Last piercing at 7pm / (562) 363-5003 / 1180 N. Studebaker Rd. #G, Long Beach, CA 90815 / Showroom open every day.

Do you know someone considering a piercing for the first time?

For the purpose of this article we’re referring to people who’ve never had piercings of any type done by a professional in a studio like ours. Standard ear piercings done with “guns” don’t count as professional in our example. Surprisingly, we have a lot of clients who do visit us as first-timers. If you know a piercing rookie wanting to be pierced share this with them so they have a good understanding of what being pierced might be like.

It’s natural to experience fear of the unknown. If you visit a studio your senses can be stimulated in unfamiliar ways. A piercing virgin sees jewelry they may not fully understand, reads intimidating consent forms, and of course the look and feel of the piercing room needs to be considered, they hear words and expressions used by piercers and listen to the sound of autoclaves or instrument cleaners, the smell of antiseptics and disinfectants are likely new, the touch of a piercer’s gloves and tools might even be startling. If the client is getting an oral piercing then we can add the taste of antiseptic mouthwash.

Different studios have different requirements a client must comply with to be eligible for a piercing. It is completely reasonable for someone to be turned away for a piercing if they aren’t of the right age, have proper ID, or suitable anatomy. Some studios may require appointments and all studios have a last-call for piercings. If you’re likely to visit a studio in the evening you should know in advance how late they take clients.

What about costs? Nearly every studio has two charges you need to expect. There’s a service fee for time and skill of the piercer and jewelry which is sold separately. Jewelry prices can vary quite a bit. A material like steel will cost less than gold, semiprecious stones will cost more than synthetics. Be prepared to pick out a piece of jewelry you can live with for the first few months because you’ll need to be patient during the initial healing time. The jewelry someone wears in a new piercing may be changed out eventually, but the proper style and size is important in the beginning weeks or months.

It can take about three months for us to know if someone will even keep their piercing long term. Healing times can be longer than expected and sometimes be less than a smooth experience.  Aftercare is important and lots of studios have different ideas. Any piercer will discuss their aftercare preferences with clients and you can always ask questions. Our studio’s aftercare is designed to work with the body’s natural healing process and is pretty simple.

Piercers have portfolios, sometimes printed books, but always online. Study all potential piercer’s work until you find the right person. Visiting studios just to look around is always ok too. You’re never obligated to get pierced when visiting.

The internet can be a place to get a lot of information, both good and not-so-good. Someone not too familiar with piercing can get a lot of inspiration from Instagram and Pintrest, but a piercing novice needs to speak to a piercer about what their particular anatomy is well suited for. We love to speak with newbies face to face and work out a plan to make sure their piercing ideas look fabulous.

John Johnson
John Johnson is a professional body piercer at New Flower Studio in Long Beach, CA. He's also a Red Cross instructor and authorized OSHA trainer. He manages the online curriculum for the Association of Professional Piercers and is a member of ASTM International.