Other related information
So I want to get a piercing, what do I need to know?
Well as with any respectable, licensed and inspected piercing studios there are age limits.
Here's ours: For ear piercings, you must be 16 years of age with photo I.D. proof of your age as well as your birth certificate or other supporting documents to attest to your actual date of birth.
We are very clear about this point - No I.D. No Piercing.
Now you have I.D. and you are old enough or have your parents, now what do you do?
Shop around, visit the shops you have interest in and talk to the piercers, look at the studios ask some smart questions. Don't price shop, use your head, we are talking about your body and putting a hole in it somewhere. Do your research on the piercing you want then ask the piercer about the piercing and the aftercare for the piercing. Use common sense and gut instinct. If you don't feel comfortable at the shop you are in or you feel rushed by the piercer, leave and come back later or find another shop.
Be aware that people will pose on the internet as "professional body piercers" and will work from there home address. In most cases these individuals are "hackers", they are not licensed to provide body piercing services nor are they inspected by the health unit for safety and sterilization. Do not accept a service from these people, phone your local city business license department and the local health inspection service and report the individual as soon as possible. Under the Canadian Health Act these people are risking your health and safety and must be licensed and inspected in order to provide any from of service. These people are responsible for hurting hundreds of people every year by performing services (no license and no inspection is a dangerous situation) in less than ideal conditions, hey if they are going to lie about being legitimate what else will they lie about? Be advised that even if a friend tells you they are o.k. that doesn't make what they are doing right or legal. To report a situation to the health unit your name can be with held upon your request, they are there to protect the public from risks to public health and safety...................Phone them!
Key things to remember when finding a piercing studio
Lets look at these points in detail.
Reputation and Referrals
Check the shop out with your local health unit - call the local inspector and ask about any complaints or problem with the shop you have interest in. If there are problems they will advise you. Referrals of friends and other people with piercings is also a good way to go, but be sure to ask a fair number of people before you commit and check out other shops as well, just because your friend was comfortable at one shop doesn't mean you will feel comfortable there.
Experience of the Piercer (see our piercer biography page)
Lots of piercers have taken training courses from various facilities in various places. This doesn't mean they are experienced at the trade, it just means they were taught by someone. Everyone needs to learn somewhere however you don't need to be pierced by someone who just finished a course and hasn't got enough true life experience under there belt. This is where the referrals are helpful when it comes to finding a competent piercer with experience. Ask if they have apprenticed under an experienced piercer and if so how long. If you are curious if this is true, call the shop where they apprenticed, someone should be able to verify the apprenticeship. A truly knowledgeable piercer should be able to talk to you about your piercing and give you written information to take and read at your leisure. Before you get your piercing ask the piercer how long they have been piercing, you are not being rude, you are asking a real question that needs to be satisfied by a good answer. If they just finished training and are not supervised then maybe you should get another more seasoned and experienced piercer to do your piercing, remember you are not being rude, you are paying good money to get a good piercing and you want it done by a real experienced professional.
Remember if the shop is busy, don't leave feeling like you are being brushed off. Busy is busy and maybe a visit later on would be a good idea. However, you should be treated with courtesy and respect, if you don't get that, then take your business elsewhere. If you do talk to the piercer ask smart, researched questions but don't ask questions you don't know the answer to. Maybe asking about the procedure is the best way to find out what is done and how without coming across as cocky. You should get a comfortable feel from your piercer if you don't get that feeling of confidence from them then move along to the next shop.
Environment of the Shop
Lots of shops have their clientele and groups they cater to. Don't go into a shop where you feel like you have a third eyeball. If you feel like you stepped into a western style saloon and the piano player stops playing and everyone looks at you like there's going to be a gun fight, you just walked into some place that's not for you. You should feel like you walked into a place of business and greeted by someone with a friendly and helpful tone. Spend a few moments looking around before jumping into the question and answer period, get a feel for the shop and it's staff. You should feel at ease and the place should be clean and well kept. There are lots of funky little shops out there where they look a bit strange at first but within moments you feel like you are welcome.
If the staff are laughing and joking around this is a good thing, remember you are in a shop where people are quite nervous at first, but humor helps ease the tension and breaks the ice this makes the piercing experience an enjoyable one. Be sure the business has a current business license for the municipality or city they are in and it should be for the services they provide an example would be a license for Body Piercing in the case of a body piercing studio. Shop membership in associations should not be taken as an assurance you will be treated in an appropriate manner, just because they are a member of such and such association doesn't mean the person providing the service is knowledgeable and experienced in providing you a safe and professional service. Some shops have policies about guests being with you during your piercing, minors should always have a parent or guardian with them during the piercing process regardless of studio policy , most studios will limit the guest count to one which is not unusual. If a shop tells you can not have a guest with you for your comfort and support, find another shop.
Mall Boutiques are never licensed for piercing, they generally have a business license for "retail sales" and therefore are not inspected and not licensed for piercing anything, this is important to remember. All Licensed Body Piercing studios have sterilization equipment and single use needles, most piercers will jump at the chance to show off their autoclave used for sterilizing equipment. The Autoclave is a valued show piece to any licensed piercing facility and a big dollar item worthy of showing to the general public. No business license generally means no health inspection and you should be heading for the door. This is a clear indication that the business doesn't have a license for body piercing and isn't inspected by the local health unit or municipal inspectors.
