The industrial piercing is really two piercings in one: an outer helix piercing connected to a forward helix piercing by a straight barbell. This piercing was named and popularized by Erik Dakota in the early nineties. The first reference to the industrial piercing (then termed “industrial ear project”) was in Body Play magazine in 1992, alongside the first examples of daith and rook piercings.
The initial piercing is usually done with a barbell. (Using separate jewelry for healing can result in different angles when trying to connect the piercings later.) 14 gauge is usually the starting thickness, with length ranging anywhere from 1 1/8” to 1 3/8”, depending on the ear. While popular, this piercing doesn’t work for all ears, as you need to have a defined helix, or ear “ridge,” and enough space for the barbell to sit, unobstructed. If you’re interested in this piercing, we suggest coming in and talking to one of our piercers about your options. If your ear isn’t suited for an traditional industrial piercing, he or she can certainly recommend other, unique piercing options, or other “ear projects.”
Like all cartilage piercings, the suggested healing time is six months to a year. While many people want to get matching piercings in each ear, it’s strongly recommended that you only pierce one ear at a time. You need one ear to sleep on, use to talk on the phone, etc., and getting cartilage pierced in both ears at the same time can be incredibly difficult to heal—especially attempting matching industrial piercings. With this one you’re healing two piercings; not just one. If you want to get the second side done, give it at least six months after the first one.