Kiddos getting their ears pierced... When? Where? What? How? And important read for parents considering letting their kids get their earlobes pierced.
Claire's, Walmart, aunt Paula's kitchen with her old 'piercing kit' she needs to go grab from the basement... I don't think I can cringe enough. I'll just jump into it.
Let's start with training/apprenticeships. Places like the ones I've listed are performing 'piercings' by people who have no actual training. At all. No training on how to PROPERLY perform ANY piercings. No bloodborne pathogen training. No first aid training. No contamination control training. They literally start at work one day and pick up a (horrid) piercing gun and have at it. Which will transition me into the next aspect.
The evil piercing gun. There is no way to properly sterilize those things. They are made of plastic and cannot be autoclaved and sterilized. Wiping them down with rubbing alcohol is what they do. Rubbing alcohol is not even close to any form of sterilization. Please don't think it's anywhere near it. Those guns LITERALLY force the blunt ear stud through the tissue. It's brutal. (Do you want your kiddo going thru extra trauma? I don't imagine so). So now we are piercing violently by someone with no training with something that cannot be properly sterilized. See where I'm going with this?
Next let's talk about the make-up of the jewelry. They use generic terms like "surgical steel" which is what tools are made out of and trick people into thinking it's something better because "well it says surgical right on it". Surgical sucks. What you are looking for is IMPLANT GRADE stainless steel/titanium/niobium and solid gold. Would you want your kid (or yourself or loved one) getting decorated with a made-up loose term like "surgical steel" or would you rather have them get pierced with the same metal used in PACEMAKERS? Pacemakers!!!
And as far as age is concerned, please let your child decide if they want them or not. I know it sounds fun to decorate your kid, but before they can decide, it's only fun for you, at their expense. Your kid is a real life human being too and their vote on this subject is the one that matters. Don't force them to go thru it if they don't want it.
People who use the statement "I got pierced at Claire's and it healed up", you're looking at it wrong. You got it done there and it healed up 'IN SPITE OF' those issues. I hope this got thru to some of you. Even if it changed the mind of 1 person, it was worth the 7 minutes it took for me to write this. Thank you for taking the time to read this .
Please take your children to a REPUTABLE studio where they can get decorated in a safe and friendly environment with jewelry that is great inside the tissue. And be sure to check out portfolios and find out about their technique, how they sterilize and the quality of jewelry they offer. Not all studios carry the same high standards. You and your loved ones DESERVE high quality and high quality only.
You've decided that you are going to go in and get that piercing that you've been dreaming about having forever. Or maybe it's a spur of the moment thing and the time is right. Either is fine and dandy. I know a lot of people get anxious and nervous before getting a piercing done, and that is completely understandable. But it is much less needed than you would think.
After I finish doing a piercing, one of the first things I ask is "was it as bad as you imagined it would be"? Almost every single time, the answer is along the lines of "not even close". Another thing that I tell people who are clearly nervous is this- "Think of it this way, if it really is as bad as you're imagining, there would be one person that got this piercing done and they would have told all their friends and family to never consider doing something as crazy as that".
The truth is, body piercings should be very bearable. They should be quick. The piercing part should be the fastest part of the entire experience. I tell my clients to take a nice deep breath in and then to exhale. By the time that one exhale is out, the piercing part is done. Then just transfer the jewelry in and put any ends or beads in their places.
You should be comfortable with your piercer. If the piercer that you are considering is rude or inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable, turn around and leave. Your comfort should be their #1 priority. You are the guest. You should be treated like a respected guest. Also, be sure to look at portfolios of their work and read reviews and listen to educated word of mouth. Make sure the studio is clean. Ask about the quality of jewelry they use. Ask questions about how they sterilize their jewelry and any tools/needles. Ask as many questions as you want. There are no stupid questions. If any red flags flash in your brain, reconsider who is about to pierce you.
