Conch Piercing | My Experience

A few weeks ago, two of my best friends and I (Heather, you were missed) went to dinner at Ida Claire (and of course got two tattoos and a conch piercing, but that comes later. Stick with me here).

It’s a cute restaurant in the Addison area that specializes in “southern cuisine with a twist.” I got the Chicken Biscuit, Kayla got a Po-Boy, and Cassie got a fancy turkey sandwich.

After dinner, we decided on which tattoo parlor to go to (highly rated, confirmed that they take walk-ins) and were on our merry way.

Once we got there, their piercer wasn’t in (which was what I was getting done, spoiler alert) so I snuck out to call the other place we were interested in and see if they had availability. While I was on the phone, apparently my friends got bad vibes from the artist they spoke to. Being the smart girls they are, we all walked out… and to another tattoo parlor.

We ended up at the Iron Dagger Tattoo, which is in an old Victorian building right off one of the major streets in Addison.

The place was incredibly eclectic and very “apothecary meets punk rock.”

My friends got their tattoos from guys names Worm & Craig (would recommend – good price, nice guys, great result), while Craig also did my ear piercing. I had read up a bit on conch piercings before I got one (which I will link at the end) and heard two common themes from personal stories: crunch and blood. Neither sounded that great, but thankfully I didn’t have either.

Here’s a little diagram that may be helpful:

credit to

I got the “Inner Conch” pierced.

The artist gave me the whole “safety” talk, marked three potential spots on my ear for me to pick from, and then did the thing. It was nice and quick but also didn’t hurt as much as I was anticipating. One of my friends even remarked, “you didn’t even squeeze my hand!”

Here are a few things I learned:

  1. Like with a tattoo, listen to the advice your artist gives you. I was told, “no twisting, no alcohols, just a q-tip and unscented soap.” Yours may say the exact opposite! Feel free to ask questions, but (assuming you’re at a reputable place) these guys and gals are professionals.
  2. I didn’t bleed. I’ve had my piercing for over a month now and not one drop of blood has come out, like he said was possible. Mine has been more “crusty” which is as gross to type as it is to clean. It’s nothing that a q-tip with unscented soap can’t fix, and it has gotten to be less and less over time, but for a while, I was a bit nervous that it hadn’t bled.
  3. Make sure you get the contact information for the artist in case you have any questions or issues. Thankfully I’ve had neither, but I know how to get ahold of him if that becomes the case. Both artists we met with that night handed us their cards.
  4. Similar to point three, read the waiver and aftercare carefully. This way you can make sure you ask all the questions you want to before it’s all said and done. Craig was good about walking me through literally everything (what to expect, the process, aftercare, pain expected, etc) before I even saw the needle.
  5. The pain wasn’t (& isn’t) bad. Yeah, I had a little bit of pain as he shoved a needle through my ear, but it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. When I got home, and in the following days, I couldn’t sleep well on my right side without my hand over my ear. About a month in, however, I can sleep on that side with no problem. 
  6. It can take approximately 6 months to completely heal, despite how it may feel. I go through times where it feels completely healed, and then others when the pain comes back. 

Some other posts I read about conch piercings beforehand:

Have you had your conch, or any other part of your ear, pierced? I’d love to hear about your experience or helpful tips in the comments below!

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