Horizontal Eyebrow Piercing

Horizontal eyebrow piercing 1

I should start by say­ing that I’ve want­ed a pierc­ing since late high school, either an eye­brow pierc­ing or a tongue stud1.

For some rea­son though, I nev­er seri­ous­ly con­sid­ered it. To me, it was like hav­ing chil­dren; one of those things you know you’d want some day, but don’t take it seri­ous­ly. Then last week, I was sit­ting at my desk and ran­dom­ly thought, “Why not?”. So I slept on it, and woke up the next day still want­i­ng one. That’s when I decid­ed to do it.

My biggest con­cern was that it would­n’t match me. Some peo­ple with pierc­ings look like they’re try­ing to over­com­pen­sate by being part of a “scene”, or by being younger (i.e. the midlife cri­sis, which my dad seems to be liv­ing out with three pierc­ings last year), or it just does­n’t fit their face. The last thing I want­ed to do was get some­thing that screamed atten­tion for the sake of it. Most peo­ple have told me that I’m a far cry from mid-life cri­sis age, but I’ve feel­ing much old­er late­ly.

So I fig­ured that I’d rather get it at this age, than when I’m in my fifties like my dad, when it looks ridicu­lous. But as Tiana remind­ed me, it’s much less per­ma­nent than a tat­too. If I don’t like it, I can just take the pierc­ing out with min­i­mal scar­ring (as long as there are no oth­er com­pli­ca­tions).

So I decid­ed to get a hor­i­zon­tal, because I find that ver­ti­cals are not real­ly my style (and alto­geth­er too com­mon for my tastes). The side seemed some­what arbi­trary to me, and I did­n’t decide which side until I did my hair one morn­ing and noticed that the part on my hair was on the right, and so it seemed like there was a more open space there for the pierc­ing to fit.


I want­ed some­one to go with me, as I knew I’d feel very uncom­fort­able and alone walk­ing into the stu­dio (it’s just not my scene), but real­ized that it was some­thing I had to do for and by myself. It was at a time when I was incon­sid­er­ate­ly ditched, and feel­ing like I could­n’t depend on any­one, so my resolve was par­tial­ly fueled by anger and sto­ic resent­ment.


Planet Ink is beau­ti­ful. It’s big and open and bright, there are two plain black couch­es, some gener­ic flash on the walls, and every­thing hap­pens in the back rooms. It’s ster­ile, mod­ern, and pri­vate.

I went to the stu­dio on Saturday to make an ini­tial con­sul­ta­tion with an artist. I walked up to the counter, told the per­son what I want­ed to get, and he told me to fill out a form. Then he went to ask the artist how much it was going to be, and told me $65 when he came back. So I paid him, think­ing there was noth­ing pecu­liar about pay­ing upfront, or mak­ing a deposit. Then soon after, an artist named Juliette came up to me, and told me to fol­low her in the back.

I was think­ing I’d be able to can­cel if I changed my mind dur­ing the month of wait­ing for the appoint­ment — that’s about how long it took for me after I booked my tat­too appoint­ments — but nope, I thought to myself, “WOAH, this is going to hap­pen RIGHT NOW. I decid­ed to roll with it, which turned out to be a good thing, cause I did­n’t want to think about it took much and psych myself out, or change my mind. Otherwise, I would­n’t be able to sleep from the excite­ment.

So this was pret­ty much as close to an impulse deci­sion as I ever get.

Juliette first start­ed to mas­sage my skin to feel where a good loca­tion would be, and to find cer­tain mus­cles she want­ed to avoid. Then she took some kind of extra-fine tipped car­bon pen and put two dots above my eye­brow. It was too close to the cen­tre, so I told her to adjust it back.

When we got the loca­tion right, she had me lie down, and put a clamp on the area. Then she told me to inhale deeply, then exhale deeply, and on the exhale she put the nee­dle through. I real­ly did­n’t know what to expect of the pain, but the sen­sa­tion was sim­i­lar to get­ting my blood tak­en, which is noth­ing real­ly.

Before putting in the curved bar­bell, she warned me that there’d be a shift in pres­sure, then put the jew­el­ery in. I inquired about a sur­face bar, but she said that in her 10+ years of expe­ri­ence the curved bar­bells have a bet­ter accep­tance rate.

