While the name “industrial piercing” sounds rather boring and technical, it’s far from that. In fact, it may be the most unique and playful piercing you can get. It’s far from the normal ear piercings you get and even from its fellow cartilage piercings. What you get is something that will definitely turn heads to whoever sees it.
With that said, this article will tackle everything from getting an industrial piercing to aftercare tips. So, before you get your ears pierced, be sure you have read this guide first.
What is an Industrial Piercing?
An industrial piercing is located on the ears and is specifically a cartilage piercing. But unlike most, this includes two pierces but one jewelry. Basically, one barbell connects both pierces together. It can also be called a bar or scaffold piercing.
Normally, the pierces as spaced around 1.5″ apart. Yet it can also depend on your ears and the location you wish it to have. Traditional industrial piercings include two helix piercings with one bar. However, there are now many possible ways to get it.
For example, you can choose to have a two conch piercings and the bar will be set vertically. Or you can also choose an anti-helix and a rook piercing, a rook and daith piercing, or a daith and a lower conch piercing.
Some people even have four pierces connected by only a single jewelry. But that’s only if you have the ear for it. There are also three-point industrial pierces.
Pros and Cons
Before just simply getting an industrial piercing, it’s best to know what are the pros and cons.
- Industrial piercings are very eye-catching as it’s something not everyone sees. It looks stunning, especially with the right jewelry.
- It’s a versatile pierce and will work for both men and women. Not only are you able to choose from thousands of bars, you can also choose from a few options of pierces as mentioned above. Both horizontal and vertical industrial piercings look equally good on men and women.
- There are many variations to choose from. You can get three or four point piercings if you have the ear for it. It’s something that will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.
- Firstly, cartilage piercings are hard to get. These are more challenging than earlobe piercings not just for you but also for the piercing master. You have to ensure you find the best shop and person to do the job.
- Aftercare is much more trickier since you’re caring for two pierces at a time. It’s an absolute must to follow the tips that your piercing master has given you.
- You’re getting two holes at the same time. It will be twice the pain, twice the discomfort, and twice the hardship. It can be scary especially if you’re fairly new to piercings.
Knowing the procedure is an essential part of getting an industrial piercing. Not only can you prepare yourself mentally and physically, you’ll also know if something is amiss. For example, your piercing master hasn’t sterilized the needles or the bar. You get the chance to call them out or walk away and choose another professional to help you.
That said, here’s what should happen:
- The piercing master should sterilize everything from the jewelry, the instrument, and the piercing locations. He/She should also wear new gloves to ensure you don’t get infected.
- The piercing locations will be marked with a surgical pen. Normally, the entry and exit points will be connected by a line so you’ll have an idea of how it will look. By this time, you can change your decision if you don’t like the placement.
- Once you agree with the placement, he/she will use a 14 gauge needle or a hollow needle to start with the first hole. You usually will be asked to take a deep breath to help with the pain and nerves. Then, the second hole will be pierced.
- Next comes the jewelry, it will be inserted through both holes and then will be shut close by a ball at one end.
- Your piercing master will have some final disinfection to ensure you are free from the risks of infection.
The whole procedure normally takes a few minutes.
Can I Pierce Myself?
Your are likely tempted to pierce yourself. Many would say piercing isn’t hard especially when they have the assistance of a few friends. But before you jump ahead and make the decision, it’s wise to know the pros and cons of piercing yourself because yes, you can do that to.
Do we recommend it? Not really.
There are many things that can go wrong if you try to pierce yourself without any experience. Cartilage piercing is harder as this part of the body is normally tougher than your earlobe. Moreover, you have to make two pierces for an industrial piercing. It’s definitely not something you can just estimate. You have to ensure that both holes will be able to accommodate the jewelry without any discomfort.
Additionally, piercing yourself can be dangerous for your health. You might risk infection if you don’t use properly sterilized equipment or you forget to clean your hands or sterilize it afterwards. Your surrounding can also cause infections without you knowing it.
However, if you’re really determined to do it yourself, prepare your equipment properly. Make sure you have clean hands or even use a pair of latex gloves if you can. If you can ask the help of someone who has more experience, the better. In fact, having someone else pierce you is easier than doing it yourself.
How Badly Does it Hurt?
If you’ve ever had your earlobes pierced, you’d know that it doesn’t really hurt as much as many think it does. There’s a little pinch at first but all you’ll really feel afterwards is hotness in your ears. It may feel a little sore for a few more days but not something you can’t bear.
