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3 Years a Rogue.

It has been a whole 3 years since I got the keys to 6 Bridlesmith Walk and began the adventure that is Rogue. It has been an interesting 3 years so I thought I would put together a blog to take a look back at where we have been and where we are going.

Happy Birthday Rogue!

Dreams, Loans and Business Plans

The first seeds of Rogue were sown many years before I began writing the business plan. As a travelling piercer I fell in love with many different studios around the world and I was fortunate enough to get the chance to work at and visit some of the worlds top studios. During this time I was able to see what worked and didn’t work for me, what I liked and didn’t like, and it helped me to build up an image of the style I wanted (light, airy, high ceilings, minimalist, and very euro style apparently).

After nearly 3 years of living out of a backpack, sleeping on floors and in spare rooms (thanks to everyone that housed me!), and with Brexit looming, it was time for me to head back to the UK. I managed to get myself a job at a studio that was in the same region as my home town but sadly this studio didn’t work out for me. I found myself back at the family home and I was contemplating leaving piercing behind. A great childhood friend called me and told me to come visit him in his new home in Nottingham, as I hadn’t seen him since I had hit the road travelling. One day trip to Nottingham later and I was looking through the window of what would soon become Rogue. My friend reminded me of all the work I had done to get as far as I had, both personally and for the industry with the UKAPP and teaching seminars. He said that it was time for me to create my own space and hold true to my own standards. So home I went, and the paperwork began in a frenzy. 4 weeks later I had a business plan, a financial advisor, a start-up loan, a registered Limited company, keys to a premises and all of the fear and excitement that comes with such massive changes.

The day I got the keys

The Build

Once the keys were in my hand everything was suddenly very real. Rogue had bills arriving and the studio was just an empty space. The start-up loan got used up pretty much instantly just by buying Rogue’s jewellery stock and building sterilisation suite so I was left with a very small fund to complete the build. Due to this I got my DIY on, called some friends and got to work. In 2 weeks I managed to lay the floors, build the walls, build a full sterilisation suite, build out a piercing room, install fire alarms, plumb in two sinks, build a suspension rig, and acquire and move in all the required furniture. Every part of Rogue was planned out to meet or exceed UKAPP and APP standards from the start, so that when the time was right I could apply for membership.

Solo Days

The early days of Rogue involved me sitting alone in an empty studio, with no staff and no client base. This took a lot of mental strain to continue on. Some days not a single person would walk through the door. I did my very best to offer the best services and products as I could to every person that came in. This ethos still stands to this day. I always wanted everyone to feel welcome at Rogue. I didn’t want Rogue to feel like an exclusive club, I wanted the exact opposite in fact. Piercing is a very human desire and I didn’t want anyone to feel excluded from this.

The first sale by Rogue was a momentous day for me. I still have this £5 note.

The Beginnings of a Team

Before long I was thinking about forming a team. Nottingham was now my home and the people of the city were making me feel more and more welcome as each day passed. The studio was getting busier and I felt it was time to grow and bring new Rogues into the shop.

I decided that it was time for me to take on an apprentice. I had a 10 year piercing career under my belt and a very high level of experience. I wanted to pass that on to the next generation. My apprenticeship was a wonderful time of my life that I look back on with the fondest of memories. So the hunt began and I found Jess. Not long after Jess joined, our wonderful Manager Kat became a Rogue. Kat gave themself a job more than I did. During the first day of lockdown Kat came to help me stock take before locking everything away and they basically never left!

  • Jay is the apprentice extraodinare and her growth blows us all away daily

The Pandemic

Unbeknownst to everyone, the hardest phase of my entire piercing career was on the horizon at this point. The day the world stopped: Covid-19. As a close contact service provider we were one of the first types of business to be closed down and one of the last to be allowed to reopen. As a young business this was utterly punishing and I genuinely wasn’t sure if Rogue would come out the other side. I was facing the end of my piercing dream and potentially having to put my steel toe capped boots on and return to an engineering job to pay back the start-up loan. The hard work and camaraderie that Jess and Kat put in really kept me and Rogue going during this time. All training and apprenticeship had to be paused at this point, and our only source of income was whatever government handouts we could get. This put severe strain on all of us. In the end I decided to take a very large second loan so that I could be sure that Rogue’s door would one day open again. That loan still hangs over us to this day but we’ve managed to keep going and we’re still standing and making Nottingham shine.

