Q: How do I pick a good body piercer? - Tim
A: The selection of a piercer is very personal and depends upon your own set of criteria about your piercing experience.
Start by viewing your piercing not as a few exciting moments in the piercing chair, but as the entire experience, even once you have left the shop. The piercer will be inserting a foreign object into your body, so the way the object is placed, the jewelry and materials used, and the knowledge the piercer has and shares will be key elements to your long-term piercing outcome.
Before we can answer your question, we need to throw a few questions back to understand your criteria. Are you seeking a piercer who has proven knowledge, technique, and artistry? Is it important for you to have a trusting and comfortable relationship with your piercer? Are safe practices and sterility important? Is low price what you are seeking?
Many times, people begin by asking about price and skip the other factors that might be important to them. Since there are no body piercing regulations in Iowa, doing your homework about what you might expect for the end-to-end piercing experience will be your best bet to ensure a successful outcome.
Begin by investigating information online. Read reviews, send emails, and check with the Association for Professional Piercers (APP). The APP is an international non-profit alliance dedicated to the dissemination of information about body piercing. In addition to providing useful information, their website, www.safepiercing.org, lists APP members in your area who meet their minimum education, studio, and jewelry quality standards. This can narrow down your search, depending upon what is important to you.
After you have selected a few studios, arrange to take a tour of the facility and meet your potential piercer. Any shop worth considering will jump at this opportunity. Arrive with a set of questions, beng sure to focus on areas of major importance to you. Ask what type of materials they use for jewelry and how they sterilize tools and jewelry for piercing. Ask what they recommend for aftercare (product and technique) and if they have any concerns about the potential healing of your desired piercing. Ask what makes them a good piercer and how they will ensure the piercing will be a positive experience.
While some answers are clearly better than others, trust your gut regarding how you might feel getting pierced in that studio. The very last question you should ask is about price. Once you understand how well the studio and piercer will fit your criteria, you will be more able to make an educated decision about what price aligns with what you have learned.
While it can be a bit overwhelming selecting a piercer, having a few handy tools at your disposal will only work to help you feel comfortable that you are in qualified hands, so you can have a wonderful experience that you can treasure for a lifetime.
Q: Does the daith piercing cure headaches? - Pam
A: The “daith” piercing (pronounced ‘doth’, rhymes with ‘moth,’ not ‘dayth’) is an inner ear piercing along the anatomical crus of helix. This is a firm part of ear cartilage on the roof of the ear canal that connects the outer ear to the side of the head. This piercing was created in the mid 90’s by Eric Dakota and has a loose translation meaning “knowledge” from the Hebrew word “daath.” While this piercing has been desirable for a long time, primarily for its flattering appearance, it has gained popularity over the past year with widespread hype regarding migraine relief.
Many individuals report that the daith piercing has treated or prevented migraine headaches. These reports can be found all over the internet and social media, as well as through clients’ personal testimonies. As much as we would love to jump on this trend, we have found no scientific evidence to substantiate these claims.
Client feedback from various practitioners has ranged from complete relief to no change in symptoms. As professional body piercers, we are not in the business of running science experiments, practicing medicine, or proclaiming cures. Regardless of what we hear, it would be unethical to promote the daith piercing as a medically supported cure, treatment, or scientific theory. The reality is that we do fun, unique piercings, and if that is what you want, the daith might be the right piercing for you.
If you do choose to receive a daith piercing, know that not all jewelry or placements are equal. Not everyone is built anatomically for this piercing. Due to its recent publicity, we have seen an influx of inappropriately performed daiths accompanied by healing problems. These issues are caused, in part, by poor placement, incorrect jewelry size/style, and unprofessional advice.
Several images online show barbell or stud style jewelry used in the daith, this type of jewelry is not usually suitable for a fresh piercing and is rather troublesome to maintain. Ring style jewelry is often used, as it caters to the healing process adequately and is much more visually appealing and complimentary to the ear.
Shallow and/or steep-angled placements are common with this recent influx, but not conducive to comfort, successful healing, or balanced aesthetics. A properly performed daith piercing is angled inward toward the ear canal. The ring will have the illusion of ‘floating’ and will contour and compliment the curvature of the inner ear. The entrance and exit of the piercing should not be visible from a side view. Proper placement and jewelry, performed by a well-trained piercer, can yield a look that you will be delighted with for years.
At the end of the day, if you decide to get a daith piercing, and it does not solve all of life’s problems, you should feel confident that you will be left with a really fun, flattering, and unique piercing.
Q: I want to get a body piercing soon, do I have to get starter jewelry? Because they are ugly - Susan
A: “Starter jewelry” is a term commonly used referring to the initial jewelry worn in a piercing. It is often a limited style/brand/color/size of jewelry. The limited options are not necessarily related to safety. Some establishments keep options minimal to reduce inventory costs. If you feel comfortable with the safe practices of the business, and you are happy with the options available for your new piercing, then this option may be for you.
If you want more, you will need to do a little research. Start by asking yourself what you really want. Do you want elegance or something more extravagant? Do you want jewelry that stands out or something to compliment your look and lifestyle?
Once you have determined what type of image or concept YOU want, then it’s the right time to start asking what studios can offer. You cannot learn this by making phone calls or sending emails to ask what each shop’s piercing or jewelry costs. Physically step into each studio and see what you are actually buying, as standards and options vary drastically. Plan to take some time doing this. Make consultation appointments and meet up to discuss your direction and gain insight to their visions/abilities and practices. Each studio representative should be more than willing to make sure you are comfortable and excited about your piercing experience
and the awesome new jewelry that you will wear.
There are certain limitations to what can be worn, but these limitations should be geared around the sizing, health, and safety of your new piercing. Jewelry that can harbor bacteria or is improperly sized may not be appropriate for an initial piercing. But balance between practical and pretty falls into the hands and expertise of an experienced practitioner and artist.
Some establishments will go to the extent of really meeting your character and style, matching or contrasting your skin tone/eyes/hair and adapting the fundamentals of art and design to really take your new adornment to the next level.
Ask yourself what you really truly want. Remember that you are going to wear this 24 hours a day for months on end, so view it as an investment in yourself.
Do you imagine yourself in yellow gold and diamonds? Which semi-precious stones do you cherish the most: amethyst? emerald? citrine? Are you someone who loves the look of clustered tanzanite glistening back at you? Perhaps you want the elegance of smoky quartz in a rose gold setting. Or maybe you want to show everyone your adventurous nature with a mix of pink and purple sapphires. Your piercer should work with you to ensure that the first jewelry you buy is the jewelry you will adore for a lifetime.
Initial jewelry does not have to be “starter jewelry.” It can be fun, elegant, and one-of-a-kind, just like you!
Our entire staff here at Prysm collectively answers these questions. Please ask those questions you've always wanted to know. Not all will get published, but all will get answered.