Hoops: Piercing Jewelry Guide

What is a cartilage piercing?

A cartilage piercing is any ear piercing not done on the actual lobe area. These piercings are done on any part of the ear where the tissue (cartilage) is harder. Depending on the location on the ear, the piercing is assigned a name, for example, helix, forward helix, daith, rook, tragus, and conch. Cartilage piercings are usually done with a sterilized needle and can take up to a year to completely heal.

What are Mini hoop earrings?

These are also called small hoop earrings and are designed to add a little style to your piercing. Some mini hoop earrings come with dangly charms and are perfect for different types of piercings and all genders.

Image showing small hoop earrings for cartilage, a small hoop earring for the second hole, and a small hoop earring for lobe piercings.  


Many persons with sensitive skin are hesitant to try different earrings because they are unsure if the metal is safe for their ears. Certain metals like Nickel indeed tend to irritate the skin of most persons. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right metal for your piercing. 

When getting a piercing, it is recommended that you get a gold or titanium stud, as these metals are hypoallergenic and cause less irritation. Hypoallergenic earrings are the best types to buy when you have sensitive skin or ears. This way, you are less likely to experience any redness or irritation while you wear them. 

Here are some examples of hypoallergenic metals:

  • Sterling silver- Sterling silver contains about 75% pure silver and very durable. However, it may contain some portions of copper. If you are allergic to copper, you might want to stay clear of this one for your sensitive skin and ears.  
  • Platinum- This metal is hypoallergenic with a glossy shine. It is also very unreactive, so it doesn’t react with any of your skin’s substances, such as sweat and oils, making it the perfect metal for your daily jewelry.   
  • Titanium- This material has surprising properties. It is biocompatible with the body. If inserted or placed on the skin, the body will not react to it or try to reject it. This makes it a very safe option for your jewelry. 
  • Surgical steel- Surgical steel is hypoallergenic and affordable. Therefore, this makes it a good option for your earring and won't break your pockets.
  • Gold- It is important to note here that the composition of gold in a piece of jewelry determines how hypoallergenic it is. 14k and 18k gold are the best options as they can withstand being exposed to water without degrading over time, and they are nickel-free. 

Once your piercings are healed, you can move away from the plain old stud you have been wearing and choose something more on the safe and stylish side. Hoops are always a good option when looking to switch up your style. Some stylish options can include mini hoop earrings for sensitive ears (hypoallergenic), mini hoop earrings with charms, or even huggie hoop earrings. 

How do you open mini hoop earrings?

To open the mini hoop earring you have, you must first know the type of ring. Is it a segment hoop, seamless hoop, or clicker hoop ring?

Let’s break it down…

Segment hoop rings come in two different types:  

  1. Regular segment rings- These have a section (or segment) that has to be removed completely to put in or take out the jewelry. 
  2. Hinged segment ring- As the name suggests, this has a hinge that can open and closed easily to remove or put in the piercing. 

How to open segment hoop rings:

To open your segment ring, gently twist the ends in opposite directions until the segment can be removed. Do not pull apart sideways, as this will damage the ring and make it hard to put back together.

For the hinged segment hoop ring, hold the area where the segment is located, then push the segment gently on one side until it pops out. This will open the earring so you can insert it and snap it back into place. 

Similarly, a clicker hoop ring uses a hinge similar to the hinged segment ring. However, it is characterized by a clasp that ‘clicks’ into place and a it has a half-loop shape. 

 How to open clicker hoop ring

To open the clicker ring, hold the half-loop section and gently apply pressure underneath the clasp area. The pressure should open the clasp, so you’ll be able to insert the earring as normal and then click it back into place.

On the other hand, a seamless hoop ring has an opening where the two ends of the circle meet. When inserted, this gives a seamless continuous look. 


How to open a seamless hoop ring

To open a seamless ring, you must first locate the opening where the two ends of the circle meet. Hold each side of the ring in each hand and gently twist the ends in opposite directions. This should open the ring for it to be inserted as normal then twist back into place to close.  

These tiny hoop rings can be worn in various piercings, such as all cartilage and ear piercings, septum piercings and nipple piercings. You just have to look at your options and choose the best one for you. 


What are small hoop earrings called?

Small hoop earrings have many different names, but they all refer to the same thing. Here are some of the top ones:

  • Mini hoop earrings- can refer to any small hoop earring.
  • Tiny hoop earrings- also refer to any small hoop earring.
  • Huggie hoop earrings- These are a style of small hoop earrings that are very close to the earlobe. It can be said that it ‘hugs’ the ear, hence the name. This type is usually a little thicker than the standard hoop and is a clicker earring.


What is the smallest hoop size?

The smallest hoop is about 5 mm- 7mm in diameter. That size is usually used for cartilage piercings such as the helix, tragus and rook piercings. This small size will latch closely to the cartilage for a simple sleek look. 

The larger the hoop size, the more the hoop hangs from the ear. 


Where can I put my hoop jewelry?

Hoop jewelry is very versatile, it can be worn in many piercings around the body. Although hoops were traditionally worn in the ears, they can be worn in other piercings such as, nipples, septum, lip and nose piercings. 

When choosing a hoop size, be mindful of the size of your piercing to ensure that you are comfortable once the ring is inserted.  


Can men wear hoop jewelry?

Yes! Hoop piercing for guys have been developing more in recent times. Gone are the days when men would only wear studs. They are now changing up their styles and adding some mini hoops to their jewelry collection. 


Are small hoop earrings in style?

Hoops never go out of style!

Everyone should have at least one pair of hoops in their jewelry collection. It is a staple. In recent times, persons have been moving away from just wearing big hoops, so in walks the small hoop trend. In 2020, the trend of stacked earrings and mini hoops took off, now spilling into 2021. There are so many option to choose from. 

The classic hoop comes in one smooth texture and is usually plain. But these modern ones add a little flair if you’re looking for something new. Small hoops now come with charms, textures, ridges, added stones and designs. The huggies hoop even comes a little thicker than the usual hoop to add a little spice.

But when you are wearing hoops, you must consider the occasion and the look you are going for. Larger hoops are usually appropriate for going out on a date, to a party with friends or even just to chill. They tend to draw more attention your face, making you the center of attention. While smaller hoops are usually worn to work and other places. It adds a different type of elegance and edge to any outfit. It still draws attention your face but it doesn’t make you feel out of place and at the center of it all. 

You can decide how you want to wear your mini hoops, whether by themselves or stack them for that extra edgy look. 


Is wearing hoops appropriation?

Many persons dispute if wearing hoops is cultural appropriation. This custom originated in the people of color culture as a sign of resistance against oppression. But since then, it has become more widespread and revamped into different trends. For many, wearing hoops no longer symbolize a struggle their ancestors faced but rather just a piece of jewelry they enjoy wearing. While others still believe that it should remain within the people of color community.  

In the end, it all comes down to your own beliefs. Times have changed, and hoops are now considered a fashion staple.




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