Before coming in for a piercing, I do recommend that the client gets a good nights rest the night before. I recommend staying hydrated (before and after the piercing). I also recommend eating a small meal within a few hours of coming in. Don't over do it tho, just a healthy portion. Also keep in mind that alcohol thins the blood and if you hit the town the night before, you will more than likely bleed more. (on the note of alcohol, never come into a studio under the influence. you will be turned away)
When the time of the piercing comes, take nice and slow deep breaths. Don't panic. All that breathing fast will do is make you light headed. Panicking isn't going to make anything feel any better. Remember, its a deep breath and then you're done with the part you're fearing.
Come in with a positive attitude. If you are in the hands of a reputable professional, the entire visit should be a positive one. Body piercing is a fun and exciting way to express yourself. Embrace it. :)
A lot of this information will hold true for tattoos as well. I hope you all found this informative and I hope it helps ease the nervous minds.
For a body piercing to heal properly, it is up to both the piercer and the client to make it happen.
Example 1) - Piercer performs a solid piercing in a clean environment using high quality and properly sterilized jewelry and tools/needles etc. The client is given proper aftercare. Everyone is happy and another happy client with a beautiful piercing walks out the door. A week or two or six go by and the client has returned with an extremely sore and irritated piercing. The client decided that it would be best to soak their new piercing in peroxide a few times a day (big no-no). Then decided to wipe the fresh piercing time and time again with that bathroom towel (those towels harbor bacteria and are not clean and are nothing but rough on the piercing. Again, another big no-no). The client didn't follow the aftercare that was recommended by the reputable body piercer that does this for a living and spends endless hours keeping up with industry standards.
Example 2) Now lets put the shoe on the other foot. Flip everything around. The piercing was performed by a less than reputable 'piercer' that didn't seem to carry a high standard of cleanliness while performing the piercing. When asked what the jewelry was made of, the 'piercer' said "stainless steel" and that was about it (stainless steel says nothing about the quality of the metal. Its an umbrella term that simply sounds fancy to the public that don't know better). Everything seems a little off but the client honestly doesn't know any better. They get their new piercing and pay and head out the door. The client wasn't given any aftercare information and they end up calling the reputable studio for aftercare advice (why aren't they calling the place they got it pierced? I don't know. It's just part of the story!). They are recommended to use a sterile saline spray twice a day. Once in the morning, once at night and ideally after showering, to make sure shampoos and conditioners and body washes are rinsed away from the piercing area. A week or two or 6 go by and the piercing is sore and irritated. They have taken all the proper advice but the piercing is at a funky angle and the jewelry is subpar and the jewelry length was not nearly long enough to accommodate for swelling. It's now embedded in the tissue.
Example one shows the client not listening to the reputable piercer and deciding they know better and aftercare cant matter that much (it can and does). Example two shows a piercer that isn't doing his job. Period.
As professional body piercers, it is our job to make sure everything is on the up and up for our clients. Shortcuts are never an option. Your safety and happiness and health should ALWAYS come first. It is our job to offer you the very best we can and to stay current on everything industry related. As a client, it is your job to take what we say to heart. Listen to the aftercare. Follow the aftercare. It is your job to go to a studio with a great reputation and answers ALL your questions.
We can offer you safe and professional piercing in a safe/clean environment using the highest quality jewelry available on the planet. That's our job. When you walk out the door, it is now your job to follow the aftercare we have given you. And at this point, you're not on your own. It is always our job to help you troubleshoot anything that comes up and offer you professional advice.
A successful body piercing really is teamwork. ;)
After every tattoo appointment I go over aftercare instructions with the client. This is done to provide the proper healing instructions and go over any questions the client may have. The following is my recommendations that I give to every client.
I start off by stressing the most important aspect of healing is cleanliness! Keep that fresh tattoo CLEAN. Keeping it clean is literally the number one most important aspect. A non scented antibacterial hand soap is recommended. I personally recommend Provon antibacterial soap, which Red at Night Tattoos and Piercings carries. I also would recommend Dial liquid antibacterial hand soap. Dial however offers many scented hand soaps so be sure it is the original gold liquid soap. Scented soaps can affect healing and can be painful when applied to the tattoo. Some of these soaps contain alcohol. Imagine pouring rubbing alcohol onto a wound and we all know that wouldn’t feel very good! Same concept applies to these scented soaps. So Provon soap is my number one recommendation.
