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Posted on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 12:07 p.m.

My daughter wants her ears pierced, any recommendations?

By Angela Smith


If my daughter has her way, stick on and magnetic earrings will be a thing of the past for her soon.

My daughter has been going to bed at night and waking up in the morning asking about when she can get her ears pierced. The standard rule among my fellow mommy friends has been when they are old enough to request for their flesh to be pierced with a gun, it should at least be considered. So we are considering and asking for advice on places to go to have the safest and best piercing experience.

Here are some of the recommendations I have received:

1. Ask your pediatrician.
Our pediatrician does not do piercing or recommend a particular place. The nurse told me I could contact a plastic surgeon. That seemed a bit extreme... and extremely expensive.

2. Go to Fran Coy.

418 South Wagner Road, Ann Arbor

(734) 665-7207

At Fran Coy the receptionist told me that they do not do ear piercing often, but they offer the service and studs for $25. The earrings are from studex, which are not nickel free

Nickel jewelry can cause problems and allergies for many kids. But any piercer that uses the gun most likely only uses sterile studs made by studex.

At Fran Coy they were able to locate two guns in order to pierce both ears at the same time, but I was told there would be an upcharge to have two employees perform the service.

3. Claire's at the Mall has tons of experience with preteen ear piercing.

Briarwood Mall - 734 -930-1655

By far, this was the most widely mentioned place for ear piercing in my non-scientific poll. Preteens are pleased with the selection of studs, and parents are happy with the outcomes and service. When I called I was told that earrings range in price from $17-$42, and the piercing and cleaning solution are included in that price. Titanium and white gold are two options in earrings that contain what Studex calls allergy free nickel.

They do pierce both ears at the same time if you come in on a weekend or when there are two technicians working.

Piercing Pagoda and The Icing were two other contenders at the Mall that offered very similar service.

4. S.C. Tattoo and Body Piercing is highly recommended for piercings.
6834 Jackson Road, Ann Arbor - 734 327-4311

An Ann Arbor Townie and all around knowledgeable mom told me, “The most highly recommend place I know of is the woman out on Jackson Road. She's also a tattoo artist. She does the pros and recommends a hole punch method, not the plain needle method.” This was a little more than I was ready for.

Visions of hole punchers had me rethinking the entire piercing thing.

5. Pangea is the safest and most trusted place amongst college students.
211 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor - 734-929-6226

Pangea, like SC Tattoo, caters to a different audience than the Claire's crowd. When I called, I got a real education from an employee named Laura. She told me that age nine is a bit younger than their average customer.

She said they absolutely do not use a piercing gun. The guns are modeled after a blunt cattle tagger, and the resulting holes are often uneven, she said. Furthermore, the tool cannot be properly sterilized in an autoclave, and cleanliness is a big deal at Pangea. In fact, a health inspector said they were the only shop in Michigan to use surgical gloves for every procedure.

At Pangea a piercing is done by hand with a disposable sharps needle and followed by a cooling sterile saline wipe. The jewelry is made of permanent implant grade titanium or stainless steel or high quality gold to insure no reactions. It is nickel free. Techs have a minimum of two years training, and they insist on doing a consultation and making kids under 12 think it over for a day before committing to the piercing.

The cost is $30 for 2 ears, and jewelry is an additional $15-$40per piece.

6. Fantastic Sam’s does piercing too.
2919 Carpenter Road - 734-971-8310

I contacted my daughter’s favorite hair stylist, and she says she has been piercing ears for clients and for family for years. She recommends the piercing gun and says you get a more even look with one tech piercing the ears one at a time, but added she could borrow a gun from another salon if we were insistent on having them done at the same time. They use the same Studex system and charge $20 for piercing and studs.

7. What you need is a dose of humor.
Some of my friends gave detailed accounts of the trials and tribulations they experienced taking their daughters for ear piercing. Others remembered potatoes and needles in locked bathrooms of their youth. One fellow mom recommended a tequila shot - for me! (not sure they would offer that at any of the above locations). I guess the more relaxed I am with the decision I make, the better my daughter will feel about the experience.

Where would you go?

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Tue, May 18, 2010 : 8:32 a.m.

I have 4 daughter's and and one son I know I'm gonna get some slack for this and maybe it's because I'm a guy, but I am always having this argument with them. Here it is short and simple. We are our children's care takers until there 18. That mean we are suppose to make decisions for them that pertain to their health and well being, not decisions that they should make when they are adult's and are in control of their own bodies. You might say it's only earings and they will look pretty. I say when will it stop, it's only a tattoo, it's only breast implants, it's only a face lift, it's only botox. Let children think their pretty for what God gave them, not for what society tells them they should look like.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 6:05 p.m.

You are a good mom, doing so much research and thinking about this move. Blech, it makes me wince. I know that for many this is a cultural identity issue, and that is different in my mind. As a mom with no sentimental or cultural significance tied to piercing, my position is my girl will have to wait until she is an adult until going for permanent body modification. In the mean time, use clothes, haircut/dye, music, room decor, whatever to express yourself. Wish me luck sticking to it! I wish my mother hadn't let me get mine pierced as a pre-teen. It was all about fitting in and trying to look grown up and living somebody else's standards. Yeah, it's just pierced ears, not exactly a big call for some feminist uprising! But as an adult I still feel silly with two holes in my ears that I never put earrings into, and an even sillier when I do put earrings in.

Heidi Hess Saxton

Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 5:27 p.m.

I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with you mom on this one... At six our daughter was most emphatic about getting her ears pierced, but once she had one ear done at the mall (with a gun) she screamed bloody murder to keep us from doing the second one. (Finally we numbed her ear lobe so she wouldn't have to walk around pirate like for the rest of the year.) Two weeks later, she managed to pull her stud half-way into her ear, and it had to be surgically removed in the doctor's office. She now has a little dot to show where the stitches were. She can try it again when she's 16 or is pulling a paycheck, whichever comes first.


Wed, Mar 3, 2010 : 2:10 p.m.

Our girls got their ears pierced at Piercing Pagoda, and I think Claires at 3 months and 4 months. They barely cried and don't remember it. Now at 3 the oldest sometimes won't leave her earings in and it has been a fight to get them back in before her holes close up. Then again she has been wearing the latest pair for almost a week, so maybe we found some that work.