing is then affixed to the back of the earring to keep it in place so it won’t fall out. Other methods of attaching the stud earring are using a hook style, pushback, or lever.

The stud earring dates back as far as 7,000 years. They were popular in Asia, where men would wear them to show their social class. The more modern version of the stud earring became popular in the early 1900s. It’s now a very comfortable and convenient type of jewelry that doesn’t often get caught on anything or fall out easily.

Teardrop earrings

Teardrop earrings are quite a bit larger than your average hoop or stud variety. The main decorative part of the earrings is shaped like a drop of water or a tear. The teardrop usually hangs separately from a post-design that fits through the ear lobe. 

This is considered to be a dangling earring that has an elaborate or ornamental concept. They come in different sizes and can be made from a few different materials.

Dangle earrings

Dangle earrings are considered to be a type of drop earrings. Dangling below the ear lobe, this is a more dramatic jewelry option that is more than likely worn for a formal event. 

Detail woman ear teardrop earring

There are different types of dangle earrings that exist, and we will cover them in the coming descriptions. From something very extravagant to something simpler that hangs close to the ear, dangle earrings are very feminine and sophisticated.

Drop earrings

Drop earrings provide a very elegant style, and they come in a wide range of both classic and modern styles. You can really customize your look by choosing a style of drop earrings that complement the size of your ears, the shape of your face, and the outfit that you’re wearing. 

Hanging just below the ear lobe, drop earrings can include a variety of details, such as diamonds, pearls, and gemstones. Drop earrings come in gold and silver metals.

Hoop earrings

A hoop earring is a thin piece of metal made of usually stainless steel, silver, or gold. The hoop may be made of the same gauge all the way around, and the hoop will actually fit into the piercing in the ear lobe. 

However, other hoops have a thicker gauge for the decorative part of the earring. The earrings will then taper down to a thinner gauge that fits through the lobe of your ear. 

Hoop earrings can close together with a small clasp that is situated behind the ear lobe. There may also be a hollow end of the hoop that the other end will fit securely into once you have fed the earring through your ear.

English lock earrings

While you may not have ever heard of the English lock earring, you probably have some of them in your jewelry collection right now. It’s a very common option for heavier earrings that you want to stay in your ears without falling out and getting lost. 

The English lock has a small post up at the top of the earring that is in the front of the jewelry. This post will go through your ear lobe and then connect to a separate clasp on the back of the earring. 

The back of the clasp may include a U-shaped design that the earring clips into. There may also be a hole in a flattened piece of metal that you fit the post into.

Ear threader earrings

The ear threader earring is very dainty and pretty. Rather than having a distinct front and back to the earring, the entire earring is one piece that will slide right through your piercing. 

A common threader design features a thin chain that is fed through the ear lobe by way of a thin metal plug on the end. There are also thin loops of metal that you feed through the hole in your ear until they are secured in place.

Wire hook earrings

Wire hook earrings feature a hook design that is shaped similarly to a kidney. You will turn the earring in place to feed it through your piercing, and then turn the earring, so it hangs properly and stays in place. 

This is a common earring style for heavier things like holiday-themed items and such. You’ll also find this style of hook at craft stores if you’re going to be making your own designs.

C hoop earrings

C hoop earrings are shaped like the letter “C.” They don’t typically close on either end of the earring. Instead, they are thicker at one end so that the earring doesn’t fall out of the ear. 

The thicker portion is usually on the front of the earring, where you want your jewelry to be visible. A thinner part of the earring will remain in the back. This variety of earring comes in different sizes, metals, and styles.

Bajoran earrings

Bajoran earrings were very elaborate pieces of jewelry that were traditionally worn on only the right ear of the Bajoran people. This expression was used as a symbol of their faith. Each person that wore the Bajoran earring found a way to customize their piece using the symbol of their family unit. This was a way to spot a person’s caste.

Shoulder duster earrings

Shoulder duster earrings are very long and will often reach down to the shoulder. This is essentially a dangler or drop earring, but with much more length. The most common style includes long chains that come in different shapes and designs. This is the earring to wear if you want to make a dramatic statement.

Clip-on earrings

Not all earrings require you to put a permanent hole into your ear. You can opt for clip-on earrings that simply clip lightly onto your ear lobe for a temporary period of time. You simply unclip it when you want to take your jewelry off. 

