How To Find A Piercer Near Me: A Guide To Reputable Piercers
One of the most important things that you can do for your piercing is to choose a proper piercer. Not only does your piercer need to be hygienic, they also need to be able to conduct the piercing properly, especially when those piercings are located in tricky areas. Slight misplacement could spell doom for your piercing.
Beyond that, your piercer must provide accurate aftercare instructions, and they need to be available to help you with any complications that may arise.
Luckily, finding a reputable piercer near you is simply a matter checking certain credentials. Here’s a guide to finding a reputable piercer near you and what you need to be looking for.
Proximity Should Not Be Your First Consideration
Especially if you live in a rural area, the closest reputable piercer near you may not be as close as you want them to be. However, proximity should not be your first consideration when choosing your piercer. In fact, it should be your last.
Unfortunately, there are many piercers out there who recommend poor practices. They’ve either failed to keep up-to-date with proper practices or they received improper training. Either way, they may give you incorrect advice when it comes to aftercare. Just because they’re a piercer doesn’t always mean that they know what they’re doing.
This article will cover a checklist of things that you need to look for to ensure that your piercer is reputable. If the piercer nearest you doesn’t check all of the boxes, then keep searching for a piercer until you find someone who does. It may mean taking a bit of a road trip, but for the safety of your piercing, a longer commute is a small price to pay.
1. Do They Have Proper Certifications?
The first thing that you should check is whether or not the piercing studio and piercer are properly certified. To do this, first check your local laws; if the piercing studio isn’t adhering to local laws, it’s a sign to run away.
In most areas, piercers are required to have bloodborne pathogens certification. While not required, it’s recommended that piercers also have First Aid certification and CPR certification. The piercer should also have completed an apprenticeship (or, if they’re in the middle of an apprenticeship, a qualified piercer should always be supervising).
If they’re certified by the Association of Professional Piercers, it’s always a good sign that they’re reputable as well. It’s also positive when they have proof of additional training and up-to-date certifications and courses.
Often, piercing studios will have this information publicly available. If not, don’t be afraid to ask; a reputable studio will have these records, and they’ll be happy to prove their reputability to you. If they push back, you should shop for another studio.
2. Do They Have Good Reviews?
These days, you can find unbiased reviews for everything. When shopping for a piercer, it’s imperative that you read the reviews to ensure that you have a positive experience.
Besides checking Google, Yelp, or other review services, you should also check their social media pages and see what people have commented. You can get a lot of information from not only the comments but also the way that the piercing studio responds to those comments.
Reviews that should make you run away:
- Multiple one-star reviews. (There are always one or two cranky people who write bad reviews no matter what. However, if there are several one-star reviews that outline similar experiences, the reviews are likely legitimate.)
- Lots of piercing complications. (Many complications, like piercing bumps, can occur due to poor aftercare practices or snagging—things outside the piercer’s control. However, these can also arise due to poor piercing placement, so if there are several instances of complication, it could mean that people are frequently mispierced.)
- If they don’t have many pictures of their piercings. (These days, it’s no secret that your online presence is everything. Therefore, piercing studios really have no excuse if they don’t offer solid examples of successful piercings on their social media pages. If there are few or no pictures, then it could be a bit of a red flag.)
3. Are They Available And Helpful Even Before You Make Your Appointment?
A reputable piercer should be happy to answer any questions that you may have concerning the procedure. Before choosing your piercer, don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions. This will help you gauge whether or not they know what they’re doing as well as their willingness to help you through the piercing process.
If they’re unhelpful, chances are that they won’t be available to you later on if you experience issues. Additionally, you might find that the piercing experience is more stressful if you have a cranky or unhelpful piercer.
Vet your piercers by reaching out to a few of them to gauge their vibe.
4. Are Their Instruments Clean?
Hygiene should be your piercer’s top priority.
All piercing studios need to have an autoclave sterilizer to properly clean their equipment. Before you get pierced, their equipment should be stored in a sealed bag. The studio should look and smell clean as well.
To determine the cleanliness of the studio before heading to the studio, check reviews that talk about cleanliness, and reach out to ask about their sterilization process. If they mention autoclave sterilization and have good reviews concerning their cleanliness, then that’s a good sign that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.
5. Do They Sell High Quality Jewelry?
When you’re getting pierced, your jewelry can only be made from certain materials that won’t cause irritation. These are outlined by the Association of Professional Piercers and only include metals that are biocompatible. Typically, piercers use titanium for their starter jewelry. Titanium has very few allows, it’s nickel-free, and it’s inexpensive to produce making it ideal for starter jewelry.
If their jewelry contains nickel, it consists of non-biocompatible materials, or it’s externally threaded (the threading appears on the bar of the jewelry rather than inside the backing or ends), then the piercing studio isn’t offering proper jewelry, and they’re likely unreputable.
6. Do They Have Experience With Your Specific Piercing?
Every piercing has its own considerations. Even if you’re getting something that you consider to be more traditional, like a cartilage or lobe piercing, it still needs to be conducted properly if it’s going to last.
When you decide which piercing that you want, check to make sure that the piercer you book has specific experience with your piercing type. If they haven’t conducted that specific piercing before, then they should be accompanied by an experienced piercer when they go to pierce you.
This is especially important for piercings like genital piercings, tongue piercings, cheek piercings, navel piercings, and other piercings located in tricky areas.
Once you’ve determined the reputable piercers in your area, then you can choose your piercer based on their proximity.
Keep in mind that the above checklist is the bare minimum that you should be looking for when choosing a reputable piercer; if you find a piercer that’s close to you and almost checks off all of the above, it’s still not good enough. Widen your search until you find a piercer that checks all of the boxes.
If you’re in a rural area, you may have no choice but to travel a significant distance in order to get pierced. If this is the case, keep in mind that you may have to travel again if you develop a complication that your piercer must look at. Even for consultation, you shouldn’t visit a subpar piercer since they may provide incorrect information.
Finding a reputable piercer isn’t difficult, but it requires some research ahead of time. Finding a piercer isn’t like shopping for a hair stylist; it requires work more akin to searching for a new family doctor. You want to make sure that your piercer will take care of you and guarantee your health and the health of your piercing.