You’ve decided to get that nose piercing you’ve always wanted. So what do you do? Working up the courage to do it is half the battle, right? All that’s left to do now is walk into the local tattoo and body art shop and pay the guy behind the counter. How bad can it go?
Well, for the sake of your lunch that you may or may not have just eaten, I’m going to skip the icky details about exactly how bad it can go. You’ve got Google, use it. Do a few keyword searches and I’m sure you’ll find out quickly why I opted not to go into detail about the drastic ways piercing can end badly. But, I’m not here to talk you out of getting a body piercing. No, rather quite the opposite—go for it! All I’m saying is that you should be a little careful about it. After all, you wouldn’t walk up to the guy on the street corner and ask him to jab a needle into your nose cartilage, so why would you walk into a shop without a little bit of research?
If you’re wondering what you should look at before selecting someone, don’t fret. I’ve got you covered. Here’s a quick rundown of what you should look for in a piercer.
This should be a no-brainer, but check and make sure that the piercer is working in a licensed, legal location. This shows that the studio meets at least the minimum health and safety requirements during the inspection prior to licensing. You’ll obviously want to take a look around the studio for cleanliness, as well. Is it clean, sterilized, and organized? Are their blood borne pathogens licenses and county/state/federal licenses clearly displayed?
Like most tattoo artists, piercers are generally either self-taught or have undergone an apprenticeship (which can last somewhere between six months and two years). There isn’t a piercing school with exams that need passing or degrees to be issued. It is important that you ask to see the piercer’s portfolio for this very reason. You’ll want to closely look at the placement, make sure that the placement accents the client’s anatomy. Look at the photos of healed piercings, did the placement hold? Don't forget to read online reviews as well.
If you can steal a chance to watch the piercer with another client, don’t hesitate to take it. Watching the set-up process is a good way to get a glimpse into how professional the piercer really is. Did they wash and glove their hands before touching any equipment? Is the equipment all sealed in sterilized packages (like medical supplies)? Do they have a sharps container and a biomedical waste container on hand and nearby? If you see them touch anything other than the client or the sterilized tray of equipment, did they change to a fresh pair of gloves?
There are a million little things that can go wrong if the piercer is poorly trained, unseasoned, or sloppy, but getting a body piercing with a professional piercer who is at the top of their game can be an exciting and happy experience. It’s all in who you choose. Do your research before you decided to go under the needle!