I walked out in less than 20 min­utes. It was eas­i­er than buy­ing a pair of glass­es.

So far

There’s been no leak­age, no swelling, no prob­lems aside from some slight ten­der­ness in when I press­ing too hard by mis­take when wash­ing or dry­ing my face.

I’ve had to adjust a few things. The heal­ing peri­od is 6–8 weeks, so I have to sleep on one side, which is not easy because I toss and turn, and like to adjust when I get tired of one side. I did a long pho­to­shoot over the week­end, and I squint my right eye to look into the viewfind­er with my left, and felt a bit of irri­ta­tion because of how much pres­sure I was putting on the sur­round­ing area.

It’s a lot more notice­able than I expect­ed. Unlike my tat­toos, which are usu­al­ly hid­den under my sleeves and face inside, this is right on my face. Pretty much every­one who knows me has noticed with­out me men­tion­ing any­thing. Maybe it’s the change more than any­thing, like if I had stopped wear­ing glass­es one day.

The future

I know that sur­face pierc­ings are one of the hard­est to heal, and I’ve accept­ed the fact that it may reject soon enough. But I fig­ure that I might as well try it, and have it for a while at least, instead of regret­ting that I nev­er got one when I’m too old.

In addi­tion to miss­ing a week of Tai Chi class­es, I have to be more care­ful when spar­ring now. With the appro­pri­ate baby­ing, I hope to have it healed well enough that it won’t get ripped or start reject­ing with a direct hit to the area.

There may be some com­pli­ca­tions such as key­loids, which Asian peo­ple are more sus­cep­ti­ble to when get­ting pierced, but my dad got three ear­rings last year with­out a prob­lem, so I’m hop­ing I received that gene.

I’m still get­ting used to the idea that I have jew­el­ery on my face. I may con­sid­er putting in discs, which I want­ed at first, but appar­ent­ly they’re not a good as start­ing jew­el­ery because they cut off oxy­gen to the area that needs to heal. I like the balls right now. I think they’re more sub­tle than discs, but not like I’m embar­rassed and try­ing to hide them.

It’s been over a week, and I’m still very hap­py with it.

Update — August 2010

The pierc­ing must be ful­ly healed now, because there’s no ten­der­ness at all when I touch it. I’ve even snagged it on a shirt once (I tend to for­get about it now), but I could­n’t see any dam­age or feel any pain. I’d say it took about six months.

I got an infec­tion once, I sus­pect from some stress I was going through at the time cause it took for­ev­er to clear up. It made the skin recede so a bit of the bar shows, which sort of bugs me. I don’t think it’s notice­able from a dis­tance though.

Some more pho­tos. I’m still real­ly hap­py with it.

29 2/12




29 6/12


29 1/12




  1. My work in the den­tal indus­try, how­ev­er, has made me shy away from get­ting any­thing in the mouth, so that elim­i­nat­ed the only oth­er option for me. []


  1. The pierc­ing looks real­ly good, Jeff. There was a guy I knew in col­lege who had a hoop eye­brow pierc­ing, and ever since then, I’ve want­ed my eye­brow pierced. I’m prone to keloids as well, which has pre­vent­ed me from doing so (well, that and five plus years in cor­po­rate America). It looks good on you though! Now I real­ly want to get one. :)

    • Thanks! Would it be un-polit­i­cal­ly cor­rect to say that as both a black and a gay guy, you’d have a bet­ter sense of fash­ion than me? ;) I did come across the fact that dark­er skinned peo­ple are more prone to key­loids as well, and I think Asians being sus­cep­ti­ble is just because our com­plex­ion can be dark too.

      • LOL! I wish — I roll out the bad, thrown on what­ev­er’s clean, and head for the door. I’m lucky if it match­es. :)

  2. I agree — it looks great. My bf Mark has one … and I have been want­i­ng one too — but am thinkin gof a ver­ti­cal … but not ahoop — a bar like Jeffs …

    I am amazed that you went alone … I would have chick­ened out last min if I was there with­out encour­age­ment (but I am a wimp). LOL

    • As I said, you’d look great with one. I find it real­ly serves to empha­size the eyes, and you already have very strong, pierc­ing ones.