When washing that new tattoo, don’t use any sort of scrubbing device, for example a loofa or a washcloth. Lather up the soap in your hands (clean hands because you washed them prior to this step) and gently wash the tattoo with your hand. After that bugger is scrubbed up nice, rinse with water. Next using a clean paper towel “pat” dry the excess water and let it air dry for 30 minutes. This should be done at least twice a day and more if you’re exposing the tattoo to a dirty environment. You will continue to wash the tattoo twice a day for the entire healing process.
The first three days of the healing process I do not recommend putting any ointment or lotion on the tattoo. Let that thing breath the first few days! After three days of only washing the tattoo you’ll want to start using an ointment or lotion. I highly recommend Redemption aftercare or Hustle Butter Deluxe aftercare. Both work very well and are specifically designed for aftercare. Red and Night carries Redemption on hand if you choose this route. Two more options are unscented lotion or Aquaphor. Lubriderm makes an unscented lotion that works well and Aquaphor has also been proven to work well.
When applying the aftercare of your choice make sure you apply a very thin layer. This step can be painful, but it is important to have a thin layer of the aftercare to prevent smothering the tattoo. The tattoo still needs to be able to breathe. Additionally, make sure you’re only covering the area of the tattoo and not spreading the aftercare too far beyond the border of the tattoo. Spreading it over healthy skin can clog pores and cause your healthy skin to break out, so try to be conscious of this.
During the healing process your tattoo will peel and possibly even scab in places. DO NOT PICK and the peeling skin or scabs. Continue washing and using the aftercare as you would normally and allow the skin and/or scabs naturally fall off. Picking at the them can remove ink from the tattoo. Sometimes during the healing of your tattoo it will begin to look pretty icky. That is perfectly normal and don’t freak out! Just keep following the aftercare instructions and it will be okay!
While the tattoo is healing there are certain activities you’ll need to avoid. One thing you absolutely should NOT do is submerge the tattoo. Do not go swimming or enter very humid environments. Another activity you should avoid is sun tanning or exposing the tattoo to direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Sunburns are painful enough as it is without having it on a fresh tattoo. One last thing I recommend steering clear of is working out or getting sweaty. The gym is not a very clean environment to be exposing the tattoo to. So let it heal and hit the workout extra hard when it’s ready. Sorry gym rats, it just is not a good idea.
The healing process is an integral part of the entire process. Some things to keep in mind in addition to the above mentioned steps:
1) Clean sheets and pillow cases. If you have really nice sheets that you’ve spent your hard earned money on, switch them out to ones you don’t care so much about. However, make sure they are clean sheets. Fresh tattoos can weep ink and blood. If either get on your sheets you most likely will not get the stain out.
2) Pets…. I’ve seen clients post pictures of their animals licking their fresh tattoo. This is so unsanitary and unhealthy for a tattoo. If I see this I absolutely refuse to tattoo that person ever again.
3) Be conscious of the clothing you decide to wear after you get tattooed. Tight or compression style clothing is a no-no. This again suffocates the tattoo and it will struggle to breath. This can result in color coming out of the tattoo and having a poor heal. It also makes it difficult to wash the tattoo if it needs it at some point during the day.
4) Sunlight is not a great friend of tattoos; especially fresh ones. The more you can keep them out of direct sunlight- the better. After a tattoo is healed, make sunblock a best friend to prolong the quality of your tattoo.
That should pretty much cover it. Regardless of where you get your tattoo done, if you have any questions definitely contact your artist and consult with them. Some artists will have a particular way they prefer their tattoos to be healed. If this is the case follow their procedures, but the above is a solid and proven method to heal that new tattoo.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and we hope you found it informative!