Closing for the pandemic was a hard to pill to swallow but we made it through

The Rollercoaster

Since that first lockdown we had another two lockdowns, had an altercation with the alt-right community (oops!) that included threats of violence towards myself and the team, had staff members leave, had jewellery shortages, rocketing PPE prices and we had to change out our entire basic range due to manufacturer issues. But hey, it wasn’t all doom and gloom! The good bits have been really great. We had team members continue to learn and grow, tattooing joined us in the form of Anna with Revenant Tattoo, the Rogue team got bigger with Breo, Jay and Gemma joining us, we became UKAPP members and have had endless amazing support from our fantastic client base. There has even been a new person welcomed to this world by one of our clients in the form of the first Rogue baby! It’s been a real rollercoaster of emotion and at times it’s been a rough ride but what a ride it has been.

The Rogue Team rolling into 2022 like…

Rogue in 2022

2022 has been a big year for us all at Rogue. Breo became a resident rather than a guest, Gemma joined the team as junior piercer and Jay pierced her first ever human being. I’m super excited to see what the future holds for this team of wonderful weirdos. I’m grateful to have them working alongside me and wouldn’t want it any other way. Some of the team are now going on to teach at the UKAPP conference, help train other fledgling piercers, go back to university to help support the piercing industry, and continue on their own personal growth. I couldn’t think of a better place to be right now.

I am the Ring Master of this beautiful nightmare and it’s wonderful.

The Future

Knowing what the future holds has always been beyond our reach, but following the last few years this feels even more difficult. I am excited to see what is over the horizon for Rogue, myself and the team. I’m sure we will take on the challenges head on. Rogue has grown in directions I never could have imagined, and has taught me more than I envisaged. We’re going to continue doing what we do. Putting high quality piercings, body jewellery and piercing information out into the world. I’m looking forward to writing up the 5 year blog in a couple of years time and having a big ol’ party to celebrate! For now I just want to say thank you to the team, clients and friends who have helped make Rogue what it is today.

-Aiden

Love from your friendly neighbourhood Rogue
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Lobe Stretching 101

It’s well established that people have been piercing their ears for as long as people have had ears to pierce. In fact, the worlds oldest body piercing is a stretched lobe dating back over 5000 years. Some people consider lobe stretching a modern western fad, but this is clearly far from the truth.

In the UK (at time of writing), first lobes are most commonly pierced at 18g (1mm), 16g (1.2mm) or 14g (1.6mm). Lots of factors determine the initial size for a piercing, including client/piercer preference, jewellery style, anatomy and desired aesthetic. These sizes would be considered ‘standard’ sizes.

For many of us, lobe piercings are our first venture into the weird and wonderful world of body piercings and a lot of people tend to have their first lobes pierced at a young age. So what happens if you have your ears pierced at a ‘standard’ gauge and change your mind later about the size you’d like your lobes to be? No problem! Due to the soft, elastic nature of ear lobes, stretching the piercing channel to create a larger diameter is absolutely possible and lobe stretching has been practiced by many cultures all across the world for thousands of years.

Some beautiful, healthy stretched lobes. This is the goal!

How It’s Done

A quick search on Google or Youtube will bring up a plethora of information about how lobe stretching is achieved. As with anything, there is a tonne of misinformation and unsafe practices being preached over the internet. We always recommend visiting a professional piercer to discuss your goals with ear stretching and never to undertake the journey alone. And it is definitely a journey.

