Cartilage Piercing Trends: 7 Cartilage Piercing and Jewelry Ideas We Love January 3, 2023 – Posted in: Informative, Piercing Types – Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

After studying endless fashion magazines, celebrity gossip pages, and catwalks around the world, one thing is abundantly clear: cartilage piercings are the piercing trend of the 2020s

We get why; the folds of the ear cartilage provide a gorgeous canvas upon which a myriad of cartilage piercing styles can be placed. Whether you crave bold and abundant styles or sleek and sophisticated ones, you can cultivate them in the ear cartilage. 

Although cartilage piercings are incredibly popular, they’re also among the more difficult piercings to heal. Their long healing time—a minimum of six to nine months—combined with the brittle, avascular nature of cartilage means that you will need to commit to a considerable healing period. This can often turn people away from some of today’s most coveted multi-piercing styles.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of contemporary cartilage piercing styles to choose from, whether you’re ready to undergo multiple cartilage piercings or you’d rather get one or two well-placed piercings that can sport a variety of jewelry styles.

To help you plan your cartilage piercing jewelry, here are seven of our favorite cartilage piercing and jewelry trends. 

1. Constellation piercings

In 2021, in response to the vast popularity of zodiac star charts, constellation piercings made their first appearances. Meant to emulate the look of a specific constellation (usually the one under which the wearer was born), each cartilage piercing in this look matches with a star in the sky, creating the constellation shape.

The great part about this piercing style is that it looks super cute, and its allusion to the constellation isn’t super obvious; it’s meant as more of an abstract homage to the constellation it emulates. Although you can fully embrace the constellation look, you can also fill each piercing with different earring styles, switching between a mix-and-match aesthetic and the zodiac theme.

The downside to this piercing style is that you will have to undergo many cartilage piercings in order to make this happen. While you can get multiple cartilage piercings at once, depending on how closely each piercing is placed, your piercer may recommend waiting a few weeks in between each piercing. This means that you will have to be able to commit to a very substantial healing period. Although the end result is amazing, you might decide that the work involved is not worth the aesthetic. 

Cartilage Piercing Aftercare

Caring for your cartilage piercing is no different than for any other piercing—clean 2 – 3 times daily with a piercing aftercare saline solution—but the extensive healing period makes it more difficult than other piercing types. Throughout the entire healing period, you will need to keep your piercing as dry as possible, avoid friction, and maintain cleanliness. This can pose an issue for those who like to swim, who participate in sports that require helmets, and even those who sleep on their sides. Before committing to multiple cartilage piercings, take some time to think about whether you’re willing to deal with the long healing period.

2. Zodiac cartilage earrings

If you are among those who don’t want to commit to an extensive healing period in order to get the constellation piercing look, then you can opt instead for earrings that boast the same shape.

Find flat-back earrings that have your zodiac symbol, sign, or even a small version of the constellation itself. This way, you can still show off your star sign without having to undergo multiple cartilage piercings.

Please keep in mind that the safety of your piercing is of utmost importance. Even healed piercings can be damaged by improper jewelry, and too often, cute charm jewelry or body jewelry that you purchase online does not adhere to quality standards. 

View our guide on where to buy jewelry and how to safely buy body jewelry here

3. Hanging helix earrings (dangling cartilage earrings)

Hanging helix earrings (also called dangling cartilage earrings) are a massive trend right now that we love. They consist of a dainty cartilage earring that features a small charm or gemstone dangling down. 

This trend is great because it can help elevate your cartilage look to the next level without too much effort. If you already have a helix, forward helix, auricle, or flat piercing, then you can achieve this look. The little dangly earring offers a small splash of sparkle as you move, drawing the eye to your cartilage compilation and refusing to be ignored.

Some body jewelry retailers also offer dangle add-ons that you can place on existing cartilage jewelry. This allows you to keep some of your favorite helix jewelry while enjoying a brand-new style. 

4. Climbing earrings

Climbing cartilage earrings are longer pieces of jewelry that are attached to a single piercing. Usually placed in the flat or auricle region of the ear, it “climbs” along the ear, creating a bold and beautiful piercing look. This style often appears as though it requires multiple piercings to attain, making it perfect for those who want a multi-pierced look without having to undergo the needle multiple times.

Climbing cartilage earrings also look fantastic as part of a cluster of cartilage piercings. The 2020s are all about mixing and matching, and combining a long, sleek climbing earring with different charms and gemstones creates that perfect eclectic look.

5. Gold cartilage hoops

Although mixing and matching is the go-to aesthetic of the decade, there’s one cohesive look that can’t be missed: multiple gold cartilage hoops.

Typically worn all along the ear, gold cartilage hoops of all different sizes create an alluring style that others can’t look away from. Perfect for those who prefer bold looks over dainty jewelry pieces, multiple gold cartilage hoops can be both sophisticated and rebellious. 

Don’t want to deal with long healing times? Go for the lobe

Although cartilage piercings are incredibly popular, they aren’t the only ear piercing that people love wearing. Multiple lobe piercings are also taking the fashion world by storm, and they take considerably less time to heal—around 6 weeks. Depending on the size of your lobe, you can get creative with placement, opting for styles like vertical lobe piercings or triangle piercings. If you’re unsure about whether you can commit to a year-long healing period, then the lobe piercing may be the substitute that you’re looking for. 

6. Twisted hoops

The twisted hoop is another jewelry item that achieves a multi-pierced look in only one piercing.

Shaped like a corkscrew, they are twisted into a single piercing point, wrapping around the rim of the ear to make it seem as though you are wearing two hoops when, in reality, you’ve only got one piercing. This style is best worn in cartilage piercings along the rim of the ear, like the helix or auricle.

The ball ends can also be replaced with threaded gemstones and charms, adding an extra element that just can’t be achieved with a standard hoop style. It’s perfect for those who crave the look of multiple piercings but hate dealing with aftercare.

7. Conch piercings

Inner conch piercings are one of those that seem to ebb in and out of style. Today, they are definitely in.

One sought-after way to wear conch piercings is with a large hoop that goes around the rim of the ear. Often mistakenly called an orbital conch piercing, they are actually just a standard inner conch piercing filled with hoop jewelry. (Technically, orbital piercings consist of two piercings that are filled with a single hoop.)

This look adds a little dimension to your eclectic cartilage jewelry aesthetic. Combined with dainty gemstones and other smaller jewelry pieces, it adds a bold styling that draws the eye and brings attention to the rest of your cartilage earrings. It also nicely breaks the ear in half, emphasizing the asymmetry of the ear.

Even though cartilage piercings are wildly popular, they can also be difficult to heal. Whether you feel as though you are a piercing pro, or you’d rather stick to one or two piercings, there are plenty of cartilage styles to allow you to showcase your fashion sense. 

Which cartilage piercing style will you try this year?

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