I wear Stone, glass and occasionally surgical steel. I wash the plugs daily and then I wash my ears without the jewelry in the shower. It's been a few days since they've started hurting
What are you washing them with? When I ask questions, I really do need specifics if you’d like me to help you to the best of my abilities. Also, is winter coming up for you? Temperature changes could certainly be another source of your problems.
Hi! I have a simple cartilage ear piercing for a bit more than a year. I had a bump until a bit after I went to my shop to get a ring instead of a straight labret stud (about 8 months after). Now it has come back and it hurts a bit. I must've slept on it... Is there something I can do about all this, or should I just wait and do my best to not sleep on it?
Best thing will probably be to baby it and treat it like it’s new with your saline soaks.
I seen your piercer list and those are all awesome people but I live too far away from Bryan in Knoxville. I live outside of Nashville. Do you know anyone there?
You could check out Ian Bishop at Icon Tattoo. He stocks good jewelry, but his portfolio is pretty small from what I’ve seen so I can’t get a good feel for his actual piercing work. Worth at least checking out though!
Thanks for the absolutely awesome list of piercers (: I'm so glad to see some from my area! I've been hoping to get something done by Nate at Saint Sabrina's sometime soon. It's just a pain that good jewelry and quality piercers tend to be on the more spendy side. (granted, I do I have a speeding ticket to pay for...)
You’re very welcome, Nate is awesome! Give him a hug for me! (And then tell him he needs to stop skipping leg day lol)
Do you happen to know what the safest and most comfortable way to sleep with a nape piercing is? (Just wasn't sure if sleeping one your stomach puts too much strain on the neck or not)
Sleep shouldn’t cause too many issues considering the placement of the piercing should prevent too much stress on the tissue when your head is turned or any other position, really. If you’re really worried about, you could try sleeping on your side.
What metals are good for jewelry that will be worn in the long term? Do white gold, anatometal, and neometal work?
F-138 stainless steel, F-136 titanium, F-67 titanium, niobium, 14K or higher nickel free gold, platinum, fused quartz glass, lead free borosilicate, lead free soda lime glass. Anatometal I believe uses nickel free white gold, some Neometal white gold contains nickel though I think.
Do you clamp nipple piercing or freehand them? I imagine, unless it's cold in the shop or someone thinks you're really cute, that nipples would be soft and some people's (like mine) would be nearly flush with the breast, but not inverted. If they are flush (not tiny or inverted), what would you do? I hope this made sense.
Nipples will usually become erect after prepping the tissue. I’ve never had an issue with them staying flat unless they just happen to have nipples that don’t get very erect. In those cases I’ve actually turned the piercings down because I’d be worried about the amount of pressure the jewelry would cause on the tissue.
Hi AJ! I saw your comment on the person asking if it's cool to switch out initial nostril jewelry literally one or two days before it's been 4 months since it got pierced, but what about 4 or 5 days before? Sorry if this is silly and is basically the same answer, but I'm in the same boat and I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right for my piercing. Mine isn't sore or red or anything either, and feels great. Thanks!
Same answer. Your body isn’t going to notice a difference between a few days. If your piercing is ready to be changed out, it’s ready to be changed out. Four months is just a good average time to wait, that’s all.
Ive been looking at a lot of piercing projects lately, and was wondering the best way to show interest in having one done. Like, do you just go up to your piercer and say, hey man, ill pay for the piercings and jewelry, go to town?
Haha pretty much. Whenever I’ve done the ear projects that I’ve done, my clients have just let me do my thing. I’ll figure out what will work with their anatomy, make sure they like it, and we’ll pick out some jewelry options for them!
Why do septums make piercers nervous? I have two hoops in my left nostril and now I want a little stud in my right nostril and a itty little septum. How do you think that would go over?
Answered the first part earlier. I’m not sure what your second question is. How do I think it’ll look or what? I’m a firm believer that most piercings can look good as long as the placement and jewelry selection is good.
Who are some of the most respectable piercers you've ever encountered? And where do they work?
Far and away the most influential piercer in my life is Luis Garcia. I would not be the piercer I am today without him. He works at No Ka Oi Tiki Tattoo in Philadelphia(and lives right up the street from me!). That man is so damn knowledgeable and has so much experience and does so much for this industry that few can compare. I absolutely aspire to be as influential in this industry as he is and hope to follow his path with the amount of teaching that he does!
