What it is: An industrial piercing is actually a set of two piercings at different points along the helix that are connected by a single long barbell, aptly known as an industrial bar.
Variations and Innovations: Although it was originally performed in a specific spot (from one side of the upper helix to the other on a slight diagonal), any set of connected piercings worn with an industrial barbell is now known as an industrial. There are vertical versions, styles that connect more than two piercings, and sets of multiple industrials called “cages” or “lattices.”
Jewelry: With piercings and individual anatomy so varied, there are many styles of industrial jewelry including barbells that wave, ripple, or bend at various angles. For the purpose of the more unique variations, many piercing enthusiasts will have a trusted modification artist custom bend and fit a barbell or set of barbells for them. Some may also choose to pair standard industrials with other singular helix piercings, coordinating their jewelry accordingly.
Evolution: Though industrial piercings for the most part began slowly in the 1990s, they took off like a shot after the year 2000, growing in popularity so much that they are now a well known and somewhat common type of piercing. With most modification artists having mastered the standard industrial, many newer innovations have come from those with experience and clientele who are willing to experiment.