Forward helix piercings can be awesome, if done right. They’re adventurous and unusual, but not so eye-catching that you’re going to have to stress about removing them for social situations where piercings are frowned on. They can also be a subtle accessory to your main piercings if you’re just looking to accentuate your other metal, or if you want to be a little more audacious then there are a ton of incredible pieces you can pick up to make yourself look like a total badass.
What you have to keep in mind with a Forward Helix Piercing
But the key thing about this piercing is that it has to be done well. Forward helix piercings are notorious for being painful and prone to infection afterwards. Going through cartilage is much more of a challenge than piercing loose skin, so if it’s done badly it can cause you a lot of grief. A lot of people end up ditching these piercings before too long, which is a shame because they can look awesome. So here are a few commandments to follow when getting your forward helix pierced.
1. Thou shalt not bargain-hunt for a piercer
Do not do this yourself, unless you’re super confident that you know what you’re doing. And do not shop around to find who’ll charge the least. There is a certain very famous piercing shop (which we won’t name here) that will do quick and dirty earlobe piercings for a few bucks. They will also do cartilage piercings such as the forward helix using their normal piercing gun.
This particular store has been sued multiple times for causing infection, scarring and permanent damage to the cartilage. It’s because they’re using a gun when they should be using a needle for precision, and because their staff don’t really know what’s what. Find a professional piercer, someone you trust and who can talk you through your plans. You won’t regret it.
2. Thou shalt not copy a design that you’ve seen elsewhere
There’s a saying amongst piercers that “every ear is a snowflake”. It’s certainly true that what looks great on one person may not look so hot on you. You have to consider your own features, the shape of your ear, and your plans for future piercings. This is another advantage of talking to a professional piercer: you can sit down and make a plan for your piercings so that you know you’re going to look awesome. The forward helix can be painful sometimes even if it is done professionally, and who wants to go through that pain if they don’t look totally amazing at the end?
3. Thou shalt balance it with your existing piercings
Always, always make sure that any new metal compliments what you already have. This may seem a no-brainer when you’re dealing with something as relatively small as the ear, but there are some people who have piercings that make it look like they’ve taken a bunch of shrapnel to the side of the head. The first step is to make sure that the spacing between piercings has some kind of symmetry to it. As for the jewelry itself, its always best to either match everything up, or go for bold contrasts.
4. And also thou shalt not over over-pierce
Maybe the number one query in piercing is “how many is too many”? There’s no good answer to that but your ear probably has an optimal number of piercings. Ask yourself if you’ve got enough already. If in doubt, don’t.
5. Thou should probably start with stud earrings
Aftercare for cartilage earrings and piercings can kind of be a pain in the butt. You may develop a strange bump around the piercing, known as a hypertrophic scar. These bumps are especially sensitive to movement, so hoops and bars can cause a lot of aggravation. If you’re not sure you can take that kind of pain, maybe you should consider starting with some basic studs first, and upgrade when things have healed a little.
6. Thou will make sure all bars are evenly balanced before walking away from the piercer
This is maybe the second most common complaints about helix piercings, after infections. If you get some kind of bar between multiple piercing sites, it has to be evenly balanced so that it is not putting any kind of pressure on your ear. Besides making you look like a dork, an improperly balanced bar will rub against the cartilage and seriously mess up the healing process.
7. Thou shall diligently perform thy aftercare duties
Keep it clean with a little antibacterial soap each day and you should minimize the risk of further infections. It may be really tender after you get it done, but it’s worth it in the long run.
8. Thou shall take the damn thing out if it doesn’t heal
Sometimes you just gotta quit when you’re ahead. The vast majority of forward helix piercings should be fine, if done right. In some cases, the pain continues for prolonged periods of time, or your body can even start to reject it. Don’t stress, and don’t try to tough it out. This piercing is just one of a million ways for you to look awesome.
Is it even worth getting a Forward Helix Piercing? Absolutely. Have you seen how good they can look? No matter who you are, chances are that there’s some kind of look that you can rock.
The main thing is finding what’s right for you. Like any kind of piercing, that takes a little bit of thought. And the reputation this particular piercing has for being painful or infection-prone is more to do with sloppy work and aftercare than the piercing itself. Find some you trust, find someone good, and you’ll have one of the most awesome piercings you’ve ever had in your life.