“So, I was hoping to get a tragus and a helix on my left side, and then a conch and a flat on my right to balance things out!” At first, this statement makes perfect sense. You want to get a jump on decorating your ear, and you want to keep things balanced. Or maybe you love symmetry and so you want to get matching conches or matching helixes. You wanna be even! This all makes perfect sense.
(there’s always a but)
It’s actually a terrible idea. I know, I know, you hate when I say no. But here it comes again. Piercing both sides of your head at once is genuinely a bad idea. I know you desire balance, or are excited about starting ear projects for both ears. But cartilage piercings are fragile, delicate babies. And the biggest thing about them is they don’t do well with being slept on. Piercing both sides of your head doesn’t give you a side to sleep on, which means as you toss and turn one side or the other is going to take a beating and become irritated. You don’t really think about it but the average human head weight 8-10 lbs. That’s 8-10lbs of pressure all night long when you lay on it. That’s a ton of pressure, and of course your piercing is going to get irritated and grumpy from that! Theres also irritation from answering the phone on that side, wearing headphones and earbuds, etc. In all my years of piercing I’ve almost never seen clients be successful at healing both sides of the head without some issues during the healing.
But I’m a back sleeper/I’ll use a travel pillow/I’ll be really careful!
This is always the first thing clients say. And I know this because once upon a time I was 17 and dumb and said the same thing to my piercer and we pierced both of my ears. And I was really good! For….about 3 months. But most cartilage takes 6-9 months, up to a year to fully heal. Chances are in that time you are going to make mistakes. You’ll side sleep one night, you’ll forget your travel pillow staying over a friends, you’ll nap on an airplane or in a long car ride. Some piercings, particularly flats, forward helixes, industrials, rooks, daiths, and anti-tragus piercings are much more prone to irritation when you lay on them. Sometimes all it takes is that one slip up or one mistake to cause an irritation bump that’s a fight to get to go away. And often these are accidents! But we can be smart and prevent accidents, by waiting to pierce both sides so you do have a side to sleep on.
But I got both my lobes pierced at once?
Well lobes are a bit different. Being soft tissue they aren’t as prone to migration or irritation the same way cartilage is. Lobes often you can get away with sleeping on or being a little rougher with and still having them heal just fine. And most clients realize one side gave them slightly more issues then the other 2when healing lobes- usually the side they slept on. While with lobes it’s not a major issue, with cartilage it totally is. Cartilage piercings can migrate, get big bumps, and even need to be removed. Lobes at once is totally fine, but once we move up the ear we want to focus on one side at a time.
What if I don’t care if the piercing fails, I still want to try?
Well, that’s kind of like saying I don’t care if texting and driving can lead to an accident, I still want to do it. Just because sometimes, some people are ok, doesn’t mean it’s great to do something that you know is a bad idea or unsafe. You only get one body, and if your goal is to get both ears pierced you’ll have a faster, easier path to that by being patient. If you rush and it does fail, you’ve possibly invested months into a piercing, only to have to remove it, have swelling and scarring you need to wait to go away, and then get it repierced and heal it all over again. In that time you could have been patient, waited, then gotten the other side pierced, and had it be a healthy, easy, comfortable experience!
Listen, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. I understand your excitement or desire to get these piercings done at once. I really do because I’ve been there and done that myself, and it didn’t work out well. You have your whole life to get pierced, and I promise your ears will be just as cool and awesome with just a few months of patience between getting them pierced. And you will have an easier, more comfortable, and better healing process as well!