When you meet someone for the first time, you’re apt to notice things like a beautiful nose piercing or really cool trail of ear piercings, not to mention a gorgeous, colourful tattoo, which can be a great conversation starter. There are many piercing places on your body and a first-rate piercing is priceless. It is a personalized form of expression that you will have to accentuate your style and show off to friends and family. That’s why it is essential to find a high-calibre tattoo and piercing studio that understands your visions and has the skills to make them a reality.
Part of finding the right studio is asking the correct questions when you’re doing your research. You should be able to get a feeling for the experience and professionalism of the artists from a free consultation. To make sure you get in touch with the best possible piercing shops in Toronto, here are five questions to ask during your visit.
Does the Shop Pierce with Needles and Not Guns?
If a piercing studio uses a gun, this practice should raise an eyebrow. Guns are commonplace in piercing because they only require piercers two weeks to earn a certification to use one. That means many piercers using guns do not have the expertise of their peers skilled in needle piercing.
Piercing with a needle is considered a safe and more effective method. The needle is sharp and hollow, so when it comes in contact with the skin, it creates a clean hole. An artist with a steady hand will also be able to tighten up the piercing to ensure the smoothest possible entry and minimize pain for the customer.
The same can’t be said of guns. The blunt edge of the gun can leave small abrasions in the piercing. The extra texture leaves room for irritation and can prolong the healing process. When mishandled, an artist with a piercing gun will leave bruising. Never patronize a shop that uses guns for any type of piercing. The best piercing places in Toronto will use needles for their piercings.
Does the Shop Sterilize Their Jewelry and Needles?
This is non-negotiable. You could find the most celebrated artist in Toronto offering unbelievable prices, but it is not worth your time and money if they don’t sterilize their tools. Sterilization is an essential process that keeps the customers safe during and after their procedure.
Sterilizing equipment is a way of getting rid of the microorganisms and bacteria that live on them. That way, when an artist uses a needle or jewelry, they are not transferring those substances to the customer. Otherwise, they run the risk of infection.
Any piercing studio worth its salt will have sterilizing tools on-site. They will also have the artists wear gloves to prevent spreading pathogens via touch. Piercers use single-use needles, which you’ll notice when they remove a brand-new needle from a package. This is a stellar sign of cleanliness and professionalism.
Does the Shop Have Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
Approximately 15 percent of people have an allergy to body jewelry. The most common allergic reaction is to nickel, which is often mixed with other metals to form alloys. It is in many different products, including eyewear, earrings, watchbands, and hairpins.
The solution is hypoallergenic jewelry. These are made of pure metals, like gold and titanium, to mitigate the chances of an allergic reaction. If you are prone to allergies, seek out body jewelry that is specifically designed with your sensitivity in mind. It may also be worth your time to invest in a couple of high-quality pieces to avoid potential allergen issues.
Is the Piercer Experienced?
Whether you are getting an ear, eyebrow, surface, or nose piercing, the quality lies in the hands of the piercer. Even if you have to pay a little more upfront, the investment is worth it. You will save time and money when it comes to avoiding infections and complications later.
One way to check verify experience is to look for an APP certified studio. The APP, or Association of Professional Piercers, is the oldest and longest-running organization dedicated to piercing. Membership to the APP is a high watermark for the experience and skills of a piercer.
The APP’s goal is to educate customers and piercers about best practices. They provide professional outreach while setting standards to ensure high-quality care and craftsmanship. Taking the time to verify the work of piercers gives the public the opportunity to discover studios that do meet the standards required.
While the APP does not provide licenses or certifications, it does offer certificates of membership. The APP can’t dictate the piercing technique of industry or police studios. Instead, they serve as an advocate for the industry’s best practices.
That said, joining the APP is not as simple as walking up to their offices and asking to join. Piercers must demonstrate a high level of safety training and commitment. That means each piercer follows the guidelines on how to handle body piercings, sterilization, aftercare, and cleaning.
Currently, Chronic Ink is the only piercing parlour in Toronto with AAP membership. We take piercings seriously and pride ourselves on being the best in town.
Our Nose Piercing Aftercare Products
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare
NeilMed Neilcleanse Piercing Aftercare saline spray helps in healing piercings. It is an isotonic, drug-free, preservative-free solution for cleaning your piercing during the healing period with no burning or stinging to irritate the pierced area. The sterile saline solution can be used as part of your healing process with any fresh piercing, including ear piercings, nostril piercings and belly button piercings. Neilcleanse sprays in any direction for easy use without touching your piercing.
PurSan Aftercare is a specially formulated Vegan skin cleanser used to clean and moisturize as part of an aftercare regimen for fresh tattoos and piercings. It revitalizes, refreshes and purifies skin without drying it out. Gentle yet effective, PurSan contains no parabens, fragrances, colourants or alcohol. Chloroxylenol (PCMX) is a proven antimicrobial ingredient shown to be effective against bacteria and viruses without burning or irritating the skin. Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (Hypromellose) is an ultra-high grade lubricant ideal for sensitive skin.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Piercing in Ontario?
There is no legal age requirement when it comes to getting a body piercing in Toronto. Individual provinces and municipalities may have regulations where none exist. Health Canada, which oversees the health services of Canadians, does offer guidelines on limiting the spread of infection, though.
Often, the decision to pierce a client comes at the discretion of the studio and the artist. Chronic Ink Tattoos, like many other shops, does not pierce any individual under the age of 16 unless they have parental consent. More exotic piercings, like a nipple or genital piercing, are reserved for people age 19 or older. When it comes to tattoos, you must be 18 years old to get one, or 16 with parental consent.
To ensure a comprehensive paper trail, we keep a record of client information, including name, procedure, and contacts. We also require verbal and written consent, which gets incorporated into the records. That way, there will be material to work off in case the customer wants to elaborate on or remove existing body piercings or tattoos.