Ok now with my ass kissing out of the way, time to name drop some amazing body piercers! Sarah Wooten - Immaculate Body Piercing in South Carolina, Jef Saunders - Rockstar Body Piercing in Rhode Island, Ryan Ouellette - Precision Body Arts in New Hampshire, the entire damn crew at Saint Sabrina’s in Minneapolis(Derek, Nate, and Courtney), Bryan Thomas - Born This Way Body Arts in Knoxville, Miro Hernandez - Dandyland in San Antonio, Chris Jennell - Club Tattoo(booo) in Vegas, Rob Hill - Prysm Body Piercing in Iowa, Ashley Misako - Kira Kira in Springfield, Missouri, Noah Babcock - Evolution Body Piercing in Albuquerque, Johnny Velez - Native Rituals in Illinois, Richard Ivey and Brett Perkins at Anomaly in Pasadena, John Johnson and Chris Glunt - New Flower in Long Beach, Cody Vaughn - Vaughn Body Arts in Monterey, the fine folks at Way Body Arts in Santa Cruz(Sammy, Mateo, and Adam), Seth Dietz - Adorn East in Portland, Christina Shull - Integrity Piercing in Washington, all of the babeliest babes at Dragon FX in Edmonton(Lexci, Beans, Kendra), and who could forget the handsome Efix Roy - Empire Body Piercing in Quebec. Oh and Lou Quino, who is currently traveling and doing guest spots and all that jazz until his studio opens.
I know it seems like I just name dropped a shitload of piercers, but I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to hit publish and feel like an asshole for not mentioning more people. So I’ll just go ahead and apologize now for forgetting some of you guys!
Very difficult to see what you’re doing up there, has a full 360 degree axis that it has to line up on(not only up and down have to be straight, but also forward and back have to be straight). It makes it difficult to do this when you can’t really see what you’re doing. Add in different anatomies that can make it difficult to achieve a straight piercing and it’s that much tougher. Just because they’re a fairly common piercing, doesn’t make them any easier to do haha. They’re one of the few piercings that I clamp because it’s the only way I’ve been able to get consistent results. So yea, since I have to depend on my tools to help me get a good result, I feel like I’m not in full control which makes me slightly nervous. Being a little nervous isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. It keeps me from getting lazy and keeps me paying attention to every little detail about them.
Where could I find a detailed, correct guide to stretching my ear lobes? I don't wanna go through all possible forums and get faulty info. You really are a saint for answering all of these questions btw!
This has also been asked several times now, so it will now be hashtagged and searchable on my page! Here is our ear stretching guide from the Ask A Professional Piercer group on Facebook:
Here is a little guide to help you along while stretching your piercings. The majority of these tips will especially help while stretching earlobes in particular, and the advice or time frames may be different for different piercings. This guide is a collection of suggestions from reputable body piercers, this should not be construed as, or used as a substitution for, medical advice. Things may be different in your circumstance because everyone’s body is different!
First things first is jewelry quality. Stick with implant grade materials such as ASTM F138 steel or ASTM F136 titanium, glass, and also certain stones have proven to be safe to stretch with. Avoid lower quality metals (especially ones sold in common mall chain stores), avoid stretching or even wearing acrylic jewelry, avoid stretching with organics such as woods, and avoid stretching with silicone! All jewelry for initial stretches should be single flared or no flared. DON’T STRETCH WITH DOUBLE FLARED JEWELRY!!
Second thing would be time frame in between stretches because so many people get this part wrong. We generally recommend waiting a minimum of 6-8 weeks in between each stretch although you might find yourself having to wait 3 months or longer. The big thing here is to listen to your body. If you’re noticing pain or any sort of bleeding, you’re stretching too quickly. If this happens, stop, downsize to your previous size and just wait longer.
A common mistake when stretching is the use of tapers. You shouldn’t need tapers to stretch your earlobes so avoid stretching kits, chances are they’re coming with low quality jewelry anyway. Tapers are a tool used by professional body piercers to assist with jewelry insertions. Stretching piercings at home with tapers can often lead to stretching too quickly which will likely cause tearing, excess scar tissue and/or blowouts. Also, keep in mind that tapers are not jewelry. Wearing a taper as a piece of jewelry will cause a lot of pressure on the back and bottom of your lobe and can cause it to thin out.
Another method for stretching would be the “taping” method. This method involves wrapping a thin layer of PTFE or bondage tape around the jewelry every so often to help slowly increase the size of the jewelry and thus, your piercing. In most cases, this can be completely unnecessary and should be avoided. There is no known documentation that states that any type of tape is safe to be worn inside of the body. It should also be noted that using any sort of tape as a method of stretching is going against manufacturer’s instructions.
