Ear piercing, best place to go?

(64 Posts)
Loveleopardprint Sun 08-Jul-12 22:03:29

My dd who is twelve wants to get her ears pierced. Any recommendations for good places to go? Or even places to avoid! Thanks.

Do not go to Claires.

Anywhere that uses a piercing gun. Avoid!

Piercing guns are not sterile (impossible to do) and the action of punching the earring into the ear damages the surrounding tissue leaving you prone to infection.

It might be slightly more intimidating but go to a piercing/tattoo parlour and get somebody properly trained to do it. They will use a piercing needle which will be sterilised via autoclave. It also hurts far less than a piercing gun.

If you let the power of MN know whereabouts in the country you are maybe somebody can recommend somewhere local. (Although if you're in London you are spoiled for choice!)

Westcountrylovescheese Sun 08-Jul-12 22:43:31

Totally agree with MrsCumberbatch, also with her choice in men...grin

mumofjust1 Sun 08-Jul-12 22:45:34

Mrscumberbatch said everything I came on to say!

Dd had hers done with a needle in a piercing shop when she was 12 and we had no problems whatsoever, unlike the time she had her ears pierced at Claires. One got infected and neither healed properly.

She said the needle hurt less too smile

WinstonWolf Sun 08-Jul-12 22:47:01

Another +1 to the advice MrsC gave.

Needles all the way.

Loveleopardprint Sun 08-Jul-12 22:51:02

Thanks. I had a feeling that Claire's was not the way to go. I am in Exeter so any suggestions for Devon would be good. smile

Westcountrylovescheese Sun 08-Jul-12 22:56:01

The tattoo/piercers place above blue banana on the top of fore street in Exeter... I haven't been there myself but know people who have and they recommend it.

notsohot Mon 09-Jul-12 00:47:32

Any recomendations for Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire ?

I got my lip pierced in the piercing shop above blue banana in Exeter when I was 14 (I looked far older and had fake iD!)

Very clean and professional

Loveleopardprint Mon 09-Jul-12 21:42:53

Going to suss it out tomorrow. Thanks for the info.

How does a needle hurt less? Doesn't it take longer going through? <Shudders>

I had mine done at the doctors many a few years ago grin

It takes the same amount of time, but doesn't pierce with blunt force. It's a more gentle 'easing'. Basically it means that it doesn't aggravate the skin by punching through.

Ahh ok I see

Does the needle-better-than-piercing-gun thing apply even when going through tough cartilage, e.g. at the top of the ear?

Dancergirl Mon 09-Jul-12 22:20:19

I wish I'd known about the needle thing before I let my dd have her ears pierced. A year on, one side hasn't healed properly. We have changed the studs for titanium ones and bathe with saltwater but it still gets pus-sy and scabby. Do you think I should take them out and let them heal up and try again later....?

We did go to a reputable jeweller which had been recommended but it was a gun.

hatesponge Mon 09-Jul-12 22:25:01

spottyteacakes my GP did mine too 30 odd years ago. I've never met anyone else who had their ears pierced by their dr, all my friends think I'm mad when I tell them!

Westcountrylovescheese Mon 09-Jul-12 22:25:14

Return, with cartilage there is even more a case for using needle over a gun as a gun can shatter the cartilage! Needles cut a cleaner hole, which is most likely to heal quicker.

With infected holes you could try asking a piercer (not jewellery shop) for their advice, although if it's been that long there may be an infection that a GP would be best to advise on...

I would advise to let the hole close up and wait till they've healed and try again.

Cartilage piercings with a gun is a definite no no.

The only way you can get pierced and for it to be sterile is with a needle.

Ahh, thanks for this info. Dd wants a top of ear piercing. I had mine done with a piercing gun nearly 30 yrs ago and it was fine, but maybe I was just lucky.

