Thinking of getting an eyebrow piercing? You’re in the right place. In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know and consider before making your final decision.
Types of eyebrow piercing
Let’s start by defining what we mean by eyebrow piercings. The most popular eyebrow piercing types include:
- Vertical eyebrow piercing – this is the classic option, with the jewelry (initially a curved barbell) going vertically through any part along the length of the eyebrow.
- Horizontal eyebrow piercing – these are directly above or (less commonly) below the line of the eyebrow. They are surface piercings, which means inserting a staple-shaped barbell under the surface of the skin.
- Anti-eyebrow piercing – known as teardrops, these are curved barbells or dermal piercings inserted below the outer corner of the eye. We have a dedicated article on anti-eyebrow piercings if you’re interested in these.
- Spiral eyebrow piercing – as the name suggests, this piercing involves creating several holes along the eyebrow in order to insert spiral-shaped jewelry.
- Bridge piercing – even though it doesn’t appear on the eyebrow, many people place the bridge piercing in the eyebrow category. This variation involves horizontally piercing the bridge of the nose. Check out this article for more information and pictures.
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Eyebrow piercing placement
The main thing to consider when deciding on where to place your piercing is how you want it to look. If you’re thinking about getting a piercing, you probably already have a style in mind – so that will be the main determining factor.
Bridge and anti-eyebrow piercings are more difficult procedures, requiring a higher level of expertise from the piercing professional. They’re also more painful than the standard vertical piercing.
Most placements for eyebrow piercings are safe. The only area where extreme care must be taken is the innermost portion of the eyebrow (closest to the middle of the face). Improper placement in this area can cause damage to the supra-orbital nerve.
If you plan to have several eyebrow piercings next to each other, most piercing professionals recommend getting them separately. This means allowing time for the first piercing to heal before getting the next one.
How to pierce your eyebrow
As with every other piercing, the first step is to find an experienced, reputable piercing professional. Despite their popularity, eyebrow piercings are tricky to perform correctly, and they’re prone to rejection and migration.
After discussing your expectations, the piercer should start by disinfecting the area. This is a crucial step in preventing infection and other unpleasant complications further down the line, so make sure you don’t allow the piercer to proceed without proper hygiene procedures.
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Next, the piercing professional will mark the exact spot where the perforations will be made. If you’re not entirely happy with where your piercing will be, now’s the time to speak up!
Now comes the actual piercing of the skin. Depending on the specific type of piercing you’ve chosen, there will be slight variations in the process.
For standard vertical piercings, the piercer will likely use an instrument to pinch the skin, and then pierce it through with a needle. Surface piercings are done with a needle or a scalpel, and microdermals – with a needle or a dermal punch.
After perforating the skin, the piercer will insert the jewelry and secure it in place.
Lastly, the piercer should provide you with aftercare instructions for your new piercing. Make sure to follow these carefully to avoid complications.
When will my eyebrow piercing heal?
In most cases, the healing period will last between 6 and 8 weeks. That’s relatively quick, considering many other piercings take upwards of three months!
You can help to speed up the healing by looking after the piercing properly. Most importantly, try not to touch the piercing or play with the jewelry during the healing phase.
You should clean your new piercing with saline solution (or another product recommended by a piercing professional). A good method is putting the solution in a shot glass and up-ending it over your piercing, to allow it to soak for a few minutes.
Cleansing the area is the most effective way of preventing infection.
As we’ve already mentioned, rejection is quite common with eyebrow piercings.
Rejection happens when your body recognizes the piercing as a foreign object and instead of healing the tissue around it, it pushes the jewelry out. It’s a slow process, but it may eventually result in the jewelry being completely pushed out through the skin.
As you may imagine, rejection can be painful and often leaves scarring. While there’s no way to completely prevent rejection, you can minimize the risk.
Firstly, the expertise of the piercer is going to be a key factor. Many piercings are rejected because they are improperly placed during the piercing procedure.
Secondly, looking after the piercing properly helps a lot. If you touch the piercing unnecessarily or fiddle with the jewelry, you’ll prevent the tissue from healing and make rejection more likely.
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How much is an eyebrow piercing?
In most places, it will cost you somewhere between $20 and $80. Prices typically don’t include jewelry, so factor that into your budgeting as you prepare for your appointment.
The eyebrow piercing price will depend on the exact location you want to get pierced (e.g. horizontal, vertical, anti-eyebrow, etc.), as well as the expertise of the piercer.
Experienced piercers tend to charge a bit more, but it’s worth paying a little extra. The more expertise the piercer has, the less likely the piercing will be to migrate or become rejected.
Does an eyebrow piercing hurt?
The pain involved in the eyebrow piercing procedure is a common concern. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to worry.
The eyebrow piercing pain is manageable for just about everyone. How much it will actually hurt will depend on your individual pain threshold, but most people compare it to the sensation of pinching your eyebrow hard between your fingernails.
As a matter of fact, many women report that plucking your eyebrows is similarly – or even less – painful as getting your eyebrow pierced.
Horizontal eyebrow piercings may be more painful than vertical ones, as surface piercings hurt quite a bit in general. This area of the body is not particularly sensitive, though, so even a surface barbell insertion should be fairly manageable.
If you’re still worried about how you’ll handle the pain, make sure to prepare yourself for the appointment and be in your best form. Get some sleep and eat something before going to get pierced (even if the stress is making you feel queasy!) to keep your blood sugar up.
And most importantly, don’t sweat it too much: the worst of it will be over literally in a few seconds.
Eyebrow piercing jewelry
If you’ve chosen your piercer well, then they will be best-suited to advise you on initial jewelry.
In general, simple jewelry is the best choice. Typically, for vertical eyebrow piercings, a 16-gauge curved barbell is the recommended option. The right length of the barbell will depend on the thickness of your eyebrow – for most people, 5/16″ will suffice.
Horizontal eyebrow piercings will usually require the surface barbell type of piercing. Rather than being curved, it’s shaped like a staple, with right angles on each end.
The material of the initial jewelry piece is also important. Choosing the wrong material could result in an allergic reaction and other complications during the healing process.
High-grade titanium and gold (14k or 18k) are the safest choices for most people.
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Changing the jewelry
Once your eyebrow piercing has completely healed – congrats! It’s time to change your jewelry and make your piercing truly unique.
The most popular jewelry types for eyebrow piercings include:
- Curved barbell – you can keep your initial curved barbell or swap it out for a different style. They come in various colors, and the beads are sometimes replaced with spikes or other shapes.
- Ring – there are three varieties of rings: captive bead rings, seamless, and clickers. Captive bead rings have a ball that connects the ends of the ring. Seamless rings don’t have a bead, so they look a bit more sleek. Clickers have a hinged mechanism for opening and closing the ring more easily, but they’re also more expensive than the other types.
- Horseshoe barbell – these are ‘open’ rings with a ball on each end, kind of like a circular barbell.
- Spiral rings – these twisted spirals require a specific type of piercing in the first place to allow for entry and exit points of this kind of piece.
One type of jewelry to avoid for eyebrow piercings is the straight barbell. It’s okay to wear it occasionally, particularly if you have quite flat eyebrows.
For most people, though, the curve of the eyebrow means that the straight bar will stretch the skin too much. With horizontal eyebrow piercings, it might become rejected.
Whichever style you choose, there are tons of options to customize your piercing. Whether you’re going for a badass look or a thoroughly cute eyebrow piercing, you’re bound to find something to suit your needs!