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New year, new body mods, amirite? In a time when the whole world can seem a little out of control, ear piercings are just one way a person can have some agency over their selves. Perhaps this is why the act of getting multiple ear piercings has become significantly more popular recently. Perhaps the popularity is just because it looks cool. Either way, jewelry designer and piercer Maria Tash doesn't see it dying down anytime soon: In fact, she predicts people will continue to find creative ways to pack even more hoops and studs into their ears in the coming year.
"Right now what is popular is the high first lobe or high second lobe," Tash tells Bustle in at interview at her studio in NYC. She's talking about the trend of getting a second piercing stacked vertically on top of an older lobe piercing, rather than moving up the ear. "If you have a lot of room above [your first piercing] we can do something very parallel and [add] a tiny little accent stud," she further explains. This type of piercing is basically a cooler version of getting a second or third hole in your lobe, and it works great for anyone whose first piercing might have ended up a little off-center. This way, that lower-than-average earring looks like it was on purpose: "Like, 'I did it deliberately there, and now I did something else to accent it,'" Tash says.
While this high-low lobe piercing is likely to catch fire as a trend in 2018, Tash predicts statement, clustered piercings of all types will also continue to grow in popularity. "A couple years ago, we saw a multitude of tiny things. People loved the idea of tiny little diamonds peppered in unusual spots," Tash says. "Now it does seem like it's getting a little bolder with more clusters, more groupings or tight groupings of items." No longer are these clusters limited to delicate diamonds — people are starting to get bolder with their earring choice.
In addition to lobe piercings, Tash says clustering requests for the shell of the ear (aka the inside bit, rather than along the edge) are also becoming more popular. "It's a big plane of tissue and for some reason, for many years people were not piercing around here very much," Tash says. "But we can put big pieces [in that area]. As ear climbers and big pieces of jewelry got more popular, this area also got more popular." LA-based piercer Brian Keith Thompson concurs with Tash's assessment: "The daith, rook, forward helix, and tragus are in hot demand — often in artful groupings of three or more," he told Refinery29 in 2017 article about new piercing trends.
Tash also specializes in the "curated ear," which is getting these clustered piercings all at once, rather than adding them on slowly one at a time — and she's seeing an increase in customers who want this service. When creating these curated ears, Tash takes into consideration the customer's personal style and shape of the ear, but also aims to create piercing clusters that are as unique as possible.
"I always feel like you should pierce in a way that can't be simulated by one piece of jewelry" such as an ear climber or cuff, Tash explains. "Space it far enough so that you can't just use one piece that is soldered together to simulate it. If you can do that, it's not good enough in my opinion." This leads to more creative placements on the ear that other people are less likely to have.
So whether you'll add on one at a time or get your new holes all at once, one thing's for sure: More is most certainly more when it comes to piercing for 2018.