Everything You Need to Know About...
1. Pre-Introduction Note
As you may know, this post originally was on Tumblr and was my most reblogged post until I accidentally deleted it..... I then made a specific page on my Tumblr to house this information, but unfortunately when I copied the links Tumblr did some redirect thing so none of them worked. Now, I have FINALLY gotten this onto my website - safe and sound, and fully working (at least, I hope....).
New and improved!
2. Trigger Warning
You hopefully would have figured this out already, but there's discussion of modifying bodies and that involves blood and whatnot.
I haven't re-checked things I linked in the old post, and I haven't watched all the new links I've added - it is YOUR responsibility to do your own research, I'm simply sharing where you can do said research.
Yes, the Introduction doesn't come in until section 4.
Ok, so I might not quite get EVERYTHING but I’ll probably have a bit more info than you’ve previously found. Before I got my ears pointed I looked everywhere for personal stories and general tips and only found a small amount of information which didn’t have all the information I was after. I as much as possible, and specifics, so this will be the blog post I wish I’d found to calm my nerves before I got mine done, I hope this helps you!
This post will be really long, be prepared!
5. Finding Your Artist
I got my ears done by Samppa Von Cyborg, meaning it’s a reshaping method rather a standard pointing (I’ll go into more info about this), but much of what I write will still be helpful for people getting their ears done by a different artist.
I had been thinking about ear pointing for years, and had looked at different artists long before deciding to actually get it done. You will need to research your artists, look at photos of their work and make sure they include healed pictures. Read other people’s experiences with them (if you can find them) and talk to people who have had mods from them.
After reading about Samppa I feel he is considered the best in the world by many, as he is a revolutionary in the bodymod industry, was trained under a plastic surgeon, and created the technique he uses. You can read more about him on his About page on Facebook, see photos on Facebook here and here, and on Instagram here.
Before I continue I'd like to make a note that I do mention other artists here, but I am not endorsing or condemning anyone's work and I simply cannot remember everyone I read about in the bodymod community. I can only suggest Samppa as he is the only one I have had experience with. These names are mentioned purely for you to look at them for comparison.
I am aware that there are a few artists out there who are "hacks" and I am not doing the research for you on every artist I mention. However, I will provide information for how to be responsible.
I know Zephyr Le Strange (Instagram here) originally got their first ear pointing done by Lukas Zpira (website here, though it appears to only be about performance art rather than body modification, and BME entry here). This was later fixed by Efix Roy (again, body modification information appears to be light, but the shop he owns and this website may be interesting).
I originally linked Zephyr's blog post about this here, but I am unable to find this. However, this Tumblr post gives a timeline of their ears with additional information and photos.
The only other name I know of who does ear pointing is Roni, who you can view here.
At the time I originally wrote this all three of these artists had ear pointing in their portfolio, however it appears they either don't anymore of are quieter about it online. With ear pointing as with ANY artist you choose you should do research first.
As far as I know all the people I’ve mentioned do (or did...) a different method to Samppa, who is the ONLY person I personally can recommend ethically, with research to back it up. You can read about the two different methods here, and read more about Samppa’s technique here, here, and here. There is also a pretty cool video to explain more, as well as this one, and a separate interview.)
DO NOT get it done by anyone who isn’t safe and legitimate, as not only your ears but your health and even life are at risk. Find other people’s testimonials for that specific procedure - some artists might be good at one thing but be a hack when it comes to ear pointing, so be wary. If you want to see what one hack-job is able to do here are some horrible ones that Samppa has fixed.
6. Booking the Procedure
In most cases you will need to book FAR in advance. Many bodymod artists who do this kind of procedure will travel the world, and you’ll either need to travel somewhere to meet them or jump on the opportunity when they’re near to you. Since writing this there have also been scandals in Australia and the UK, meaning getting work in those areas is even more difficult and travel more limited.
Be prepared for the cost. This is expensive. I won’t say the exact cost of the procedure as it may be different depending where in the world people are, and different artists will charge different amounts. Please do not ask me, or any public forum about pricing - this can only be discussed directly with your artist in private.
Think in the thousands of dollars, and always add more to quoted amount to make room for Paypal fees, travel costs, accommodation, other bookings to get sutures out etc.
And then add even more money to your budget, just in case.
At the time I booked there wasn't a verification process but there now is. When you get in touch with Aneta they will ask for some personal details and ID - this is OK and not a scam, they are protecting themselves. Make sure you are contacting the correct people; the emails they have provided are:
I was asked by Aneta Von Cyborg to provide photos of my ears before they would book me, and after they accepted me I had to pay a deposit of half the cost of the procedure. I annoyed Aneta for a while with lots of questions, but to be fair if your artist isn’t willing to answer questions then something dodgy may be going on. Aneta was SO helpful, giving me lots of helpful information about the procedure, aftercare, and even telling me of the one time it went wrong (not due to any fault by Samppa or the client) which Samppa went above and beyond to fix.
I think it’s best to buy your aftercare products before the procedure, so you’re ready to go in case you don’t feel like shopping after. I bought Arnica tablets which were recommended by Aneta, and Nurofen for if I needed pain killers. I’ll go into these more in the Aftercare section.
Aneta also told me to take antibiotics, but you can’t get these without a prescription so I didn’t get them. I don’t go to my doctor much and don’t have much of a relationship with them so didn’t think to go and just ask anyway.
Samppa told me that people will go to their doctor beforehand, explain the procedure, and are prescribed the antibiotics, but they also said that many clients don’t do this and are totally fine. For my own peace of mind I wish I had tried to get the antibiotics as I can get quite paranoid, but it’s totally fine if you don’t, it’s just an extra precaution.
