Tattoo and Piercing Shops
While tattoo parlors offer an amazing service on their own, they can be combined with another form of body manipulation art to create tattoo and piercing shops. When we’re talking about piercing, we’re not talking about the little ear piercings you could get at Claire’s. We’re talking about the facial piercings, nose piercings, tongue piercings, gauges, and so on that can redefine an entire appearance. It is uncommon for tattoo shops to have a variety of piercings, so if you think you will be getting more than a few tattoos and piercings alike, you’ll want to look for tattoo and piercing shops specifically before you pick a location to frequent. Many tattoo shops will be close to piercing shops and can point you in the right direction to get one, so that’s an option for you as well, if you are already in love with a tattoo shop. Despite being uncommon, if you live in a metropolitan area, there should be a substantial selection for you to pick from.
Piercing prices can vary widely depending on the type of piercing you get and the quality of the jewelry you choose. Location also matters—piercings in smaller cities will cost less than San Francisco, which has an incredibly inflated dollar. Typical ear piercings only cost $23 (less, if you’re only getting one), while a triple-forward helix can run you a cool $70. Facial piercings cost about as much, while genital piercings average $40 for whatever you might want. A pair of nipple piercings would be about $50, and surface piercings can go as high as $40 individually and $100 for a set of three. Piercing shops will also have some minor cosmetic surgeries available, stretching services, check-ups and consultations, and minor jewelry services available for around $10.
Once again, your regional price will vary depending on your location. The prices I listed here are typical of Minneapolis, which has an average cost of living compared to other areas of the United States. It is best to shop around local stores to get the average of your area. Different types of jewelry cost a different amount, and they might be a little overpriced in the store, so I recommend getting something cheap for a starter. The less nickel it contains, the better—you’d be surprised how many people are allergic to nickel! It can also cause skin irritation in non-allergic people, so it’s better to go safe than sorry. You can upgrade to something fancier once your piercing has healed, and visiting a jewelry store might yield some interesting options that you won’t see in a piercing store. Or, at the very least, some prices that are less inflated.
Choosing a Store
When picking a store, look for a licensed professional who keeps their shop or office clean. As with tattoo shops, ask for past examples, customer experiences, and portfolios of work. There are many different store qualities, and different employees from the same store may not be the most consistent. The only way to tell how good that store might be is by looking through the portfolio of the artist who would pierce or tattoo you. Study the process of piercing to make sure that whoever pierces you is doing a good, sterile job of it. Clean the area you expect to get pierced, which might mean shaving, brushing your teeth and gargling antiseptic, or giving your body a good scrub.
After care for tattoos is very similar to after care for piercings, since they are both wounds that you care for, but reading up on specific aftercare techniques might be in your best interest. As with tattoos, avoid any products with alcohol. Even though there’s no ink in a piercing, putting alcohol on that open wound isn’t going to be pleasant. If the piercing shop recommends a product, then go ahead and use it anyways, but otherwise stay away from the alcohol. If you get a tongue piercing, that ban includes drinking.
Different Types of Piercings
As I stated above, the type of piercing affects the price of the piercing. It also affects the healing time, with different types of piercings healing over the course of 4 to 6 weeks. This is a bit shorter than the turnaround for tattoos, so it’s good to start with piercings to practice your hygiene before getting a tattoo. There are several different types of piercings to choose from, with the most popular ones listed below:
- Tongue Piercing –Usually in the shape of a bar, a tongue piercing can change the slur of your voice for a few years after getting it.
- Nose Piercing –Normally performed on the septum, but encompasses anything that can be attached to the nose. Be sure to clarify which kind of nose piercing you want, if you seek this out.
- Dermal Piercing –A piercing of the skin, normally in smaller shapes that resemble beads. The effect can be quite pretty, but placement is key if you don’t want to lose your jewelry.
- Earlobe Piercing–This is the typical piercing that you could get at many different malls. It’s not worth paying a high price for earlobe piercing.
- Helix Piercing–A piercing of the upper spiral area of your ear.
- Industrial Piercing–A double piercing that connects two different holes in your upper ear with a bar.
- Transverse Lobe Piercing–Very similar to an industrial piercing, but instead of poking a hole straight through the ear, it goes in one side and then out the other, with a large part of the hole staying inside the cartilage of the ear.
- Eyebrow Piercing–Studs or rings attached to the eyebrow.
- Surface Piercing–Another word for dermal piercing.
- Belly Piercing–Rings or studs attached to the belly.
- Nipple Piercing–One or two rings or other jewelry accessories attached to the nipple.
There are far more types of piercings than the ones I’ve listed here, and the piercings can look very different depending on the style of the artist. When getting a piercing, it helps to have a photo of what you want, so that the person who will be helping you knows exactly what you want and can correctly estimate the amount of time it would take, along with the price. This results in both a happy artist and a happy customer!
If you enjoyed reading this article, be sure to check out our other tattoo and body art related posts at InkDoneRight.com ! As always, thanks for reading.
Featured image by Sophia Charlotte