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For those who are keen for a new piercing in the inner cartilage, the rook piercing is one of the most interesting ones that you can get. 

To achieve the look, a piercer passes a needle through the rook ridge (also known as the anterior crux of the anti-helix). A single piece of jewelry, normally a curved barbell, will be passed through the piercing once it’s pierced.

However, ear cartilage is one of the most anatomically varied parts of the body. If you look in the mirror and can’t find a substantial rook ridge (the fold of cartilage that is directly below the upper rim of the ear) don’t panic; lots of people have a flatter rook ridge.

If your rook ridge isn’t suitable for the rook piercing, don’t give up just yet. There is a way to achieve a similar look with something called the faux rook piercing.

Here’s a quick guide to the difference between the rook and the faux rook and which one you should choose (if you even have a choice).

What is the rook piercing?

As mentioned previously, the rook piercing is a single piercing that goes straight through the flap of cartilage located directly below the upper rim of the ear (between where the forward helix and daith piercings would appear). 

closeup rook piercing

This piercing is done parallel to the ear, and it’s a front-facing piercing, which means that both the entry and exit holes appear at the front of the ear. It’s usually filled with a curved barbell—with the bead ends sticking out above and below the fold of cartilage—but you can also wear a small hoop.

While you might have some say in placement, the rook piercing largely depends upon the anatomy of your ear, so it’s possible that your piercer will dictate the placement, and that’s it.

What is the faux rook piercing?

The faux rook piercing is meant to emulate the look of a rook piercing with a curved barbell, but it consists of two piercings instead of one. (Or you can also get just one piercing right above the rook ridge.)

Rather than piercing the rook ridge, the piercer will pierce the cartilage above and below the rook ridge, filling the holes with cartilage studs. 

People opt for the faux rook piercing for a couple of reasons. The first is that they simply don’t have a suitable rook ridge for piercing. This fold of cartilage has to be just right in order to conduct the piercing safely, and many people aren’t able to get the rook piercing, so they settle for the faux rook look.

Another reason to get the faux rook piercing is if you want the versatility of a double piercing. If you get a faux rook, you can opt to decorate one or both piercings at any time, and it can be fun to have that option.

The faux rook piercing can also be customized when it comes to placement. While the placement of the true rook piercing will depend on the shape of your rook ridge, the faux rook piercing can be placed pretty much anywhere in that general area; it doesn’t even have to perfectly emulate the look of the rook piercing if you don’t want it to.

What jewelry do I wear in a rook vs. a faux rook piercing?

Perhaps the biggest difference between the rook and the faux rook is the type of jewelry that they accept.

In the standard rook piercing, you can wear a curved barbell, circular barbell, or a hoop style (like a seamless hoop, captive bead ring, or clickers). 

In a faux rook piercing, you can only wear cartilage studs, so you won’t ever be able to emulate the appearance of a rook piercing decorated with a hoop. However, you could get a piercing accessory, like a chain, to connect the two cartilage studs to get a similar look to a hoop. 

If you love the look of a rook piercing with a curved barbell, but you don’t have the anatomy suitable for a rook piercing, talk to your piercer about placement for your faux rook piercing. They’ll be able to pierce you in a way to emulate the rook piercing as closely as possible, even if the jewelry type is completely different.

Rook and faux rook piercing healing times

Just like all cartilage piercings, both the rook and the faux rook piercing take at least six to nine months to heal (although healing times can be longer).

You might think that the faux rook piercing has a longer healing time because it consists of two piercings, or maybe you think that the rook piercing has a longer healing time because it has a longer fistula. The good news is that healing is about the same. Just make sure that you clean the piercings two to three times daily with a piercing aftercare solution, take care of yourself and your body during the healing period, and avoid activities that might harm the piercings, and you’ll be just fine.

If you’ve been considering the rook look, but you weren’t sure if your ear will take it, now you know that you have an option! While you’re deciding whether you want the faux rook or the standard rook piercing (if you’re lucky enough to have the ear shape suitable for either style), take a look at FreshTrends’ cartilage jewelry to help you decide which look you’d prefer.

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