Body piercings 101: The do's and don'ts about getting pierced
Those who’ve had a tattoo done, either hated it and vowed to never do it again, or loved the experience so much that they start planning their next tattoo.
Those are the people who say it’s addictive.
Then there are those who enjoy needles to skin in a different way.
Body piercing is their addiction. Once they’ve gotten their first body piercing they can't stop.
It's become so popular that it’s now common to have more than one.
Piercings like the belly rings, brow piercing, nose rings and tongue rings are now as popular as dolphin tattoos.
Earrings - the piercing through the earlobe - are practically a part of growing up. Some parents pierce their daughter’s ears as young as six months. It’s as if we are born with earrings.
“Piercings in many cultures is a rite of passage, but for others it is a form of self-expression,” says Kristin Weixelbaumer from jewellery brand Black Betty.
“Ear piercings are probably the most common piercing had, and almost every woman at a young age is taken by her mom to the local jewellery store to have her piercings done.”
There are girls who don’t even remember a time when they didn’t have earrings nor the actual piercing being done.
As we get older and keen to explore other areas of the ear, experiences can be quite daunting. Especially if you can remember the experience of being pierced with a gun, the usual tool of choice back in the day.
With so many options to explore on the ear area, it’s hard not to want to get more piercings but once make the decision to do so, and where you want it done, there are dos and don’ts that need to be considered.
You need to know what you are in for before, during and after:
Ask questions. You are about to have someone create a hole in your ear with a needle, you must ask as many questions as you like. Whatever you want to know, your professional piercer will be able to answer them, and when you have all the information you need, you will feel more relaxed and confident about your decision.
Make sure you have your ears pierced by a professional. Getting your friend to bring along their long needle and some surgical spirits to spear your earlobe does not count. A professional offers a hygienic studio and hygienic equipment, is competent in placing the piercing and can give sound advice on how to look after your ear during the next few weeks.
Choosing the right metal for your earring is a must because not all earrings are suitable for just-pierced-ears. Hypoallergenic nickel-free metals are the best metal options when it comes to choosing your earring and to reduce the risk of infection and allergic reactions. Silver should only be an option once your piercing has healed.
Don’t ignore the aftercare regime. Your piercer will be able to give you the correct information on how to look after your ear once it is pierced, and it is important not to abandon their advice. Just because is it looking good a week after the piercing, does not mean that infection won’t set in later. Keep vigilant when looking after your newly pierced ear.
Choose an earring style that you really like, because for up to eight weeks you will be wearing it. It will take time for your piercing to heal, and if you take your earring out before it has healed, your hole can close-up sending you back to your piercer to start all over again.
“Earrings can be quite a deceptive piece of jewellery, it can also make or break a look,” says Wiexelbaumer. “Deciding on something hooped, studded, long or cuffed and even a combination of styles can extend your time getting ready but it will be well worth it when you remember that these pieces of jewellery are not only dressing up your ears, but also framing your face.”
Black Betty Jewellery in Sea Point, Cape Town and has a dedicated professional piercer, Shelden Paige, on hand to handle all piercing related questions and activities.
“When it comes to ear piercings, we only use the highest grade titanium earrings which are intended for piercings. Plus, for once you won’t have to be stuck with the usual stud or sleeper, but will be spoiled for choice when it comes to design and style,” says Paige.
Black Betty caters for individuals seeking simple and elegant earrings and is also an advocate for the curated ear.
Weixelbaumer explains that the trend for having multiple ear piercings is known as having a curated ear, but what is more interesting is how individuals nowadays are wearing their earrings.
She explains that no longer is only one style worn at a time, but it is extremely on trend to wear a combination of styles and different sizes all at once; an eclectic display of metal and gems.