What is an industrial piercing?
The bar can be either:
- Horizontal – going across the top of the ear from left to right
- Vertical – going across the top of the ear at an angle, with one hole higher than the other
Choosing the specifc placement of the holes and therefore the position of the bar is completely up to you.
Industrial piercing jewelry
Typically, the kind of jewelry used for an industrial piercing is an industrial barbell. In its most basic form, it consists of a relatively long, straight bar with a bead on each end. Either one or both of the beads are removable (screwed on) to enable putting in and removing the jewelry.
Industrial barbells come in endless variations, using color and shapes for a unique look. Arrow-shaped barbells are a popular choice, as are ones with a heart or another simple shape placed along the bar.
Some barbells feature additional elements, such as ornaments suspended on the bar.
Industrial piercing process
The process of getting an industrial piercing doesn’t differ much from any other ear piercing, apart from the fact that you have to undergo two perforations rather than one.
- While wearing surgical gloves (this is important!), the piercer disinfects the entire piercing area.
- Using a surgical marker pen, the piercer marks the locations of the two perforations in your cartilage. It’s important not to be afraid to speak up at this point if you’re not entirely happy with the suggested locations.
- This is where things get real! The piercer uses a sterilized needle to puncture the first part of the cartilage, inserts one end of the jewelry, makes the second hole, and fixes the jewelry in place.Side note: if your chosen piercer plans on using a piercing gun instead of a needle, you might be better off going someplace else to get your piercing done. Piercing guns are a much less hygienic solution and are not recommended for this type of piercing as they can increase the risk of infection.
- Just to be on the safe side, the piercer should disinfect the area once more after putting in the jewelry.
…and after receiving some aftercare tips to follow, you’re good to go!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re not altogether sure about something to do with looking after your piercing while it heals. It’s better to ask now than worry later.
Speaking of worrying, as the holes are being made, there’s likely to be a small amount of blood. This is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned about; the bleeding will subside fairly quickly.
Industrial piercings pass through cartilage, which doesn’t have many nerve endings. This means that although you’re sure to feel pain, it shouldn’t make for a particularly harrowing experience. According to some sources, cartilage piercings are less painful than having an IV placed.
That being said, each person has a different pain threshold and each individual’s body experiences pain slightly differently.
Remember also that you’re in for two perforations, not one. If you’re considering an industrial piercing for your first piercing ever, you may want to take that into account and perhaps start with something involving one hole, just to test your pain tolerance.
The piercing process itself is typically very quick, but the pain is likely to stick around for a few days afterward. It shouldn’t be anywhere near unbearable, though, and with proper care, it should dissipate eventually. If pain or redness persists for longer than a couple of days or they are increasing in intensity, see a doctor or a piercing professional to make sure the piercing site is not infected.
What to consider
Although an industrial piercing is not particularly complicated or awkwardly placed, it still involves some degree of preparation and consideration.
On the day of getting your piercing, you might find yourself anxious and nervous about the procedure. Make sure you arrive for your appointment well-rested, and ideally not on an empty stomach. This will help to minimize your anxiety and relax a bit.
Remember to wear loose-fitting clothing on the day of your piercing. Tight tops will be difficult to remove later on without disturbing your new piercing. Clothing that doesn’t have to be pulled over your head, like button-up shirts, are the ideal choice.
If you have long hair, be very careful when brushing it on the side where you have the piercing – it’s easy for the hairbrush or comb to catch on the bar of the piercing (and hurt like hell). If you’re worried about this happening a lot during the healing process, consider asking the piercer to put in studs during the piercing procedure. Once the holes are fully healed, you can replace the studs with a bar. Keep in mind, though, that healing times can be lengthy with this type of piercing.
Last but not least, it’s inadvisable to get two industrial piercings (one in each ear) at the same time. It’s likely to prove impractical. Sleeping on your side, for instance, would be out of the question for at least a couple of weeks. Plus there’s double the aftercare involved and double the risk of infection should your routine be disrupted.
Once your industrial piercing has healed, there’s nothing stopping you from getting another one!
The length of the healing process varies wildly between individuals, generally from one month among the lucky folk and up to 6 months for the less fortunate. How diligent you are with your aftercare routine will have an impact here, among other (mostly genetic) factors.
How much does an industrial piercing cost?
The typical industrial piercing price falls somewhere between $30 and $100.
The range is so large because the industrial bar piercing cost depends on a few factors. The expertise of the piercer is chief among them, as is the location. Generally, salons in large cities will charge higher prices – though it’s also true that piercers in cities often have more experience, so it’s not necessarily unfair.
It’s good to think of the price of your piercing as an investment. If you opt for the cheapest option with an inexperienced piercer purely because of the affordable price, typically you’re running a higher risk of complications. It’s not worth saving 40 bucks now only to have to deal with an infection in a couple of weeks’ time!
Now that we’ve talked at length about industrial piercings, let’s get to some visuals! Below you’ll find a gallery of over 150 inspirational ideas.
If you’re still keeping your options open or are looking for more than one idea, check out our other articles on ear piercings. The helix piercing, forward helix piercing, rook piercing, snug piercing, conch piercing, daith piercing, tragus piercing and orbital piercing are just some options.