I did my own with a gun and they didn't get infected but were rather squint wink
you can do a lot of damage to cartilage with guns though (just google- it's horrifying)

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 09-Jul-12 23:24:14

DD1 had hers done in Selfridges in London. They use disposable guns there. The man was fab and very helpful. They do not use a needle on under 17s (not entirely sure why).

You should never do a cartilage piercing with a gun, as others have said.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 09-Jul-12 23:25:16

<Waves at Strops>

DD1 wants her nose pierced now...

<waves back at MrsS>
Well, I'm glad the OP started this thread because otherwise I would not have found out about the piercing gun being a no-no until it was too late. I'm just hoping dd doesn't ask for ear stretchers for her next birthday.

Loveleopardprint Tue 10-Jul-12 10:39:22

Ear stretchers?? What are they all about?? Think they are ugly and are there going to be lots of old people in 40 yrs time with flapping ear lobes? Blurgh!

MrsTMD Tue 10-Jul-12 15:41:11

Definitely go to a proper piercer with needles.i have several piercing and the only one I have ever had a problem with is my ear lobes which were done with a gun.my other piercings were done at a tattoo parlour with a needle.x

mumofjust1 Tue 10-Jul-12 17:57:21

Ear stratchers - my dd is in the process of stretching at the moment!

She's up to a 6 gauge at the moment, but wants to get to a 10 - that's the biggest you can go to and reverse afaik.

She's used tapers - its a long process, roughly a month between gauges.

boomdecker Tue 10-Jul-12 18:20:56

Thank you, thank you - just about to book dd in for piercing and I had no idea about the difference between a gun and a needle.

(Do I really have to walk into a Tattoo Parlour ? shock)

Dancergirl Tue 10-Jul-12 19:52:47

But will professional piercing studios pierce children's ears?

mumofjust1 Tue 10-Jul-12 20:28:15

Dancegirl - a professional studio did my dd's when she was 12 smile

Oi I have ear plugs. (Stretchers sounds daft) I think they look lovely.

So long as tey are accompanied by a sensible adult there shouldn't be an issue with piercing ears.

Krumbum Wed 11-Jul-12 02:48:23

The nose piercing gun is better though, completely different to the ear one.

Loveleopardprint Wed 11-Jul-12 10:49:35

Sorry Mrs Cumberbatch!
What happens though if u get bored of them? Genuinely interested.

It wouldn't happen ;)

Few options, if they're small enough just downsizing jewellery mm by mm will allow them to shrink.
If they are beyond the point of new return they will still shrink down but you will be left with fairly small holes.
The other option is to have reconstructive surgery and they sew your ear back together!

Loveleopardprint Thu 12-Jul-12 12:53:43


ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 12-Jul-12 13:03:58

Dancergirl, I had trouble with my ears for twenty-odd years - they hadn't healed up, but I'd given up hope of ever wearing earrings again. Used to wear them occasionally for evenings out, but would be back to the burning/redness again so I gave up.
But I found Wear Earrings Again and have followed their advice and so far so good. I'd definitely recommend trying it before you let your DD's heal over - there's a really good explanation of why this happens and how to fix it. For me, if the best that happens is that I have to stick to titanium/nimobium earrings forever, that's still better than before! Hated not wearing anything there at all.

Anyone know a good place in Gloucestershire for DD?

KathG Thu 12-Jul-12 13:41:43

Hi any recommendtions of places to get ears pierced in Birmingham (its the start of secondary school rite of passage)?

Dancergirl Thu 12-Jul-12 16:34:49

shotgun - thank you so much for that link. I have emailed her to ask for advice.

Re piercing guns - shock OMG, why aren't they banned?? I wish I knew this a year ago, I feel guilty now for letting dd have a gun pierce her ears.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Thu 12-Jul-12 16:56:13

Good luck with it - I actually found the care page was enough for me to get sorted - but it sounds like your DD's ears are much worse than mine were.

Btw, Serenity Jewellery (UK based) is where I bought the titanium studs from.

