What to Know Before Getting Your Ears Pierced for the First Time

If you’re planning on getting your ears pierced for the first time, you might have some questions and concerns – and that’s a good thing! It means you’re taking this commitment seriously, and we love that.

From piercing methods to pain level, we’ll answer some of the common questions first timers ask below!

What Piercing Method Should I Use: Needle or Gun?

Getting new piercings

We suggest booking an appointment at a highly rated local studio that uses piercing needles rather than a piercing gun. Needles will provide a more gentle, sanitary piercing that could heal more easily.

A piercing gun pushes a stud into your ear with one pull of the trigger. While the process is quick, the blunt force can be damaging to your ear. These guns are actually designed for piercing lobes – the size of the gun can make accuracy difficult if piercing any other part of the ear and the blunt force has the potential to shatter cartilage.

Piercing needles, on the other hand, are used by professional piercers and don’t require blunt force. Needles are made for one-time use, so you don’t have any risk of sharing bodily fluids with the client before you. This is one concern that comes with piercing guns, as those are used repeatedly.

While piercing needles allow for greater accuracy and can be used to pierce any part of the ear, this method can also be more expensive.

What Kind of Ear Piercing Should I Start With?

First-time piercings

Most people choose to pierce their lobes when getting an ear piercing for the first time. This is one of the least painful areas to pierce and you can rock any earring style in that placement.

While a lobe piercing is a great choice, you shouldn’t hesitate to get another piercing placement if that’s what your heart desires! Whether you’ve been dying for a cartilage piercing or a daith piercing, you should go with that – just make sure you do thorough research on maintenance beforehand!

Keep in mind that different piercing locations will have different pain levels and healing times. We cover the 15 common earring placements in this blog – we suggest you study up on each style so that you can make an informed decision for your first piercing!

Will it Hurt?

Do ear piercings hurt?

The short answer? Yeah, it will hurt a little bit. Factors like placement, piercing method, and pain tolerance will determine how painful your piercing will be.

You might think that getting a super fast piercing from a piercing gun would be the least painful method, but it can actually be more painful. Most piercing guns force actual studs into the ear and secure the backing of the stud at the same time. The result is a very snug earring that can lead to an uncomfortable healing process.

The lobes are the least painful area for a piercing – the soft tissue is easily pierced and it heals quickly. Cartilage is more painful because it is tougher to get through, and since it gets less blood flow, it can take months before it is fully healed. Our guide on the different types of piercings lays out the pain level of each one.

New ear piercing placements

Don’t let the anticipation of pain determine your piercing method or placement! Getting your ears pierced might sound a bit scary if you’ve never done it before, but we promise getting a proper piercing in your preferred spot will be worth it.

What Type of Earring is Best for My New Piercing?

Picking the right earring for a new piercing is more important than you might think! Choose a surgical stainless steel or titanium earring for your first piercing and stick to a simple, comfortable style like a stud or small hoop.

New ear piercings

The metal you choose matters quite a bit. Surgical stainless steel and titanium are body-safe won’t irritate your piercing as it’s healing. These metals are hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive piercings. It’s especially important for a first-time piercer to pick one of these metals, as you won’t want to find out you have a nickel sensitivity the hard way!

It’s recommended that you do not remove or switch our earrings during the weeks or months when your piercing is healing. This means you’ll want to pick a versatile earring that you like but is also super comfortable, as you’ll be rocking it for a long time! For this reason a stud or small hoop is the best choice for a healing piercing. These are simple styles that can go with any outfit.

Small stud piercings

Your earring choice will also depend on the area that you pierced. The backing of a stud might go unnoticed in a lobe piercing, but it could be irritating on a healing cartilage piercing if you sleep on your side.

A cartilage piercing is also a bit more likely to snag on clothing while getting dressed if your not careful. A snag can be painful on a healing piercing! For this reason, we prefer small hoops in a fresh cartilage piercing, like the one pictured below.

Small hoop earrings

How Do I Care for My New Ear Piercing?

The professional who pierced your ears should give you specific instructions on keeping your new piercing clean. The instructions will probably be along the lines of gently dabbing around your piercing a few times a day using saline solution or rubbing alcohol and cotton swabs.

Cleaning new piercings

Once your piercings are fully healed, you’ll want to maintain the cleanliness of your earrings and piercings. Check out this blog on earring cleaning tips to get the deets!

Get Ready to Adorn that New Piercing!

EarFleek Subscriptions

It can take weeks to months for piercings to heal, so in the meantime, start growing your earring collection with a monthly subscription to EarFleek! We’ll send you a new earring every month based on the styles you love. Once that new ear piercing is healed up, you’ll be all ready to try out new earring styles! Get 50% off your first month with code BLOG when you get started here.

Written by Megan
Written by Megan

Megan is a writer and digital marketer living in the Pacific Northwest who subsists mostly on coffee. As a lover of travel, cat fostering, and cocktail making, she has a hard time deciding how to spend her free time (and usually just ends up watching Netflix).


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