Rook Piercing

Rook PiercingRook piercing is one of the most popular ear piercing types. It is a form of cartilage piercing. A Rook piercing is made on the antihelix of the ear and it looks very stylish and attractive. Both men and women enjoy this type of piercing and elegant jewelry they can wear with it.

Rook piercing got its name after the man who popularized it, Erik Dakota. He named this piercing after a shortened version of his first name. This piercing became popular in the 1990s. Many people today choose this piercing as one of their favorite ear cartilage piercings.

The Placement

Rook piercing has a precise placement on the ear cartilage. The hole is made on the antihelix of the ear, just above the tragus. It is done on the fold of the cartilage between the inner and outer conch. The piercing thus lies on the ridge between the inner and outer conch of the ear.

With this placement, Rook jewelry is made to go from the underside all the way to the top of this ridge. It makes Rook special and unique compared to many other ear cartilage piercings. Many cartilage piercings are made to go from a front surface of the ear to the back surface. Rook piercing, on the other hand, goes from bottom to the top.

Procedure and Aftercare

The procedure is not complicated and it’s similar to other ear cartilage piercings. Just like any cartilage piercing, the procedure itself is not complicated but it has to be done carefully. Ear cartilage is sensitive so it’s important that your piercer is experienced with this type of piercing.

Before the procedure, it’s important to agree on the chosen placement. Keep in mind that the nature of the piercing makes it difficult to see the entrance and exit holes. You should trust your piercer on the best location. This is why you should choose the best piercer who is experienced and knowledgeable. It’s the only way to ensure satisfaction.

After marking the spots, the piercer will push a hollow needle through the cartilage. Sometimes, clamps are used for the procedure, but this is not common. The procedure itself is typically done quickly.

Typically, a 16 gauge or 14 gauge needle is used, but you may request to be pierced with a large gauge needle.

After the hole is made, the piercer will insert the jewelry into your new piercing and instruct you on the aftercare.

The aftercare is similar to general aftercare for ear cartilage piercings. You should clean your new Rook piercing with a saline solution two times a day. You should perform this cleaning for at least two months after getting your Rook piercing done.

When performing aftercare, make sure not to over-wash the area. Also, never use any cleaners or other harsh chemicals that are not recommended for piercings. Use either a saline solution or special cleaning products made for piercing aftercare.

During aftercare, make sure not to touch your piercing often. Never turn or twist your jewelry! Do not manipulate or touch your piercing at all, except when you clean it.

Jewelry

Rook piercings can accommodate many different jewelry types. However, since this area is relatively small, typical jewelry will be small in size.

The most common jewelry type for Rook piercings is Captive Bead Ring. This is what most people wear with their healed piercings. However, piercers recommend that initial jewelry should be a curved barbell. Many people decide to wear curved barbells even in their healed piercings, so this jewelry type is another popular choice for Rook piercings.

Why curved barbells as initial jewelry and not Captive Bead Rings? Curved barbells have less curvature, which means a reduced strain on the healing fistula. With a curved barbell, healing is quicker and goes with fewer problems.

Keep in mind that Rook piercing is not really suitable for changing jewelry too often. This is why it’s important to be satisfied with the jewelry you buy for it because chances are that you will wear it for a long time.