CointreauVersial Sat 14-Jul-12 23:03:02

Very fortuitous, finding this thread.....DD1 is having her ears pierced shortly, and I had no idea that guns (and Claires) were such a bad idea.

But a tattoo parlour?? Eeek. Might try my local hairdresser.

Merrylegs Sat 14-Jul-12 23:13:54

Dd (11) had her ears pierced on Thurs in a local beauty salon with a gun - both ears at the same time (two people doing it). It didn't hurt at all, apparently and so far everything is fine - no swelling, nice clean piercings, no pain. Perhaps we were lucky or perhaps they will gunge up later, but so far no dramas. The whole thing was very low-key and straightforward.

sunflower Sun 15-Jul-12 00:14:16

I rang a few local body piercing places near me in London, and none would do 11 year old DD's ears. V frustrating as I'd heard needles better than gun. In the end we took her to Selfridges - proper body piercing place there but they did it with a gun and also said no to using a needle. Quite pricey but would recommend. They really took their time, very clean and professional and really drilled into her the importance of cleaning her ears regularly. Totally symmetrical (my fear was they wouldn't be) and no infections. It was definitely an improvement on my own teenage experiences with piercing guns!

AuntieMaggie Fri 20-Jul-12 21:49:30

loveleopardprint did you go to blue banana? someone from the exeter branch did mine in bristol

mimbies Fri 30-Nov-12 13:53:28

Selfridges no longer do it and have promised DD ear piercing for bday next week. Help, any suggestions central or south london?

insertinventivenamehere Sat 27-Apr-13 10:26:03

I had my ears pierced done at fenwicks- very good though a bit expensive... A gun for your ear lobes doesn't always do any damage- everyone I know has had their ear lobes done with guns and it's fine- it's just flesh if you think about it, it depends on how well you look after the piercings afterwards- remember to use the cleaning liquid they give you and you shouldn't get infected unless you are allergic to the earring or something...though for a cartilage definitely use a needle, and for most other piercings use a needle. Don't feel guilty about piercing your daughter's ears with a gun- if the gun was sterile then it should have been perfectly safe so don't get worked up! wink

insertinventivenamehere Sat 27-Apr-13 10:26:32

whoops...just realised how old this post is...

Shaboa Wed 24-Jul-13 12:54:30

Old post yes, but new comers can find them interesting.

I see all these discussions about piercing babies/girls ears and most people are fearful. I guess the reason is there is no safe place in the UK to do it. You talk about jewellers and piercing/tattoo shops!!! That is insane. I want to pierce my baby daughter's ears but would never go there. As soon as I can I'll fly to Spain and get it done there. I'll go to a clinic where a doctor or a nurse does it, safely and hygienically. I guess the NHS would never provide this service as the culture in this country is to pierce girls ears when they are older.

scarlet76 Wed 24-Jul-13 17:40:36

I have a number of piercings and a couple of small tattoos (Tramp Stamp Brigade I laugh in your face!)
Ears were done with a gun when I was 12 as were subsequent ones - 1 ear pierced once, the other 3 times. They are straight, evenly spaced and all healed without problem.
The rest of my piercings were done with a needle at a tattooists. I have got to know them quite well in there and as my 9 year old daughter wants her ears pierced, I asked their advice. They won't do needle piercing on a child of her age but assured me guns are fine for lobes. Lots of her friends have had them done at the local upmarket beauty salon so I will take her there,

I have also played about with ear stretchers but only as far as 4mm. You take them out and they shrink back quickly at that size.

gertrudegallops Wed 27-Nov-13 10:32:33

Good to have found this post - dd wants them done today! was just googling ear piercing to find somewhere and this came up! she is 16 but I'm still nervous as never got round to getting mine done - might try it one day.

YoDiggity Thu 28-Nov-13 04:40:02

Ear stretchers are grim. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking your lobes will fully close up and spring back into shape if you change your mind. They won't. You will have earlobes like those old hill tribe ladies you see in National Geographic.