Materials used for the Jewellery (see our jewellery information page)
Cost should never be a factor in getting a good piercing, if it is a factor then save your money or look further at other shops in major centers where there may be more shops and lower pricing. However don't be afraid to ask why a piercing may be cheaper at one shop then another - they may have a better supplier and better traffic flow and can afford to do the piercing at a lower rate due to the traffic flow. However be sure you are getting manufactured jewellery and not home made junk at expensive or reasonable priced studios.
In Europe the use of surgical stainless steel is banned for new piercings under the EU Nickel Directive. However in North America the use of 316L and 316LVM is still common and these metals contain more nickel than what would be acceptable in Europe. Some shops are now offering Implant Steel this metal has much less nickel than the 316L and 316LVM and is far superior in body acceptance and healing. If you have a choice always go for the best, and settle for nothing less, you owe it to yourself and your piercing. If you bought a piece of jewellery from a store in the mall don't expect a piercing studio to use it for your piercing. Most professional studios will never use boutique bought jewellery in fresh piercings, generally this stuff is low grade metal and contains more nickel than the standard 316L or 316LVM jewellery they handle.
Aftercare for your piercing (see our aftercare page)
Ask about the aftercare for your piercing - do you get it in writing and what is recommended for cleaning and care? Here is where common sense comes into play. Don't be afraid to ask why certain products are recommended and how they are to be used. Aftercare is the number one leading problem with most piercings. Mis-use of solutions and cleaners can do more damage than the actual piercing itself so before buying a bunch of products read the labels and see what the manufacturer says they are to be used for and how. Don't blindly buy what you have been told and not know how to properly use it. More is never better and will not speed the healing of any piercing. Only you and your good health, proper diet and rest in concert with proper aftercare technique will ensure a happy piercing. Remember if the aftercare sounds a little out there or too involved with too many rules maybe this isn't the studio for you. Basically good personal hygiene in concert with your aftercare should be plenty to heal any piercing. You can over do cleaning to the point of irritation and this isn't the desired effect or reaction you want.
Customer support for your piercing
O.K. say you boo boo-ed and did something wrong to your piercing either but accident or error in judgment. Now what? Well any good piercing studio and professional piercer should be able to assist you with aftercare trouble shooting. This may take a little of the question and answer period to narrow down the problem but hang in there. Several things can go wrong with a piercing and some of the causes can be a bit elusive, so work with your piercer and answer the questions truthfully even if it was your fault, your piercer should take it in stride and help you out regardless.
Whatever you do, don't try to figure it out or fix it yourself, you will just confuse things further and make it harder to fix. Trust the experience of your piercer and follow the instructions given to the letter. If you still haven't found a solution to your problem within a 72 hour period then find assistance somewhere else, unless it's an infection then seek medical attention without delay. Always consult your piercer if you find problems arising with your piercing as soon as possible.
Remember piercers deal with piercing every day and are very experienced and understand several thing that can occur to piercings and know what to do to fix them. No professional piercer will turn away anyone who has trouble with a piercing, they will always view the piercing and then advise you on what should be done based on their experience and knowledge.
O.K. I am all set, what do I do now?
Well here's some things that you should consider before getting a piercing.
If you took the above information to heart and followed the steps you should be able to find a good studio and piercer you can be happy with. If you are still stuck and can't find a shop, give us a shout we will try to point you in the direction of a reputable shop near you.
The Smoking Gun The Smoking Gun Piercing guns have been the rage for many years prior to the advent of the modern body piercing movement, even then they were looked upon with an amount of disgust by the medical profession. One of the early versions of a professional "physician grade" autoclave safe piercing gun is depicted below. At the least this gun was operated by hand pressure and was used by a physician to insert metal studs into ear lobes.
The Great Debates The Great Debates From aftercare to jewellery preference, there will never be a time when two piercers will agree on absolutely everything. Is a piercer wrong or unprofessional because s/he prefers to use bent barbells instead of rings for navel piercings? Recommends Listerine instead of Oral-B? Uses 14 gauge barbells for tongue piercings?
I want to get a Piercing I want to get a Piercing! Shop around, visit the shops you have interest in and talk to the piercers, look at the studios ask some smart questions. Don't price shop, use your head, we are talking about your body and putting a hole in it somewhere. Do your research on the piercing you want then ask the piercer about the piercing and the aftercare for the piercing. Use common sense and gut instinct.
It's Infected, now what? It's infected now what? Professional piercers know much more about body piercing than the average person, so this in mind, you have to pick a course of action. Start by seeing your piercer as soon as possible. Infections are easy to treat so long as they are handled quickly and properly..
Common Sense Aftercare Aftercare is a simple procedure in the care of any body piercing from simple ear piercings to the extreme piercings, but you have to remember some common points with all aftercare instructions. Many clients quickly forget half of what they are told in the studio after getting a piercing, partly due to the excitement of the piercing and partly from the rush of having just got what they wanted for a while.
It's an Art form, It's what we do.Our body piercer is among some of the most experienced piercers in British Columbia. Our senior piercer is from the old school of piercing and studied various piercing methods at length as well as many variations offered by other senior piercers in the industry. Instrument use, technique, sterilization methods and metals used for the process of piercing were looked at in great detail.