Rook 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.
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.
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.