Ear stretching takes a heck of a lot of patience in order to achieve your desired goal safely. You need to be willing to give your body plenty of time to adapt and heal in between the different stages of lobe stretching. This is not a process to be taken lightly and doing so will have life-long implications (more on that later!)

Once you have decided to start your lobe stretching journey and you’ve discussed your goals with a professional piercer, your lobe should be stretched in millimetre increments. The best way to do this is to allow your piercer to stretch your lobes for you. Although you can stretch at home, leaving it to the professionals is the best way to avoid mistakes.

The physical stretch can be performed in two main ways. The first – Dead-Stretching – is simply waiting a long enough time that the lobe has naturally stretched out and the larger size of jewellery can be simply slotted into place. The second method uses an insertion taper to guide the new jewellery into place. The Gold Standard for stretching jewellery are single-flared Glass Plugs. These are comfortable, smooth, non-porous and safe to wear long term.

Tapers are often considered ‘the devil’ when it comes to online stretching advice! This is not necessarily the case. Like any tool, they can be used correctly or incorrectly. The main thing to know is that tapers should never be left in the piercing channel and worn as jewellery. Many tapers sold online are made from material such as acrylic which is not safe for long term wear on the body – You can read more about safe materials here. Tapers are much longer than plugs and tunnels which puts you at a higher risk of snagging your piercing, and yet the gradient of the stretch is so steep that you risk tearing your piercing. Tapers are simply an insertion tool to guarantee the smoothest introduction of the next size of jewellery. They are best left in the hands of a professional – We do not recommend their use at home.

Once the taper is inserted, a plug or tunnel will be inserted whilst the channel settles and relaxes into its new size. The plug or tunnel should be made of biocompatible material such as ASTM F-136 Titanium, ASTM F-138 Steel or borosilicate glass. The jewellery needs to be non porous as otherwise it will allow for the collection and growth of bacteria- The most common cause of that classic stretched lobe odour.

You should be leaving at least 6-8 weeks in between each 1mm stretch in order to let the channel settle, heal and relax into it’s new size. Stretching too quickly is a very risky procedure that often ends with very poor results. Everyone will stretch differently – the above time is often the minimum appropriate length of time. It is not at all unusual to wait far longer.

What Happens When It Goes Bad

Lobes are very forgiving – The most forgiving piercing when it comes to stretching. However this doesn’t mean they can be abused. The most common causes of issues with stretched lobes are caused by:

  • Stretching too quickly.
  • Stretching using tapers as jewellery.
  • Wearing inappropriate jewellery in unsafe materials.
  • Wearing jewellery that is too heavy.
  • Using threaded jewellery that traps a portion of the piercing fistula inside.
Even if the blow does not blow out or split, thinning of the lobe can easily occur.

The most common result of these issues is a blowout. So, what is a blowout?

The inside of a piercing channel is called a Fistula. This fistula is made from a type of collagen scar tissue. Scar tissue is far less elastic than the normal skin that surrounds the lobe piercing. When this scar tissue is not given the appropriate amount of time to relax after a stretch, it can be split, damaged or pushed out of position. This extruded scar tissue is called a blowout.

This is a fairly extreme example of a fresh blowout.

Blowouts are difficult to repair. When caught early on, the best way to help minimise them is to immediately remove your jewellery for an extended period of time – 3-4 weeks. Once any initial irritation has settled, it is recommended to gently massage the lobe with a neutral oil like Jojoba. Once the blowout has completely settled, you can gently reinsert jewellery. Often this jewellery will be much smaller in diameter than the one that caused the blowout – A fair cautionary tale against rushing the process.

If a blowout has progressed too far, it is often too late for an easy fix. A true permanent blowout can only be repaired via a surgical procedure to remove the blown out tissue and stitch the lobe back together. This is outside the legal remit of piercers in the UK, however we can recommend artists outside of the UK who can perform this for you. Within the UK, the only route is to visit a plastic surgeon. Depending on their experience with this procedure, results may vary.

