Skip to content

Cartilage (Helix) Piercing in Nairobi, Kenya

(Variations, Pain Threshold, Healing Time, Aftercare, Jewelry Guide, and Possible Side Effects)

A cartilage piercing, specifically a helix piercing, involves perforating the upper, outer edge of the ear cartilage. This type of piercing is popular for its aesthetic appeal and versatility.

Cartilage Piercings

It’s quite easy to feel completely overwhelmed by the variety of ear piercings available today. Any piercing of the ear’s upper cartilage is referred to as a helix piercing, albeit there are different kinds of helix piercings. You can get a forward, reverse, double, or even triple helix piercings in addition to the regular helix piercing in the upper outer cartilage.

What are the different types of Helix Piercing?

Forward helix piercing

What distinguishes a forward helix piercing from a backward helix piercing? Actually, it’s fairly simple: just follow your cartilage’s natural curve around your ear until you reach the side of your face (i.e., just above the tragus), where there is a forward helix piercing. 

Double, or Triple helix piercing

While the traditional helix method only involves one piercing of the top outer cartilage, if you have two or three piercings in the same spot, just above each other, these are called double and triple helix piercings. This more refers to the amount of piercings you have in the same ear even though they are the same.

Considerations before getting an Helix Piercing

Before getting a helix piercing, it’s important to carefully consider several factors to ensure you make an informed decision and are prepared for the process and aftercare. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Professional Piercing Studio: Research reputable piercing studios in your area. Look for studios with experienced, professional piercers who follow strict hygiene and safety practices.
  • Piercer’s Qualifications: Ensure that the piercer is trained and experienced in performing helix piercings. Ask to see their portfolio of previous work.
  • Placement and Design: Discuss the placement and design of the helix piercing with your piercer. Choose a location and jewelry style that suits your preferences and complements your ear’s anatomy.
  • Pain Tolerance: Be prepared for some pain and discomfort during the piercing process. While it’s typically brief, everyone’s pain tolerance is different.
  • Healing Time: Understand that helix piercings can take several months to fully heal. Proper aftercare is crucial during this period.
  • Aftercare Commitment: Be ready to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer diligently. This may include cleaning the piercing with a saline solution and avoiding touching the piercing with dirty hands.
  • Swelling and Redness: Expect some swelling and redness around the piercing site, especially in the initial days and weeks following the piercing.
  • Jewelry Options: Discuss jewelry options with your piercer. Choose high-quality jewelry made from materials such as surgical steel, titanium, or biocompatible materials to minimize the risk of complications or allergic reactions.
  • Infection Risk: Understand the risk of infection and other complications. Proper aftercare is essential to minimize these risks.
  • Rejection and Migration: Be aware that helix piercings can be prone to rejection or migration, where the body pushes the jewelry out over time. Proper jewelry choice and aftercare can help reduce these risks.
  • Lifestyle Considerations: Consider how the piercing may impact your daily life, such as sleeping on that side, wearing headphones, or participating in sports or activities that could put stress on the piercing.
  • Visibility and Style: Helix piercings are quite visible and can be a fashion statement. Consider whether this level of visibility aligns with your personal style and whether it’s acceptable in your workplace or school.
  • Future Plans: Consider any future plans or career goals that may be affected by the piercing. Some professions or workplaces have strict policies regarding visible piercings.
  • Consultation: Before getting the piercing, have a consultation with your chosen piercer to discuss your expectations, ask any questions, and receive personalized advice.

Cartilage (Helix) Piercings FAQ’s

Does it hurt to get a helix piercing?

For a far more opulent experience and supportive counseling and advice on piercing aftercare, we strongly advise going to a professional and accredited boutique piercer like Rebel Inks Tattoo Kenya.

At Rebel Inks Tattoo Kenya, we try to make the whole process very quick, and the anticipation of pain is probably more intense than the actual piercing, but there’s definitely a bit of a pinch and shock when it does go through, which results in some hand squeezing of the unlucky friend that joins you.

How long does it take for a helix piercing to heal?

This is the key distinction between lobe and cartilage piercings. A helix piercing can take between three and six months to heal, whereas a lobe piercing may heal in about a month. Unfortunately, because everyone heals at a different pace, it’s difficult to predict an exact healing time. The piercing area may hurt, turn red, swell, or even bleed (initially).