Clip-on earrings come in many styles, but they tend not to get too large. Too much size to the jewelry would make them more prone to slipping off.

Ear cuff earrings

Detail woman ear earrings
Source: Kimia Zarifi on Unsplash

Ear cuffs are usually worn up on the helix of the ear. They can be worn in legitimate piercings, but there are versions that simply hug the ear without having to be threaded into a hole. Ear cuffs usually have a large band design that is wide and noticeable. There may be other distinctive details like engraving, gemstones, etc.

Ear crawler earrings

Ear crawler earrings are worn when you only have one hole on each ear or there is a large gap between your piercings. A post will fit into your piercing, and there will be a long, decorative earring that trails up the rest of your ear without having to enter any other areas of the ear. 

You can change between the look of having a single piercing versus having multiple piercings on one ear without having to invest in more jewelry. This type of accessory comes in both formal and casual varieties.

Chandelier earrings

Chandelier earrings feature long and elaborate dangling designs that usually include different tiers of gemstones, crystals, and beads. This type of jewelry is worn when you want to make a noticeable statement, so they aren’t typically considered to be simple. 

It’s fun to invest in different types of chandelier earrings. People will constantly be asking you where you got them from.

Tassel earrings

Tassel earrings are a fun accessory that provides a much more casual style option. Adhered to some sort of post design, tassels will actually be made of some sort of fabric/thread. 

Grouped together and then hanging down like a drop earring, tassel earrings can be matched to your outfit thanks to all of the different types that are available. Some tassel earrings have beads hanging from the threaded design.

Jacket earrings

Jacket earrings are a stud-style accessory that comes with a decorative backing that gently curves around the lower edge of your earlobe. Rather than just having much of the detail on the front of the jewelry, you’re also utilizing the back of your pieces to show off. 

You can find different collections of jacket earrings in various metals with different diamonds, pearls, gemstones, and more. This allows you to create a one-of-a-kind style for yourself that matches your outfit. Jacket earrings tend to be a bit on the formal style, but you may be able to find something simple and casual as well.

Cluster earrings

Cluster earrings can really vary in style quite a bit. Their general design features just about any kind of earring with a small cluster of gemstones grouped together. You may see a few different stones clustered at the point where the post goes through your ear. And then a separate cluster hangs down off the ear lobe. 

There are also stud earrings that have a cluster design and do not hang down at all. This will give you a bold earring option that stands alone well if you only have one piercing in each ear or if there is a good deal of space between the first and the second.

Huggie earrings

Huggie earrings are perfect for the person that wants to keep their earring holes open but doesn’t want to fuss around with large earrings that may feel uncomfortable. Also, many people are sensitive to different metals and shapes of earrings, especially if they have a lot of weight to them. 

The huggie earring is a small hoop that won’t hang any lower than the ear lobe. It hugs right along the bottom of your ear and wraps around the other side. This look is stylish if you have a number of holes pierced in your ears. 

You line your lobes with the same huggie earrings, and you have a very uniform and consistent look that you can leave in for days without having to change them. 

They’re also really easy to keep clean and sleep in. Huggie earrings can be found in metals such as stainless steel, gold, and silver. They also come in a variety of millimeters and gauges.

Lever back earrings

Featuring curved ear wires that secure the earring in place, lever-back earrings are very common. They click easily into place and don’t tend to come loose. This style is usually used for dangling earrings. 

What’s more, it has been used dating back all the way to 300 BC when the Greeks would use emeralds, amethysts, and pearls to make jewelry. The lever-back style was a little less advanced than what we have today, but the concept was the same.

Barbell earrings

A barbell earring looks a lot like the barbells that you would use for working out. However, this is a more miniature version that weighs a lot less. A center bar has an adjustable weight located at each end in the form of a ball or bead. 

One of the balls or beads is permanently fixed to its end while the other side screws on and off. This is another form of stud earring that is meant to be left in for days at a time. This is a type of jewelry item that you would get from an actual piercing facility. 

They usually come in thicker gauges than you would find in a traditional jewelry store. So the way your ears are pierced may need to be a bit different. Barbell earrings come in different colors and styles. Some even with a curved bar in the middle. However, this type of earring is usually made from stainless steel.

