How To Curate Your Ears

The trend for multiple ear piercings is still going strong, but there’s more to it than just a random assortment of hoops and studs. We spoke to Nicole Mitchell, expert piercer at Sacred Gold, and jewellery designer Dinny Hall to find out what makes a beautifully curated ear, as well as practical advice on pain and healing times. Whether you’re a piercing pro or a newbie, here are the most important things to know…

After lobes, which piercing is best to start with? 
“Your first piercing should be intentionally placed so it doesn’t feel random,” says Nicole. “You should also choose one that’s not too tricky to heal if you’ve not been pierced in a while, like a second or third piercing on the lobes.” Dinny agrees: “A helix or tragus piercing always look great as a first cartilage piercing.”

Which piercings have the shortest healing times? 
“Generally speaking, soft tissue piercings, such as lobes, will heal quicker, followed by ‘protected’ cartilage piercings like the faux rook, conch and flat as they’re less likely to catch on things,” says Nicole, although this can vary person-to-person. “The tragus can take a while to heal but it varies on different people,” adds Dinny. “Clean your piercings properly with saline solution, but don’t obsess over it. Wounds heal quickest when kept clean but also left alone.”

How do you stop the ear from looking overcrowded?
“There are no set rules, as there are so many different ear shapes and anatomy variations,” says Nicole. “However, for the best result you should aim to create a balance with enough spacing, as well as mirroring other piercings on the ear. Keeping to a 2:3 ratio will always look great, for example a triple lobe piercing, and a double on top of the ear.” When it comes to the jewellery, Dinny advises, keep the largest hoops or longest earrings in the standard lobe piercing. “You can then arrange hoops and smaller studs in the upper piercings.”

Should both ears always be symmetrical?
“It’s preferable to go for asymmetrical symmetry,” says Dinny. “In other words, pair some earrings and not others.” Asymmetry is also a great way to incorporate more placements, as you can’t fit everything onto one ear, adds Nicole. “Just make sure you have balanced placements, like a conch on one ear, and a tragus on the other, for a more curated feel.”

For the best result you should aim to create a balance with enough spacing, as well as mirroring other piercings on the ear.

Should you stick to one colour of base metal?
“Rose and white golds are the easiest to pair together – especially with softer gems like blush pink sapphire and champagne diamonds,” says Nicole. “Yellow and white golds can also be done together, but stick to lighter colour gemstones for the best effect. Bear in mind that if you like different colour gemstones, then it’s best to stick to one base colour.”

Can you be pierced with a hoop instead of a stud? 
“Most piercers will try and dissuade you from piercing with a ring as it’s likely to move more than a stud, which can lead to longer healing times and infection,” warns Nicole. “It’s much simpler and less risky to go with a stud initially and change to a ring once the piercing is settled.” 

Why should you consider your ear shape?
“Not everyone has enough space to accommodate multiple lobe piercings, or has the correct cartilage shape for a daith piercing,” warns Nicole. “A good piercer can always advise on something beautiful, based on your ear anatomy, so don’t be afraid to ask.”

How long should you wait before getting another piercing?
“It depends on what piercing it is, and how your body heals,” says Nicole. “Don’t get too many at the same time to avoid putting extra stress on the body. Three or four should be the maximum number healing simultaneously, and preferably one ear at a time if piercing cartilage, so you can sleep comfortably on one side.”

How can you get the look if you’re squeamish? 
“There are plenty of things you can try that give the illusion of more piercings,” says Dinny. “Try a lovely ear crawler, for example, which look like multiple lobe piercings, or ear cuffs which look like a conch piercing.”

Some of the best places to get pierced…

Sacred Gold 

Where:  Stable St, Kings Cross.

Price: from £20. 

Best for: Expert advice, aftercare and a relaxing atmosphere. Plus, high-quality BVLA jewellery. 


Dinny Hall

With a newly launched guide to curating your ears, visit Dinny Hall's monthly piercing events at her Covent Garden store for expert advice on starting your ear stack. 


Astrid & Miyu 

Where: Multiple locations across London, including Soho, Covent Garden and Chelsea. 

Prices: from £45. 

Best for: Affordable jewellery that’s feminine and seriously Instagrammable. 

Visit Astrid&

Maria Tash 

Where: Permanent pop-ups in Liberty and Harrods. 

Prices: from £15 for a lobe piercing (not including jewellery).

Best for: The luxury piercing experience, plus a vast selection of stylish studs and hoops made with diamonds and 18ct gold. 


Tada And Toy

While earring specialists Tada and Toy don't have a permanent shop, you can book a registered piercer to your door using the Ruuby app, who will pierce your ears in the comfort of your own home using the brand's celestial-inspired and crystal adorned studs. 

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