Some tips along the way include frequent massaging. When your piercing has healed enough after your most recent stretch to the point where you can comfortably remove your jewelry for at least a few minutes at a time, it is greatly beneficial to gently massage the tissue. Holey Butt’r is a great product to use for massaging. Other alternatives would be jojoba oil, coconut oil, etc. Be sure to avoid oils which you may have an allergy to. If you are unsure, consult with your doctor or dermatologist before using any of these products. Massaging works so well because it helps increase blood flow to the area and helps promote new cell growth. Another great tip is to not be afraid to purposely downsize. Although you’re probably eager to get to your goal size, downsizing can be a great option to keep your lobes thick and healthy. Once the piercing is healed, wearing heavier jewelry such as stone or glass plugs can also help the stretching process. However, it should also be noted that wearing heavier hanging jewelry can lead to uneven stretching or thinning of the tissue at the bottom of the lobe.
Overall, the best method for stretching we’ve found is time. The longer you wait in between stretches, the easier it should be and the healthier your piercings will be in the long run. Stretching should be a long and slow process. Enjoy the ride, no need to rush. Each size has its benefits and different types of jewelry selections. If you should have any questions regarding stretching your piercing, feel free to ask in this group or of course you could ask your local reputable body piercer.
My septum jewelry is from Honeycomb Organics and I love it. I've had it in for about a year, maybe a little less. Buut it is silver. Is it really that bad to have in a healed septum? Would you recommend I switch it out or? Also could it affect piercings near it, like a nostril?
It won’t affect the piercings near it, but silver is not meant to be worn long term. It’s prone to tarnishing and can cause localized argyria, which is not dangerous, but it stains the skin. It’s possible that you just didn’t notice it because who really notices the skin around their septum? Lol. I would personally prefer to wear jewelry that’s actually meant to be worn inside the body for my long term wear and stick to those materials for special occasions, but that’s me. Your body, your rules.
is it super stupid to try to stretch one's ears on one's own?
Nope, I generally prefer to simply educate my clients and have them do it on their own the proper way(time, patience, high quality single flared jewelry). When client’s have me stretch their ears, I don’t do anything they wouldn’t be doing themselves. I gently massage their lobes for a little bit, lube up their new jewelry, and gently try to insert the jewelry. If it doesn’t comfortably go right in, I’ll clean up their jewelry, bag it up, and tell them to bring it back in a few weeks and we can try again. Nothing you can’t do yourself.
Are there any types of initial jewelry for just normal lobe piercings (not stretched, just standard 20g) that don'y have that locking back part? I want to get a 3rd set of piercings on my lobes, but I honestly hate those locking backs on the initial post jewelry. Are there any alternatives?
I’ve never seen 20g jewelry that wasn’t a nostril screw or butterfly back. You could certainly get 18g labret studs though for sure. Not much bigger!
What piercing are you most nervous about performing?
Septums make most piercers nervous and I’m no different. Although I’m pretty confident in them, I still get a little nervous every time. Also, paired tongue piercings(or venoms, whatever you want to call them). Don’t know why, but those things are not my favorite. Thankfully I don’t get asked to do them often.
Is it possible that the angle/placement of a nostril piercing could cause bumps to occur? The guy who pierced me is a member of the APP but as I found out after, a lot of his paired piercings end up either slightly or very crooked. (One friend's nipples, my paired nostrils, and another girl's surface piercings..)
Angles of piercings are a big cause for those annoying piercing bumps. Bummer to hear that you think the angles are a bit off. With that said, we’re all human and every single piercer, myself included, has had some piercings not turn out the way we wanted. I would say to go back to your piercer and ask them about it, they should be more than happy to help you out!
I asked the question about 16g nipple rings, how long would be okay to change them? They're about 4.5 months now.
Can’t give you an exact time, just wait until they’re fully healed before stretching. I would probably seek help from a skilled piercer to help you along. Probably a different piercer than the one that pierced your nipples at a 16g =/
I plan to get a nose piercing soon and I'd like to get a ring but so far I've only had people tell me I can get a stud as my first nose piercing and wait for it that to heal before getting a ring. How necessary is it to begin with a stud rather than a ring / how long typically does a nose stud take before healing?
Ok, I’m going to hashtag this response so people will actually be able to search for this answer on my page because I answer this one a LOT lol. It is not necessary to start with a stud, but it will be a lot easier to heal your piercing with a stud versus a ring. So while you CAN get pierced with a ring, I still highly recommend piercing and healing with a stud or nostril screw first due to ease of healing. If this is the route you choose to take, I’d recommend waiting at least 4 months or so before switching it out to a ring. Hope this helps!
