1. The Daith
This barbell goes through the upper part of your ear, near to where it joins your head. It's ideal if you don't want to go all out, but just want a discreet addition of two metal balls or small gems. Also, you can put a small loop in. It goes through the cartilage, so it will take longer to heal than a regular piercing. Make sure to be extra careful while combing your hair!
2. The Snug
Goes through the middle cartilage of the ear, and is also fairly small, like the diath. Although you can put in a loop, it looks better and more discreet with a small barbell. It's shallower than the other piercings, so take extra care of it.
3. The Tragus
The barbell is placed through the little piece of cartilage that “sticks out” from your head towards your ear. It is lovely and discreet, since only one ball is visible from the outside, and the other is in your ear, so be careful with the q-tips! Since this is a firm part of the cartilage, experiment with tiny decorated loops.
If you like wearing gold, unlike the others, this one looks really nice in gold, not only stainless steel/silver.
4. The Rim
The needle goes through the thin upper part of the ear, where it folds. If you wear a barbell, only one ball will be visible, but you can also try hoops that will lay along the upper edge of the ear. The rim also looks cute with a barbell that has a design, a dangling ball or a little spike.
5. Transverse Lobe
To earrings for the price of one! Since your earlobe will be pierced horizontally, both balls on the barbell will show. Wear a barbell lower, or get your piercing artist to do a smaller one with a bananabell, so both balls will be visible from the front.
6. The Conch
Only for the brave! This will look like your ear literally got stuck through the middle (and yes, actually, it will be). Only the inner ball will show, so piercing artists tend to recommend a larger gauge ball for maximum visibility. Looks awesome with a gem-ball, which looks like it's a hidden pearl in the shell of your ear!
Before you book that appointment at the body art studio, make sure you know what you're in for!
Piercings that go through the cartilage are a little more painful, and take longer to heal. Ask your artist's advice on how to care for your new piercing – clean it regularly with antibacterial soap, hydrogen peroxide or anything else he might recommend.
Do not put ointment or topical solutions on it. Unlike the lobe, you shouldn't turn the cartilage jewelry around before at least a couple of weeks have passed.
Don't be fooled by everything that “blings,” and only get quality stainless steel barbells, at least for the first few months.
An infected or torn cartilage piercing will hurt for weeks, until the point where you can't sleep on that side, but a piercing that's been given proper aftercare will look awesome and feel like it's not there at all.
Cover photo: www.tumblr.com