Circular barbell earrings

A circular barbell earring is more of a “U” shape, with part of the side missing. However, each of the open ends has a ball or plate on the end of it. It’s the same concept as the barbell earring. 

So one end is affixed to the earring and the other will come off so you can take the earring on and off again. Circular barbell earrings give the illusion that you’re wearing a hoop earring, but it doesn’t close together at the center of the hoop. 

This is definitely a more modern design. If you’re really looking to make a statement, you should look for circular barbell earrings that have small spikes on the ends of the barbell.

Plug earrings

Plug earrings or earplugs are a type of jewelry that can be worn by both men and women. They’ve been part of human history for decades and are quite a fashion statement. To wear plug earrings, you usually have to start with a smaller diameter piercing.

Detail man ear plug earrings
Source: Kilian Seiler on Unsplash

Over time, the hole can be stretched so you can fit larger plugs into the holes. You may have seen some pretty large plugs in people’s ears before. Sometimes with additional jewelry fed through the center of the plugs.

Mismatched earrings

Don’t feel like you have to match all of your earrings all of the time. If you have one hole in each ear or you have multiple ear holes to fit with jewelry, think about wearing all different combinations of studs or hoops. You can also mix the two for a really customized look. 

Start out at the bottom with some larger hoops, follow up with studs, and then wear a smaller pair of hoops at the next level. Try wearing a moon-shaped stud in one ear and a star in the other. Tap into your creative side to come up with a bold fashion statement.

Ear climbers

Ear climbers are essentially the same thing as the ear crawler earring. A small stud will fit into your piercing. The earring will have a broad design on the front that travels up the ear lobe. 

Some ear climbers are short and would only take up a small amount of space that would cover two or so holes. Other climbers are quite long and cover most of your ears. You can wear climbers in each ear or mix and match them for a more unique look.

Ear spike earrings

Spike earrings can come in a few different styles, though spikes are worked into the design in some way. The spikes may be on the front of a stud. They can also be included on the back of the earrings, as the part that’s fastened onto the ear to hold it into place. There are also dangling earrings that have spikes hanging from them.

Ball earrings

Ball earrings are very simple but can be worn in a few different ways. Balls are made from stainless steel, gold, or silver. The size of the ball can vary from very small to very big. It’s common to wear different-sized ball earrings among various piercings. 

There may be a ball stud that then has a dangling portion coming off of it. In general, ball earrings are a minimalist design that still allows you to accessorize your look with ease.

Pearl earrings

Pearl earrings can be made out of either freshwater pearls or cultural pearls. They are available in different colors, sizes, shapes, and designs. This is a very classic and timeless accessory that has been worn as part of Chinese culture for many centuries. 

Pearls were a way to show your family’s status in society. Eventually, pearls became a more accessible jewelry option that most women own today.

Diamond earrings

Diamonds are indeed a girl’s best friend, but men can also wear diamond earrings. This valuable jewel comes in different styles and shapes with different clarities available. 

Woman posing chin jewelry

Diamonds are a piece that you invest in and keep for a lifetime. They can be worn for formal events as well as more casual occasions. Usually, the size of the diamond will determine what kind of wardrobe you’re selecting.

Hypoallergenic earrings

When you have a pair of hypoallergenic earrings, this usually means that your jewelry is nickel-free. Other materials are much easier to keep clean, and they don’t t harbor bacteria as easily as other jewelry materials can when nickel is present. Ideally, you need to keep any piercing clean and take care of it to prevent infection and irritation.

This has been a very comprehensive list of the different types of earrings that you can choose to wear. Some of them may be easier to find at this point in time, but it’s beneficial to know the history of earrings if you have piercings of your own. 

We would love to hear what some of your favorite pairs of earrings are and where you got them from, so drop us a comment down below. 

Read on to the next chapter, where we’re going to be talking about the different types of earrings backs that are used to keep this type of jewelry in place.

Types of earrings backs

The design of an earring features a specific piece on the back that will hold the earring in place, so it looks nice. This backing will also prevent the earring from sliding out of the pierced hole.

This chapter is going to cover some of the different types of earring backs that are used in the construction of jewelry. Some of them are quite common, and you probably have them as part of your accessory collection right now.

Many people prefer one type of earring back to another based on comfort level for the most part. You don’t really see the back of an earring. So the backing really comes down to what feels good on the ear. 