However, there are several things you can do to increase the likelihood that your piercing will heal quickly.

Like all piercings, keeping the area around the helix earrings clean is the most important way to avoid infection.  Gauze and a saline solution can be used to gently clean the region. Cotton buds should be avoided since the fibers can transfer to the piercing. Even though you may be tempted to start tinkering with your new jewelry, wait until you are positive that the piercing has healed before twisting or changing the jewelry since this could obstruct the healing process and even cause infection.

Cartilage (Helix) Piercing Aftercare

Helix piercing aftercare is as easy as cleaning it twice daily with saline solution (or antimicrobial soap). The hardest part of the process isn’t bathing, though; it’s making sure to take all reasonable precautions to keep your piercing from becoming irritated. Avoid wearing items like headphones or beanies that could touch on it to reduce friction. If you’re a side sleeper, Rebel Inks Tattoo Kenya advises you to lay on the side opposite the ear that was pierced because sleeping on a freshly pierced ear can have unfavorable effects.

Cleaning Process
  • Soak a clean, sterile cotton ball or pad in the saline solution.
  • Gently clean around the piercing site, removing any crust or discharge. Avoid rotating or twisting the jewelry.
  • Use a fresh cotton ball or pad for each cleaning, and do not reuse them.
  • Jewelry Movement: Do not twist or turn the jewelry during cleaning, as this can disrupt the healing process and cause irritation.

As much as possible, you should refrain from touching or unsettling your piercing since irritation can result in inflammation and, in rare situations, infections. Rebel Inks Tattoo Kenya E also advises washing your hands before touching your piercing if you must.

Never put anything on your piercing that you wouldn’t put in your eyes if you wanted to take good care of your piercing during the healing period.

Keep an eye out for signs of infection, including increased redness, swelling, pain, discharge with an unusual color or odor, and fever. If you suspect an infection, contact your piercer or a healthcare professional promptly.

Type of Jewelry Used for a Helix Piercing

Hoop/Ring: For a helix piercing, a hoop, also known as a ring, is a common option. It’s a ring-shaped piece of metal, however, it can be easily bent due to its flexibility. Simply pull apart the two ends to remove a hoop.

Stud: A stud is a tiny piece of jewelry with a long, thin backing that is put into a piercing’s hold. You fasten a tiny fixture on the other side of a stud to seal it in place.

Type of Jewelry Material Used for a Helix Piercing

The ideal metals to use are stainless steel or titanium because they are largely inert and shouldn’t produce a reaction in your body.

Stainless steel: Because it can be formed into a variety of colours and shapes without losing any of its outstanding quality, stainless steel is a highly popular material for helix jewelry. However, stainless steel does contain nickel, so if you have a nickel allergy, avoid using it.

Titanium: Given its many diverse aesthetic options, titanium is equally as reliable material as stainless steel. The sole distinction between the two is the absence of nickel in titanium, making it completely safe for everyone.

Gold: Gold isn’t always the finest metal for helix jewelry, but it’s still a good option. Gold is an excellent option if you want to match your piercing to the rest of your jewelry or for other purely cosmetic reasons. To avoid wearing jewelry made of too-soft metal, make sure it is at least 14 karats thick.

How to Replace a Helix Piercing

A helix piercing can be easily replaced, but wait until it has fully healed—three to six months—before attempting to replace the jewelry. Rebel Inks Tattoo advises working with your piercer to make the initial adjustment because errors must be avoided at all costs. Additionally, your piercer can demonstrate how to adjust the jewelry so that you feel comfortable doing it yourself. If it’s a stud, you just need to take the backing out of the piercing and slide the ring out by gently pulling on the flexible metal ring. Simply insert the new one after that in the same way.

Visit your piercing specialist for assistance if you need it. Especially in the first few months, removing the piercing runs the risk of the hole closing up.

Side Effects of Helix Piercing

If you don’t take good care of the piercing, you run the greatest risks of infection and scarring.

Infection: When aftercare is neglected or the piercing becomes too inflamed, an infection can develop. Infections frequently show themselves through redness, swelling, green or yellow pus, and discomfort. If you notice any symptoms, get medical attention right away.