If you were to go even further you could get vitamins and just generally healthy things like that. Don’t bother getting creams or anything topical, as I did this and Samppa told me not to use it anyway.
If you have shaved sides of the head like me, then definitely shave it down before the procedure as you really don’t want hair in the way. If you have a more normal haircut I believe Samppa now asks people to shave the area around their ear. If for some reason you do not need to shave, and for preparation for when your hair grows, play around with ways to keep hair away from your ears. It would be a good idea to pack some hair clips.
Wash your hair beforehand, as you won’t be able to wash it for a while after the procedure.
Pack some juice or sugary lollies JUST in case you feel faint afterwards, I didn’t at all and I normally do get faint after piercings etc. so you’ll probably be fine, but hey why not.
8. THE BIG DAYS
I believe some artists will do both ears in one day but Samppa will do one each over two days, and it takes 2 - 4 hours. The venue they used for me was Absolution in Christchurch (New Zealand).
I made sure I ate lunch so I had my strength before the procedure, I don’t think it would be a good idea to have it done on an empty stomach. Obviously don’t drink alcohol either as it’s a blood thinner, and while you should keep hydrated - maybe don't over-drink any liquid beforehand, you're not going to be able to pee during it (if this is a concern for you I don't think there's any shame in looking at the option of adult diapers).
For my first ear Samppa and Aneta were actually late, apparently Samppa likes to sleep a lot!! When they arrived they wanted to get lunch, so I joined them at their table and they talked me through some information. This was awesome as it put me at ease a bit more and they were able to answer questions. Samppa told me about aftercare and I’ll include what he said in the Aftercare section. He is nice but is a bit intimidating!! Aneta is SO lovely and friendly so she calmed me down a lot. I bought a pulpy orange juice to get some natural sugars in me (but just keep in mind what I just said about drinking liquid beforehand...).
Aneta checked out both my ears, to see which one may be harder. They like to do the harder one first. She thought mine seemed basically the same (but actually the first one DID end up harder!). She cleaned my ear, and then I had to lie down on my back on one of the tattooing seats. Samppa numbs the ears, which can be uncomfortable but totally bearable. Please do not send me, or any public forum questions about numbing - this can only be discussed directly with the artist in private.
NOW FOR THE CUTTING!
I didn’t feel a thing! It was amazing! Samppa told me it wouldn’t hurt at all but of course as clients we’re always going to think it’s going to hurt. Honestly, this procedure is painless. This of course calms you down when you realise you won’t be crying and screaming!
Obviously I couldn’t see what was going on, but I believe he cuts the edge cartilage off in two sections, then cuts the flat cartilage into a point shape. After this the edge part will be sewn back on.
This last part may be re-done. This is what happened with the first ear. They expected it to take 2.5 hours and it took 3.5. What happens is they will cut the shape, it looks correct, but after sewing it looks a bit wonky. They will then have to un-stitch and resew. This is TOTALLY FINE, just time consuming. It made me nervous at the time but it’s just something that happens sometimes and is totally fixable.
The best way to understand how it works is to watch the video I linked earlier.
The sounds are really strange, as you can hear the scraping noise from the cutting, and you can feel pushing and pulling from the stitching. I got feeling back slightly a few times but that’s ok because all I had to do was tell them and they numbed it again. This did panic me a bit, as I suddenly had feeling when I wasn’t expecting it which is a bit scary, but as I said it’s easily fixed!
What I found most difficult was Samppa and Aneta’s manner. I’ll say now that after I got used to it I realised it’s totally fine, but it was just unexpected so threw me off. They can argue a bit, and get irritated with each other, but as Aneta said it’s just “how they work”. Samppa is a perfectionist so he will get frustrated, but he also will make sure it’s RIGHT. If you end up getting work done by him just remember that if he says “FUCK” in the middle IT’S FINE, DO NOT WORRY.
My first ear ended up being the hard one, because after Samppa had stitched he had to un-stitch it and reshape part of it. This is because it looks straight where it’s meant to be, and it’s only when it’s sewn up that you start to see that it’s not as good as it could be. Do not worry if this happens, he will fix it, it just takes time. My first ear ended up being the better one of the two, it’s pretty much perfect.
If it ends up taking a while you may get stiff. I tried to move my legs around a bit, and I ended up REALLY needing to pee (damn that pulpy orange juice.... I had peed before hand but I think the nerves made it worse!). Just try and move when you can and relax.
After the first ear is done, you may feel a bit stupid walking around with one swollen, red, slightly bloody ear, I know I did, so I stayed indoors as much as I could. There wasn’t much pain, but the ear did ache and then started throbbing later in the night so much so that I had to take Nurofen.
The second ear the next day was a lot easier. They didn’t have to go back to do anything, and I found that afterwards it didn’t ache or throb nearly as much as the first ear. I assume this is because there was less stress and pressure put upon it since they didn’t need to un-stitch it (BUT this is the ear that ends up getting a touch up at a later date though).
Your ears will be quite red and purple after the procedure, and will stay like that for a while, gradually lessening. They will also be swollen. Mine stuck out from my head because where the ear joins the head was swollen, looked a bit funny!
Before and after photos, taken by Samppa.
Bear in mind, this is STRAIGHT after the procedure, they will swell and bruise more than this in an hour or two, and the final shape will be a bit different to this too.
The second ear particularly looked really gross after the procedure, but not to worry! I got told mine were actually less swollen than other peoples, and it will go down relatively quickly. That black part is something I had to keep an eye on. This disappeared after a day or so, so nothing to worry about.
Below are photos of my right ear, and then left ear (which later gets re-pointed) throughout the day after the procedure.