There’s an age-old saying in the piercing industry: “Do your research before you get a piercing!” While piercings definitely don’t have the permanence of other body modification types, such as tattoos, scarification, or even tongue splitting, it is important that you spend some time researching the piercing you’re interested in, learning the procedure and healing information, and then making sure you find a reputable piercer to go to. But where do you go to find this information? How do you perform the right research—Is it just simply looking up reviews on Google or making sure they have a large following on social media?
Who knew that something so small required so much thought behind it? But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading on to learn how to decide which piercing is right for you as well as how to find a piercer that’s right for you.
Finding the Right Piercing for You
Deciding that you want to get pierced is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from! The best thing you can do is turn to social media—Instagram and Pinterest are great places to start because you can see all kinds of pictures of different piercings with different jewelry styles in them. A simple Google search works well too. The goal is for you to have reference photos of what you’re looking for to help you decide.
One thing that’s important to note is that not all anatomy is suitable for all piercings. This is why it’s great to have a backup option just in case.
Educating Yourself About the Piercing, Healing & Aftercare
Now that you have a general idea about the piercing you want, it’s time to educate yourself. This is to prepare you for understanding how to best heal the piercing(s) you want as well as help you get an overview of what the aftercare could entail.
For example, let’s say I wanted my conch pierced after sitting on Instagram and scrolling through picture after picture of beautiful conch piercings with lust-worthy jewelry in them. The next thing I would do is read up on some of the Piercing 101 and Guides. These guides have a ton of great information regarding what the piercing process is like, how long the piercing takes to heal, what the aftercare and healing process is, things to watch out for during the healing process, and even reasons you might want to wait on getting the piercing, such as needing to wear headphones for work which could interfere with the healing process and make the fresh piercing irritated.
It’s also important to understand the aftercare process and make sure that it’s something you can handle. For example, if you’re a side sleeper, it’s important to know that you won’t be able to sleep on your side for the entire time you’re healing a cartilage piercing. This might make you reconsider which ear you want to pierce or whether you want the piercing at all.
A good piercer and shop will also provide you with detailed aftercare instructions for the specific piercing you received so don’t worry about needing to know everything about the aftercare process beforehand. Some go so far as to send you home with a card that lists the piercing you got, the size of the jewelry, and more to help you downsize in the future. Some might also send you home with a little aftercare pamphlet and suggest certain aftercare products, such as NeilMed Piercing Aftercare Spray.
Keep reading on to find out how to determine what makes a good piercer and shop.
How to Find the Right Piercer for You
There are a lot of piercing shops out there, which can make selecting a piercer feel a little daunting if you’ve never been pierced before. The first thing you can do to help educate yourself about what to look for in a piercer is head to the Association of Professional Piercing (APP) website and read through the information in their Piercing Info section. They even have an article entitled “Picking Your Piercer” that helps you see what to look for in a piercing shop in terms of safety and sterilization equipment, counter etiquette, and more. They also have a tool you can use to find an APP member near you. However, being an APP member doesn’t promise skills; it just means the piercer has been educated regarding proper health and safety techniques.
After learning what qualities to look for in a shop, the next thing you want to do is look at portfolios from the various piercers in your area. First, ask your friends or people you know with piercings where they got pierced and if they had a good experience with certain piercers. Look into the studios the piercers work at—you can even call and ask the counter staff if they have certain sterilization equipment or not or get a sense of the type of jewelry they carry. Feel free to visit a piercing shop or two for a consultation; take the time to ask the piercer any questions you have and feel them out. A good piercer will be able to answer most of the questions you have and be happy to do so. They should also seem confident in the answers that they provide to your questions.
According to Scott Wilkinson, body piercer at Piercing Vegas, a piercing shop’s “vibe should be a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. If you go in there and the people are not very friendly to you, they’re rude or condescending, or it seems like you’re just wasting their time, move on to the next shop. This is your experience; it should be fun, friendly, and overall positive.”
When you visit a shop, you also want to get a sense that it is physically clean. This means the shop’s floor is clean, the art on the walls isn’t dusty, and the bathroom has been maintained and cleaned regularly.
Piercing Shop Policies
Once you’ve selected a piercer or a shop you want to be pierced at, it’s important that you check what the studio policies are. This is especially important if you’re a minor—what type of documentation and approval do you need from your parents?
Other questions to ask can be things like:
- What are the policies on bringing guests?
- What are the policies on cameras in the piercing room or area?
- Do they charge for downsizing once the piercing has healed enough for it?
- Are there any climate suggestions for which piercings to avoid in certain types of weather or seasons?
The Main Point
Only you can decide which piercing and piercer are right for you, but there are a lot of helpful tips and tricks to help you decide. And when your new piercing is all healed up, be sure to browse through our large selection of body jewelry.