The Industrial piercing (sometimes called a scaffold piercing) is actually two (or more) piercings connected by a single piece of jewelry. Most commonly it is a helix piercing (along the outer ridge of the ear) that connects to a forward helix. It can also be done vertically, from the upper helix to the conch. You also sometimes see multi-point industrials, which are made of 3+ piercings. These became popular in the early 90’s, thanks to piercer Eric Dakota, who created “The Industrial Ear Project” (also the man who invented the Daith.) These are unique piercings that give a range of interesting jewelry choices.
They are also very anatomy dependent- you need a well developed outer helix ridge that can support the piercing, and the flat of your ear needs enough room that the bar won’t cause pressure where it sits on your ear. Your best bet is to come in to see one of our experienced piercers for an anatomy assessment. If you are not suited for a traditional industrial we are happy to talk about alternative industrial piercings, or even different ear projects that may work well with your ear.
Are these hard to heal?
The industrial can definitely be a tricky to heal piercing. It is a longer healing cartilage piercing, usually taking 9 months – 1 year + to fully heal. Because it is two piercings connected by a single bar, things like sleeping on it or bumping it are more likely to cause irritation. These piercings also get a bad rep for being hard healers because they are often improperly done (usually on clients who lack the right anatomy for them). When done correctly with proper jewelry on a well suited ear, they will take some work, but shouldn’t be awful.
Is it better to start with two pieces of jewelry?
No- this is a myth. Starting out with two separate piece
s of jewelry almost always leads to the piercings healing at two different angles- making connecting them with a barbell impossible at worst, and uncomfortable or painful at best.
I don’t have industrial anatomy, is there anything that can be done?
Yes! One of the most common alternatives we do for people who are not able to get traditional industrials is chain industrials. The way it works is we would do two piercings in parts of the ear where they have a higher chance to heal safely and connect them with a flexible piece of chain. There are many ways to accessorize the fashion, and the chains can be made single, double and triple, and can also have stones set in them. The piercing would require more cleanings and checkups to make sure they are staying clean behind the tops, but it is a great way to get that industrial look when your ear doesn’t normally allow for it.