Woman with Helix Piercing

Cartilage piercings are, by far, the most common piercings out there today. Not only does the cartilage offer a plethora of piercing opportunities, but it’s also more widely accepted in workplaces, and they can be easily hidden by hair. Because of these reasons, they’ve exploded in popularity.

But, with so many cartilage piercings to choose from, it can be hard to decide which cartilage piercing to get.

We’ve come up with this handy dandy diagram to help you understand what cartilage piercings are available for you. 

If you’re still having problems deciding, here are some of our favorites and the jewelry that goes with them.

diagram of cartilage piercings

The daith piercing

The daith piercing is located in the flap of cartilage right above the ear canal. While it might seem like an especially painful piercing to get since the cartilage is so thick, it shouldn’t hurt more than any other cartilage piercing. However, those who have gotten the daith piercing have said that they experienced an uncomfortable crunching noise as the needle went through the cartilage since it’s so close to the ear canal. 

We love the daith piercing because you can wear gorgeous hoops right in the center of your ear. The hoop will decorate the inside of your ear, making it a beautiful addition to a cartilage party or an alluring look on its own. Bonus: there’s anecdotal evidence that supports the idea that it could relieve chronic migraine pain (although no scientific evidence supports this claim).

The tragus piercing

The tragus piercing takes place in the triangular flap of cartilage in front of the ear canal. (You might use this flap of cartilage to plug your ears when you hear loud noises.)

This piercing is fantastic because it is so dainty. If you’re one who has been wanting an alternative piercing, but you don’t want anything big, the tragus piercing could be perfect for you. Since the tragus is so small, it only accepts dainty piercings, but it’s also a unique piercing making it stand out for its rarity.

The rook piercing

This piercing is located in the fold of cartilage above where the daith piercing takes place. Not everyone has cartilage that will allow for a piercing here, so if you’re unsure, you should have a piercer take a look beforehand.

The rook piercing is great because, unlike many other piercings in the cartilage, it’s a completely front-facing piercing. This means that both the entry and exit holes are visible in front of the ear (unlike other ear piercings, like the lobe piercing, where the exit hole is located behind the ear). This means that you can wear adorable curved barbells as well as circular barbells and hoops. This makes the rook piercing one of the most versatile of the cartilage piercings.

The industrial piercing

Unlike any other cartilage piercing, the industrial piercing actually comprises two piercings: the helix and forward helix. These two piercings are then joined by a straight barbell running through them.

Because the industrial piercing is made up of two piercings, you can choose to wear individual earrings in each piercing or join them as one. However, the look of a straight barbell running through the two piercings looks amazing, and you can even choose barbells with decorative gemstones in the center, creating a super badass look.

The auricle piercing

Located in the middle of the rim cartilage, the auricle piercing is very similar to the popular helix piercing, but since it’s located a little lower, you have a few more jewelry choices.

Like the helix piercing, you can decorate your auricle piercing with a hoop, circular barbell, or stud, or you can go big with an ear cuff or shield. The auricle piercing is also fantastic on its own or combined with multiple lobe or helix piercings (or both).

There’s really no limit of what you can get pierced in your cartilage. The hardest part is deciding where. If you need more inspiration, check out our Instagram page to see some amazing cartilage parties.

Here’s some more useful info on Cartilage Piercings

  • Piercing Size Chart: What gauge? What length? Your piercing size questions are answered here.
  • Cartilage Piercing & Jewelry Guide: Here’s a more extensive guide of all the different types of ear piercings and the jewelry for them. Including how much does the piercing cost or how much will it hurt?

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