Scarring: If the piercing gets too inflamed while receiving aftercare, a scar emerges, which might leave some unpleasant markings near the piercing site.

Keloids: In order to adequately protect against the physical damage of a piercing, extra scar tissue grows around the wound after the skin has healed to generate keloids, which are elevated scars. They can vary in size, but they rarely hurt and only contain scar tissue.

Rejection and Migration: Cartilage piercings can be prone to rejection or migration, where the body pushes the jewelry out over time. If you notice signs of migration or have concerns about the placement of the piercing, consult with your piercer.

Get In Touch

For more information on the list above and any other special services,please call or come in for free consultation


Sarah HadleySarah Hadley
04:05 15 Jun 24
I cannot say enough about Eric and the experience he gave me. First of all, he fit me in when I was running short on time and helped me to find his shop. I just wanted a meaningful word tattooed and promised it would be small and quick. When I didn't love the fonts we came across, he free-handed a stunning font. He made sure the placement was perfect and checked in with me and we decided to just leave it as the outline without filling it all in and even with the change of plans the line work was perfection. Eric also charged me half of what I was quoted several other places even after he drew the design himself on the spot. It was the best overall experience I've had in a tattoo shop. I cannot speak highly enough of Eric's care for clients, artistic skill, or fairness in operating his business.
kelvin mbushirekelvin mbushire
04:38 10 Jun 24
Trust the process
Jaeda BarnesJaeda Barnes
15:07 06 Jun 24
Eric is an exceptional piercer and also business owner. I am beyond pleased with his talent, his services, follow up care and customer service. He checked in with me each week to ensure my piercing was ok and I was clear on his instructions. I highly recommend Eric and this business. He goes above and beyond to make sure all is well. You won’t be dissapointed!
Simon StSimon St
06:33 06 Jun 24
Billy BettBilly Bett
20:41 04 Jun 24
I got a dollar sign tattooI liked the whole experience 💯💯... Planning to have lots of them... Starting with all the scheduling part and its a good pricing for quality tattoo🔥🔥✌️✌️
13:57 03 Jun 24
I recently got my nose pierced at this shop, and I couldn’t be happier with the experience. Eric, the artist, was incredibly attentive and friendly, offering a thorough consultation before the piercing. He also follows up regularly via text to check on the healing progress and shares usefultips. Highly recommend 👍🏽
Natasha NjugunaNatasha Njuguna
18:59 02 Jun 24
katia sumailkatia sumail
20:28 30 May 24
Work well done 👌🏽 I recommend ✊🏾
Mark KMark K
09:11 30 May 24
Had an awesome experience. The place was super clean. Totally recommend them!
Kenna HopeKenna Hope
12:54 28 May 24
Mike OsoroMike Osoro
11:19 27 May 24
I have been going for laser tattoo removal sessions and I am in my last session now. Eric is very knowledgeable and precise when it came to answering my queries and also in the overall tattoo removal journey. I very highly recommend him. I stay outside Nairobi city and even scheduling my sessions has been very easy all thanks to Eric.
Julia BrodskyJulia Brodsky
09:07 27 May 24
Me and my 3 friends all got ear piercings. Two of us got the conch, one got the upper cartilage, the other got her second holes. He was very professional, clean, accurate, and caring. All 4 of our piercings have healed great and he has been so kind to reach out and care about the aftercare of our piercings. If I lived in Nairobi, I would get all my piercings here! 100% would recommend him to anyone. The titanium jewelry is great quality as well.
Teddy TeddymwasTeddy Teddymwas
04:41 27 May 24
I got a tattoo at rebel inks,and I'm impressed by their creativity and skills. The studio has a friendly atmosphere, and the quality of their work is top-notch and their passion for what they do shines through in every piece.
Maria AguinaMaria Aguina
19:01 24 May 24
Good clean place. Eric was very nice and professional. Explain the do’s and don’ts. Would definitely recommend!!!!
Wendy KarumeWendy Karume
17:46 24 May 24
The piercing was perfectly done with a smooth healing process.
Leon JonesLeon Jones
11:12 23 May 24
bianca chelangatbianca chelangat
14:24 21 May 24