Some people have very sensitive skin that will react to certain types of metals or materials, making it challenging to find earring backs that work for them.

You should also take into consideration the weight of your earrings. Backs are usually selected based on the style of an earring and how it’s going to fit the ear. 

If an earring is very heavy or has the potential to move around a lot, a secure clasp on the back will be a necessity. Let’s not delay talking about some of the different types of earring backs that are commonly used.

Lever back

The lever back earring backing is an enclosed unit that has a spring-loaded lever which is then attached to a wire that loops through the ear. That lever is connected to the earring by a flexible hinge. 

You’ll usually see a lever back on a dangling or hanging earring that has some weight to it. This enclosure will keep the earring in place while also preventing the earring from becoming lost if it moves around at all. Lever backs come in many different materials, such as gold and silver.

Long hook

The long hook earring back is also commonly referred to as a fish hook earring or French hook. A long and thin piece of metal will curve through the pierced ear lobe and then extend behind the lobe. 

This design doesn’t feature any kind of additional backing. However, some jewelry companies may use one just to provide a little bit of extra support. Long hook earrings are relatively discreet and will usually be covered by some sort of ornamental design hanging in the front of the ear lobe.

Screw back

A screw earring back is a small piece of jewelry that needs to be paired with a very specific type of earring post. The screw back will turn in one direction until it fits onto the post securely. When done correctly, the back should not be able to come off on its own. 

You will have to unscrew the back in the opposite direction until it comes off, and you can remove the earring. This type of enclosure will usually be featured on stud earrings. It doesn’t work well for something that is hooked through the ear and dangles.

Hoop wire

A hoop wire earring back is a circle of wire that is worn through a hole in the ear lobe. Hoop wires can close a few different ways, though they often have one end of wire that fits into the other end of the earring for a very seamless look. 

These earrings are generally quite thin, made with just an 18- or 20-gauge wire. You can find large varieties that hang slightly below the ear lobe, but there are hoop earrings/backings that appear to hug the ear a bit more with no real gap underneath the ear.

Push back post

A push-back post is also referred to as a friction back. Shaped like a butterfly, this small piece of metal will push onto the wire post that is fed through the ear piercing. There may be a little bit of resistance when first putting it on. But this is so the back will not fall off when you’re going about your day. 

The material that a push-back post is made out of will generally be the same as the metal used for the earrings. You can also purchase replacement push-back posts if yours have become lost or have started to tarnish, which can be common with a piece of material that is pressed so close up against your ear lobe.

Hinged back

Having a hinge design on the back of your earring keeps a hoop or dangle in place without having an open latch. The front portion of the earring that feeds through the ear lobe will click lightly into place inside of a hinge that is fitted on the back of the earring. You can simply click and unclick the hinged back when you want to change up your earrings.

Fish hook

Woman posing side colorful earring

Fish hook earring backs got their name because they resemble the hook that you would use when you’re out fishing. Also referred to as French hooks, fish hook earring backs contour along a piercing. You’ll usually see this back utilized for a jewelry design that hangs down below the ear (drops or dangles).

Latch back

Latch backs are also known as click-top backs or snap backs. Commonly used for dangling earrings, hoops, or drop earrings, the latch back features a mechanism that goes over the post of the earring. This will then hold the earring in its place. 

If you need to open the latch back, you push down to release the catch. Simply slide the earring through the ear and close the latch back up before you move on.

Clip On Back

You can skip the permanent piercing by opting for earrings with clip-on backs. The clip-on back will not actually fasten into place like a regular earring will. Rather, you have two pieces of metal that will hug the ear on the front and the back. It’s tight enough that the earring won’t fall off.

Clip-on backs can be used with different types of earrings. You can find them on simple stud-style earrings that don’t hang below the ear lobe. There are also clip-on earrings that are dangles or hanging earrings. They’re not incredibly popular these days as most people have their ears pierced, but you can still find them if need be.

Saddle Back Earring Backs

Saddle back earring backs are designed in a way that fits over the front post of your earrings and hangs through the center of the back. They’re very convenient and easy to use. So if you have trouble maneuvering earrings into and out of your ears, this is an ideal backing option. 

