Men’s Earrings: A Guide on Placement and Style

Man with earring.

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The world of men’s earrings is just as fashionable. Whether men want a statement piece or a subtle glimmer, earrings add a touch of class and personality in unique ways — regardless of gender. Jewelry is an investment and a research project. You must decide what kind of piercing you want and where to put it. Learn the ins and outs of men’s earrings, so you can make an informed decision before making appointments.

What Styles Are There?

Countless materials and styles exist for men’s earrings. Once you know the material you want, you can analyze the different styles. Ultimately, if you see a piercing you want, it can be for men. Regardless, these are the familiar shapes and appearances earrings tend to take.


Your piercer will most likely put a starter stud in your ear, no matter the placement. It allows for easier cleaning and maintenance during the healing period. Studs can range from flat disc shapes to diamonds to spheres. If you want something funkier, you can find other shapes like pyramids and cubes. Regardless, studs should lay flat in the ear and are one of the more subtle options when choosing a men’s earring style.

Hoops and Dangles

These are some of the most innovative and creative options on the market. Hoops come in every thickness, weight and circumference, depending on how flashy your vision is. Other dangling earrings can feature charms, chains and even accouterments like feathers and beads if that’s more your style. Regardless, ensure a strong closure or clasp to keep it in place. 


Stretching ears became more popular in the last decade, popularized by the punk scene. The process is far more time-consuming and potentially painful, depending on your method. Always consult a professional about the method and timeframe for stretching between sizes. There are tunnels — see-through and open — and plugs — filling the entire area. You may also want tapers, which slide through gauges but can take shapes like bone spirals and silver cones for a more remarkable statement. 

There are countless other earring styles for men, such as chains, cuffs, clip-on, magnetic and novelty earrings. But, these are the major options unless you want to dig deeper into more niche earring styles.

Some people may consider a material or look for health reasons — perhaps you have an allergy to titanium. Or, you may choose a material or style based on personal aesthetics or what looks good against your skin tone. Maybe you’ll pick piercings that can’t get caught in your hair. No matter the motivation, gold, silver, stainless steel, wood, glass and ceramic are all options for men’s earrings — and that’s only a few options.

What Placement Options Are There?

Most people think about ear piercings and assume the lobe is the only option. However, the ear is full of intriguing and expressive piercing placement opportunities. These are the most well-known placement options, but if you have a place on your ear you want a piercing through, your piercer can make it a reality.

  • Lobes: Depending on the size of your lobes, you can fit multiple piercings up and around the lobe. This changes if you want to stretch your ears for gauges or add a unique bar piercing, such as a transverse lobe. It’s a bar that goes through the bottom part of the lobe.
  • Tragus: A piercing that goes through the circular or ovular piece of cartilage over your ear hole. You can also get an anti-tragus, which goes through the jutting part of cartilage above the lobe.
  • Orbital or conch: A piercing that can either be a hoop or stud. The stud sits in the ear above the lobe. Or, a ring can go through it around the outside cartilage. 
  • Snug: This piercing usually sits halfway up the ear. It’s a bar that goes through the inner cartilage.
  • Helix or cartilage: These are any piercings on the outer rim or cartilage of the ear. You can also get a forward helix as a stud or hoop in the area above the tragus.
  • Rook: These bar piercings go through the thick piece of cartilage on the upper part of the ear above the tragus.
  • Industrial: Sometimes called barbells or scaffolds, these horizontal bars extend through two holes at the top of the ear, held in place by two balls. 
  • Daith: Known for its ability to alleviate migraines, this piercing, usually as a hoop, goes through the cartilage in the inner ear.
  • Surface: Using surface plates, piercings can place flat piercings besides the ear on the face.
Source: Queerty.

One of the most common questions surrounding men’s earrings is how much they hurt to get. Each piercing is different, and everyone’s pain tolerance is varied. Discuss with a piercer how they would rate the pain for each placement location based on their experience and client responses. 

The pain often hurts less if you schedule with an experienced piercer with schooling and certifications — this means always going to a piercing venue that uses needles instead of piercing guns. Needles hurt less and are more sanitary, making the healing period shorter and more tolerable. Healing periods depend on placement and aftercare and range from four weeks to a year.

Men’s Earrings for Self-Expression

Getting piercings is a great way to jazz up your personal style. Classing up a look with silver studs or making yourself known with multi-colored wooden dangles allows everyone to feel more confident in their style. Though previously associated with only women, societal acceptance of piercings is becoming more normalized and gender-inclusive. No matter what men’s earrings you choose, do whatever feels more comfortable — with the help of an experienced professional.

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