Forward Helix Piercings: Guide & Images

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 15, 2019
    Last Updated: January 6, 2021

Forward helix piercings are among the most unique types of ear piercings that you can get. These piercings are trendy enough to fit any personal style, but they are low maintenance enough after the initial healing period to be perfect for someone who wants to look good without having to deal with a lot of fuss.

In this guide, you’ll learn the basics about forward helix piercings, including what to expect when you get one, aftercare instructions, and potential costs.

What Is A Forward Helix Piercing?

A forward helix piercing is located on the upper cartilage of your ear, directly above the tragus and facing forward. Forward helix piercings don’t require any specialist equipment and can be performed in a typical fashion, much like a standard lobe piercing.

Forward Helix Piercing

Double and triple forward helix piercings are also very popular.

As the names suggest, with a double forward helix piercing, you’ll get two piercings aligned vertically in this part of your cartilage – with a triple forward helix piercing, you’ll have three pieces of jewelry.

There are others, such as double helix piercings, that are similar variations of this popular piercing type. However, forward helix piercings tend to be a little more favored with those who enjoy having piercings.

What Happens During A Forward Helix Piercing?

A forward helix piercing will go much like other piercings do. You’ll show up at the time of your appointment and meet with your piercer. He or she will ask you if you have any last questions before the procedure begins, while doing whatever is possible to keep you at ease.

Once you’ve moved to the room or area in which the piercing will be done, your piercer will indicate the locations where the piercings will be performed. You’ll be able to let them know whether the placement needs to be adjusted to your liking at this time.

Afterward, they will get the necessary equipment, which should always include a sterilized needle, and do the actual piercings themselves, one by one. You’ll feel a sharper pain accompanying each individual piercing followed by a duller, more throbbing pain that feels like pressure afterward.

When the piercing is completed, your piercer will give you aftercare instructions and make sure you don’t have any other questions. That will be it and you’ll be done and ready to go!

Forward Helix Piercing Pain – How Much Do They Hurt?

Forward helix piercings typically come with a fair amount of pain. That is to say, while a forward helix piercing is not nearly as painful as more sensitive piercings to body parts, such as nipples, they are definitely more painful than simple lobe piercings.

There are a lot of different factors that will enter the equation when it comes to how much your piercings hurt. One is the level of experience of your piercer. An experienced piercing professional will be able to not only pierce your ears properly, but also minimize the pain of the process.

The equipment used will also affect your pain levels. A piercing gun is almost always more painful than having your piercing done with a standard piercing needle. Furthermore, a needle offers more control to the piercer, ensuring that you’re happy with the finished result.

How Much Does A Forward Helix Piercing Cost?

It can be hard to provide an accurate estimate for any piercing, since so many factors can vary according to your location, preferences, and experience. However, a good starting range for a forward helix piercing is about $30 or more per piercing, which means that a triple forward helix piercing could easily cost $90 or more.

One thing to keep in mind when regarding cost is that while an experienced piercer will do a better job, he or she will also likely be more expensive than a beginner. The popularity of the shop that you’re going with will also come into play, as popular shops charge more due to higher demand for appointments.

Finally, starter jewelry cost will be a fairly significant part of your price. If you want higher-level starter jewelry, you’ll obviously pay more as a result. Fortunately, you can go to the shop of your choice to check out the options available and get a really good idea of your price before you commit to anything.

Forward Helix Piercing

What To Do Before Getting A Helix Piercing

The biggest part of your job before getting a helix piercing is simply to do your homework. You may have gotten your first ear lobe piercing when you were younger at a mall store, but that approach won’t work with a forward helix piercing. You also won’t want to simply go with the shop that offers the lowest price.

There’s a reason for all this: forward helix piercings are among the most difficult ear piercings to do correctly. Since you’re dealing with cartilage instead of loose skin, a poor job can lead to a lot of pain and potential infections for you.

You may even get so uncomfortable that you just let your piercing close up, consequently making your investment worthless.

Therefore, instead of bargain hunting, find a shop that you’re comfortable with and a piercer that has enough experience to do the job right. You’ll also want to take into account your existing piercings when making decisions on placement or even whether a forward helix piercing is right for you.

Your other task will be to select your starter jewelry. You’ll generally want to try to begin with simple stud earrings to ensure that the healing process goes off without a hitch. Other than that, just show up on time and try to stay at ease while your piercer does the rest of the work!

Forward Helix Piercing Aftercare & Cleaning Guide

Your piercing aftercare program will be fully explained to you when you get your piercing done and left as simple as possible to ensure that it’s easy to follow.

Generally, you’ll be told to leave your piercing alone for the first hours after it’s done, but soon thereafter begin cleaning your piercing at least once per day.

When you clean your piercings, you should use the liquid that they give you, which will often be a saline solution. Do not try to use antibacterial soap or other soap that you have lying around at home.

Creams are also to be avoided, as they can clog up your piercings. Don’t use peroxide, either, since peroxide can cause swelling or blistering and lengthen the healing process.

When you’re not cleaning your piercing, don’t touch it! Try to avoid having anything rub against it, even your pillow, if possible. The key here is not only to keep your piercing clean, but also to avoid irritation in all forms.

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.​

How Long Does a Forward Helix Piercing Take To Heal?

At a minimum, a cartilage piercing such as the forward helix piercing will take about three months to heal. However, healing times can sometimes take as long as six months, and this is particularly true if there have been any unexpected swelling or infections to prolong the healing process.

6 Important Ear Piercing Aftercare Steps You Must Ensure You Take:

Forward Helix Piercing Infections

Infections can be very dangerous if they go untreated, particularly when the infected area is on your ear. Poor aftercare can cause damaged or swollen cartilage that can not only keep your piercing from healing properly, but put your ear at risk.

The best weapon you have against infections, besides proper cleaning, is early detection. Look for swelling, puffiness, discoloration, pus or other signs that something isn’t going right and if you have any doubts, talk to your piercer or doctor right away.

Forward Helix Piercing Jewelry

Most of the time, people opt to go with simple studs for forward helix piercings, especially when it comes to starter jewelry. However, hoops and other jewelry can be utilized if you prefer, though they aren’t usually advised when you first get your piercings done.

Due to the location of the piercing, any hoops will have to be small to avoid entanglement with the others or irritation, of course.

The most important thing to consider when choosing earring material is that your earrings should be hypoallergenic to avoid irritation. Aside from that, you have a lot of choices in terms of what you feel looks best on you from silver or titanium to gold or surgical steel.


Forward helix piercings are popular for a reason. They look great and they are easy to maintain after they heal up, too. You can really get creative with the jewelry that you use once your piercing is healed up, allowing you to adjust your look to any given style or your mood on any particular day.

Hopefully, you’ve learned all that you need to know to decide whether forward helix piercings are for you. If you have any questions, ask your piercing professional so that you can make the best possible decision for your budget and lifestyle.

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