Great experience if you are looking forward to getting your navel pierced: from hygiene, placement of the piercing, guidelines on treatment(cleaning), competence when in need of a check up and very hospitable and friendly place.100% recommendable.
Brian PeterBrian Peter
18:29 20 May 24
I got my first tattoo from Eric and clearly I am impressed by the level of expertise, cleanliness, professionalism and love for body art. I recommend 💯 if you are looking to get tattoos, piercings and tattoo removal too.
Program TestingProgram Testing
15:24 19 May 24
I loved the whole experience having that this was my very first tattoo. The whole process was so smooth and Eric helped me and walked me through the process of after care. I would Highly recommend him to anyone who wants to have their tattoo done
Kagio wambuiKagio wambui
13:03 19 May 24
mahmood Marcelomahmood Marcelo
12:07 19 May 24
Good customer service and deliverance, and so friendly.
Lucy MumbiLucy Mumbi
05:52 15 May 24
Had my septum pierced here.Went really smoothly and healing so well. Everything was explained to me about the process both before and after piercing and the aftercare. I thoroughly enjoyed the service I received . Will definitely get pierced here again
Precious MitchellPrecious Mitchell
14:56 14 May 24
Amazing experience. Super caring tattoo artist. The shop was very clean and hygienic. Eric was so kind and walked me through the entire tattoo process. Would highly recommend!!!!
samantha anzemosamantha anzemo
08:37 14 May 24
Removed two of my tattoos .Very professional,he checks up and ensures you’re doing well.I highly recommend coming to rebel ink.
13:59 12 May 24
The place is clean and nice they of quality service interms of quality and colour tattos and they offer tattoo removal services offer which is Good and is not available all over Kenya
Marco CattaneoMarco Cattaneo
08:11 10 May 24
Deneil ChristianDeneil Christian
06:32 04 May 24
My experience at Rebel Inks was exceptional. It was my first time getting a piercing, and I was understandably nervous. However, Eric, the piercer, was reassuring and professional. He explained the earlobe piercing process in detail and answered all of my questions before beginning.I was particularly impressed with Eric's attention to hygiene. He thoroughly cleaned the room before I entered, sanitized all of the equipment he would be using, and changed gloves between each ear. This level of cleanliness gave me great confidence in his professionalism.Eric's commitment to customer service did not end on the day of the piercing. He followed up with me regularly throughout the healing process to ensure that I was following the aftercare instructions and that my earlobes were healing properly.I highly recommend Rebel Inks to anyone in Nairobi who is considering getting a piercing. Eric is a highly skilled and experienced piercer who takes great pride in his work.
Josephine TumaleoJosephine Tumaleo
15:27 03 May 24
This is my first piecing and was recommended @Rebel Inks Tattoos by a previous client. The Nose Piercing was well done and I am a satisfied clientSo I Check all the boxes below and more:Customer Care: ✔️Professionalism : ✔️Cleanliness ✔️Price: ✔️After care service ✔️Thanks and good job, Eric
Melanie TilleMelanie Tille
08:16 01 May 24
I recently got inked by Eric, and I couldn't be happier! He did an incredible job, was super friendly and was so flexible with my small motives. The studio was clean, and the atmosphere was nice. I highly recommend the studio.
16:03 27 Apr 24
Great service!
Halima AbdiHalima Abdi
13:50 27 Apr 24
My family and i got lots of piercing and the experience was quite amazing .
Ms WambuiMs Wambui
12:50 27 Apr 24
Tatoo done by Erick. Professionalism on point. Plus really helpful after care service. Definitely recommend.
Alexy De CyrusAlexy De Cyrus
07:24 27 Apr 24
Elsie WacuElsie Wacu
20:38 24 Apr 24
I got my belly button piercing from Eric. I have had 2 piercings done before and I've never received service as good as his. He explained the piercing and after care processes in detail and was very patient with my many questions...I'm considering paying him school fees 😂. His hygiene standards are very high and he used a disposable sterilized needle. He followed up on my healing progress weekly...I felt like we were healing together 😅. I wish it was possible to give 10 stars. I'm definitely having my future piercings done with him and I'm recommending him to all my friends 😃
Kalu JayKalu Jay
07:34 22 Apr 24
Got my tattoo done by Rebel Inks several years back and for sure these guys are the best in town .my tattoo healed well and now it’s looking perfect
