Double Helix Piercings

  • Written By Dan Hunter on July 15, 2018
    Last Updated: January 12, 2021

Double helix piercings are instantly recognizable through their provocative design and attractive style.

These piercings have been among the cooler piercings for people of all types for years now, and for good reason. You can use a lot of different jewelry types with a forward helix piercing, and they look great with existing piercings, too.

A double-helix is in reference to the number of piercings you are having done. Asking for a double-helix piercing will get you a pair of vertical piercing in the upper-cartilage region of your ear.

Types of Double Helix Piercings 

There are two types of helix piercings. One is the standard helix, with the other one being the forward helix. The main difference is found in the placement of the piercing relative to the anatomy of the ear. A double helix refers to the number of piercings you are having done in the same location. You will be having a pair of identical piercings added next to each other vertically.

Double Helix

The standard double helix is a piercing through the cartilage on the upper part of your ear, facing forward. This part of your ear can be detectable as the part right above your tragus. If you trace your finger from your earlobe right to the top, this is usually where a double helix piercing goes. 

Alternatively, double helix piercings can also be added to the rear part of the ear.​

While cartilage piercings can be done in a lot of different parts of your ear and in varying configurations, double helix & double forward helix piercings have remained popular for their versatility and the fact that they look admirable on everyone.

What Happens During A Double Helix Piercing?

It’s only normal to be at least a little bit nervous before you go to get your double helix piercing done. However, the procedure isn’t really much different than with other piercings, so if you’ve had your ear lobes or anything else pierced, it will all feel pretty familiar to you.

You’ll want to make sure that you get to your shop or studio of choice on time so that you can acclimatize to your environment and feel at ease when your appointment comes.

You’ll meet with the piercer who will do your double helix piercing and you’ll have the chance to ask any questions you may have. This is a great time to set your mind at ease.

When you’re all set, you’ll sit in the chair and your piercer will get ready by cleaning the area of your ear where your piercings will be done. You’ll get a chance to see what the placement of your double helix piercing will be.

Your piercer will use either a gun or a piercing needle to pierce your cartilage appropriately. In most cases, a needle is the best route to go with for a complex piercing such as the double helix piercing.

Guns are usually reserved for lobe piercings, and even then are often reserved for mall stores and other low-cost piercing providers.

After the piercing is done, you’ll get all of your aftercare supplies and cleaning instructions from your piercer. Again, you can ask any questions that you may have and after that, you’ll be free to go.

Double Helix Piercing Pain – How Much Do They Hurt?

Pain is one of the foremost topics on every person’s mind when it comes to a new piercing. Even if you’ve had piercings done before, it’s perfectly normal to be at least a little bit nervous about the pain of a double helix piercing.

While pain is very relative, most people will tell you that helix piercing pain is about in the middle of the road, as it will hurt more than an ear lobe piercing but less than a lot of other body piercings.

When the piercing is done, the initial pain will be sharper. However, after the piercings have been performed, that sharp pain will be gone and you’ll feel a duller, throbbing pain instead.

This pain may persist in one form or another for weeks, which is totally normal. You’ll likely just grow used to it.

Not only will your individual pain tolerance have a large impact on the level of pain you feel during the piercing procedure and afterwards, but your piercer’s talent level will also come into play.

An experienced piercer can ensure that your pain is minimized and that your placement is done as well as possible to promote quick healing.

Finally, the method of piercing will make the process more or less painful. In general terms, a piercing gun is more painful than a needle, which can be more skillfully used to minimize pain during the piercing.

How Much Does A Double Helix Piercing Cost?

It’s difficult to provide an exact figure on double helix piercing costs, since location and shop choice make up such a large part of the price. If your shop of choice is very popular or your piercer is quite experienced, costs can be higher. Your starter jewelry cost will also make up a large part of the total price.

In general, about $30 or more is a solid estimate for many cartilage piercings. Since you’re getting two piercings as part of your helix piercing, you can safely double that minimum estimate.

What To Do Before Getting A Double Helix Piercing

Before getting your double helix piercing, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve done your research into what shop is best for you and what starter jewelry will be the best choice for your needs, style, and budget.

If possible, it may be best to meet with your piercer before you make a final decision. This is a good time to get a feel for the piercer’s experience level and decide for yourself if the price is right.

On the day of your piercing appointment, your only real job is to get there on time and as relaxed as possible. Your ear should be clean, but it’s going to be properly sanitized before the piercing is done, anyway.

A single helix piercing that looks like a double

Double Helix Piercing Aftercare & Cleaning Guide

The most important thing that you can do to ensure that your piercings heal properly is to follow your piercing’s aftercare instructions to the letter. After a brief period, later in the day, where you won’t want to touch your piercing at all, you’ll begin cleaning your piercing either the night that you get it or the next day.

Your cleaning program will generally require you to soak your piercings in a special solution or dip a cotton swab in the solution before carefully cleaning the area.

The solution itself will generally be a mild solution, with saline often being preferred. You definitely will not be using peroxide, harsh antibacterial soaps, or other products to clean your new piercings.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application. When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​

Between cleanings, the best aftercare advice you’ll receive is to leave the area alone whenever possible. If you only got one ear pierced, try to sleep on your back or on the other side of your head to avoid rubbing your piercings against your pillow at night.

Also, try to avoid touching the piercings with your fingers, especially if you haven’t washed them right beforehand.

How Long Does a Double Helix Piercing Take To Heal?

Just like pain levels, healing times are highly dependent on many factors. Your healing time will be influenced first and foremost by how strictly you follow your ear piercing care regimen.

If you clean your piercings regularly and follow your piercer’s instructions, your piercing may heal in as quickly as three months.

However, it can also take as long as six months for double helix piercings to fully heal.

Helix Piercing Infections

Like any piercing, double helix piercings can become infected if you don’t clean them and care for them properly. Infections can be very painful and can also make it take much longer for your piercings to fully heal, so they should be avoided whenever possible.

To prevent potential infections from getting out of hand, monitor the areas around your piercings regularly. Look for signs of abnormal inflammation or swelling.

If you see pus coming from your piercings or experience an uptick in pain levels, you could have a possible infection and should prioritize its treatment right away.

Double Helix Piercing Risks

There are no particular risks associated with double helix piercings and double forward helix piercings that aren’t also present with other types of cartilage piercings. The biggest risk is the one that comes with untreated infections.

These infections can progress to the point where in the most extreme cases, plastic surgery may be necessary or removal of part of your ear may be needed. However, this is very rare and only happens when infections go untreated, which generally does not occur.

Double Helix Piercing Jewelry

While your starter jewelry is somewhat limited at times, there are a lot of long-term options for looking your best with helix piercing jewelry.

Some people keep it simple with studs, while others prefer hoops or even more intricate designs. Once your initial healing period is over, you’ll have a lot of room for creativity in conjunction with your other piercings.

No matter what jewelry you choose, make sure that you use hypoallergenic materials. This shouldn’t be a problem as most jewelry these days is hypoallergenic, but it still should be emphasized since you want to avoid unnecessary complications.


Double helix piercings continue to be among the trendier types of piercings out there. They look good on everyone and are a favorite among people who enjoy body modification and piercings for that very reason.

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with the information you need to start deciding whether a helix piercing is the right choice for you.

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