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Having Your Ears Pierced As A Fashion Trend

Updated on March 13, 2017
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Sue is a mother and grandmother living in sunny Malaysia. Like many Malaysians, food is one of her passions.

Ear Piercings Is A Popular Body Art

Earrings have been worn by people through the ages, in ancient Persia and even in Biblical times. In Exodus 32:1-4 Aaron commanded the Israelites to bring their sons' and daughters' earrings for him to make a golden idol.

Ear piercing have grown in popularity with easy and only slightly painful techniques that can be done either at home or by professionals in the shop.

Photo courtesy of Angeline Belmann at Wikimedia Commons.

Where to Pierce Your Ear

There are many types of ear piercings depending on which area of the ear you have your piercing. The most common ear piercing is on the ear lobe.

types-of-piercings
types-of-piercings

Where To Pierce Ears

Types of ear piercings

The most common location to have ear piercings is the ear lobe (9). Women were often the ones who had their ears pierced though in some tribal cultures the men too wore earrings.

It was only in the late 1970s that multiple ear piercings began to form a new fashion trend. It began with women wearing a second set of earrings and eventually led to cartilage piercings (1).

These days other types of ear piercings have become popular. These are cartilage piercings and include industrial piercing (2), rook piercing (3), daith piercing (4), tragus piercing (5), snug (6), conch (7) and anti-tragus piercing (8).

Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ear Piercings For Men

Pierced ears for men are getting more popular

Men With Pierced Ears

Male celebrities and athletes

It is not just women who have their ears pierced. In the 1980s, popular male performers in the music industry helped to set the fashion trend for men ear piercing. George Michael of the pop group Wham and Mr T were some such examples of celebrities who sported male ear piercings.

Later, many professional athletes began to have ear piercings on both ears.

Sailors and pirates are also men often seen with pierced ears and big hooped earrings.

George Michael Of Wham wearing stylish earrings

George Michael
George Michael

Mr T With His Big Hoop Earrings

Sailor's Pierced Ear Is A Symbol Of Pride

A pierced ear means he has sailed around the world or had crossed the equator.

Have you ever wondered why pirates are often depicted wearing earrings?

Ear Piercings Is A Form Of Beauty

People wore heavy earrings on their pierced ears which eventually stretched and enlarged their earlobes

Tribes woman with ear piercing
Tribes woman with ear piercing | Source

Ear Piercing To Ear Stretching

A Thai Woman From The "Big Ear" Tribe - Ear stretching is a common practice among people all over the world since ancient times. Different materials like bone, horn,wood and stone were often used to stretch the ears.

These days, it is quite common to see young people with stretched ear lobes. They have different sized plugs to widen the holes on the ear lobes!

Gautama Buddha Had Long Stretched Ears

Gautama-Buddha-stretched -ears
Gautama-Buddha-stretched -ears

Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism was a prince of immense wealth and wore heavy gold earrings on his pierced ears as a status symbol. By the time he renounced his wealth, the weight of these heavy earrings had caused his earlobes to be permanently stretched.

Most images of Buddha show his stretched ears as a testament to his renouncement of his wealth in his new way of life.

How To Pierce Ears

From self piercing kits to getting your ears pierced by professionals at the store.

Ear Piercing Ceremony - An honor to have ears pierced

Ear Piercing ceremony in Myanmar
Ear Piercing ceremony in Myanmar | Source

In many Asian cultures ear piercing continue to be an important ceremony for young girls.

When I was five years old, my grandmother took me to the goldsmith's shop to have my ears pierced. It was a widely anticipated occasion which most girls expected yet still dreaded. My grandmother promised to buy me a toy to get me to sit quietly for my ears to be pierced.

Back in those days, the procedure was quite crude. The jeweler would rub a piece of ginger to numb the ear lobe. He would then use a needle (don't ask me what kind of needle because my eyes were tightly closed) to pierce the ear lobe. A thin gold hoop was then inserted into the piercing. I still have the shudders when I think of the day I had my ears pierced.

Ear Piercing Poll

Do you have any ear piercings?

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Ear Piercing Kit

Ear piercing gun is readily available

These days it is very easy to get your ears pierced. You can even do it at home with the many self ear piercing kits available. When I was growing up, having your ears pierced was a special occasion.

Today, the most common form of piercings in the ear is done using an ear piercing gun. This involves piercing through the ear lobe with the starter earring which is inserted into the ear piercing gun. You would feel a sharp pinch as the ear is being pierced. The procedure is completed in a very short time.

ear-piercing-at-claires
ear-piercing-at-claires

Ear Piercing At Claires

Let the professionals do it

If you are squeamish about doing the ear piercing yourself or not sure how to pierce your ear, my advice would be leave it to the professionals. You can always visit one of Claires ear piercing stores.

Ear piercing is free when you purchase a Claire's starter kit which includes special ear piercing earrings ear care solution. Claires ear piercing cost range from $29.50 for a Hello Kitty set to $44.50 for 14k White Gold birth stones.


Important to prevent infection

Care of the ears is very important during the first six weeks immediately after the piercing. If proper care is not taken then it is easy to develop inflammation and infection. A ear lobe piercing takes about eight to ten weeks to heal fully.

Generally very few problems arise from ear lobe piercing while those who go for upper cartilage piercing may find it slightly more problematic.

Ear Piercing Care

  1. Avoid touching your piercing as much as possible. DO NOT remove the ear piercing earrings.
  2. Always wash your hands with anti bacterial soap if need to touch your ear piercing.
  3. Clean the area around the pierced earring at least once a day for the first six to eight weeks. Use a cotton swab and antiseptic to clean the front and back of the ear around the ear piercing.
  4. Gently slide the earrings back and forth as you clean so that the cleaning solution can go inside the ear piercing. Do this for 2-3 times. The movement of the earring is also to prevent the skin from healing and growing back around the ear piercing.
  5. If there is any crusting due to fluids from the ear piercing, remove it gently with the cleaning solution. As long as the fluid is clear looking and not pus, the ear piercing should heal nicely.
  6. If the piercing is red, swollen and painful it is important to seek medical attention as infection has most likely occurred.
  7. When the ear piercing is healing well, the earrings can be removed after six weeks. Continue to wear some kind of earrings or studs for the first twelve months. If you don't wear any earrings for a while (especially during the initial period), the hole can close up.

Earrings for Pierced Ears

Gold or Sterling Silver Earrings my best choice

There are many earrings to choose from once your pierced ears have healed completely. I love gold stud earrings because I don't need to keep changing them to match whatever I am wearing. Maybe I am just lazy but little things count when you have a busy schedule.

The other reason is that I tend to have an allergic reaction with certain types of earrings. So gold or silver is the best for me. These do not cause any redness or itchiness even after wearing them for a long time. When wearing costume jewelry earrings, I would have to remove them after a few hours.

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