Welcome to our new series, Piercing 101. We're going to be bringing you the details, over the coming weeks, of every type of piercing you could want. By the end, you'll know your tragus from your conch, and you may even be persuaded into taking the plunge. Because look at those jewellery-adorned ears—it's tempting right?
When New York–based piercer Maria Tash set up residency in Liberty London, forcing the It bags out of their prime position on the store's ground floor, we knew piercing was trending. The thing is that that was over a year ago and our affinity for piercings has yet to wane. Which is why we're bringing you the need-to-know on everything from pain and placement to healing time, plus whether the piercing you're lusting after will even suit your ear. In the first installment, we're talking daith piercings. (For the uninitiated, that's the hoop that hugs the cartilage inside your ear.)
And to gather all the intel, we called on Peter Monckton, piercer at Maria Tash, to walk us through it.
BYRDIE UK: Okay, for starters, how do you pronounce "daith"?
Peter Monckton: I've always pronounced it like "faith," but within the last four years, people have been pronouncing it "doth," which is apparently how Erik Dakota, who originally came up with the idea of piercing the crux of the helix (the anatomical area of the ear), pronounced it.
BYRDIE UK: It is in an awkward position—does this make the piercing more painful?
PM: For the piercer, it can take skill—it's maybe a little more fiddly whilst installing the jewellery—but it's not especially painful.
BYRDIE UK: Is the piercing comparable to, say, a helix?
PM: Where a helix is a sharp nip, a daith is more of a dull pressure.
BYRDIE UK: Does the daith piercing suit certain types of ear shapes, sizes, face shapes or hairstyles?
PM: Ear shape—specifically anatomically—will dictate if it's possible to pierce. But otherwise I think most people suit a daith.
BYRDIE UK: What type of piercing do you pierce with—hoop or bar?
PM: This is one of the few piercings we do encourage ring-style jewellery for.
BYRDIE UK: How long does it typically take to heal? Is it painful to sleep on?
PM: On average, around six to nine months. We don't encourage sleeping on new piercings until they've fully healed, but unlike some of the outer-ear piercings, with this one, most people can sleep on it within a couple of months.
BYRDIE UK: What does the aftercare involve?
PM: A twice-daily cleanse with a sterile saline wound wash and good flush in the shower, but most importantly, NO twisting!
BYRDIE UK: Are daith piercings more expensive?
PM: No more than any other inner-ear cartilage. [Ed. note: At Maria Tash in Liberty, an inner-ear cartilage piercing costs £30 but does include the jewellery.]
BYRDIE UK: I've heard daith piercings can help with migraines; is there any truth in this?
PM: Whilst there are reports of it helping, I believe this may be a placebo effect. There is no medical evidence to support the claims.
Shop hoop jewellery for your daith piercing
Next up, 15 minimalist tattoos you'll totally want to get.