The Rook Piercing: Everything You Need to Know | FreshTrends

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The Rook Piercing: Everything You Need to Know

Rook piercings are among the more modern piercing types. Nestled in the cartilage fold that’s located right beneath the rim, or helix, of the ear—also known as the anti-helix—this piercing is adorable alone or in a cartilage cluster.

Since it’s located directly above the daith, piercers and piercees alike often get these two piercing styles mixed up. When getting this piercing, make 100% sure that you’re asking for the piercing that you want. It’s a good idea to bring along pictures so that you and your piercer are on the same page.

As a cartilage piercing, overall aftercare won’t differ too much from any other cartilage piercing. However, its location within the folds of the cartilage make it a difficult piercing to access for both you during aftercare and your piercer during piercing.

Here’s everything that you need to know about the rook piercing.

Rook Piercing Pain

The rook piercing, like all cartilage piercings, is one of the more painful piercings that you can get. That being said, the pain is quick, and much of the discomfort reported by those who have gotten the rook piercing comes from the crunch you may hear and feel as the needle goes through the cartilage rather than the pain of the piercing itself.

Much of the pain will depend upon the piercer. An experienced piercer will most likely have you lay on your side so that you don’t pass out or move around too much during the procedure. He or she will then puncture the rook using a hollow 16-gauge needle. Veteran piercers will let you know when to breathe in order to make the process easier, and they will produce the puncture in one smooth motion, so you shouldn’t feel anything more than a tug and a pinch.

Healing A Rook Piercing

The rook piercing takes anywhere from 2 - 3 months to one full year to completely heal. Cartilage piercings healing times vary greatly from person to person, so be sure to consult your piercer to make sure that the piercing has fully healed before stopping aftercare practices. If you try to remove the jewelry prior to full healing, you run the risk of infection or cartilage bumps.

Aftercare rules

Like any other piercing, you should clean your rook piercing 2 - 3 times daily with a piercing aftercare saline solution per your piercer’s instructions. When choosing a piercing aftercare spray, make sure that it only contains a mixture of salt and water. Often, aftercare sprays will contain additives, like tea tree oil, that will actually irritate the piercing and prolong healing.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind in order to enjoy as short of a healing period as possible.

Don’t wear headphones that press against the jewelry. If pressure is placed on the jewelry, it may cause the earring to rub against the piercing holes, causing trauma to the piercing site that could lead to piercing bumps. Instead, opt for earbuds or headphones that don’t press against the rook.

Don’t twist your rook earrings. This rule can be difficult, especially while cleaning, but it’s imperative for cartilage piercings. Cartilage is easily damaged, and when you move the jewelry around, it causes trauma to the surrounding skin. This can lead to scarring. When conducting saline soaks, make sure that you use a cup that’s big enough to engulf the jewelry without touching it, and refrain from twisting the jewelry.

Try not to sleep on the piercing. Similar to the headphones issue, this will place pressure on the earrings, causing problems. When choosing which side to get your rook piercing, keep your sleeping preferences in mind, and consider getting the piercing on the side that you don’t sleep on. 

A Note On Rook Piercing Infections

In general, piercing infections are rare. If you are practicing proper hygiene and cleaning your piercing daily, you shouldn’t develop a piercing infection. In the first week or so after getting pierced, swelling, discharge, and some bleeding is common, so don’t worry if this occurs. If you develop a piercing infection, the symptoms associated will be fairly extreme, and you shouldn’t have a doubt about whether or not your piercing is infected. That being said, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if you suspect that your rook piercing is infected, talk to a doctor or your piercer for consultation.

Rook Piercing Earring Styles

Even though the rook is located in such a tight location, there’s a wide variety of rook piercing jewelry styles to choose from so that you can make this piercing your own.

Curved barbells are incredibly popular in rook piercings. It makes great starter jewelry because it won’t tug on your piercing as much as a hoop might, and you can get a barbell long enough to leave space for swelling. Once your rook has healed, you can get a smaller barbell so that the beads sit flush with your cartilage, or stick with the longer barbell so that the jewelry hangs in the center of your ear. Spice it up with barbells that sport charms, opals, or other fun beads.

Seamless hoops, clickers, and captive bead rings are also a popular style in rook piercings. You’ll want to opt for a hoop in a smaller diameter for a more comfortable fit.

To mix the curved barbell and hoop looks, you can also rock a small circular barbell.

Rook piercing

Why shouldn’t I get a rook piercing?

The inner folds of the cartilage vary greatly from person to person. Some won’t have enough of a cartilage fold in the rook area to pull off this piercing. If you’re concerned, talk to your piercer, and they can let you know if you can get this piercing or provide other piercings that will have a similar aesthetic, like the snug, conch, or daith piercings.

Cartilage piercings are susceptible to scarring, cartilage bumps, and other permanent issues. If you’ve had problems with scarring in the past, or if you struggle to adhere to proper aftercare practices, then this might not be the piercing for you.

Rook Piercing Cost

The rook piercing will cost anywhere between $30 and $100. Often, this price won’t include the jewelry.

Don’t skimp on price. An inexperienced piercer can set you up for failure by using bad instruments, not piercing deeply enough, choosing the wrong starter jewelry, or any other number of mistakes. You want to find a piercer who is experienced enough to get you the piercing that you deserve.

Additionally, you’ll want to splurge a bit on your starter jewelry. Lower quality metals contain allows that can irritate your skin and contribute to jewelry rejection. Even if you’ve never had metal allergies or issues in the past, these could pop up at any time, so play it safe as you heal and choose quality metals like 14k gold or platinum. Your starter jewelry should also be big enough to accommodate swelling, and it shouldn’t be too heavy.