Presenting: Your Ultimate Guide to Daith Piercings


I swear, every time I scroll through my IG feed I convince myself I need another piercing. There are just so many excellent ways to curate an ear these days that it’s hard not to want to stack and layer until you have approximately zero space left. The latest placement I’m kinda obsessed with? Daith piercings—aka that little cartilage fold right above the entrance of the ear canal that looks seriously pretty with a glitzy hoop earring.

And since I know you’re intrigued—I mean, even the name “daith” is pretty interesting in itself—I put together this handy guide to getting your daith pierced, including how much it hurts, how long it takes to heal, and so much more. Quick warning that you definitely won’t be able to get through this info without booking an appointment (just sayin’—it’s a cool one).

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What is a daith piercing?

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Daith piercings are located in the innermost fold of your ear cartilage (just slightly above your ear canal). Other than the fact that they look ridiculously pretty—especially when combined with decked-out earlobes and helixes—daith piercings are also anecdotally thought to relieve migraines by activating a soothing pressure point on the ear. Shannon Freed, senior manager of piercing operations at Studs, says there is no scientific or medical evidence to back this claim, but does point out the fact that acupressure/acupuncture practitioners often pin point the daith area to treat ailments like migraines, tension, and cluster headaches (meaning it could work for you, but it’s not a guarantee).

Of course, daith piercings aren’t for everyone. Unlike, say, your lobes, your cartilage is pretty unique to you and your ear. The smaller your cartilage is, the less likely you’ll be able to get it pierced (fun fact: I discovered while writing this story and looking closely at my own ear that I do not, in fact, have any room for a daith piercing, so el oh el). That’s why Freed says it’s important to see a professional piercer who can assess your ear anatomy before moving forward with the placement (aka absolutely no DIYing this piercing, please and thank you).

How painful is a daith piercing?

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It goes without saying that pain is completely personal—what’s super unbearable for you might be totally fine for your friend. That said, Freed says you can generally expect your daith piercing to feel pretty similar to an upper-cartilage piercing (like your rook), which is usually more painful (and harder to heal) than your lobes. Other than a quick pinch and a little eye watering, you shouldn’t expect any prolonged irritation or soreness, so long as you take care of it properly. Speaking of…

How long does it take for a daith piercing to heal?

Every ear is different, but generally speaking, Freed says daith piercing can take 6 to 12 months to fully heal. And, nope, that doesn’t mean your piercing will feel ultra sensitive throughout the entirety of the healing process—but it does mean you’ll have to be super strict about cleaning it regularly. Make sure you’re gently cleaning your daith piercing two or three times a day with a saline solution or an unscented soap—and stay away from rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and ointments, says Freed.

You’ll also want to do your best to leave your piercing alone, she explains, so no touching or twisting (as tempting as it might be!). One more thing: Every time your daith piercing catches on a T-shirt, pillowcase, or bath towel, it can irritate your hole and prolong the healing process, so avoid any mishaps by being super aware of your piercing.

How do you take out a daith piercing?

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The key to swapping out your daith jewelry is first making sure your piercing is totally healed. Remember: These bbs take time to heal, so if you’re unsure, book a follow-up appointment with your piercer—they’ll be able to take a peek (and even help you swap out your jewelry if/when you’re ready) before you get started. Freed says daiths are usually pierced with rings or curved barbells, so keep these tips in mind when the time comes to swap ’em out for something new:

  • Rings: Freed says piercing studios like Studs use clickers, which have a small post that is attached to a ring by a hinge and “click” shut. “To change it out, gently pull the smaller segment away from the larger segment and open it up,” she explains.
  • Curved barbells: Start by gripping the curved barbell with your thumb and index finger, says Freed. “Then twist one of the balls—they’re both removable—to the left, counter-clockwise.” P.S. If you’re removing your jewelry over a sink, make sure you put the stopper down so you don’t lose your earring (!).

    Which side should you get a daith piercing on for migraines?

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    Like I said, there is zero guarantee that getting a daith piercing will help migraines, but if you’re willing to take a gamble, it’s best to choose the side of your head that your migraine feels most prominent. If your migraines aren’t specific to one side, pierce the ear you don’t sleep on—it’ll make your healing process way smoother (and, like, noticeably less painful). And even if your daith piercing doesn’t stop your migraines, you’ll at least have some sick new jewelry, right? Right.

    How much does a daith piercing cost?

    The cost of your daith piercing depends on a couple of things: (1) where you go and (2) what jewelry you choose. In New York City, daith piercings usually start around $30 to $40 plus another $50 to $60 for jewelry, although they can certainly cost more. At the end of the day, try to remember that a piercing is a literal hole in your body—so even though that kinda-shady tattoo parlor might be offering a good deal, it’s probably smarter to take your business elsewhere. It’s worth the investment, y’all.

    The final word

    If your sole reason behind getting a daith piercing is to help ease your migraines, it’s probably wise to look at other options. But if you’re into the cool and curated vibe (aka you’re all about the ~aesthetic~), there’s no reason you shouldn’t get a daith piercing, IMHO. As long as your piercer is able to access the area (i.e., your cartilage isn’t super tiny), you shouldn’t worry too much about it. If worse comes to worse, you take it out—that’s the beauty of a piercing (…no shade to tattoos).

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