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Helix Piercing – Facts & Everything You Need to Know

Helix Piercing also known as cartilage piercing sits on the upper side of your outer ear.

The ear offers a lot of space for piercings. There are so many different kinds of ear piercings out there but helix piercing is the most widely popular. This piercing tends to be done on the upper ear and customized with different placements and jewelry styles.

Since your upper cartilage offers a big area for piercings, you need to think twice about where you want your helix piercing before visiting your piercer.

What Is A Helix Piercing?

A helix piercing is also called a cartilage piercing because of its location somewhere on the outer cartilage of your ear. There are different kinds of helix piercings.

A standard helix piercing is made in the outer upper cartilage, but you can go with the forward helix, double helix, triple helix, and anti-helix (or snug) piercings. The only thing that differentiates the types is where they’re located on the ear.

Helix Piercing Facts

Placement: Outer cartilage of the ear
Cost: $30-$100
Pain Level: It is mostly not that painful for most people but can be painful for some
Healing Time: Four to six months
Aftercare: Wash the piercing area twice a day with antimicrobial soap
Common Jewelry: Diamond Flat Back Stud
Average Jewelry Cost: $250

Most Common Types Of Helix Piercings

Most Common Types Of Helix Piercings

Forward Helix Piercing

Follow the curve of your cartilage around the ear until you reach the side of your face just right above the tragus and this piercing area is called a forward helix.

Double Helix Piercing

While the normal helix style involves piercing the upper outer cartilage once, if you have two piercings in the same spot, just above each other, then it’s called double helix piercings.

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Triple Helix Piercing

The classic helix style involves piercing the upper outer cartilage once, if you have three piercings in the same spot, just above each other, then it’s called triple helix piercings. The double helix and triple helix are the same piercing, this is more a reference to the number you have on the same ear.

Helix Piercing Pain and Healing Time

It is mostly not that painful for most people but can be painful for some, depending on your tolerance. It’s a fact that any piercing is going to hurt as it’s just passing a needle through the skin. To help alleviate some of the pain, you should consider selecting a skilled piercer.

Further, Helix piercings generally take around four to six months to heal. Since everyone is different, and the helix has a wide range of healing times, you should talk to your piercer before changing your jewelry or stopping aftercare practices. However, if you don’t properly look after your new piercing then it could take longer.

Helix Piercing Cost

Average helix piercing costs around $50 – $60. Stores that use piercing guns usually charge less, however, you should never opt for a piercing gun for any piercing. For cartilage piercings, if you opt for a piercing gun then issues like cauliflower ear may cause by blunt force trauma to the cartilage.

A piercing gun works by forcing jewelry through the skin, which is the very definition to blunt force trauma. Additionally, piercing guns carries more bacteria than needles do. So, it’s better to always go with a needle.


Aftercare for a helix piercing is very simple. You need to wash it twice a day with saline solution or with antimicrobial soap. However, the most difficult part is to make sure to avoid irritating your piercing.

It’s also important to avoid touching or upsetting your piercing as much as necessary, as irritation could cause inflammation or even, in some cases, infections.

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Helix Piercing: Jewelry

Generally, two types of jewelry are used in the case of helix piercing. They are stud and hoop. A stud is a small piece of jewelry with a thin long backing that is inserted into the hold of a piercing. To seal a stud in place, you attach a small fixture on the other side.

Further, a hoop also called a ring is a popular choice for a helix piercing. It’s a piece of metal in a ring shape, but it’s flexible enough to easily bend. Remove a hoop by simply pulling apart the two ends.

For jewelry material here are the best options.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is a very popular choice for helix jewelry because it comes in various colors and shapes without losing any of its high quality. However, stainless steel does have nickel in it, so stay away from it if you’re allergic.

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Gold: While gold isn’t necessarily the best metal for helix jewelry, it’s not a bad choice. Be sure to get jewelry that’s at least 14 karats, though, to avoid metal that’s too soft.

Titanium: Titanium is just as solid of a choice as stainless steel is, considering it comes in tons of different appearances. The only difference between the two is that titanium does not have nickel, so it’s safe for everyone.

Side Effects of Helix Piercing

Mostly infection and scarring are the common risks if you don’t properly care for the piercing.

Infection: An infection happens when aftercare isn’t followed properly, or the piercing has become over-irritated. Common signs of an infection include redness, swelling, green or yellow pus, and tenderness. If you see symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Scarring: A scar forms if the piercing becomes too irritated during the aftercare process and can leave some unsightly marks around the piercing site.

Keloids: Keloids are raised scars that form when the skin has healed around a wound, causing extra scar tissue to grow as an over-defense against the physical trauma of a piercing. They can range in size but generally aren’t painful and contain nothing but scar tissue.

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