Lobe Stretching Maintenance

Once you have started to stretch, or when you have reached your goal size, this does not mean the work stops! Maintaining stretched lobes means getting into a routine of cleaning and caring for them.

  • Clean your jewellery on a daily basis. Once you have sat at a size for a few weeks, we recommend removing your jewellery in the shower so that you can wash your entire lobe with a gentle fragrance-free soap. You should also be washing your actual jewellery in the same way. This is the best way to avoid a dirty or odorous lobe that can cause irritation later one.
  • Once you have cleaned your lobes, it is important to dry them well to avoid moisture irritation.
  • When your lobes are squeaky clean and dry, you should gently moisturise them with a neutral oil such as Jojoba oil. Less is more – Use your oil sparingly.

In the winter, it is very important to protect your lobes from extremes of temperature. Ensure they are covered with a hat if you are outside for prolonged periods of time, and make sure they do not experience a temperature shock when you re-enter a centrally heated home. It is not at all uncommon to need to downsize lobes in the winter and take extra care when cleaning and moisturising as the lobe tissue will dry and contract. The annual cycle of downsizing and upsizing can improve blood flow and ensure your lobes stay healthy in the long run.

In the summer it is so important to keep them clean when swimming. And the most important thing which people often forget: SUNSCREEN! Ears in general are susceptible to burns, and your stretched lobes are very fragile. Take good care of them and avoid sunburns. A cause that is very close to Kat’s heart: Skin cancers often begin on the ear due to years of neglect when it comes to sun protection.

The Pay Off.

There are hundreds of designs to choose from, even from just one brand.

The journey of lobe stretching is long, often tedious and requires a lot of commitment, time and patience but let’s have a look at why it can be so, so worth it! The styles of jewellery worn in large-gauge lobes are simply not available to the general public, and the sheer variety of options is pretty mind blowing.

These Dichroic Weights from Gorilla Glass might be our favourite. You can purchase a pair here!

At Rogue, we do a lot of large gauge work whether that’s initial piercings or long term stretching projects and one of our all time favourite large gauge jewellery creators are Gorilla Glass. Based in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Gorilla Glass artisans have been hand making high quality soda-lime and borosilicate glass jewellery since 2002.

Gorilla Glass are like a family – And they have a pet Donkey who you can follow on instagram here!

Gorilla Glass are our go-to for single-flared glass plugs – The gold standard for stretching jewellery. These are an affordable, safe option when it comes to stretching. We carry a wide range in-studio and can custom order anything from their website that you could possibly want!

The Takeaway

  • Let a professional do it for you whenever possible.
  • Take it slow – Wait 6-8 weeks between stretches as a minimum. If it hurts –> Stop!
  • Wear single-flared glass plugs when stretching and wait at least 3 months after stretching to change styles.
  • Never wear tapers, pinchers, spirals or other asymmetrical jewellery when stretching.
  • Keep your lobes moisturised with a light oil.

As always, we are available 7 days a week to stretch your lobes or provide jewellery upgrades and troubleshooting. You can book your appointment here.

Follow us on social media, or contact us via email with any comments and questions!

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So, you want a career in piercing?

Something we hear commonly as part of our monthly QnAs, in countless emails and in the studio, is “I want to be a piercer, what tips can you give me to become a piercing apprentice?”

It’s no secret that piercing (high quality piercing, at least) is incredibly competitive to get into, and it feels almost impossible to find the right studio at the right time. So, what can you do to improve your chances?

Joining a studio is a little bit like joining a family, as weird as it sounds!

Take it slow.

A good apprenticeship is worth its weight in gold. A bad apprenticeship or piercing course will usually haunt the rest of your career both in your reputation and in bad habits. It might be frustrating, but waiting for a quality apprenticeship is the single most important thing you can do for your career. Rushing into an apprenticeship under an inexperienced mentor or taking a piercing course will do more harm than good in the long run. We go more in-depth into this in our other apprenticeship blog post.

