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How Should You Wash Your Hair with a New Cartilage Piercing?

Cartilage piercings are the definition of cool. But they don’t come without their considerations. It’s important to note that cartilage piercings take longer to heal than fleshy piercings. Which makes your aftercare routine extra important. Keeping your cartilage clean is essential to avoid infection but over washing and the risk of bumps and knocks can cause irritation. So how do you navigate this tricky balance when you’re taking a shower and washing your hair? Find out with this handy “how to” guide.  

Why is Showering a Risk? 

It seems strange that showering can cause a potential risk to your new cartilage piercing. Especially when good hygiene is an important part of the healing process. But those of us with long hair risk snagging it on your cartilage earring and causing damage to the skin. This can extend the heal time and worse still, lead to irritation or infection.   

There’s also an added risk from the products we use when we shower. The chemicals found in some shampoos and conditioners can dry out your new piercing or cause it to become inflamed. This is especially true for those with sensitive skin.   

Which Type of Products Should You Use and How Should You Use Them? 

You should avoid using products that contain chemicals like parabens. Instead opt for shampoos and conditioners that are made from natural and organic ingredients or specially formulated for those with sensitive skin. We stock a range of vegan hair-care bars on our sister site solacebeauty.co.uk that are perfect for this.  

And when you use them, you should use a washing method that avoids your new piercing. Here are two of the most effective: 

The Side Flip 

Flip your hair to the opposite side of your head so you can avoid getting an excessive amount of water or any product in the wound. Make sure you stay in this position until you’ve completely rinsed the product out of your hair before gently patting your ear dry.  

The Upside-Down Wash  

This is the best option if you are trying to avoid piercings in both ears or a piercing at the top of your ear (like a helix of scaffold piercing). Let your hair hang over the front of your head and wash face down until the product is completely rinsed away. Then rinse your piercing with warm water and gently pat dry.  

What Do You Do If You Get Hair Product in Your New Piercing?  

First of all, don’t panic. If you do get product in your piercing, it’s not the end of the world and can be rectified if you act quickly. Your best bet is to simply hold your ear under a slow stream of warm water (be careful not to have the pressure too high or this could damage the healing skin). And don’t give in to the temptation of touching it or this could make it worse – just let the water do the work and then (you’ve guessed it!) gently pat dry afterwards.  

As well as taking care with products and snags, your best bet to avoid infection or irritation is to wear hypoallergenic cartilage jewellery like our range of stainless steel studs, hoops and rings. Shop our full collection here.