Rook Piercing: Pain, Healing, Cost, Benefits, Jewelry, Risks, Aftercare

Rook Piercing: Pain, Healing, Cost, Benefits, Jewelry, Risks, Aftercare

While lobe piercings are still the most popular body jewelry for the ear, other locations, like the rook piercing, are steadily gaining popularity. Let's look at things you may want to know about this unique and possibly therapeutic piercing to see if it might be right for you.

What Is a Rook Piercing?

Rook piercings are ear piercings located in the cartilage fold between the inner and outer ear. The horizontal piercing sits above the tragus inside the anti-helix. A rook-piercing hole will be closer to the forward helix and consist of a single hole.

You can place a variety of bars or rings within it.

Rook Piercing: Pain, Healing, Cost, Benefits, Jewelry, Risks, Aftercare

Rook Piercing vs Daith

Location is the main difference between these piercings, with the rook nestled in the upper cartilage and the daith in the middle cartilage. The location makes it easier to snag daith jewelry, and it can interfere more with earbuds or headphones. Rook piercings are usually more painful and take longer to heal.

Rook Piercing Pain Scale 1-10

Does a rook piercing hurt? On a pain scale of 1 to 10, most people rate the pain at a 6. Some will find it more painful than this as the needle penetrates two layers of cartilage during the piercing process. The pain level drops quickly, but some will linger as cartilage piercings take longer to heal.

Rook Piercing Healing

How long does a rook piercing take to heal? The least time for healing can be as little as 6 months. Most rook piercings usually take longer, averaging 6 to 9 months.

To be safe, many piercing technicians recommend waiting up to a year before changing your jewelry. That gives ample time for your piercing hole to go through the healing stages.

Rook Piercing Healing Stages

  1. While other stages of healing vary between individuals, the initial hemostasis stage ends within the first 24 hours. Here, bleeding from the piercing hole will stop due to clotting.
  2. Inflammation is the second stage of healing and results in redness and swelling. These symptoms peak within 48 hours, but this stage can take several weeks to complete.
  3. The third stage, proliferation, sees the wound gap close. Skin and tissue begin growing, and revascularization occurs. It can take up to 24 days for this stage to complete.
  4. The final stage is maturation. New tissue becomes flexible, and it gains more strength. Scaring and irregular tissue appearance dissipates.

Rook Piercing Price

How much does a rook piercing cost? Rook piercings can cost between $30 and $100. Many things influence the price of your piercing, including your location, shop size, piercing technician experience, and demand.

As with most things, you tend to get what you pay for. A cheap piercing sounds fantastic, but the small price tag can also be a red flag.

Rook Piercing Benefits: Rook Piercing for Migraines and Anxiety?

Many believe a rook ear piercing acts as the ultimate stress-relieving body modification.

The piercing functions like ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy), with the rook location associated with fewer migraine headaches and lower anxiety levels. Some also say their rook piercing helps to reduce cramps and pain from menstrual periods.

However, these beliefs aren't universally supported by scientific studies, although the piercing may provide a placebo effect or psychological comfort.

Rook Piercing Jewelry

1. Types of Rook Piercing Jewelry

Any type of body modification jewelry can be worn in the piercing with the most common being CBRs (captive bead ring) and curved barbells


16 gauge captive bead ring implant-grade titanium $18.9, SHOP NOW.

You can wear rings like captive bead rings in your rook piercing hole, but it should only be attempted after your piercing is fully healed.

Rings will place more pressure on the piercing hole when you wear them. These pieces will also be easier to snag on clothing or other materials they come into contact with.

Curved Barbells or Studs

Curved barbell piercing ASTM F136 implant-grade titanium internally threaded $16.9, SHOP NOW.

The first piece of jewelry for your rook ear piercing will be curved studs or barbells used during the healing process.

The curve allows decorative gems or other components to stand out more than a straight barbell. A downside, though, might be the barbell's tendency to flip inwards.

Labret Studs

Labret stud implant-grade titanium with cubic zirconia 16G $18.9, SHOP NOW.

Another type of ear piercing jewelry to consider for your rook ear piercing is studs.

Studs will stay in place as the cartilage and surrounding tissue heal. It is also less likely to snag on clothing or other items while your ear heals. The straight bar promotes faster healing than some types of piercing jewelry.

2. Rook Piercing Size

What Gauge Is a Rook Piercing?

For most people, a rook ear piercing requires 16-gauge (1.2mm) jewelry. Depending on how far out your anti-helix stands, you might find 14-gauge (1.6mm) jewelry a better fit.

