Does A Hoop Or Stud Better Suit A Helix Piercing?

Ear piercing, specifically in the ear lobe, has been a familiar and culturally accepted practice for decades. Today, society is more accepting of people who pierce almost any part of their body, but the ear is still a trendy area, with the helix piercing being the most popular after the ear lobe. The question is whether a hoop or a stud is better for a helix piercing.

Although a person can wear a hoop or a stud in a helix piercing, most professional piercers agree that piercing with a hoop is not a good idea and prefer piercing with a stud whenever possible. One can then change the jewelry to a hoop at a later stage.

Professional piercers consider barbells or studs to be better for the piercing during the healing process. Therefore, they do not recommend using a hoop or ring before the piercing has healed completely. However, there are other reasons why a stud or even a hoop might be the preferred jewelry, as each offers its advantages and disadvantages.

Is It Better To Wear A Stud Or A Hoop In A Helix Piercing?

The choice of a stud or hoop as the jewelry worn in a helix piercing will depend on the person. Some people prefer studs, while others prefer hoops. It would depend on their mood for many people, as the jewelry can be changed to suit their mood. However, professional piercers say the jewelry a person gets pierced with should always be a stud or barbell.

As the jewelry in a fresh piercing is essentially a foreign object to the body, its instinct is to reject the piercing. This reaction will cause swelling of the pierced area. For this reason, professional piercers usually pierce using a barbell or stud with a longer shaft to allow for swelling. If the shaft is too short or a hoop fits too snugly, the swelling would cause much pain and discomfort. 

Blood flow in the pierced area is vital for healing, and a hoop that fits just marginally too snugly in a fresh piercing could hamper the blood flow and slow healing. In the case of a helix piercing, this is especially true, as the helix area already has much less blood flow than the ear lobe. Helix piercing takes a long time to heal, even with a barbell.

A stud covers the piercing hole and protects it from other foreign objects, like dirt and bacteria. With a hoop, this is not the case. Dirt can also accumulate on the curve of the hoop, and when it moves, it will then move with the hoop into the fresh piercing hole, which could lead to unnecessary and avoidable infections.

Hoops or rings move freely in the piercing hole. Someone wearing a ring in a fresh helix piercing will experience the ring moving through the hole and up and down, thus turning inside the hole. A fresh piercing will heal faster if left alone and not tampered with, which can only happen when wearing a stud in a fresh helix piercing.

What Works Better In A Helix Piercing, Hoop Or Stud?

When it comes to the aesthetics of the helix piercing, the choice of jewelry would depend on the person who wears it. Some people feel that a stud or barbell looks better in the helix, while others prefer to wear a hoop or ring. As the jewelry in a healed helix piercing can be changed, it is possible to wear a stud and swap it for a hoop or vice-versa whenever a person feels like it.

Since the helix piercing, like many other piercings, is very fashionable these days, the choice of jewelry could depend on how a person dresses and the occasion. Not only does this apply to whether a person would choose to wear a hoop or a stud in their helix, but it would also influence the color, size, and design of the jewelry worn.

Although sleeping on a helix piercing should be avoided while still healing, many people prefer wearing hoops in their helix piercings as they are more comfortable to sleep with and will hurt less if a person sleeps on it. Wearing a labret, a barbell with a flat end at the back, will have the same effect.

What Are The Advantages of Wearing A Stud In A Helix?

Wearing a stud or barbell in a helix piercing has several benefits when compared to wearing a hoop or ring:

  • Quicker Healing – A stud does not move around inside the piercing as much as a hoop. Therefore, getting pierced with a barbell may significantly shorten the healing period for the piercing. It further could ensure free blood flow to the area, which is essential for healing, and covers the hole, thus reducing the risk of infection.
  • Better to sleep on – A person who wears a labret in their helix piercing may find the jewelry more comfortable and less painful to sleep with due to the flat end behind the ear, which would not hurt as much when sleeping on that ear.
  • A broader selection of jewelry – A wide selection of studs are available that a person can use in a helix piercing; different sizes, colors, and designs are available. One could even wear a stud with a jeweled ball, or even diamonds, thus making it a genuinely adaptable fashion accessory.
  • Less snagging on clothes – As the barbell covers a smaller surface area than the hoop and fits somewhat closer to the ear, it would not get caught in a person’s hair, hairbrush, and clothes as quickly as a hoop would. It might still snag on a person’s clothes, though, if they are not careful.

What Are The Advantages Of Wearing a Hoop In A Helix?

People wearing a hoop in a helix piercing might not only do so for aesthetic purposes, but it could also have several advantages when compared to barbells:

  • Better to sleep on – People often find that sleeping on an ear that has a helix piercing with a hoop is much less painful and more comfortable than with a traditional stud or barbell, as there is no fastener at the back of the ear that can press against the head. However, one must remember not to sleep on a helix piercing until it has healed completely.
  • Can assist with healing – Some people complain that a stud, even a labret, causes friction on the back of their ears, leading to blisters. If this is the case, changing the stud for a hoop can help with the healing process. 
  • Fashionable benefits – Wearing a hoop in a helix piercing could make the piercing more visible than with a stud. As the helix piercing is fashionable now, this could be a significant advantage for some.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

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Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


The type of jewelry a person chooses to wear in their helix piercing depends on their preferences. People can wear hoops and studs in a helix piercing, but most professional piercers recommend that the helix, like most other piercings, be pierced with a stud or barbell, which should be left in until the piercing has healed completely.


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