If you’re new to piercings, finding the right information on different types of piercings and piercing sizes can feel like a challenge. There are a variety of factors to play with, from post gauges to lengths and different kinds of back types. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate piercing size guide to cut through the technical terms and make things clearer.PIERCING & HOOP SIZE CHART
|HOOP EARRINGS||POST EARRINGS|
**The size guideline is for reference only. Please note that there may be individual differences depending on your ear anatomy.
(Excluding charm and backing ball)
(Thickness of earring post)
PIERCING POST LENGTH GUIDE
The post length is the wearable length of the earring and refers to the distance between the charm and the back ball (excluding the front charm and the backing ball/disc). The suitable length of the post depends on the placement of the piercing.
A shorter post is ideal for helix, tragus, conch (for flat-back and barbell) piercings, as well as the earlobes while longer posts are suitable for industrial piercings or those with thicker earlobes. The post length refers to the diameter for circular piercings such as horseshoes, and the vertical length of a curved barbell.
Lobe/Second Lobe: Standard: 6mm | Thin Ear: 5mm | Thick Ear: 7-8mm
Tragus: Standard: 6mm | Thin Ear: 5mm
Helix: Standard: 6mm | Thin Ear: 5mm | Thick Ear: 7-8mm
Forward Helix: Standard: 5mm
Conch: Standard: 6mm | Thick Ear: 8mm | Hoop Inner Diameter: 10-12mm
Rook: Curved Bar: 6mm | Hoop Inner Diameter: 5-6mm
Daith: Hoop Inner Diameter: 8mm
PIERCING POST GAUGE GUIDE
The post gauge is the thickness of the post bar that fits through the hole. It supports the front charm and controls the diameter of the piercing. The thicker post gauge can be used to stretch your piercing hole further. Different post gauges are chosen for various reasons - from location on the body to the initial piercing size your body is pierced with. The most common gauge sizes for ear piercings are 20G (0.8mm), 18G (1mm), and 16G (1.2mm).
20 gauge (0.8mm): Most people start with the thinner 20G post gauge especially for earlobe piercings. A standard earring post gauge is 20G, and they are available in butterfly push-back or ball-back.
18 gauge (1mm): The 18G is the most common size for cartilage as well as higher lobes. It is a good step to gradually increase the hole to wear various piercing designs.
16 gauge (1.2mm): The 16G can be used for cartilage piercings, and the usual surgical steel piercing post is 16 gauge. If you want to stretch your earlobe or cartilage piercing, you can increase the gauge gradually to accommodate larger piercings.
PIERCING POST BACK TYPE
Each type of post back has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the one that works best for your needs and preferences. Whether you prefer the simplicity of butterfly backs or the added security of screw ball-backs, there's a post back type that will work for you. By considering the size of your earrings, your activity level, and your personal preferences, you can select a post back that will help you feel confident and stylish in your new piercing.
WHAT IS BALL BACK(BARBELL) PIERCING?
Ball back, also known as barbell earring, has a straight post with a screw-ball on the end (or on each end). Ball Back piercings come in various shapes, including straight, curved and “twister”, depending on where the piercing is located. They are a great option for people who are active or participate in sports, as they are less likely to fall out or get caught on clothing.
Straight barbells are most commonly used in ear cartilage, lobe and tongue piercings, but are often found elsewhere, including eyebrow, industrial and nipple piercings. The gauge size can vary but typically gets thicker to deal with the tongue and genitals.
WHAT IS FLAT BACK(LABRET) PIERCING?
Flat back earrings, also known as labret studs, have a flat disc backing that sits flush against the skin. Labret piercings are a unique and stylish form of body modification that can enhance your appearance. They are suitable for various types of piercings, including tragus, cartilage, helix, conch, earlobe, lip and monroe piercings.
Flat back earrings have a flat disc on the back which sits comfortably against the ear, and this can reduce irritation and discomfort compared to traditional earring backs. Additionally, flat back earrings can be easier to clean and less likely to get caught on clothing or hair.
There are two types of labret earrings - internally threaded and externally threaded. The internally threaded labret has the threads inside the post that screw into the back of the charm, creating a smooth and secure fit that minimizes irritation and discomfort. This type of jewelry is often recommended for initial piercings and those with sensitive skin.
