The Piercings of the 2000s Are Returning With a Vengeance in 2022
In our humble opinion, nothing beats the rush of getting a needle poked through your skin for a piercing. Among the various ways to express yourself through body modification, they're relatively low risk and just plain ol' fun.
Piercing trends tend to ebb and flow. Some locations, like the ear lobe, seemingly never go out of style while other placements, like the belly button, resurge in popularity every few years or so. The COVID-19 pandemic affected many folks' ability to get piercings as mask-covered areas became off-limits. But, as tattoo and piercing shops open back up, more people have been willing to experiment, whether it's by adding new jewelry to old holes or getting something entirely new.
We chatted with a few piercers to learn about all the ear and body piercing trends you should expect in the new year. Here are the piercing trends you'll be seeing everywhere in 2022.
The ear is a popular site for piercings, but recently more folks are seeking out ear curations, according to piercer Amber Maysonet who works at Live by the Sword Tattoo. "It's basically a mapping and planning for either now or future piercings for your ears," she explains. Ear curations involve giving the piercer the creative freedom to choose multiple piercings for you while taking into account your aesthetic and your ear's anatomy to figure out the best placements and jewelry. Sometimes these curations also involve adding new jewelry to already existing piercings to ensure everything works together.
Maysonet cites social media, especially TikTok, as the reason why she thinks more people are choosing these curations. "When you look at [these piercings], especially on social media, you see how good everything goes together and how nice [they] look on somebody else, obviously you're like, 'OMG, I can do that,'" she shares.
At Brooklyn's So Gold Studies, piercer and founder Cassi Lopez-March requires that clients have at least three existing piercings and be willing to get one to three additional piercings during an ear curation session. She finds that more of her clients are seeking out "full-blown ear styling" rather than coming in with pre-determined placements because the average person does not always know what they want. "When someone gives us free reign to kind of have fun with it, that's when the magic happens," she shares.
If you google "orbital piercing," you'll see a couple of different piercing locations, but don't let the internet confuse you, Cassi Lopez-March says. "An actual orbital is just one ring that connects two holes," she explains. You can get two new piercings or use new jewelry to connect older ones. She has noticed this placement becoming extremely popular with clients who want to refresh their old holes and give them a new life. At her shop, they tend to add orbitals to the lobe area to connect second or even third piercings.
In 2017, I fulfilled one of my childhood dreams of getting a belly button piercing. I remember a friend of mine was a bit shocked that I chose the location given that it was no longer "popular." But it looks like I may have been ahead of the curve (and honestly, I don't make my decisions on trends alone) because both Maysonet and Lopez-March see a resurgence in belly rings coming soon.
Just like fashion and beauty trends, nostalgia is winning once again with piercings, seeing as belly rings had their last heyday in the 2000s. But Maysonet has seen folks adding a bit of a twist to the placement by getting both the top and bottom of their bellies pierced rather than choosing just one or the other.
Folks are becoming more interested in receiving multiple piercings at once rather than just one. "Right now, I think the piercing trends of 2022 are being influenced by the excitement and relief of returning to travel, celebrations, and concerts with new trends of bold self-expression," Lisa Bubbers, co-founder of piercing studio Studs where they focus exclusively on ear piercings, shares. That's why she predicts that a trio of piercings on the flat helix will be big in the new year.
The flat helix is specifically the flat area of cartilage located in the upper ear. Bubbers says it's a great spot because you can try out a few different types of jewelry options and have fun with customization. She's also noticed an increase in asymmetrical placements, which can be done in this area.
Recently, we've noticed certain celebrities with new eyebrow piercings — some fake, some real. On September 27, Lil Nas X showed off his new eyebrow piercing on TikTok to fans' praise. (Since then we haven't really seen it make another appearance, so who knows if the jewelry was just a fake-out.)
Cardi B debuted her own eyebrow piercing during Paris Fashion Week in one of the best ways possible. She showed out in an extravagant red Mugler dress and cape with bedazzled red brows and a silver ring through her left eyebrow. The eyebrow was a popular piercing location in the '90s and 2000s, and it seems like it will be reentering the mainstream in 2022.
In 2019, Studs created their signature "Snakebite" piercing, which model Kaia Gerber helped make popular. The name may be a bit confusing if you're used to the Snakebite lip piercing — which typically means two piercings spaced out at each outer corner of the lower lip — but this is an ear piercing that involves stacking two holes close together on the outer cartilage of the mid-ear area. Bubbler says they expect to see folks trying the piercing in new places like the Forward Helix and Conch in 2022.
The jewelry in these holes is just as important as the piercings themselves. Scrolling through Studs's Instagram, you'll see ears full of these Snakebite piercings with gold and silver jewelry in all shapes and sizes.
Maysonet has also seen an increase in nose piercings, both on the nostril and the septum. She cites the resurgence of punk, alternative, and even scene aesthetics as the impetus for this rise. We're also willing to bet that once mask mandates are lifted in certain areas that it will allow more people to finally try the piercing placement.
You can get a simple septum or nostril piercing or go all out and try two piercings, whether that be with one hole in each nostril, two holes in one nostril, or a septum and nostril piercing. It's up to you to decide what kind of fun you're into.
With the unpredictability of the past two years, there's truly no knowing what will happen in the piercing world. But we are sure that more and more folks will continue to dip into creativity and give their piercer freedom to guide them along their piercing journey.
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