Did you know that piercings have been in fashion since 3,300 BC?
The oldest known mummy, named Otzi, was found well-preserved in the Alps in 1991. Old Otzi had 61 tattoos and pierced ears gauged 7-11mm.
Otzi's discovery adds to a body of evidence showing that piercings have been an important part of human culture for centuries.
Piercing trends are always shifting. Ear piercings, nose piercings, septum piercings, eyebrow piercings, belly piercings, even genital piercings, have had their time in the cultural limelight.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about eyebrow piercing.
A Brief History of Eyebrow Piercing
While body modifications via piercings have been around for centuries, eyebrow piercing is a relatively new trend.
Its first known incidence is in the 1970s. Coming out of the punk subculture as a fashion statement. It's one of the more timeless piercings. Popular among both men and women.
The placement of an eyebrow piercing varies according to the person being pierced. Eyebrow piercing can be done anywhere along the brow. From directly above the eye, to the edge of the eyebrow by the temple.
If piercing more towards the middle of the face, care must be taken not to impact the supraorbital nerves. Typically the piercing is placed just past the arch of one's brow.
Technically a flat surface piercing, an eyebrow piercing will heal a bit differently than other body piercings. It also has a higher risk of rejection and migration. Meaning your body might reject the piercing entirely or it could shift over time.
Everything You Need to Know
In this section, we'll go over a few frequently asked questions, and layout some considerations for you to keep in mind before you get your brow pierced.
You'll also do well to remember that you won't easily be able to hide your piercing while it's healing since it's on your face and all.
How Do You Pierce Your Eyebrow?
Eyebrow piercing is a fairly simple procedure.
A piercer will use a single needle to perforate the skin somewhere along the ridge of the eyebrow. You will determine the exact location before this part happens.
Probably the most common location for an eyebrow piercing is the outside corner of the eye at an approximately 35-degree angle.
The great thing about eyebrow piercings is that there are several different styles and placements that you can try out to get the perfect look for you.
How Much Does An Eyebrow Piercing Cost?
Generally speaking, an eyebrow piercing can run from $20-$70 USD. Depending on the piercer, the style of piercing, and the cost of the jewelry. Horizontal and anti-eyebrow piercings will usually cost a bit more, $30-$80 USD, the same variables come into play though.
Since this is a prominent spot on your face it's best not to try to cut any corners in regards to cost. Find yourself a reputable piercer with experience in eyebrow piercings and pay what you have to.
Better to pay more upfront than deal with infection or rejection down the line from an improper piercing.
How Much Will It Hurt?
The burning question, do eyebrow piercings hurt?
For most folks, the eyebrow piercing is on the lower end of the pain scale compared to other piercings. There are fewer nerve endings in the eyebrow area, compared to your nose or naval, so it shouldn't hurt too much.
Expect to feel a quick pinch and a little pressure. It should be completely bearable and fast.
After the piercing is a bit of a different story. It's really common to feel more discomfort and experience swelling just after getting your eyebrow pierced compared to other piercings.
Your body may send a rush of blood to deal with the perceived injury, leading to some mildly unpleasant symptoms. Some folks may even develop a black eye after piercing.
Try not to worry though. All of these issues should go away on their own as the piercing heals. To make the healing process happen faster; try not to use blood thinners, apply a cold compress to the area, and make sure you get plenty of rest.
If these problems seem excessive, or they don't go away, it would be best to play it safe and see a doctor. Piercing infections are no fun and can be avoided if you practice good aftercare and catch them in time.
How Long Is the Healing Process?
The eyebrow piercing healing process takes roughly 2 - 3 months.
During this time it's not advisable to change or move your jewelry, even if you want to hide it. Remember, we warned you about that.
The facial skin in this area is super soft and quite delicate. If you move the jewelry you run the risk of scarring your face, or even worse, having your body reject it.
Our best advice, just leave it be.
Best Aftercare Practices
We can't stress enough how sensitive this area is. So try your absolute best to not touch it excessively, or move it.
Of all the piercings, eyebrow piercings are most commonly rejected. Some piercers say it's a 50/50 chance. To better your odds;
- Don't get your eyebrows waxed while you're healing.
- some say it's OK if you avoid the area, we think you're better safe than sorry.
- Be extra careful with face wash and any makeup.
- Chemicals in these products could upset the healing process, be extra careful or avoid makeup while healing.
- Be mindful if you get haircuts while healing.
- This is especially true for those with bangs. A comb could easily snag your new piercing and rip it out. This would be super painful and likely lead to scarring and rejection.
- Go for high-quality jewelry for the piercing.
- Because it's such a sensitive area we recommend 14K gold, pure sterling silver, or any precious metal of your choice. Your body is less likely to reject these.
- Don't move it!
- We can't stress this enough. Please, just leave the piercing where it is while it heals.
Potential Cons of Eyebrow Piercing
As we've covered, the skin in the eyebrow area is extremely sensitive. You may develop visible scars if not pierced correctly, or if you don't employ good aftercare practices.
The rejection rate is higher with this piercing than with others, and the piercing could shift or get trapped under your skin; while the latter is rare, it has happened.
Lastly, despite their general acceptance culturally, facial piercings could impact your ability to get and maintain employment.
Styles of Eyebrow Piercings
You may be surprised to know there are a few different styles of eyebrow piercings. This piercing has come into its own since it first hit the scene in the punk counterculture of the 70s.
Vertical Eyebrow Piercing
This is probably the standard style most people think of when they think of eyebrow piercings.
The puncture is vertical, as the name implies, and can be done anywhere along the ridge of the brow.
This style can be 'layered' so to speak, with up to 10 piercings all in a row. Or it could be a single piercing with a modest piece of jewelry. You could also have it angled for a bit of flare.
Horizontal Eyebrow Piercing
This one is runner up in the popularity contest. As its name suggests, the puncture is done horizontally, just above the ridge of the brow.
The most common placement for this one is toward the outer edge of the eye.
This takes us off of the brow directly. Sometimes classified as a nose piercing, but that's a matter of opinion.
It will be in between the brows, with the puncture horizontal, at the bridge of the nose.
This isn't a good look for everyone.
If you have tight skin in this area the piercing may not work well and you'd be better off with a different style. If you have a good amount of flesh there between your eyes, you can likely pull it off.
This one is also located off the eyebrow.
Opposite the eyebrow to be exact, just below the eye at the same distance from the eye as your standard eyebrow piercing would be.
The placement can be anywhere you fancy along, or just below the ridge, under your eye.
I'm Ready For That Eyebrow Piercing
Hopefully, by now you've learned about the history of piercings, weighed the pros and cons, and have a good idea about what to do, and what not to do, during the process.
Eyebrow piercings are always in style. Once it heals you'll have lots of fun jewelry options to choose from. If you're ready to join the cultural ranks of those with a pierced brow go for it!
As far as body mods go, an eyebrow piercing is a relatively safe choice, as long as you take good care of it.
If it heals properly and you change your mind about the whole thing, don't fret! You can always take your piercing out and go back to pre-pierced life without a hitch.