Hey. I've had my triple forward helix since April. All has been well. But last night the middle one got all itchy and now it's all red and swollen and has crusties. Can stress cause this? Should I just just start up soaks again?
Stress could certainly weaken your immune system. If you were pierced in April, did you ever go back to have your jewelry downsized? This would be my first guess at a source of irritation. Definitely start up with your soaks again for sure.
How should I go about finding a good piercer in my area? Like how can I KNOW that it's gonna be a good place to go? I'm in San Antonio, TX, and I know there's lots and lots of shops around but I don't know how to go about finding a really good place. What sort of things should I be looking for in a shop? (If you happen to know a good shop in SA I would be very happy)
I’m going to give you a pro tip right meow. The best way to find a good piercer in your area is to walk into Dandyland Custom Tattooing and Professional Body Piercing, ask for Miro Hernandez, admire all of the gold in his face and the bow tie around his neck, give him high fives and hugs from AJ, get pierced with rad gold(or anything else he has of course, but go with gold!), tell all your friends to do the same, and that is how you find a good piercer in your area!!
Is first aid waterproof tape okay to stretch with? It seems to be the only thing that works for me. Every other tape just makes my ears irritates
No tapes, people! Find me a tape that states that it’s safe to be worn INSIDE your body, and I’ll change my mind about that. But since that tape does not exist, stop wrapping your jewelry in a shitty piece of tape! (This was not just directed at you, I’m just venting about this dumb method for stretching). Time, patience, and maybe some slightly heavier jewelry. That is literally all you need to stretch an earlobe.
Do you think No Hard Feeling (or Big Brain 2) in south Florida is a good place to get pierced or tattooed?
For tattoos, definitely. Those portfolios look solid. For piercings, it looks like Joe Amato is there as well as Nicola Sands according to their site. I don’t know them, only heard their names, but we have a shitload of mutual friends(which is usually a good sign). I don’t see any portfolio photos on his page aside from his suspension stuff and there is only a whopping 4 piercing photos on the studio website for him. They’re done with good jewelry, but not a big sample to get a real feel for his work. She has more photos on the site and they look good. So yea, I would say they’re worth checking out!
I've been contemplating getting my navel pierced for a long time now, and will probably get it done as a Christmas present for myself. That being said, I've done a bit of reading into it and found kind of conflicting information. What is the best style of jewelry to get pierced with? I've seen people get CBRs and that just doesn't look right to me. I also tend to sleep on my belly. If I can train myself to sleep on my side, I will, because that would be a problem correct?
People still pierce these with CBRs? Did we travel back in time to 1995? Haha no, a navel curve is absolutely the best jewelry for a navel piercing. Depending on the anatomy, a standard navel curve or a J-curve may be used if the navel can be pierced in the first place. Sleeping on your side or on your back would obviously be ideal but it shouldn’t be the end of the world if you roll over onto your stomach.
Has anybody asked what your type is yet? Like, what do you find attractive in a person, both physically and personality wise?
They have, just not in a while I guess. You’d probably have to go through a thousand questions to find it lol. Basically, as far as physical attraction goes, I’m a short dude so I like tiny girls. Gimme a girl that’s like 5 foot nothing and we’re good to go lol. I do enjoy good tattoos and piercings on a girl, but they’re not a requirement. I may or may not have a thing for Asian girls lol, but I don’t really discriminate. Pretty girls are pretty and I can appreciate that no matter the race. Now for the more important stuff, the mental attraction. I like a girl that is passionate. It would be nice if we shared the same passions, but it really doesn’t matter to me. Show me a girl that’s motivated as hell about the things she loves and I’m into it. Girls that know what they want to do with their life and are either doing it already or are working their ass off to get there. If she likes sports(let’s go to Phillies games!), martial arts(seriously, girls that train are fucking awesome!), good beer, good pizza, and video games… we’re going to get along well lol. I like girls that aren’t afraid to make decisions. Ok I’m babbling now. Tiny, pretty, passionate, motivated, sports loving, video game nerds, no drugs, no smoking please =)
I had my nipples pierced a year ago. I took them out because I was allergic to the poor quality metal the piercer used. He used straight barbells, but I've had people tell me that curved should be used in all nipple piercings. Your input?
