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Everything You Need to Know About Industrial Piercings

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If you are considering getting (or have recently gotten) an industrial piercing, you might be wondering how long it takes to heal, what the pain level is like, and what types of jewelry you can wear in your piercing. Standard industrial piercings have gone down in popularity recently, so it can be hard to find up to date information. However, vertical industrial piercings and trident industrial piercings have become more common.

Industrial Piercings and Anatomy

A standard industrial piercing is pierced twice: once through the forward helix and again through the helix about where a standard helix piercing would go. Unfortunately, an industrial piercing is one of those that are anatomy dependent. In order to be able to support a standard industrial piercing, you need to have a decent amount of tissue on the outside “lip” of your helix.

Luckily though, industrial piercings can be modified to fit any anatomy. Vertical industrials, “trident” industrials, and “modified” industrials can all be options for you if you don’t have the anatomy to support a traditional industrial. If you choose to go with a custom industrial, they will require jewelry made specifically for your new piercing, so visit your piercer ahead of time so you can get measured and they will order your custom jewelry for you to be pierced with.

How Long Does it Take to Heal?

Industrial piercings take 6-12 months to heal, just like all piercings that go through cartilage. However, because industrial piercings have long jewelry that has a tendency to be bumped and you are healing two holes at once, industrial piercings tend to lean towards the longer end of the healing time.

Some inexperienced piercers will recommend getting the initial industrial piercing as two separate piercings and healing them with separate labrets or rings before switching to a full industrial bar when the piercings are fully healed. If your piercer suggests this, you should visit a different piercer. Because nearly all piercings migrate during the healing process, there is next to no chance that your piercings will remain in an acceptable angle to support one piece of jewelry. If your piercer is this inexperienced, they may attempt to force the jewelry through the poorly angled piercings, which can cause the piercing to migrate and be forced out entirely.

How Painful are Industrial Piercings?

Like all piercings that require being pierced twice, industrial piercings tend to be on the more painful end of the scale. This is because the adrenaline of getting pierced actually helps to dull the pain, but this only really works for one piercing in a certain amount of time, so the second piercing hurts much more. Because they are bulky and cover the entire length of the ear, industrial piercings also tend to be more more painful and difficult to heal. All in all, industrial piercings are likely the most painful cartilage piercing for most people. However, as always, pain varies from person to person so your experience may differ.

Types of Jewelry for Industrial Piercings

Unfortunately with industrial piercings, there are no options for different kinds of jewelry. There is only one kind of jewelry you can wear with an industrial piercing and it is an industrial sized barbell. However there are a ton of unique differences you can get with these pierces of jewelry, so you still have a lot of options to look unique. Any kind of custom industrial piercing will need to be ordered specifically for you because they are so anatomy dependent. Luckily there are near infinite ways to get an industrial and therefore infinite opportunities for different jewelry!

Vertical and Trident Industrial Piercings

Vertical industrial piercings and trident industrial piercings are some of the more common custom industrial piercings.

A vertical industrial piercing goes through the conch instead of the helix, which is a much thicker piece of cartilage and therefore tends to be more painful when pierced. A vertical industrial piercing will also completely block off access to the inside of your ear, so earbuds will no longer be an option.

A trident industrial piercing is similar to a vertical industrial piercing in that it goes through the same lower conch position. The difference is instead of going through the top of the conch, a trident industrial piercing goes through the top of the helix. A trident industrial piercing gets its name because it actually goes through the top of the helix three times: making the jewelry that goes into it look like a trident.


Industrial piercings are some of the most unique piercings you can get. Add in that you can get multiple different kinds of industrial piercings customized for you with custom jewelry, and they are an easy way to get something completely tailored to you. Unfortunately standard industrial piercings are anatomy dependent, but luckily there are a few other options available to you. Industrial piercings are some of the most painful and hardest to heal, but they are worth it for those interested.