Why wear one earring when you can have 10?

Why wear one earring when you can have 10? Multiple piercings used to be a sign of rebellion but now more and more A-list women are opting for the trend… and the reasons may surprise you

  • Red carpet vogue for ear jewellery now appears to be ‘the more bling the better’
  • Rihanna, Charlize Theron and Ellie Goulding have all sported dazzling ear glitter
  • The ‘curated’ ear is the coolest and most provocative new jewellery statement

There was a time when a simple set of pretty studs would do, with perhaps something a bit more dramatic for going out.

But why settle for one piercing, when four, six or even ten will do?

The red carpet vogue for ear jewellery appears to be ‘the more bling the better’, with stars from Rihanna and Charlize Theron, to British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo and pop star Ellie Goulding all recently sporting enough dazzling ear glitter to fill an entire jewellery box.

The ‘curated’ ear — an individually tailored collection of piercings that leaves no fold of skin untouched — is the coolest and most provocative new jewellery statement.

Bling’s the thing: Scarlett Johansson’s ten piercings at the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party this month

At this year’s Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, Scarlett Johansson’s peachy décolletage was bare, leaving just her sequinned gown and sparkling array of ten ear piercings to do the talking.

Piercings in the fleshy lobe are common, but in the hard cartilage surrounding the ear? It’s enough to make the faint-hearted wince.

But could it be the case that an ear piercing has health benefits? In auricular acupuncture (the ear has some 200 acupuncture points) the part of the ear associated with migraines is called the ‘daith’.

Prounounced ‘doth’, like ‘moth’, this is a piercing spot on your ear’s innermost cartilage. Such is the belief that piercing the daith can alleviate migraines, there is a Harley Street Clinic which offers the service for £200.

Ear we go: Meg Mathews — Oasis star Noel Gallagher’s ex — favours hoops at the top of the ear, associated with fertility, and around the ‘daith’, which is said to alleviate headaches

At Love Hate Social Club, a tattoo and piercing studio in London’s Notting Hill, piercer Kat Swinton says she has noticed a small, but steadily growing number of customers seeking to have a daith piercing in the hope of beating crippling head pain.

‘We just say there is no proof,’ says owner Guy Starr, ‘but if you’re going to have it done make sure you pick a nice piece of jewellery.’

So could there really be any therapeutic value in body piercings? Siwan Quinn Bratton, of the College of Auricular Acupuncture, is quick to stress that piercing and acupuncture are very different.

‘I would say if there are benefits they are probably short term, because a piercing is more of a puncture,’ she says. ‘Any stimulation you got from that would not necessarily be long term.’

In the groove: Perhaps inspired by her hit song Diamonds, Rihanna sports glamorous hoops and a sparkly stud

Going green: Jennifer Lawrence (right) pairs a traditional chunky pendant with an array of delicate hoops and studs (Pictured left: Ellie Goulding)

Auricular Acupuncture is a speciality that believes every part of the body has a connection to particular parts of the ear, in a similar way to reflexology. Inserting small acupuncture needles [as small as a strand of hair] into the acupuncture points on the outer ear exerts a gentle stimulation that creates a specific response to promote natural self-healing.

With a history dating back more than 3,000 years, the therapy is used for treating anything from hay fever and insomnia to arthritis, digestive problems and even depression. It is also often used as a therapy in treating addiction.

‘Historically, sailors wore a gold earring, not just to decorate their ears, but also because they believed it would improve their eyesight,’ says Siwan.

Big impression: A tiny tragus stud with a dramatic series of heavy hoops for Charlize Theron (right) in Las Vegas last year (Pictured left: Cynthia Erivo)

‘Medical records from Ancient Greece and Rome show treatment in the ear for reproductive disorders, while medical texts in Ancient Persia record treatment of sciatic pain by cauterisation on the ear. 

‘They also used the technique of bloodletting on the ear to remedy many conditions, including high blood pressure.’

The daith is just one of a growing number of unusual spots women (and men) are getting pierced, as these celebrity pictures show…

From conch to helix… the key to knowing your ear 


An area at the top of the ear associated with reproductive organs and fertility. Scarlett Johansson and Meg Mathews appear to have piercings here.


An area at the top of the ear, which in alternative medicine is known as the divine gate, or spirit gate. This is believed to help with conditions like stress, anxiety and insomnia. 

British Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo appears to have a hoop piercing going through her Shen Men point. 

A less extreme approach might be to follow celebrities such as Penelope Cruz and Kate Moss, who are fans of ear seeds, tiny metal balls (typically silver or gold) placed at the Shen Men point by acupuncturists. They are used to apply a light, continuous compression that is believed to help alleviate symptoms.


The inside shell of the ear is divided in to upper and lower parts. Cynthia Erivo has a piercing in her upper conch, which is associated with the liver and other organs of the abdomen. 

Jennifer Lawrence wears an earring in her lower conch, which is associated with the organs of the chest.


The groove running around the outer rim of the ear is perfectly formed for the placing of hoops, which neatly curl around the ear, as favoured by Meg Mathews and Rihanna. 

Acupuncturists associate the area with the skeletal structure of the arms, from fingers through to shoulder blade.


This is the piercing spot on your ear’s innermost cartilage fold — Meg Mathews has one, as does Rihanna. 

Some people believe that this piercing can help ease anxiety-related headaches and other symptoms.


The little flap of cartilage in front of your ear canal is associated with hunger and the adrenal gland and is thought by acupuncturists to have a role in hormonal balance and calming. 

Scarlett Johansson has a piercing here.


The fleshy bit at the bottom — home to the traditional point where generations of women have had their first piercing. 

It is an acupuncture area associated with eyesight and taste.

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