Some piercing apprentices fall into their role by being in the right place at the right time – Luck plays far more of a part than most people would like to admit! However for those who don’t fall into this category, it can take months or even years before they find their apprenticeship. Don’t be discouraged, but do have a backup plan in case piercing ends up not working out for you.

Think about the why.

The first thing any mentor will ask you is well, why do you want to be a piercer? Is it because you have a flair for the technical? Because you enjoy working with the public? Because you just love piercings? It’s a difficult question to answer fully, but something you really need to find a good personal answer for. Everyone’s ‘why’ is different.

Unfortunately simply having a love for piercings won’t carry you very far when you’re bagging your 400th piece of presterile jewellery of the day, or when you are processing the tools after a long day, or when you’re exhausted and dealing with a difficult customer. Piercing is a very emotionally taxing career, and burnout is common. We always aim to be realistic when discussing the piercing industry and piercing careers, so it’s important to know that you will be tired, your back will hurt all the time, and you will be poor forever!

Another solid question to ask yourself is: ‘Would I still be happy being a piercer if overnight it stopped being seen as cool?

Things that will carry you through are a passion for perfection, for practising fine skills, continuous improvement both inside and outside the studio, public education, or for simply becoming a better piercer than your mentor. A passion for the history of piercing is immensely valuable. 

A good candidate for an apprenticeship aims to raise standards whilst also being empathetic and realistic to people’s situations. We can’t teach kindness and empathy, even though they are the foundation of the industry. 

Mr Sebastian should be a name you recognise!

Be Respectful.

I think most high-quality studios will agree with me when I say that we get dozens of emails, DMs and walk-ins either querying us about or asking for apprenticeships. We really appreciate being top of the list when it comes to education, however it can be quite emotionally taxing especially when the answer at the moment is generally no. The industry is overloaded, oversaturated, and most studios are either swamped or still recovering from Covid. 

The main thing we want you to keep in mind when asking about apprenticeships is to not take it to heart if the first, second, heck even tenth request for an apprenticeship is declined. If your piercer says no, make sure you respect that decision. 

It’s an unfortunate truth that most hopeful apprentices will not make it into the industry – For every 100 applicants (each equally passionate, prepared, intelligent and thoughtful!), only one will probably be successful. It’s important to be realistic, and to have a backup plan.

Be Educated

Even though you are applying for an education in becoming a piercing apprentice, it does not hurt to have an awareness of current piercing knowledge, jewellery brands etc. You are not expected to know technique (it is actually preferred that you don’t!) but knowing who Anatometal, Jim Ward, BVLA or Mr Sebastian are is a fantastic start. You can also ask your potential mentor for recommended reading, or tales from the earlier days of piercing. Knowing where we’ve come from is a great way to understand why we are where we are, and to help predict where the industry is going.

Outside of piercing related knowledge, working similar jobs in retail can really prepare you for the everyday reality of working in a piercing studio. It might not feel like it, but piercing is often a retail and aesthetic procedure all rolled into one! This helps you to hone your general customer service skills which is absolutely vital for this industry.

Piercers are not just piercers, often they are self-employed small business owners and have to deal with all the headaches and heartaches that come with that. Learning about how to run a business, how to file taxes, how to organise your schedule and price your services are all super important. 

As a general rule, piercing yourself or your friends at home in preparation for a piercing apprenticeship is one of the biggest no-no’s ever. Never pierce at home

What are They Looking For?

A good tip for success is to look at your prospective studio and try and see what they would look for in a potential piercing apprentice. Each studio is very different – Some have punk roots (like Rogue!), some come from new-age beliefs, some are more commercialised, some are very ‘British’ and some more international. Part of being a successful piercing apprentice applicant is being the right person for the right studio. Is there any point in applying to a punk studio if you are more into pink and sparkles? Yes! Jay is a great example of an apprentice working well in a seemingly opposite studio. That being said, finding a studio that aligns with who you are as a person is really important. Not every studio is perfect for every applicant. 

