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When New York-based piercer Maria Tash set up residency at Liberty London—in an over 1300-square foot prime position on the store's ground floor, might we add—we knew piercings were trending. That was in 2016, and our affinity for piercings has yet to wane. Of all the cool-girl ear piercings we've come across, from multiple ear-grazing pearls to hoops on hoops, there's one that has stuck out to us for its uniqueness and simplicity: the daith piercing. Beyond how aesthetically pleasing they look, they've even been touted for their ability to cure migraines (more on that later).
Below, we're bringing you the need-to-know on everything from pain and placement to healing time and cost, plus whether this lust-worthy piercing will suit your ear shape. With the help of Maria Tash piercer Peter Monckton, all of your questions surrounding daith piercings will be answered, once and for all. Keep scrolling for more.
Meet the Expert
What Is a Daith Piercing?
A daith piercing is a hoop that hugs the cartilage on the inside of your ear. "I've always pronounced it like 'faith,' but within the last several years, people have been pronouncing it "doth," which is apparently how Erik Dakota, the person who originally came up with the idea of piercing the crux of the helix (the anatomical area of the ear), pronounced it," says Monckton, who believes a daith piercing suits most people.
How Painful Are Daith Piercings?
As with any piercing (or anything that involves a needle, really), daith piercing pain is a common worry. When compared to a helix piercing, which feels like a sharp nip, Monckton laments that the pain associated with a daith piercing feels more like dull pressure. Of course, everyone has a different pain tolerance, and what's painful for some may not be for others. Still, it's widely agreed upon that a daith piercing is slightly more painful than earlobe piercings, as it's placed on a firmer area (the cartilage) where you'll always experience more resistance. "For the piercer, it can take skill—it's maybe a little more fiddly while actually installing the jewelry—but it's not especially painful," says Monckton.
How Much Does It Cost?
"Daith piercings are no more expensive than any other inner-ear cartilage piercing," says Monckton. The cost will depend on the location and what jewelry you choose to bedazzle it with, but between $30 to $80 (plus the jewelry) is usually an accurate range. For example, at Maria Tash NYC, a daith piercing costs $30 without the jewelry (which starts at $65 and bleeds into the triple digits).
What Are the Risks?
Because they're placed on the cartilage (versus earlobes), daith piercings rely more on the uniqueness of the cartilage as well as the size and shape of the ear. "Ear shape—specifically anatomically—will dictate if it's even possible to pierce," explains Monckton. Beyond being a candidate for a daith piercing, proper aftercare is needed to avoid infection.
How Long Does It Take to Heal?
The healing time varies person to person. "On average, it takes around six to nine months to heal," notes Monckton. "We don't encourage sleeping on new piercings until they've fully healed, but unlike some of the outer-ear piercings, most people can sleep on a daith piercing within a couple of months." You likely won't feel sore throughout the entire healing time, but it's still important to take care of it and maintain cleanliness.
How Do I Care For a Daith Piercing?
You can speed up the healing process (and keep infections at bay) by taking good care of your daith piercing.
- Clean it regularly: "For aftercare, you'll need to do a twice-daily cleanse with a sterile saline wound wash and a good flush in the shower," recommends Monckton. The H2Ocean Piercing Aftercare Spray ($12) contains natural ingredients and is sanitary as it's in spray form.
- Avoid touching it: You're likely eager to play with your new ice, but Monckton urges resisting the temptation and avoiding touching, twisting, or playing with the new piercing, especially as it heals.
- Change pillowcases often: Bacteria, oil, and sweat buildup on pillowcases can be detrimental to an already infection-prone area. Change up your pillowcase every couple of days to avoid this.
- Protect it from harsh chemicals: Makeup, shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, and perfumes should be avoided, as they can cause redness, irritation, and a delayed healing process.
- Be mindful of hair accessories: Specifically, hats, headbands, and other hair accessories that could snag on the piercing.
- Don't remove it prematurely: Removing the piercing before it heals could cause damage to the scar tissue.
Can It Help Migraines?
Anecdotally speaking, daith piercings have helped migraine sufferers, though there's no scientific evidence confirming that it actually does alleviate migraines. Monckton agrees, noting that while there are reports of it helping, it may simply be a placebo effect.
Best Daith Piercing Jewelry
When it comes to daith jewelry, the options are endless, though Monckton encourages ring-style jewelry.