So you want a piercing

Where to go and what it’s like from a wimp

So you are finally an adult now. You are your own fully grown person. No parent’s permission is needed here. And to celebrate being a college student and your newfound freedom you might decide a tattoo is a little too extreme and permanent, so you settle on an ear-piercing. And so did I. 

To celebrate my cousin’s 18th birthday, I paid for us to get a matching ear piercing. We both got cartilage helix piercings. It was something that her school’s strict dress code wouldn’t notice, especially with her beautiful thick, curly hair. And something my work’s strict dress code would overlook. 

And neither of our parents were particularly upset about our decision; it was the perfect act of teenage rebellion. 

This happened at the same time I was in Alaska for six weeks, so I had a few weeks to track down a reliable salon for us and make the appointment. Our mutual best friend also hopped on the bandwagon so the three of us all went together and got matching piercings. 

The first thing I did was ask around to find a reliable shop. I asked the locals, family members and friends where they got their piercings done and what advice they had. There were a few really good tidbits I learned along the way. 

Things to know

First, go to a tattoo shop. A tattoo shop will use a piercing needle while mall shops will use a piercing gun. This means that instead of piercing through your ear, the gun will force the earring gun through your ear using blunt force trauma. It heals slower which leads to worse healing.

On top of all that, the piercing guns they use are impossible to properly sanitize because they are made with plastic. Tattoo shops, even the one I went to up north, steamed the needle after every use. 

Second, always check the reviews. I know this seems like common sense, but this is not a skippable step. If a shop has bad reviews, do not go there. It’s also a great way to verify that the shop follows the above cleaning procedures, and recommendations others may have on a good person for the job. 

Finally, whether you choose a stud or a hoop or anything in between, if you have any allergies or metal sensitivities tell your piercer. I believe that I am either very sensitive or allergic to nickel and other cheap metals. As a result, I was able to get a more allergen-friendly hoop that doesn’t bother me. You can also bring your own hoop, or buy one at the salon. 

Personal experience

I am sure you are dying to know if it hurts. And the answer is: of course it did, it’s a new hole clean through your ear, though it didn’t hurt as bad as I initially thought it would. It hurt like a b*tch for about three whole seconds, but the pain didn’t last. More than anything my ear was very sore. I couldn’t sleep on it those first few days, then after the first week, it’s easy to forget about. 

I love my piercing. It reminds me of the people I love most every time I see it. I am absolutely dying to get another one but I have neither the time nor money to invest in more. 

Final thoughts

If you are seriously wanting to get one, I say go for it. You only live once and pierced holes do close eventually if you decide afterwhile that it’s not for you. If you get one, I doubt you will regret it. 

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