If you’re prone to losing your earrings, saddle backs won’t typically fall out. The weight of the earring will be distributed across different points of your ear. So there won’t be any kind of irritation or sensitivity that develops in one spot.

Plastic Backs

We talked about how earring backs are usually made of the same metal or material that the rest of the earring is. However, there are plastic backs that you can purchase separately for your frequently worn earrings. 

There are some costume jewelry pieces that will come with this more affordable back option as well. If you find that your earring backs tarnish easily and you want the option of being able to replace them, consider investing in a collection of plastic backs. 

They are easy to replace, and you won’t mind tossing a pair of them in the garbage to start with a fresh set when you notice that they’re getting worn out. This is a slightly lightweight and flimsy option for an earring back. So keep this in mind if you’re trying to find backs for a dangling pair of earrings that are very heavy.

Jumbo Earring Backs

Jumbo earring backs are usually made of rubber or plastic in disk form. A small hole in the center of the disc is where the post of your earring will fit into. This is a preferred earring back for larger stud earrings that may pull down in the front of your ear lobe. They’re comfortable and provide a secure method of keeping your earrings in place.

After covering many of the commonly featured earring backs, you’ve probably taken note that you’ve seen many of them before. However, you probably didn’t know what they were called or had given much thought as to why they were used. 

In the next chapter, we’re going to be discussing different types of ear piercings. It’s common for the bottom of the ear lobe to be pierced, but there are other areas with more cartilage that can also feature jewelry. We hope you’ll stay with us to learn more.

Types of ear piercings

For most people who get their ears pierced, the first location of piercings is at the center of the ear lobe. There isn’t much cartilage located at this spot, so it’s generally a pretty comfortable piercing that doesn’t cause a lot of pain.

As people get older and decide that they want to get more ear piercings, those piercings usually extend up the ears. Some people choose to keep the look symmetrical on both sides, while other people customize their look with a hole here and another hole there. Single piercings are common at the top of the helix or at the daith.

Chapter four of this article is going to focus on the different areas of the ear that you can get pierced. We’ll talk about the area of the ear that gets pierced, the pain level, the jewelry used, etc. You should be able to use this information to come up with the perfect spot for your next piercing.

Industrial ear piercing

An industrial ear piercing is also known as a scaffold piercing. It actually incorporates one piece of jewelry through two piercings at the top of the ear where the helix is located. The jewelry is a straight and long bar that feeds through the holes and is closed using stainless steel balls that screw on the ends of the bar. 

Detail man side earrings

This piercing is typically done with a 12- or 14-gauge needle and jewelry. The two holes can be swapped out with captive bead rings if you want a different look. In general, the industrial ear piercing with the straight bar can be a little uncomfortable if you’re used to laying on that side while you sleep or you have long hair that can become entwined with the jewelry.

Helix ear piercing

A helix piercing is done at the top area of the cartilage that isn’t quite at the very top of the ear but traveling slightly down the curvature. A helix piercing can be done using one of two different piercing techniques. 

A simpler option that utilizes a smaller hole, a helix piercing using a piercing gun will make a small puncture in the ear and insert a small stud earring right into the hole. Besides, you can also have your helix pierced with a 12-to-14-gauge needle with stainless steel jewelry.

Forward helix ear piercing

Slightly different from your typical helix piercing, the forward helix ear piercing is located on the outer cartilage that is close to your face. The needle goes through the forward-facing side of your ear and is just above where the tragus is located. Usually, this piercing features simple jewelry pieces, like a small stud or barbell.

Lobe ear piercing

A piercing that goes through the fleshy part of your ear is considered to be a lobe ear piercing. This is the most standard ear piercing that even small children have done. It’s a comfortable piercing because of how soft this area of the ear is. 

Woman posing winter hand chin

The piercing needle doesn’t have to travel through any amount of thick cartilage to form the hole. You can adorn your lobe ear piercing with anything from decorative studs to large, dangling jewelry.

Conch ear piercing

The conch ear piercing is located at a space that’s actually moving towards the inside of the ear. A needle is inserted into the slight crevice that is vertically located upward from the lobe. It’s a pretty thick area of the ear, so expect a little pain when the needle is inserted. 

A barbell is the standard piece of jewelry for this piercing since a captive bead ring would have to be very large to reach all the way around and behind the ear before closing.

