How to select your piercing studio

by Ritika Changrani

Selection of a proficient body piercing studio involves genuine efforts at your end. The studio’s reputation, hygiene standards and previous clients’ opinion are important considerations. The right studio will ensure that the entire process is completed without any unnecessary hitches, giving you peace of mind and body.

Your decision is made. You are convinced about what part of your body you want pierced. Nevertheless, an important choice is still pending - The all important question - Where to get it done?

Choosing the right studio or salon may seem a tedious job but it is imperative that you conduct a complete survey before final selection. Do not be rash or impulsive regarding this. There are quite a few aspects that need to be analyzed to avoid a headlong pitfall into the vicious circle of infections and allergies.

REPUTATION

For starters, always check out the reputation of the studio you plan to visit. It is vital that the studio consist of skillfully trained piercer. If you are a first-timer, patronize an experienced piercer possessing the know-how to do it right. There is no legal formal training programme so be extra careful. If the attitude of the piercer or the atmosphere of the place makes you uncomfortable, feel free to walk out.

Never hesitate to ask questions from the studio about their piercer. Its your right to know. It is advisable to get your piercing done professionally despite the fact that your friends claim to be perfectly capable of doing it.

PORTFOLIO

Ask your piercer to show you their portfolio first. They take pride in their work and hence a good piercer will maintain a log of his previous work. It may be difficult for a layman to spot tiny irregularities but all the same, do have a look. See the pictures and note whether the piercing accentuate the body or look grotesque.

CLEANLINESS

Hygiene is an essential factor in determining the quality of a salon. When you enter a place, it should give you an impression of being well-kept. The following is a checklist to help you out :

- Is there a separate room for piercing ?
- Is the room a non-smoking area?
- Does the piercer look tidy with clean clothing and long hair pulled back?
- Are latex disposable gloves used for each customer and thrown away immediately after use?
- Does the piercer wash his hands before wearing the gloves?
- Are new sealed needles opened for each piercing?
- Has sterilization been properly done for all the equipment being used?
- Does the studio possess an autoclave or a sterilizer of its own? (An autoclave is a sterilization device used for jewelry, tools and other equipment needed for piercing.) This is a critical piece of equipment that must necessarily be available with the studio.
- Are guns being used for piercing? Most guns cannot be sterilized and hence are best avoided.

Only on receiving a positive response to all of the above, should you venture to put the studio on your may-be list.

PEOPLE'S OPINIONS

Ask around for someone who has had a piercing done. His / her experience at the studio should give you an idea about their standards. If you hear even one doubtful voice, listen to it and not label it as a freak case.

The Association Of Professional Piercer (APP) emphasizes the importance of "referrals on a piercing shop/piercer from knowledgeable friends and/or the local health department". Ask your friends if they would like to go there again in case of another piercing. Did they have any problem post the piercing? Any allergic reactions? Were they subject to immense pain? Was the staff helpful in case of complications? A reputed studio will patiently answer all your queries about the technique used and after-care procedures.

STUDIO'S JEWELRY SELECTION

The studio should have a variety of jewelry and metals for piercing. If they have just one type of metal and advocate it as the safest and best, it would be prudent not to believe them. Different metals are available to suit a wide range of budgets. An experienced piercer knows the optimal metal and jewel piece for different kinds of piercing.

There are mainly two types of jewelry worn - rings and bars. A ring is measured in width and a bar in its length. The gauge refers to the thickness of metal. A smaller gauge number indicates a thicker piece of jewelry. Metals of 14 gauge and above only should be used below the neck area.

YOUR INSTINCTS

There is nothing more reliable than your own gut feeling. Trust it. Never go to a place unless you are unquestionably satisfied. Listen to the tiny voice of your heart and not those of others. If a studio tells you anything contrary to the normal healing period or charges an abnormally low price with a no-infection guarantee, immediately leave. Do not be swayed by such client-winning tactics consisting of mere empty words.

Though the decision of getting your body pierced is of primary importance, do not lax your standards while selecting a studio to give shape to your desire. Care at initial stages goes a long way in ensuring your safety and well-being.

As opposed to tattoos, piercing are not permanent and hence people tend to take fewer precautions. Always remember that your aim is to make your body look more attractive and not disfigure it.

Having made up your mind, enjoy showing it off to all and sundry. Stand out with this bold statement!
 
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