On the other hand, the externally threaded labret has the threads on the outside which is not recommended for the initial piercings, as the threading can scratch the inside of the piercing and increase the risk of infection.
HOOPS & HUGGIES SIZE GUIDE
Hoop earrings are a timeless classic and come in various sizes, from small huggie earrings to large statement hoops. The inner diameter of the hoop you need depends on the ear anatomy (size and thickness of the ear, as well as the ear shape), location of the piercing and the desired look (i.e. if you like a snug fit or want to have a little space in-between).
How to determine what hoop inner diameter you need:
Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate hoop size for your piercing:
- Hold the ruler up to your ear and measure the distance between the ear hole and the outer edge of your ear. Choose a hoop with an inner diameter that matches or is slightly larger than this measured distance.
- Measure your current hoop with a ruler or calipers: Remove your hoop earring from your piercing. Measure the distance across the widest part of the hoop, from the inside edge of one end of the hoop to the inside edge of the other end of the hoop. This measurement will give you the inner diameter of your hoop piercing. Make sure to take into account any variation in the shape of the hoop, such as oval or teardrop-shaped hoops. Once you have determined the inner diameter of your hoop piercing, you can use this measurement to choose the appropriate size of hoop for your piercing and ensure a comfortable fit.
The size of the hoop you need for your piercing will also depend on several factors, including the type of piercing you have, the location of the piercing, and your personal preferences. Here are some other factors to consider when deciding what hoop earring size to choose:
- Piercing location: The size of the hoop you need will depend on the location of your piercing. For example, a smaller hoop diameter may be appropriate for a cartilage piercing, while a larger hoop may be more suitable for an earlobe piercing.
- Personal style: Consider your personal style and preferences when selecting a hoop diameter. If you prefer a bold and prominent look, a larger hoop diameter may be suitable. On the other hand, if you prefer a more subtle and understated look, a smaller hoop diameter may be more appropriate.
- Comfort level: It's essential to choose a hoop diameter that feels comfortable and does not put undue pressure or strain on your piercing. Make sure to select a hoop size that fits well and does not move or rotate excessively.
- Closure mechanism: The closure mechanism of the hoop, such as a seamless or hinged design, may also affect the size of the hoop you need. Make sure to choose a closure mechanism that is appropriate for your piercing and matches your personal preferences.
Remember that the size of the hoop you need may vary depending on the specific characteristics of your piercing. It's essential to choose a hoop size that fits well and feels comfortable, as wearing jewelry that is too tight or too loose can cause discomfort or even damage to your piercing. If you are unsure about how to measure your hoop or have any questions about sizing, consult with your piercer or a healthcare professional.
WHAT IS SEGMENT RINGS & CLICKERS?
Segment rings and clickers are endless hoop earrings with a hinged closure that clicks into place, making them easy to put on and take off. Clickers are a good option for those who want to change their jewelry frequently or who have difficulty manipulating small jewelry clasps.
The segment ring has a small segment that opens to insert into the piercing hole, while the clicker has a small hinge that clicks into place. They are typically used in ear piercings (cartilage, helix, tragus, conch, rook and daith), as well as nose and septum piercings.
How to use segment rings:
Segment rings can be used in different types of ear piercings, including cartilage, helix, conch, daith, rook, and tragus piercings. Here are some general steps to follow when using segment rings in ear piercings:
- Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and then dry them with a clean towel or paper towel.
- Clean your piercing and the jewelry with a saline solution or another piercing aftercare product recommended by your piercer.
- Hold the segment ring on either side of the ring, and gently pull the small segment part to open the ring.
- Carefully insert the open end of the ring through the piercing, taking care not to twist or turn the jewelry too much, as this can cause irritation or damage to the piercing.
- Once the ring is in place, close the hinge back until it clicks into place. Make sure the ring is securely closed and not too tight or too loose. You should be able to move the jewelry slightly, but it should not feel uncomfortable or cause any pain.
- Repeat these steps for each ear piercing you want to adorn with segment rings.
Kindly note that this sizing guideline may not apply to you because each ear anatomy is unique, and we all have different ear sizes, cartilage thicknesses and piercing placements. We recommend visiting your local piercing studio to find the perfect size for your desired placements.