The cost of an ear piercing can vary depending on the location, type of piercing and jewelry. Most professional piercing salons charge a flat fee for the piercing plus the price of basic jewelry, such as hypoallergenic surgical steel studs or hoops. Jewelry material and design also play a role in pricing, with higher-end pieces often costing more than simple stainless steel options.
Another factor is the piercer's experience and skill. Inexperienced piercers may use unsterilized equipment or cause infections that can be costly in the long run. A reputable piercer is likely to be more expensive, but the peace of mind that comes with knowing you're being taken care of properly is worth it in the long run.
Most people have their standard lobes pierced first, and while it can hurt, it's relatively quick and easy to heal. Once you've mastered the art of the standard lobe piercing, you can move on to other more intricate ear piercings, such as the upper lobe hole, which can add a stylish dimension to your ear stack. "The pain level is similar to a standard lobe piercing, and healing takes six to ten weeks," explains Rhianna Jones, a renowned piercer who's worked on the ears of Kate Moss and Idris Elba. "Avoid over-the-counter painkillers before getting an ear piercing—they're blood-thinning and can prolong the healing process."
If you want to stretch your earlobes, it's best to let a reputable piercer gauge them for you. This involves introducing a smaller size of needle to your piercing hole and requires more time to heal than an initial piercing. Infections are more common with stretching piercings and can cost you a lot of money in the long run.