Is an industrial piercing the same?
Basically, cartilage piercings are a lot more painful than earlobe pierces. Then again, it’s not the most painful thing in the world and you’ll only feel sore for a few minutes after the initial pierce. Out of 10, the pain level of an industrial pierce is likely around 6 on average. The only problem is that you get two pierces all at once so it does sound nerve-wracking.
Additionally, everyone has a different level of pain tolerance. Some may not feel more than a pinch while others may feel extreme pain for a while.
To help reduce some of the stress, you can ask your piercing master for a possible numbing cream. It helps a little and the placebo effect will make it more bearable. You can also focus on the jewelry instead of the procedure itself. think of how good it will ultimately look. Or you can start breathing exercises to calm yourself. Some even take ibuprofen to help deal with the pain.
If it’s really hard for you to take two pierces at a time, you can get the first pierce first and let it heal. Then you can do the second once and have the bar inserted by that time.
How Long Does it Take Before it Heals?
Healing time differs for each person. It depends on your own body and your health as well as how diligent you are with the aftercare.
There are the lucky people that heal pretty fast. An industrial piercing will take at least a month or two to completely heal for them. But some are slow healers and may take around three to five months. If you’re not that careful with your aftercare, you might even have to wait a maximum of nine months until your piercings are fully healed.
One thing you have to note is that your piercings may swell or may feel sore a day or so after the procedure. That is completely normal and should be gone after a few days.
If you want to change your jewelry, it’s best to let it completely heal first. You may also want to check with your piercing master if you can have yours replaced now.
Can I Pierce Both My Ears?
Industrial piercings are incredibly stunning that you might be tempted to have it on both ears. And that is completely okay. After all, you can remove the bar and use separate jewelries to make it look less festive than a bar.
But is it alright to get both ears pierced all at once?
Again, it depends on the person but it can be highly difficult to get two ears pierced at once. Remember that industrial piercing needs at least two pierces. Getting both ears pierced can be very uncomfortable for you not only during the procedure but also after it’s done.
For one, it’s not recommended to sleep on your new piercings. If you have the left ear pierced, ensure you sleep on your right side and vice versa. Otherwise, it can be very uncomfortable and can hinder your piercing’s healing process.
Now, having both ears pierced limits your sleeping position. That means you can only lay on your back or on your stomach. Getting too comfortable isn’t an option for the next few months as it heals.
That said, take the process slowly. We recommend having it on one ear first and let that completely heal. Maybe by the time your ear has healed, you’ve changed your mind and want a different piercing.
What Jewelries Can I Use?
Industrial piercings use a bar to connect two or more holes. If it’s not a bar, it’s not really called an industrial piercing and you’re left with different kinds of piercings. That said, only a bar can be used for this certain type of pierce. The good news is, you can find many different and unique jewelries to suit your style.
However, you can choose to not wear a bar earring for the duration of your ear’s healing. You can ask your piercing master for separate jewelries. You can choose from labrets, captive bead rings, mini curved barbells, seamless rings, or short straight barbells. Of course, each of these categories have different styles–from simple ones to more creative pieces.
After your ears have healed, you can go back to your piercing master to change it to a bar earring. You can even do it yourself.
Is Wearing Separate Earrings Beneficial to the Healing Process?
Cartilage piercings can stay tender for a while after having it pierced. You may even expect it to feel a little sore even after a month or two and that’s completely normal. It does take longer for the cartilage to heal compared to skin piercings.
That said, wearing separate jewelries during the healing process can help. It’s often more comfortable than having a bar that constantly tugs both holes when accidentally touched. This type of jewelry also tends to put more pressure on the affected area especially when you sleep. It may take longer to heal than wearing separate earrings.
Another benefit of using separate earrings is it prevents your hair from getting tangled on the jewelry. This is often the case when you wear a barbell and you have longer locks. But if you insist on wearing an industrial barbell, just make sure your hair is always tied back, especially when you sleep.
Aftercare is the most important part of getting an industrial piercing. Go a little lazy with it and you’ll end up waiting for around a year only for your piercings to completely heal. And that’s if you’re lucky. There are many who suffer from infections since they don’t take aftercare rather seriously.
That said, you have to ensure your piercings are always clean. Apart from that, here are several more aftercare tips:
Cleaning the pierces every day is important. This helps avoid bacterial accumulation which could cause infections. The best cleaning agent is a sea salt spray that you can buy at any drugstore or in a piercing shop. You can also make it at home.