      I’m a wimp too, but this was real­ly easy! I expect to see you with one at the next par­ty now. :)

  3. HC! some of me winces because I know what your dis­tant rel­a­tives might think.… and the oth­er part of me has always want­ed a labret, so there you are. (Now I think that would just look too odd on me giv­en the rest of me so I’m stick­ing to blue hair.)

    I won­der, is this an emo­tion­al mark­er for you? For me, every pierc­ing has been. I always felt like I was break­ing away from some­thing when I had a pierc­ing.

    • Hmmm…it’s not real­ly an emo­tion­al mark­er for me. Maybe that’s because I’ve want­ed this for so long, it does­n’t seem to have any­thing to do with my cur­rent state of mind.

  4. I like it! Sorry I haven’t been keep­ing up with your blog. I do drop by peri­od­i­cal­ly to read what you have to say, it’s always so open and hon­est. Makes me wish I kept a jour­nal.

    • Thanks! And I’m the one who’s jeal­ous of you cause you get to try all these new games and go to game shows and con­ven­tions. I haven’t played any­thing in weeks!

  5. Love the pierc­ing! But I’ve always found an eye­brow pierc­ing to be sexy on a guy. Its that lit­tle bit of “bad boy” that I seem to be attract­ed to wrapped up in your every­day aver­age guy :) I’ve con­sid­ered one but then decid­ed against it. I have one…my bellybutton…and that’s enough I think.

    • That’s exact­ly it! I don’t like it when girls have a lot of pierc­ings, but one appro­pri­ate pierc­ing that’s strate­gi­cal­ly placed gives the whole­some image a nice edge. And I’m attract­ed to that too. :)

  6. looks good bro
    i was going to say some­thing when i seen you sater­day but wasent 100 % it was new and did not wish to look the fool lol

    • Heh, no prob­lem, Aaron was­n’t sure what to say at first too…hahahah.

    • Yay! I was­n’t sure if you’d like it since you said the ver­ti­cal would look bet­ter on me.

  7. I pre­sume John’s “I DO NOT APPROVE” remark is for pulling your leg :)

    Yeah, I too think the “bad boy” orna­ment on the “aver­age guy” makes the dis­tinc­tion.

    • Nope, he was being very seri­ous actu­al­ly. I asked him if he ever thinks a girl looks good with a pierc­ing, and his reply was, “Certain girls can look good despite their pierc­ings.” He does­n’t like pierc­ings at all, unless they’re ear­rings.

  8. Tell John some­one his mum’s age thinks he’s a stick in the mud.

    • Hahahaha…I’m sure he knows, and flaunts it.

  9. Hey, im get­ting mine done tomor­row and i have a cou­ple ques­tions,
    first off, how painful is it real­ly? Because i get real­ly worked up about things to the point where i vom­it.. and with nee­dles is most­ly the case.
    Secondly, would they allow you to get it on the eye­brow and not above it?

    • It was­n’t very painful at all; it only hurt as much as a reg­u­lar nee­dle (which to me is only a slight­ly dull pain). As for the loca­tion, I think any­one can get any kind of pierc­ing done any­where nowa­days, but whether or not it’ll heal well is anoth­er sto­ry.

  10. It’s almost 3am and I was search­ing eye­brow pierc­ings for some ideas about mine when I came across your pic­ture. I thought, inter­est­ing — Asian with eye­brow pierc­ing.

    My favorite is the third pho­to under “Update” because I love how the pierc­ing stands out the most in the pic­ture since it screams at the view­er as it’s jux­ta­posed with the clean, qui­et, sophis­ti­cat­ed look you have there.

  11. Hey
    I think it looks real­ly good on you.

    I was think­ing of get­ting an eye­brow pierc­ing but want­ed to go with the hor­i­zon­tal instead of the ver­ti­cal just because it looks bet­ter and is less com­mon.

    After read­ing this I am defi­nate­ly con­vinced.
    Thanks for the sum­ma­ry man it is real­ly help­ful.

  12. I real­ly want to get this and i am think­ing about get­ting it tomor­row but i am so afraid its going to hurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • no pain!!

  13. hey i love your pic­tures!! i got mine like last month and love it, question..what kind of glass­es are those?

  14. I just hap­pened to stum­ble on your blog, but I must say! It looks per­fect on you! It looks so mature yet unique all while fit­ting in at the same time haha :D plus you’re quite hand­some!

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