I think I’ve used a curved barbell in a nipple once in the last four years. Straight tissue = straight jewelry. It’s really not a hard concept, piercers! Stop slapping curved barbells in everything! Honestly, the only time I’ve used curved barbells in nipples is if the nipples are pretty severely inverted but are still capable of protruding, I’ll use the curve to ease some of the pressure. In those cases, I’ll also opt for vertical piercings because gravity will take it’s toll if they’re horizontal and the jewelry will start to angle down and your piercings will look sad =(
Hey AJ, I've seen before that you say for nostril piercings to wait atleast 4 months before switching out initial jewelry, but do you think it would be alright to get it switched out like, literally one or two days before the 4 month mark? I'm having to go out of town, away from my shop (which I love & trust) a day or two before I can switch my stuff out, and I really would like to get new jewelry, but I won't be back in town for like a week or more. My nose/healing feels & looks great btw.
Haha yea you’ll be fine. Four months is just my average time for switching jewelry out yourself for most piercings. Oftentimes jewelry can be switched out sooner if done by a skilled reputable piercer =)
Hey AJ, I've been wondering about this just out of curiosity for a little while now, but are people who have sensitive skin more likely to get piercing bumps?
I don’t believe so. Those annoying piercing bumps have more to do with irritation that can be controlled such as physical trauma, chemical irritation, low quality jewelry or other jewelry issues, or poor piercing angles.
I was just watching your video, why is it so important for jewellery to be internally threaded?, every piercing I've had has always been pierced with externally threaded jewellery. I'm thinking I should get myself a new piercer right now
It’s important because all externally threaded jewelry is low quality. No reputable jewelry company is going to make externally threaded jewelry because there is a much better option out there, and that is internally threaded or threadless. So not only are you forcing threads through a new piercing, the jewelry is also low quality. Sounds like you do in fact need a new piercer!
do you know where I can find a daith piercing with a key that dangles from it?
Daith jewelry*, not piercing. And I’m pretty sure LeRoi has a King of Hearts design that involves a dangling key. If I’m correct in thinking this, then any reputable piercer should be able to order it for you!
I got my nipple pierced in July, and I have a few questions. They were pierced at a 16g, but can I stretch them up to a 14g? Most jewelry I've seen for nipples is made in a 14g. Or should I just keep them at a 16g and custom order jewelry? I'm thinking the reason they did mine as a 16 and a not a 14 is because I have smaller breats (ergo small nipples). Opinions?
My opinion is that no nipple should ever be pierced at a 16g. I have super tiny nipples myself and I would still not pierce them at a 16g if I were ever to pierce them and I bet they’re smaller than yours =P. I would probably stretch your piercings once they’re fully healed and ready to go. 16g is so small that even once they’re healed, if they get knocked around or are involved in any sort of funtivities, that tiny jewelry could easily tear and cause some gnarly scarring.
When my ears were still pierced, they would get hot, itchy, & irritated by any jewelry except titanium and sterling silver, does that sound like a nickel allergy to you? Are those fine to heal piercings with? And what other materials could I use?
It sounds like an allergy, but I couldn’t tell you for sure. I’m not a doctor. Silver is not a high quality material so I would just forget about it for body piercings. It’s fine for necklaces and bracelets, but piercings go inside your body so it isn’t the same. Titanium is a great material when it’s implant grade, if you don’t have issues with it, I’d keep using it.
is there anyway to make purple heart wood safe to wear? ive seen a lot of plug makers using it lately. i know its toxic. i had someone try to tell me last night that it can used if taken the right steps.
Nope, toxic wood is toxic and should be avoided. No reputable plug maker will use it so if you’re seeing jewelry made out it, you can feel free to find yourself another company to support lol. Purpleheart, cocobolo, bacote, blackwood, padauk, I see low quality jewelry makers using these woods all the time. I’ve even seen some companies get popular somehow even though they use some of these woods. What’s even scarier is that cross contamination is a very real thing. So even if you’re buying non toxic woods from somebody that offers toxic wood jewelry, unless they’re making the toxic woods in a different room with different tools(they’re probably not), chances are they just made your non toxic jewelry toxic.
If someone was to come to your shop, get a piercing by you and hang out for a bit and chat. Then just as they are about to leave the ask you out to go to the pub or something, would you say yes? (you'd already spoken for a bit and gotten along)
Guess it would really depend on the situation. If there was a connection, sure. But most of the time I’m usually not one to go out after work because I feel bad for leaving Brody home all day so I’d probably prefer to set up a date on my day off(Sundays and Mondays). Just be prepared to have a little reserved reaction from me because I try not to use my job as a dating service lol. Although I’ve got some mega babely clients, I’m always a bit weary of crossing any sort of line like that.
And after I typed all that out, I realized you never specified that it was a girl in this hypothetical lol. If it was a dude that just wanted to go grab a beer, the same thing would probably apply as well, would probably prefer to hit up the bar on my day off.