In terms of what most studios are looking for in an piercing apprentice, it varies from studio to studio however there are some universal requirements. Piercing is based on human interaction, so being shy or being afraid of phone calls is not ideal! As piercers we need to be energetic, confident, and be able to be the loudest person in the room. It’s all about making connections – Whether the customer is 8 or 80. Even if that’s not who you are right now, it is a skill that can be practised! Public speaking is a really good way of getting into the habits that will pay dividends once you become a piercer.

Be Honest.

My final piece of advice is to be honest and open about your intentions about being a piercing apprentice. Most piercers can tell if you are on the hunt for an apprenticeship, so why not be up front and tell us? We really appreciate being asked, and will usually be able to give you a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ with an explanation for each response. Sometimes a no will become a yes given time, so always ask if this is something that might happen. We will always endeavour to be honest with you. Being straight up about your intentions will go a long way – Even if it’s a solid no, it means you can cut your losses and focus on other studios or piercers. We can often give recommendations on where to go as piercing is a very small world!

Being a piercer is not the only way to make it in the industry!

Another thing to note, which I obviously have a strong view of, is that being a piercer is not the only way to be successful in this industry! Counter staff, managers, piercing educators etc. are all absolutely vital, and the industry simply cannot function without them. A good counter staff or jewellery manager is worth their weight in Gold (literally!) We deserve to be taken seriously as a career in our own right, and not simply viewed as an easy way to become a piercer later. Gone are the days of a ‘desk lady!’ We are oversaturated with many a would-be piercing apprentice, yet there is an industry shortage of excellent counter staff and jewellery salespeople. It’s definitely something to consider if you haven’t considered it before.

So there you have it! A high-quality studios thoughts on piercing apprenticeship tips. This will become a series, as we are currently working on an apprenticeship FAQ. If you have any questions you would like answered, contact us on instagram or email us as you may be featured in our next blog post.

-Kat

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How to Plan Piercing Curations

Today we’ll be discussing a common question – ‘I want to curate my piercings, but I have absolutely no idea how to start!’ We will cover the concept of a piercing curation, how to start planning them, and what to expect from the process!

This White Gold curation is one of our favourites. Everything is custom ordered to fit our clients unique taste.

What is a Curation?

A curation is a thoughtful collection of piercings that were high-quality jewellery in a cohesive style. Some curations are themed, some are more eclectic, but what connects each curation is a singular line of thought that expresses your personal style.

Some people say that curations are only for ears, and should only be done in solid Gold. This is absolutely not the case! As in my previous definition, there is zero mention of a sky-high budget or fancy ears at all. A curation is simply a considerate collection of good jewellery, worn in well-placed piercings. Our most common curations are actually produced in Titanium! Curations can involve the ears, the face, or the entire body. It all depends on what you want from your curation.

This dinosaur themed curation is super cute!

How do I plan a Curation?

The best way to plan a curation is to first see what you already have, and look at your personal style and what you want from your curation. The best way to do this is to book in for a jewellery consultation with us, so that we can provide you with an expert curation experience.

There are so many questions to ask! Do you have lots of existing piercings? Do you have a few piercings? Are they well-pierced, well-placed, or would you be open to removing or repiercing a few of them to improve the overall effect? Another major thing to consider is what you want to see from your curation. You can scroll instagram for hours and hours looking at other peoples collections, but a curation is a truly personal process. Do you prefer Gold, or Titanium? Do you like Yellow, White or Rose Gold? Do you like the look of anodised Titanium? Do you like gemstones, or no gemstones? If yes, then which gemstones or gem colour schemes do you like? Do you like a more masculine look, or a more feminine look? Are you a fan of big, chunky jewellery (our favourites!) or do you like a smaller, more dainty pieces? This all needs to be considered when planning out a full curation.

Noses are a great place to start your curation. When it comes to the centre of your face, why not wear beautiful jewellery?