Professor PimpProfessor Pimp
18:20 20 Apr 24
Sherryl NzaliSherryl Nzali
06:41 18 Apr 24
Thoroughly impressed by their amazing services. It was an incredible experience. Happy with my results. I highly recommend Rebel Inks.
jake mungaijake mungai
06:07 18 Apr 24
Wonderful experience. great hospitality and most importantly, very hygienic service. I would definitely recommend.
kriti kumarikriti kumari
17:18 16 Apr 24
Got my upper ear piercing done and my experience was fabulous. I highly appreciate the professionalism shown by Eric. He made sure I was made aware of the process before he started the work. He also explained me the healing process and the complications which was actually great to know as most places do not care to talk about the work in so much detail.The place is neat and clean and the equipments he used were also fine standards. Really appreciate his following up with me on the healing 🤗
Wambui GichureWambui Gichure
10:59 15 Apr 24
Solid service! I got a septum piercing and i enjoyed the professionalism and the follow up services..#valueformoney#highlyrecommend#
Nyambura WanyekiNyambura Wanyeki
12:18 31 Mar 24
I first went through their website to engage more on their services. I was particularly interested in the nose ring service. The communication from the day I made an appointment was very professional as well as the services offered. Eric explained in great detail the step by step procedure and was very patient with our questions. He administered effective hygiene and even let my friend record a video of the procedure. The after care followup is also great as Eric keeps checking up on the healing process on a weekly basis as well as giving additional guidance on the after care.I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEIR SERVICES to everyone. Actually what you see on their website is EXACTLY what you will get. Keep up the good work Rebel inks Tattoos.
liz Omaribaliz Omariba
05:50 30 Mar 24
Got my first tattoo from him....and he's been very involving in my recovery journey. I'd recommend him any day. Thank you so much Eric.
Sylvia KiamaSylvia Kiama
03:01 30 Mar 24
He was quick and professional the piercing looked good and was easy to book with
Risper JamesRisper James
16:39 28 Mar 24
Got my tattoo done here 5 years ago. Healed well, looking perfect. Definitely has withstood the test of time. Eric ❤️, you are a Gem 💎.
Poly JoePoly Joe
15:42 28 Mar 24
I have been looking for the perfect place to get my tattoo removed. After inquiring and also being referred to Eric. I started my removal process last year and now my tattoo is almost fully gone. I would like to thank Eric and the whole Rebel Inks Empire Team for their diligence and consistency in ensuring my needs were met. Definitely the best in laser removal services in Nairobi, Kenya.💯
Maximilian LehnMaximilian Lehn
14:27 26 Mar 24
I went to Eric for the first time to get help with an earring infection I couldn’t get rid of for months. I quickly got an appointment. He took time to listen to my concerns and previous treatments. He then recommended we try a different approach, changing the piercing and treating it as it was fresh. He gave great advise on how to clean and which care products to use. Throughout the whole session he was very friendly, considerate and knowledgeable. The weeks after he was checking in on how the piercing was doing.The infection is now gone. I would definitely recommend!
Chris BChris B
16:54 29 Feb 24
I got my ears pierced and the whole procedure was more than great. The space was very clean and time was taken to chose the right spot. He took his time to clean up after and we had a nice talk, too with many helpful information on cleaning and sanitizing the new Piercings. Even after we were done there was a weekly follow up on our healing process.Can recommend this place totally and would go back there anytime!Thanks!
Victory WairimuVictory Wairimu
11:56 25 Feb 24
I was so pleased with the service I got. I received a septum piercing from Eric and based on my experience with him, I wouldn't trust anyone else with any other piercings that I might get. He's very sanitary and walks you through the entire process making you feel comfortable and at ease. He also follows up on his clients concerning after care and is very easy to talk to. I would definitely refer anyone looking for to get a piercing, tattoo or tattoo removal here!


Areas We Serve





Message Us

Open chat
Need help?
Rebel Inks Tattoos and Body Piercings
Hello, how can I help you?