Snug ear piercing

The location on the ear that is considered the snug is the space that is in the middle ear, just above where the anti-tragus is. It’s indeed a snug little area, and a small, curved barbell is the best jewelry option to keep the area clean and comfortable. 

Though, some people opt for a small hoop earring. This was a very popular piercing a number of years ago thanks to its ability to control appetite, mood, and chronic pain.

Daith ear piercing

Daith piercings are done using a small ring that goes through the inner cartilage of either ear and then runs through a pressure point. This piercing can be for decoration, but it’s also commonly done to relieve and prevent migraine pain. 

Because it’s really important that this piercing is put in the right spot to reap potential benefits, you should have it performed at a tattoo and piercing shop where professionals are experienced with this type of piercing.

Rook ear piercing

The rook piercing is located at the uppermost region of your ear’s cartilage. Located just above the tragus, the rook is in the antihelix portion of the ear. A hollow needle is used to go through this thick area before jewelry is fed through. 

A small barbell is the jewelry of choice for this piercing. If you were to select something like a captive bead ring, it would be sticking straight out from the ear at an awkward angle. This is a very hard and thick area of the ear where a lot of cartilage is present. 

So expect a good deal of pain when you have this piercing done. You should work with a professional that can quickly complete the process of piercing your rook in order to keep the pain to a minimum.

Tragus ear piercing

The tragus portion of your ear is located at the triangular flap of your ear that is right near the canal. If you were to push on your ears to block out sound, this is the little area of skin that you would probably touch. 

A tragus piercing will go through the front and come out through the back. Inserted for jewelry will be a very short and small barbell. But a captive bead ring may be a better option if you’re worried about the bead coming off and going into your ear. 

If you do choose a CBR, it should be very small and comfortable. This isn’t a part of the ear that will have a thick gauge piercing, so expect something upwards from 16 gauge.

Orbital ear piercing

An orbital ear piercing goes through the cartilage in the front of the ear and then comes out through the back. This is also referred to as a conch piercing. You’ll typically see this kind of piercing in the upper portion of the ear, and two piercings may be used with one piece of jewelry connecting the two holes. 

There are many different jewelry options you can utilize with an orbital piercing, but most people opt for the simple barbell design. They come in a lot of different sizes and styles, so you can choose what reflects your personal style and personality.

It’s a good idea to let a professional change out your jewelry for you if you have an orbital piercing. It can be difficult to do it on your own with so little space to work with. If you’re not quick enough, you could risk having the hole start to close up while you’re trying to work with it.

Anti-tragus ear piercing

An anti-tragus piercing is performed using a 16- or 18-gauge needle. It is located on the middle section of the ear’s cartilage. Sitting directly across from the traditional tragus location, this type of piercing will only fit comfortably on someone that has enough cartilage to work with. 

A professional piercer will be able to tell you if you’re a candidate for an anti-tragus piercing. The pain level of this piercing will really depend on your own personal tolerance level. You do need to make sure it’s kept very clean to prevent infection.

Transverse lobe piercing

One of the most unique ear piercings you’ll see, the transverse lobe piercing features a straight barbell that will go in through the side of the ear lobe and angle up and back along the lobe. It then punches out the other side. All you’ll really be able to see are the two balls that are attached to the barbell jewelry. 

The only thing that can complicate this piercing is if you already have an ear lobe piercing that goes in the front, out the ear, and out the back. Your piercer will have to make sure that they stay away from that hole so they don’t punch through it.

This chapter covered the most common ear-piercing locations, but this is also a pretty complete list. We’d love to hear about some of your ear piercings and which one is your favorite, so leave us a comment below. You can also let us know what kind of jewelry you wear in each of these piercings.


We hope that you found the history of earrings interesting. Most people are aware that this was an accessory worn many years ago by a number of cultures, but it’s not a commonly known fact that earrings date back all the way to five thousand years ago, backed by evidence from Otzi the Iceman. Styles have certainly changed and evolved over the centuries and decades, coming to the point we’re at today with earring styles.

Please comment below if you have a specific question about earrings, their history, their types, or how to wear them. Please, share this post with any of your friends or family that might find this information interesting as well. 

Let us know below what your favorite pair of earrings is and where you got them from. We have other posts you can reference if you’re looking for information on additional accessories and fashion items.

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