The best types of ear piercings you need to know

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Mention the word ear piercings, and you could be forgiven for instantly being transported back to your teenage years, when heading to get just one more hole punched in your ear was an act of rebellion – and each one was worn as yet another badge of honour to show off to your friends.

It might come as a surprise then, that ear piercings are now decidedly back in Vogue, and celebrities, models and the fashion-forward have all been seen sporting interesting arrangements adorning their lobes, cartilage, and just about every other part of the ear you could imagine already this year.

But gone are the days of grungy and gothic inspired rows of unflattering hoops and balls, and they have instead been replaced with dainty studs and feminine rings forming pretty patterns between them.

London is still the best place to get your ears pierced

Now the ultimate accessory, you may well find yourself back at the piercer’s this year, but this time, somewhere all together more luxurious than the booth you sat in all those years ago at Claire’s Accessories. These days, London is awash with high-end specialists who won’t just get the job done, but will adorn you with some of the most exquisitely beautiful earrings, too – places you’re guaranteed to leave feeling like a million dollars, the pain but a distant memory thanks to your extravagant new studs.

With so many different kinds of ear piercings out there, it’s important to do your research before you get pierced so you know exactly what you want, where you want it and how much it’s going to hurt

Fine jewellery house Shen London has teamed up with Nichola Joss – best known for being Meghan Markle’s facialist – to offer what might just be the most opulent experience in the capital, offering a piercing service complete with your choice of 18-carat white or yellow gold earring, with a smattering of diamonds, to boot. Maria Tash’s permanent boutique on the 4th floor of Harrods is another place promising the five-star treatment. With a legion of loyal celebrity fans including Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé in her native New York, you’re guaranteed to approve.

The different types of ear piercings

So, now that you know exactly where to go to get your treatment, only one question remains. Exactly which piercings should you be looking to get, and what do all those strange names you hear bandied around mean?

With the help of this guide from the Top Trends Guide, we bring you the hottest ear piercing looks to be seen wearing this year.


The snakebite trend is undoubtedly the look of the year so far, and comprises two piercings stacked closely together on the upper cartilage of the ear. This look can be worn with a pair of matching dainty studs for a simple and understated look – or, to mix things up a bit, choose two different earrings for an added dose of personality.

Hoops and studs both work well, so for a real statement look, why not go for one of each? Be warned, though – the healing process is much longer than it would be for a piercing on the soft lobe of the ear, so be prepared to bathe twice daily with saline and avoid sleeping on your side.


The tragus piercing is one you’ll surely remember from your teenage years, but in 2020, it’s experiencing a renaissance. A hole is made in the thick cartilage at the centre of your ear, away from your lobe on the side closest to your head.

As the cartilage here is so thick, this piercing can take up to a year to fully heal and settle, so if low maintenance is what you’re looking for, then this isn’t it.

The tragus piercing is one you’ll surely remember from your teenage years


The ‘conch’ is the inner curve of the ear, and is one of this year’s most requested styles. To wear it well, choose a hoop-style earing that cuffs the outside. Start with a small stud until your piercing has healed; due to its location, it can be difficult to bathe efficiently with a hoop – though if you do decide on that option then be sure to carefully move your hoop from side to side each day to remove any debris whilst bathing. After six months, you should be ready to swap your stud out for something a little more exciting, so be patient, and you’ll be rewarded – but once again, because this is hard cartilage, the full healing process can take up to a year.


The daith piercing has enjoyed a slice of the limelight in recent years, and is said to help relieve the frequency and symptoms of migraines for regular sufferers – but its allure goes beyond curing headaches. This versatile piercing looks pretty adorned with delicate, floral studs – keep things minimalistic for a chic yet understated look.

Whatever your view on ear piercings, they’re here to stay – and are an edgy yet sophisticated way to wear your jewellery. Be sure to head to a reputable piercer to get yours – and treat yourself to some extravagant earrings to wear it with afterwards.

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