Additional Info and Tips

  • A Rook piercing is also known as a piercing of the anti-helix of the ear.
  • Rook piercing takes about 12 to 18 months to fully heal, with primary healing lasting for about 6 months.
  • As with any other piercing, the pain is subjective. Some people describe Rook piercing as very painful, while others say it didn’t hurt more compared to other ear cartilage piercings. It’s important to note that ear cartilage on this spot is sensitive so keep this in mind if you wish to get a Rook piercing.
  • When cleaning your piercing, make sure to use warm (but not hot) water. Warm water will encourage the blood flow to the area and aid in the healing process. On the other hand, you don’t want water to be too hot.
  • Since the area is more tucked into the ear than with other cartilage piercings, Rook piercing is less susceptible to damage due to bumping or pressing against it. It makes it a bit less susceptible to problems and infections due to external damage.
  • Make sure not to hurt your piercing during initial stages of healing. Keep hair away from your ear and don’t sleep on the newly pierced ear. Same goes for using a telephone: don’t press your phone on the newly pierced ear. When changing clothes, pay close attention not to tug the jewelry with your clothes.
  • Do not change your jewelry for at least 8 weeks after the procedure. This is the time of initial healing and your piercing should be left alone.
  • Since the area is very small and difficult to reach, you might need assistance to insert and remove jewelry from your Rook piercing.
  • Not everyone’s anatomy allows for a Rook piercing. In case you have a poorly defined ridge in this area, it’s best not to have a Rook piercing. If you’re in doubt, consult your piercer to know if you are suited for this type of piercing.
  • Rook piercings tend to cause soreness, and may be prone to migration and rejection. However, most of these problems come from improper placement and poorly done procedure. Another cause may be the fact that you are not anatomically fit to have this piercing. These are the reasons why choosing a good piercer is so important. Problems with a Rook piercing may be caused by inadequate aftercare, so make sure to follow all of the aftercare instructions carefully.
  • Rook piercings are generally not suitable for stretching. In case you wish to stretch your Rook piercing, you need to consult your piercer for proper advice. Keep in mind that cartilage piercings typically cannot be stretched to really large gauges.

Popular Ear Piercing Types

Ear PiercingEar is the most popular body part for piercing. Almost all parts of the ear can be pierced, so there are many different types of piercings performed on the ear. Some are more common than the others, some are more sensitive than the others and take longer time to heal. Regardless of the type, ear piercings are relatively simple to perform and they can be very effective.

Here is the list of the most popular ear piercing types:

Earlobe Piercing

Earlobe piercing is the most popular type of ear piercing. In fact, it’s the most common of all body piercings. Earlobe piercing is so widespread and socially acceptable that many people don’t even consider it body piercing in true sense of the word. Earlobe piercing is easy to perform and it heals quickly. There are many types of earrings suitable for this type of piercing.

A special type of earlobe piercing is stretched piercing. It’s sometimes called “gauging”, though it’s a wrong term: gauge is the size of the jewelry. Many types of piercings can be stretched to a larger size, but the most common are stretched earlobes. There are special types of jewelry made for stretched piercings: ear plugs, flesh tunnels, earlets, tusks, spirals, and more.

Industrial Piercing

An industrial piercing (also known as the scaffold piercing) consists of two holes connected by a single jewelry piece. It’s typically done on the upper ear cartilage. During the procedure, two piercings are made: one close to the head and the other further down the cartilage on the opposite side of the ear.

The most common jewelry type for industrial piercings is long, straight barbell. It’s inserted through the first piercing from behind the ear and it goes diagonally across the front of the ear cartilage to the second piercing. It’s not uncommon to wear a pair of captive bead rings instead of a straight barbell. Those who wish to use straight barbells for their industrial piercings can choose between numerous unique barbells with special decorations or spirals to make their piercing stand out.

Helix Piercing

The helix piercing is performed on the outer curly rim of the ear cartilage. It’s important that this piercing is done with a needle and not piercing gun (in fact, it’s best to never use a piercing gun; it’s only suitable for earlobe piercings and it’s not even the best method to perform that type of piercing). Most people get more than one helix piercing to wear several jewelry pieces on that side of the ear. A special type of helix piercing is the orbital piercing. Here, two piercings are made and the jewelry goes from back to the back of the ear, so it looks like it’s orbiting through the cartilage.

Anti-Helix

The anti-helix piercing is done on the ear part just the opposite of the helix. It’s also known as the snug piercing. This type of piercing requires micro-jewelry. Many people choose to get both helix and anti-helix piercings and pair them with the same jewelry types. The most commonly used jewelry for this type of piercing are curved barbells or circular rings.