Either size offers access to plenty of stud designs and decorations for you to choose from.


The length of rook piercing jewelry ranges between 6mm and 8mm. Those looking for a snug fit prefer shorter pieces, while longer pieces offer more room between the cartilage and ends.

10mm rook piercing pieces are ideal for those with thick cartilage, as shorter lengths can cause irritation and bumps at or near the piercing hole.


Should you later wish to use rings in your rook piercing hole, the pieces will range between 5mm and 8mm in diameter.

A good starting point would be 6mm if you want it to be comfortable and snug. You will need something closer to 8mm if your piercing hole sits higher up on the cartilage.

Gem Size

A good gem size to start with is 5/16.

3. Recommended Metals for Rook Piercings

Titanium Industrial Piercing Jewelry

Implant-grade titanium rook jewelry is strongly recommended. It is lightweight, nickel-free, and won’t tarnish. It’s often recommended for those who are allergic to brass, nickel, and other metals common for jewelry.

Precious Metals

Platinum and 14-karat gold jewelry can offer an elevated look. However, they may be more pricey and could tarnish over time. Also consider if you have allergies, such as an allergy to gold.

Surgical-Grade Stainless Steel

If you opt for stainless steel, you should opt for surgical-grade steel. It often contributes to a smooth healing process and is extremely durable.

However, it does contain small amounts of nickel that could cause allergic reactions in those with skin sensitivities. Talk through all material options with your piercer to figure out what’s best for you and your skin.

Sterling Silver

A metal that is durable, affordable, and appealing to the eye with its shiny appearance. However, sterling silver is often not recommended for new piercings because it can complicate the healing process.

Bioflex Plastic

Flexible jewelry made from renewable materials that are metal-free and can come in different colors.

When Can I Change My Rook Piercing?

You can begin changing out your rook piercing jewelry once it heals, usually between 6 and 12 months. Most piercing technicians suggest waiting until the end of that period to allow the piercing hole to reach healing maturation. Complications can arise if you change out piercing jewelry too soon.

Risks of Rook Ear Piercing

1. Infection

The biggest concern you will have is an infection in your rook ear piercing. Cartilage piercings take longer to heal, with 30% of these piercings getting an infection. Follow all aftercare instructions to reduce the risk. That includes cleaning your piercing two or three times per day.

2. Keloid

Keloids are over-growths of scar tissue at the edge of your rook piercing hole. They cause issues with the jewelry used and can make the site tender. Removal requires invasive actions like surgery.

3. Rejection

Less common are rook-piercing rejections. Because it takes longer to heal, cartilage piercings can become more sensitive to pressure from sleeping on them. Materials can be an issue, so always use surgical-grade steel or titanium. Finally, genetics can play a factor in piercing rejections.

How to Clean Rook Piercings?

The best way to prevent complications is to perform the right aftercare. This involves cleaning your piercing at least twice a day.

Your piercer may give you a saline solution, or, you can make your own at home by dissolving ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into 1 cup of warm water.

  1. To clean the piercing, you’ll soak something like a cotton ball in the saltwater solution.
  2. Then, you’ll apply it to the front and the back of the piercing to saturate the area. If needed, you can use a dampened cotton swab to gently brush away any crust.
  3. Pat the area dry using a paper towel or low-ply cloth that won’t snag.

To help your piercing heal more quickly, soak the area at least twice daily with your solution. Depending on the location of your piercing, this may be difficult, but you can use a large bowl or soak a cotton swab in the saline solution and place it on the piercing site. If you have any questions about this process, your piercer can help.

Rook Ear Piercing Aftercare

  • Use a homemade saline solution or an antibacterial cleanser approved by your piercer each day.
  • Use safe metals like K gold and implant-grade titanium that you aren’t allergic to.
  • Avoid touching and playing with your piercing jewelry.
  • Allow it to fully heal before changing the jewelry.
  • Avoid sleeping on the ear you had pierced.
  • Avoid contact with scented soaps, perfumes, chemicals, and other chemicals.
  • Wash your hands with antibacterial soap when you do clean or touch the piercing and jewelry.

You should ensure you get pierced by someone experienced and reliable who utilizes the right cleaning and sterilization procedures. You’ll also need to choose high-quality jewelry that you aren’t allergic to. After you get your piercing, be sure to follow all instructions from your piercer.

Read More

Helix Piercing: Healing, Pain, Cost, Jewelry, Aftercare, Pros and Cons

Industrial Piercing: Cost, Pain, Healing, Jewelry, Risks, Cleaning, Aftercare

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