Recently I’ve seen a new ear piercing trending online, particular on TikTok. Hailed as the “elf ear piercing” it’s a pair of helixes, one done at the back of the ear and one above the forward helix ridge, connected with a very very short curved barbell to pull both sides of the ear toward each other creating an Elvin point. And I get it- elves are super cool, and the pointed ear look is very cute. But what I don’t see a lot of folks talking about is what a genuinely terrible idea this piercing is, or how twisted it’s gotten from it’s original iteration.
Wether you try this setup fresh or on healed piercings, this is a truly terrible idea. Some folks are trying this fresh, and my heart breaks for the clients getting this done. Taking two piercings on either side of the ear, pulling them together with a way too short barbell, and pinning them there? What ends up happening is the ear simply rips one of the beads through the piercings and unfolds its self. It doesn’t eventually heal this way and form a permanent point, it just pushes its self off the bead, often quite painfully. The amount of scarring and damage this can cause to the cartilage of the ear can’t be understated either, both the damage on the piercings themselves and the damage from pinning your cartilage like this over time. Not only have folks reported this is incredibly painful, but in at least one instance it fully tore the young woman’s ear leaving her needing cosmetic surgery to repair it.
This is so very clearly a bad idea. But if it is such a bad and unsafe idea, where did it come from?
Well, this photo is the first and only photo of its kind I can easily find online. This appears to be the source of inspiration for this project. And these piercings do look to be healed in this photo. So what is going on? If we trace this photo to it’s source post on Pinterest….
The person who posted this put this barbell in-between two well existing healed piercings just for a photo, and the removed it after. This is almost a form of play piercing- using two existing healed piercings to create a temporary look.
And temporary is the key word. Someone in the comments asked if they could wear this for a few hours and OP stated they wouldn’t suggest that as their ear was swollen after just a few minutes.
For fun and science I decided to try this with my own very well healed industrial and I didn’t even get far enough for a photo. My ear became sore just inserting the jewelry and I was not committed enough to this blog to deal with a sore industrial while traveling. It did look super cute in the photo posted- the same way a model in impossibly high heals and a back breaking corset balancing on some rocks for a photoshoot looks beautiful...and entirely unrealistic and impractical.
While I understand the desire to see a cool, unique, and new piercing and wanting to do something like it, it’s very important to share the context and safety of these piercings. Unfortunately people are getting genuinely hurt and permanently damaging their ears over an image that was shared without context- one where even the original person to try it mentions it’s risks even for healed piercings. If you see something you’ve never seen done before, ask yourself why you haven’t seen it before now, and do some good research on the safety of it before jumping to get it. And to the piercers out there trying to offer things like this as viable to their client, shame on you. We absolutely should know better then to take advantage of these trends for a quick buck when we know better how dangerous they are.
Stay safe out there, and happy healing.