YoDiggity Thu 28-Nov-13 04:43:40

Mind you, most of you will be so covered in tattoos that you hate and regret with a passion by then that I'm not sure what difference having comedy sagging earlobes is going to make to your self esteem.

pinkyredrose Thu 28-Nov-13 12:08:52

YoDiggity you speak with such authority and passion, I'd just love to have a friend like you hmm

MrsDavidBowie Thu 28-Nov-13 12:13:43

DD went to Regis hairdressers

Hedgehog80 Thu 28-Nov-13 14:17:24

Oh dear, dd got hers done with a gun (at Claire's) a few months ago. They still get a bit sore now and then and slightly yellow/scabby sometimes.

Have I done her long term damage getting them done this way or are the majority ok? Really worried now as didn't realise it could be done with a needle.

YoDiggity Sun 01-Dec-13 18:06:40

Well I'm not your friend, I am just some random woman on the internet who is older and therefore a little bit wiser than most of you so it qualifies me to say out loud on here what I might not say to a friend in person. You can heed it or not heed it - the choice is yours, but I am just trying to save you from yourselves. grin

Honestly, I'd bet every penny I have that at least 50% of you bitterly regret the tattoos you defend so robustly now, by the time you are forty odd. Just don't come crying to me when you can't get them removed on the NHS.

lookatmybutt Sun 01-Dec-13 18:25:47

Jeebus, Yo Diggity. It's only skin. As long as it heals does it really matter?

Hedghog - if you're still reading, call up your local proper piercers for advice. They should have healed by now, but don't take them out unless a doctor or a piercer who knows what they're doing can advise you either way.

It may be just needing something simple like a jewellery change, but don't change it without someone's say-so.

In the meantime, have a look at this:


TallulahBetty Sun 01-Dec-13 19:47:16

Well, not everyone who has their ears pierced with a gun will have problems. Some, yes; but don't worry or feel guilty - what's done is done and many people are fine!

Disclaimer: I have my lobes pierced 3 times. First time was with a needle in a salon, second was with a gun at Claire's, and third was with a needle at a tattoo/piercing place. All fine smile

Twinklestein Sun 01-Dec-13 19:53:47

How about Harrods & make a day of it?

Disposable guns are best, no way on earth I'm going near a tattoo parlour!

goodasitgets Sun 01-Dec-13 20:13:58

Guns are not good
Look at an earring, it's blunt. Would you rather have a blunt earring shoved through your ear by someone with virtually no training or a sharp needle by someone who does it every day?!
There are none scary piercings places, one near me has a room which is away from the tattoo bit, another has a separate bit entirely

I had mine done with a gun many years ago probably about 20 years and not had an issue. Dd is 7 and had hers done at Claire's two years ago again no problems all healed well, nice small holes, symmetrical and no gunk or infections. She even said that it didn't hurt she said it stung.

Xh has a good friend who is a tattooist and piercer and he said a gun is fine for earlobes.

Twinklestein Sun 01-Dec-13 20:43:01

The earrings used to pierce your ears with an ear gun are not blunt - they have a sharp point - they are different to normal earrings. And women who work in reputable beauty salons are trained.

Mine was no pain, very easy, no infections.

goodasitgets Sun 01-Dec-13 20:45:39

When a gun goes wrong it goes very wrong. My first set were done with a gun (before I knew better), she pierced them, the back didn't go on and she said she wasn't allowed to push the back on because of infection so she repierced the hole she had just made. I've also seen a gun stuck on an ear and rip the earlobe as they tried to get it off
Not saying all piercings done with guns can go wrong but I'd rather have a needle, a proper piercer and an autoclave

Twinklestein Sun 01-Dec-13 20:55:40

She sounds incompetent and potentially not very bright - re-pierced the hole?? I've seen tattoos go very wrong, in the end it comes down to the competence of the practitioner.

goodasitgets Sun 01-Dec-13 20:57:16

Yes, it was repierced. Bloody agony and they never healed properly. There's a good article from the association of professional piercers about guns

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