Refinery29: The "Vertical Piercing" Is L.A.'s Raddest New Earring Trend


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The daith. The snug. The constellation. If it seems like celebrity piercers usher a new trend into the beauty zeitgeist every few months, it's because, well, you're kind of right — but that's not exactly by design.

"I find lots of women are more adventurous now," L.A.-based piercer Brian Keith Thompson tells R29, "So they come in and let me decide what to do to their ears." Hell, Beyoncé, Scarlett Johansson, and FKA Twigs trust him, so it makes sense that during the month he favored the rook, for example, it created a massive uptick in L.A. But the origin story behind the latest trend is different.

"I started doing stacked piercings because a lot of people were coming in with original lobe piercings that were placed too low," he explains. Whether it's leftover from a 5th grade mall trip or just poor placement, Thompson started adding to them instead of ignoring or replacing them.

The result is what he calls "the vertical lobe" piercing, a stacked effect that's popular whether you have a low piercing to start or not — and it's pretty damn cool. Keep clicking for everything you need to know about this rad new trend coming out of L.A.

1 OF 9So what exactly is a "vertical lobe" piercing? The gist is simple: Instead of creatively placing new holes all over like you might with a constellation piercing, Thompson stacks a second hole directly above an existing one. What makes it "vertical" is that he angles it towards the center of the ear. Of course, it's not an exact science, so he takes liberties to position the new hole how he sees fit. For example, this client got a second hole angled towards her tragus...Related StoriesIs Your Piercing ReallyInfected?Everything You Want To Know About Nipple Piercings"Hair Dusting" Is The Secret To Healthy Hair

2 OF 9While this client got one that is directly above her first piercing. "There's no right or wrong way to do it," Thompson explains. "It's a great way to turn a negative into a positive."

3 OF 9Thompson does, however, play favorites with jewelry. "I love this done with gemstones, especially diamonds," Thompson says. Piercing with studs also allows for faster and better healing than hoops since it's a straight post and not a curved bar.

4 OF 9Of course, the look has become so popular that many clients come in wanting the stacked look even without an existing hole. Thompson notes that healing time and pain doesn't change too much when doing two, but it is slightly different. "You will have a little more swelling so it will take a little longer to heal and be a little more painful, but it's negligible," he says.

5 OF 9The best thing about this duo is that, once it's healed, you're free to mix and match the jewelry. We suggest starting with matching studs, like Thompson's favorite (diamonds)...

6 OF 9Then move to something new in a few months. "A hoop looks rad in the bottom hole," he says.

7 OF 9But perhaps the best thing about this piercing is being able to use the top hole for heavier earrings that aren't supported by a low piercing. Once healed, you can leave the bottom hole empty and pop a statement earring into the top one for a night out.

8 OF 9And if you ever get sick of the vertical look, you can easily add a third hole and create a pyramid or constellation piercing like this client did.

If you want two piercings on the cartilage, as seen here, ask your piercer for a "stacked piercing on the flat of the ear," Thompson advises.