Hoop earrings are timeless jewelry. They are very versatile and fashionable and can be styled in many different ways. While they come in various sizes, materials and designs, one common challenge for many first time or new wearers is figuring out how to put on hoop earrings and how to take them off comfortably. Follow this guide for simple and useful tips for wearing hoop earrings effortlessly.
Types of Hoop Earrings
Pierced vs clip ons - The most common type of hoop earrings are for pierced ears. These require ear piercings and the hoops (or earring posts) are often inserted into the piercings. Clip ons are typically for non-pierced ears. They consist of a hinge or spring-loaded backing mechanism that provides a secure grip to the ear without the need for piercing.
Size and shape (diameter of the hoops) - Hoop earrings come is many different sizes. You can find them in large hoops or as little hoops known as huggie earrings or huggie hoop earrings ( these are with a small diameter so they appear to be hugging the earlobes). Shapes can vary from rounds, ovals and squares.
Thickness - This refers to the tube of the hoop. Some are thick and some as thin and dainty. Some are solid and some are hollow.
Make or material - You can find hoops in solid gold, rose gold, sterling silver and other types of metals.
Type of closure or clasp - There are generally 2 types of hoop closures or clasps.
The first type are those with specifically attached hinged closures or clasps like snap closures, latch back or lever back closures (image 1).
Others do not have specifically attached clasps such as the wire-loop earrings (image 2) and infinity hoops (also known as endless hoop earrings)(image 3).
Wire-loop earrings consist of a single strand of thin wire that is shaped into a hoop and has a small loop on one end and 90 degrees bent latch at the tip of the other end. The latch is inserted into the loop to secure the earring to the ears. See my beaded hoop earring which are made using wire loops.
Infinity earrings, also known as endless hoops or infinite hoops, also do not have separate visual clasp. To close the hoop, the post is inserted into the other end of the hoop (which is hollow to allow the post to fit in and form a seamless hoop). These are often the most trickiest to put on.
How to Put On (Step by Step)
Step 1: Familiarize with the earring closure. Depending on the type of closure your hoop earrings have, test them before putting on how it works. Common closures include hinged snap closures, latch-back closures, lever back closures.
Step 2: Make sure the earring post can fit your piercings. Some posts can be thick and might not fit the hole in your earlobes.
Note: Stand in front of a mirror. This will help greatly in positioning the post into your piercing.
Step 3: Open the hoops.
If your hoop earrings have a hinged snap, latch back or lever back closure, gently pull them to open (images 4 & 5).
For wire-loop earrings, press the latch down (image 6) and remove it from the loop end (image 7).
For continuous or infinity hoops, the opening mechanism is slightly more tricky. Find the end of the earring which slips into the other end. To open, pull the hoop open very slightly to release the post out of the hollow tube end (image 8). Then, open it further by pushing both ends in opposite direction to the sides rather than in opposite directions facing each other until you have a wide enough gap to fit your ear lobes (image 9). This is an important tip in handling infinity hoops so that their round shape is not distorted every time you put on and take them off.
Step 4: Insert the earring post from the front of your earlobe. Hold and gently pull your earlobe down with one hand to stretch it. Hold the earring in the other hand. Keep stretching as you insert the earring into the piercing.
Note: Stretching the ear lobe will make it easier to insert the post into the piercing and is a useful tip for wearing post earrings.
Step 5: Insert the hoop. Carefully guide the earring post through your earlobe piercing until it you can feel it coming through the back of your earlobes. Be gentle and avoid any force to prevent discomfort or injury.
Note: If you are putting on clip on hoops, there is no need to stretch your earlobe. Simply position them against your earlobe where you want them to stay.
Step 6: Close the earring. Once the hoop is comfortably in place through your piercing, close the earring.
For hinged, latched and lever back closures, push the latches towards the earlobes to secure them in place.
For wire-loop earrings, gently press the latch down and insert the bent tip into the loop to close.
For infinity hoops, reverse the steps taken to open it earlier. Push the ends closer side ways, and then gently pull them in opposite direction to move them into a parallel line and help the post fit into the hollow tube at the other end of the loop. Ensure the ends are securely fit.
Step 7: Repeat for the second earring. If you're wearing a pair of hoop earrings, repeat the process for the second earring.
Note: When properly and correctly put on, the hoop should not cause you any discomfort. If it does, check to make sure the clasps or closures are not pinching your skin and their are not pressing to tightly against your earlobes.
How to Remove (Step by Step)
Removal of the hoop earrings typically requires reversal of the steps taken to put on the earrings.
Step 1: Stand in front of a mirror. Being able to see the earrings will make it a lot easier to remove them. Ensure that you have a clear view of the earring and know the closure mechanism.
Step 2: Hold the earring. Gently hold the hoop earring near your earlobe with one hand.
Note: It is important that hold the front of the earrings when pulling the latches at the back to prevent your ears from getting hurt from the pulling pressure at the back.
Step 3: Open the closure. If your hoop earrings have a hinged snap, latch back or lever back closure, carefully pull the latches away from your ear lobe with the other hand. For infinity hoops, pull the ends gently in opposite direction until you are able to remove the post from the hollow back at the end of the earring and then push is side ways to give enough space to slide it out of your earlobes.
Step 4: Remove the hoop. Once the earring is open, gently slide the hoop out of your earlobe piercing from the front. Be careful not to force the earring, and if you encounter any resistance, check to ensure that the closure is fully open.
Step 5: Repeat for steps above for the second earring.