How Much Do Helix Piercings Cost?

Written by: Staff

A helix piercing perforates the upper ear cartilage to insert a piece of jewelry as seen in the picture below.   The term helix refers to the rim of the outside part of the ear composed of cartilage.

5zd3li-l-610x610-jewels-earrings-helix-p by ruthsilvaaa, on Flickr
5zd3li-l-610×610-jewels-earrings-helix-p” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  ruthsilvaaa

How much does a helix piercing cost?

On average, a helix piercing will depend on your geographical location and the shop you use. For just the piercing, plan on spending anywhere from $20 to $55.  From our research, regardless of the type you’re looking at, be prepared to spend the same amount, with the exception of an orbital piercing, which can cost upwards of $80.  Refer to our “types of helix piercings” below to see your available options.

Body Piercing Mag says you should be prepared to spend $20 to $50, depending on the reputation of the shop.

According to, any helix or forward helix piercing can cost $20 to $50, whereas a helix orbital piercing can cost $60 to $80.

Pierced Hearts, a piercing studio located in Seattle, Washington, lists its prices online.  According to their pricing list, they charge $36 for a helix piercing with a ring or $45 with a straight barbell.  An antihelix can cost $59 with a curved helix.

Helix piercing overview

In general, a helix piercing will either be a single or double, or in some circumstances, it can be a triple.  These piercings will take place in the upper cartilage of the ear, but it is possible to have your inner ear, where the ear bends around to meet your head as well.

A helix piercing will be done with an 18-gauge or curved sterile needle.  Experts will refrain from using a piercing gun due to the shock that may cause an infection.  During the piercing, a tiny cork will be inserted to block the opening of the ear canal, preventing foreign particlces from entering the ear.  The needle will then be inserted until the jewelry is added.  As the area is being punctured, the piercer will ensure you keep your head as still as possible to prevent any sudden movements.

Once the piercing is done, you can use any jewelry you want such as a stud, microdermal, horseshoe barbell or bar closure ring.

A forward helix piercing can take two to four months to heal completely.  In some extreme circumstances, it could take up to 12 months.

Types of helix piercings

Single.  A single perforation will be made in the upper cartilage region.

Double.  Like the single but two perforations instead.

Triple.  Three piercings are done in a row along the upper cartilage.

Antl.  Commonly referred to a snug, this piercing will pass through the inner cartilage from the middle to the side.  With this type of piercing, a small barbell will be worn.

Forward.  A forward helix will be made near the upper part of the helix where the ear and head meet.

Inner.  Inside the inner cartilage of the ear with a smaller, curved needle.

Lower.  Instead of the upper region, like most of the helix piercings, it will be done near the lower region, closer to the earlobe.

Orbital.  Two piercings will be done side by side, making it appear as if it’s orbiting.

Mid.  A helix piercing created in the mid region.

Reverse.  Similar to the single, but it will be done in reverse.

Upper.  Made in the upper region.

Vertical.  Inside the helix region but will be vertical.

What are the extra costs?

The jewelry, after the piercing is complete, will be considered an additional expense.  Jewelry can start at $20 and go up from there.  It will really come down to the style that you want.

Plan on tipping at least 15 to 20 percent of the total cost.

Aftercare is extremely important, and it’s best advised that you use a cotton ball with warm water to help prevent an infection.

Tips to know:

The pain, according to piercers, isn’t too painful since there are no nerve endings.  Remember, a helix piercing will perforate the cartilage.  However, some may feel slight pain as the piercer places too much pressure on the cartilage as they are performing the piercing.  The pain, even if you feel it, should only last 10 seconds, but it will depend on your pain tolerance levels most of the time.

After the piercing, avoid contact for a few days to produce inflammation or an infection.  Avoid using any body sprays, makeup and/or perfumes.

A crust will form after the piercing, and to some, this can be tempting to pick at it.  Picking at it can lead to a dangerous infection if left exposed.

Not everyone will be suited for this type of piercing.  For example, if you’re an avid sports player, then you may want to refrain from it since the location could see unwanted impacts.

How can I save money?

Most places will be more than happy to provide you with an estimate over the phone.  Call a few artists in your local area and see what they are going to charge.

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Katie paid $£45 and said: said:

    I had the 3 forward helix, and it was £15 for each one.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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