My piercing journey and the coolest piercings to try in 2024

In recent years, piercings of all kinds have become increasingly fashionable and no longer seen as a way to express criticism of “mainstream society”. Instead, they are a glamorous way to accessorise oneself. Here, Lily Thorley describes her piercing journey

By Lily Thorley

To begin, I grew up in Spain, a country where a lot of young girls have their ears pierced, and very often have them done when they are babies. Of course, 7-year-old me was very jealous of this, and I begged my parents to let me have my ears done like my fellow classmates. This experience, is what triggered my own love for piercings.

I didn’t realise until recently that my Grandfather, Cecil Harrn was a jeweller and at his shop in Upton Park, he was famous for piercing the ears of many of the women in the East End. There’s a famous family picture below of him piercing the ears of Lesley Anne Field live on British television.

Mr Harrn pierces Lesley Anne Field ears live on TV with Bob Monkhouse watching
My Grandfather Cecil Harrn pierces Lesley Anne Field ears live on TV with Bob Monkhouse watching

An ear piercing is the most common piercing, and is seen among people of all ages, and all genders. In fact, around 83% of the population have their ears pierced. The pain is very minimal, and the healing is simple therefore the majority of people would say it’s the best piercing to get if you have none. It is also very common for people to then go a step further. 

Hannah Martin Pierced
Hannah Martin’s Pierced collection features interchangeable elements which can be swapped out for a curated look

Second lobe piercings are generally the way to go if you want more piercings after your first. They’ve become so popular, most people simply call them ‘seconds’. I had my ‘seconds’ done spontaneously with a friend when I was 12. I was nervous because my firsts had become infected and I had to re-pierce them. However, I would say my second experience was even smoother than the first time. Seconds allow you to enhance the look of your original piercing, and I find multiple lobe piercings are a beautiful way to customise your ears and make beautiful ear stacks.

This is why I then got my third lobe piercing done when I turned 15. Thirds are very similar to seconds, healing wise and appearance wise, therefore I decided to get a helix-piercing done at the same time. This piercing is more complicated and slightly more painful than lobe piercings. It generally gets hit more, caught in your hair and is sore due to it being a hole in your cartilage rather than just flesh, therefore less people get it done, and the majority of those who do have similar complaints about them (unless you’re incredibly lucky and end up having an easy healing process).

It took a lot longer for it to heal, but for me it was worth it as I felt it balanced out the jewellery and I love having a sparkle not only at the lobe, but also the top of my ear. 

Maria Tash
Maria Tash also offers ornately decorative and intricate piercing designs

The next piercing I got was one I had always wanted. They are very popular in the media but I also fell in love with it as my mum had one when she was younger, and hearing her speak about how much she loved hers made me want one desperately.

At 16, I got a nose piercing, which was probably my most painful piercing, but equally one of my favourites. I would agree with the description I received from most people that it feels like being punched in the face, it definitely makes your eyes water, however the pain doesn’t last long and I found the healing was relatively quick. I’ve worn a variety of jewellery, including studs and hoops, and if truth be told, whenever I see someone with this piercing, I automatically think they are incredibly interesting and chic. 

piercing journey
Laura Bond Jewellery piercings

A navel-piercing (or more commonly known as belly-button piercing) was next on the list for me. I was still 16 when I got this one, not long after my nose. To be honest, before I got it done I was absolutely mortified, but having said that, it was hardly painful at all.

Of course, everyone has a different experience when being pierced as all our bodies are different, but I would describe the pain level of this piercing at about the same as receiving a vaccine for example. It took about 4 months to heal (even though the average is 3 months) and is also one of my favourites.

There is so much different jewellery to wear, sometimes I even change it depending on my outfit because once healed it is so easy to adapt to your style. If I could recommend any piercing, it would 100% be this one, as I find it to be so beautiful and stylish. 

piercing journey
Lark & Berry’s new Royal Edit of piercings

My most recent piercing I got a few months ago, at 17. I got a mid-helix, simply because I wanted to get a piercing, and it’s an easy one to get – although it still hasn’t properly healed. Pain and healing wise, I would say this one is between a lobe piercing and a normal helix, making it a bit more elevated than a lobe, but a good one to get if you have a low pain tolerance, and it’s still very endearing. 

I’m far from finished with my piercing journey. I love how they look and I love how they make me feel. A lot of people regret things such as piercings and tattoos, but personally, I’ve loved everything I’ve done so far, and if you need a confidence boost, I would always suggest a new piercing to help you feel better.

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