Tragus Piercing

The tragus piercing is performed on the small piece of the thick cartilage projecting in front of the ear canal. It’s typically done at a small gauge (16g). The most common jewelry for this piercing is captive bead ring.

Anti-Tragus Piercing

The anti-tragus piercing is performed on the part of the ear cartilage directly above the earlobe.

Transverse Lobe Piercing

This is a piercing that goes horizontally through the ear lobe. It takes more time to heal than the regular earlobe piercing. Typical jewelry worn in this piercing are straight or curved barbells.

Rook Piercing

The rook piercing is done at the folded inner rim of the ear. This inner ridge of the ear runs down the center and it’s parallel to the helix or outer rim. It’s important to understand that the look of this piercing depends a lot on the anatomy of your ear.

Conch Piercing

There are two types of the conch piercing: the inner and the outer. The inner conch piercing is made on the center cartilage adjacent to the ear canal. These piercings are usually done at larger gauges (10g or 8g) and they can be stretched to accommodate ear plugs. The most common jewelry type for this piercing is barbell.

The outer conch piercing is made on the flat part of the top outer ear. It’s done at a smaller gauge (16g). Typical jewelry for this piercing is curved barbell or a captive bead ring.

Daith Piercing

The daith piercing is performed on the outer rim of the ear cartilage, closest to the head. It’s often performed with a curved needle to prevent damage to other parts of the ear. There is another variation of this piercing: the inner daith. This one is performed on the horizontal part of the cartilage, directly above the ear canal. The most commonly used jewelry for daith piercing is a captive bead ring.

Different Ear Piercings

 

Ears, July 2011

 

Most people that are into body modifications started with getting their ears pierced. Ear piercings are the oldest, most common, less extreme and more accepted of all body modifications. Piercing the ears can be found in all different kinds of cultures all over the world throughout history. Both men and women have been known to pierce their ears. Depending on the size and shape of one’s ear, there are many different parts of the ear that can be pierced.

 When your Ear is your Piercing Ground:

The ear lobe is the easiest, most common part of the ear that is pierced. This part of the ear can be stretched and gauged because of the type of tissue located in this area. A piercing gun is used to pierce the ear lobe. The ear piercing gun is designed in such a way, so that the ear can be pierced with the jewelry and the earring back be put on the end of the post of the earring, all in one shot. The cartilage of the ear, at the top part of the helix, is another popular area to have pierced. This piercing can be pierced with a piercing gun, however, it is not recommended because the force of the gun can cause cartilage to shatter and take the area longer to heal. The other areas of the ear are usually pierced with a hollow body piercing needle.

The helix is the upper rim part of the ear that goes down the outside about half way and meets the lobe. Many people have their helix pierced multiple times and put captive bead rings in them.  The conch is the portion of the ear that looks like a “shell” adjacent to the ear canal.  A barbell or captive bead ring is mostly worn in this area. The anti-helix is a ridge located under the helix and it contains the snug and rook. These piercings are very painful and harder to heal then most of the other ear piercings. The snug, located on the lower part of the anti-helix, is pierced with curved or straight barbells. The rook, the upper part of the anti-helix close to the head, can be pierced with a curved barbell or a captive bead ring. The folds of cartilage located closest to the ear canal is call a daith piercing. This can have a different variety of small gauge body jewelry put into the piercing.  The tragus piercing is the “little nub” over top of the ear canal.  The body jewelry used for this piercing are usually a captive bead ring, curved barbell or even labret studs.  The ridge located above the ear lobe has been labeled the anti-tragus. This is another painful piercing in the ear. And this piercing usually needs a curved barbell.

Another piercing that is often done is called the industrial. The industrial is when two separate piercings are connected with one barbell. Usually piercings within the helix are used to create an industrial piercing but some use other piercings in the ear and connect them. An orbital piercing is much like an industrial piercing in the sense that it connects two or more piercings, but instead of a barbell a ring is used.