Simply mix a quarter teaspoon of sea salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt dissolves. Once it does, you can take a cotton ball or buds and soak it in your sea salt mixture. Then simply clean the affected area.
Make sure that your hands are also clean before you do this routine.
Avoid touching your piercings and the jewelry during the healing time. Don’t twirl it or adjust it. If you want to make modifications such as changing your jewelry, consult your piercing master first. Never attempt to do it on your own or remove the jewelry especially for the first few weeks and couple of months.
If possible, don’t sleep on your new piercings. Surround yourself with pillows so it feels like you’re almost lying on your back.
Also, be careful when you’re brushing your hair or taking a bath. As much as possible, keep contact to a minimum. During bath time, use organic and mild products so even if it does reach your piercings, they won’t get irritated.
If your piercing master has given you the go signal to change your jewelry, it is possible for your ears to still feel sensitive. So, if you wish to change your earrings, just soak your ears for a couple of minutes with hot water. This can make the procedure much easier. Just make sure the water isn’t hot enough to burn your sensitive ears.
Clean your hands or even wear latex gloves if you want to be really safe. Gently unscrew the ends of your jewelry and take it off slowly on both ends. You should also sanitize the area first before putting your change of earrings. It’s even better to sanitize the jewelry itself so you’re extra safe.
Just as you undid your first earrings, gently put in another jewelry. You will likely feel a little discomfort or even pain while taking your earrings out and putting in a new one. It’s completely normal.
Once you’ve changed your industrial barbell, sanitize the areas for the last time.
Infections are perhaps the worst nightmare of anyone who gets their ears pierced. It’s rather common and can be a product of lack of care or if you aren’t that aware with your dirty surroundings. It can be caused by bacteria when you don’t sanitize properly or you frequently hold your piercings with dirty hands.
A piercing infection has several symptoms:
- Yellow discharge
Once you experience any of these, it’s best that you check with your physician. They will have to prescribe you with anti-bacterial medicines – either oral or creams. It is important that you do so as soon as you suspect infection or else it can worsen, hinder your healing, and even cause severe infections that can affect your general well-being.
To avoid any piercing infection, follow our aftercare tips closely. The most important thing to do is to stay clean.
How Much Does an Industrial Piercing Cost?
It is quite tough to come up with the estimate cost of an industrial piercing. There are certain factors that come into play. There’s the reputation of the piercing master, where the piercings are located, and the jewelry that you have used.
Generally speaking, piercing shops in the city tend to charge more compared to those in rural or small towns. Additionally, more reputable piercing masters also charge more. These people have more experience and are considered well-known in the industry.
Each jewelry also has a different price range. Fancier types are more expensive but it’s rare to wear something fancy during the healing stage. You’re choice is between starting jewelries so they’re more comfortable to wear.
The price you pay may also include your piercer’s products. These are normally aftercare sea salt sprays to clean your piercings. Or you might have bought extra jewelries.
However, the common price range falls between $30 and $90. You can expect the prices to go higher but it doesn’t normally go below the minimum cost.
To know the price range, call shops near you and ask for an estimate.
How to Find a Piercing Shop
More often than not, you’ll have to check with various other shops and piercing masters before you decide on one. It’s the right thing to do. Besides asking how much it’ll likely cost you, you also have to talk about the procedure with them. Make sure you do proper research of the best places near you.
One of the best ways to find the right piercing shop or person is to find a referral. If you know someone with body piercings, ask them where they got it. Once you have a list of these shops, call them and ask them whether they do industrial piercings.
It’s even better if you get a referral from someone who actually has an industrial piercing. That way, you can ask them how the experience was. If you also know someone who’s getting their ears pierced, ask them if you can come along with them. You’ll have an excuse to check the place out for yourself and check their cleanliness or the client experience.
But don’t stop there, reading customer reviews can also help with your decisions. These reviews can be found online on their site or on other curated websites.
Industrial piercing is one of the most stunning body art you can get. However, it can be a little festive especially with fancy jewelry. You might want to get used to getting double looks from various people on your way to work or home. But it’s all part of the charm of getting your ears pierced.
However, before getting an industrial piercing, make sure you get lots of research. Guides like this help you be fully aware with the procedure and other must-know.
Besides the tips, we also want to share amazing piercing inspiration for everyone who’s planning on getting it!