So, you are about due to get a fancy new tattoo… What are your next steps and how do you choose where to go or who to get tattooed by? Well let us help you out with a bit of info to steer you clear of kitchen wizards, basement scratchers and even the “legit shop” who’s work may be subpar, but for some reason or another people keep going there for work they may forever be regretting.
The number one most important thing to do is research. Keep in mind this is a permanent addition to your body that you have to look at and bare to all the world for their judgement whether you like their judgement or not. Now, in this day and age the internet is ‘king’ when it comes to research and it truly is a very helpful and useful tool that should not be overlooked. I’ve used it for everything from diagnosing why my rusty tahoe is still rusting to figuring out math problems my 5th grade daughter has to learn…… I never have been all that great at math; it turns out. Nonetheless, the internet also has its restrictions. You don’t get the genuine face to face contact with the internet. I know we are in a new age and that almost everything can be done either via email, instant messenger, facetime, snapchat or any other variations of social media, but… This will be a place where you may spend hours at a time and form a relationship with. A bond so to speak. A potential loyalty for lack of a better term. Which leads me to tell you my next recommendation.
Go to the studio in person. We all lead busy lives and have things to do. I get it and I hear you loud and clear. However, this is an important commitment you’re signing up for. You are paying someone your hard earned money to leave ink in your skin for as long as you walk this earth. Nothing will ever replace the experience of you walking into every shop in your area and feeling that first impression. Is the place clean? Is the place thought out and appealing to be in? Is the place inviting and comforting? Long gone (For the most part) are the days of dingy dark and underground tattoo parlors. Today’s standards have risen incredibly as they should be. Just walk into a place and ask yourself two questions. Is this place clean and is this place somewhere I could sit for a few hours if need be? If either answer is a maybe or no, walk out. Go to every shop in your area and ask yourself those questions.
So you’ve gone to every shop and asked yourself those two questions. Now what? Now the real work for you begins. Look at portfolios. Look at Instagram accounts. Look at Facebook accounts. Both the studio’s and the artist’s accounts should be reviewed. Look at the work leaving the shop. If a shop’s social media page is only promoting one artist (Typically the owner) ask yourself why is that? Why wouldn’t the shop want to promote their entire crew? Why would only one artist in a shop that has several artists only push one person out to the public? Without trying to sound offensive, it is usually for two reasons. The person being promoted is either a glory hound and seeking approval or the person is driven to do so because of monetary benefits…. That’s fancy talk for “They are money hungry”. Just think about it is all I ask.
I once took a mentoring program to continue my education in this field. During this mentorship I learned that we as artists need to be ambassadors for good art and educate our clients and potential clients on what “good art” is. Well, this is my attempt at just that. Look at the artist’s line work…… You all know what a good clean black line looks like on a piece of paper and that really shouldn’t change because of what the line is on; be it a piece of paper or a piece of skin. If the line work isn’t clean then be honest with yourself and acknowledge it isn’t what you want. Now not every tattoo has line work and as the future progresses you may keep finding less and less lines in tattoos. So if that is the case, look at the shading or color blends. Are they smooth and clean? Are they patchy and uneven? If they are turn around and walk out.
Now you’ve visited the shops in person, you’ve looked at portfolios and social media accounts. The next obvious step would be to talk or consult with the artist you have chosen. Sometimes a good artist can also be not so good of a person. If you and an artist have a personality conflict it can make your tattoo experience miserable. Bounce ideas off each other and get a feel for what your experience will be like. As a tattooer, I know that a client is buying a piece of forever artwork, but just as important to most clients is the experience and the process of getting tattooed. We not only sell tattoos, we sell memories as well. I feel that if you do the research and hard work to choose an artist and shop you will get your monies worth. It will also help you be patient and give you time to think about what you want and which artist is going to best suit the style you’re trying to achieve. You will be more comfortable letting the artist put themselves into the tattoo so you walk away with a true one off custom piece.
In conclusion, be patient and put in your work. It will be time well spent and you won’t be looking for another artist willing to cover up a mistake that was made out of haste. Hope that makes sense!
Thanks for taking the time to read my little blog on this very important topic!