As important as what you do like, is what you don’t like! We love to see what you don’t like – What doesn’t fit your style. Showing us both what you do and don’t want to wear gives us a really good idea of where to go with your curation.

Once we have a rough idea of what you would like, we can go onto picking out individual piercings and individual jewellery. The best thing to do is to plan out a couple of statement pieces, and then work around them with complementary items. Centring your curation on a handful of piercings is a really nice way to ground the look. The best thing to do next is to head to the websites of our jewellery companies and have a good old scroll! We perform curations using BVLA, Anatometal, and Neometal. Keep in mind that every single piece of jewellery is handmade to your specifications – Choose the gold colour, the gemstones, the size, everything! If you are unsure as to what exactly you’d like to wear, Kat can give you a huge range of suggestions that you can start to choose from.

This sounds like a lot, but honestly it is an incredibly easy process when you have the support of the Rogue team!

Getting creative with Titanium is a fab way to get a cohesive, thoughtful piercing curation.

Getting a Curation

We think the most exciting part of the piercing curation is actually ordering, receiving and installing the jewellery. Depending on the jewellery maker, this can take anywhere from 6 weeks to 6+ months to arrive. When it comes to curations though, the wait is always worth it. Having your perfect jewellery takes time, but that time will pass anyway!

Depending on the jewellery you have ordered, we will sometimes recommend getting the healing process started before your final jewellery arrives. This is especially important with longer-healing piercings such as daiths, rooks, and cheek piercings. However sometimes we recommend waiting until your final jewellery has arrived so that we can place it absolutely perfectly! This is especially the case when it comes to big, chunky ends or unique placements. It all depends on what you have ordered and what your end goal is.

Lip piercing curations are an absolute favourite of ours. We would love to do more of them!

With curations, it definitely falls into the ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day!’ category! Depending on which jewellery brands you want to wear, wether the gemstones are semi-precious or precious or synthetic, and a huge amount of variables can impact the pricing. Some curations can range between £300-£15,000. We absolutely work within more limited budgets – Titanium curations can be so neat and beautiful and can be super affordable too. Even plain Titanium beads can look impactful when skilfully used! The main thing to keep in mind is that a piercing curation is a patience game – You don’t need to buy everything all in one go, or even in one year. Some clients build collections over the course of many years and this is often the best way to do it!

We have a full blog post detailing the custom order process which you can read here!

So there you have it, a full rundown of curations. How they work, how you go about it, and what to expect. Plus links to other blogs where you can continue to learn!

If you would like to book in for a jewellery consultation with Kat, head to our booking system. We can also do remote curations via email! Head to our instagram for a whole lot of inspiration.

-Kat

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Lobe Piercings in the UK

Lobe piercings are probably one of the most common piercings in the UK, and more than likely one of the first ever attempted piercings on mankind. Piercings have been around for thousands of years, and there’s much debate about the oldest ever one. There have been many sources stating mummies dating back to 5000 years ago have been found with their ears pierced (however some sources can date back to 12,000 years ago), or even stretched! Archaeological evidence of the mummy Pharaoh Tutankhamen shows that he had his ears pierced, and many pairs of earrings were found alongside him in his tomb.

Different cultures have different reasons why they choose to pierce their lobes, and different methods by which they do it. Ancient civilizations across the world, from Africa to Asia, have been known to use body modifications to determine social status or function as spiritual protection. The oldest mummified person, Otzi the Ice Man, had pierced earlobes. Some of the first documented lobe piercings were among native African and southeast Asian tribes that pierced for spiritual purposes. Wearing metal ear piercings was believed to prevent bad spirits, due to the belief that spirits and demons were repelled by metal. Ancient Romans were also believed to have worn studs in their ears.

Of course, lobe piercings were not the only piercings that date back across eons, but in this blog post I’d like to look more into how lobe piercings became commonplace in the UK, and how they became so popularized. 

William Shakespeare

Christianity had a huge impact on body modification, with the church considering it to be pagan and against God’s image. This view contributed to body piercings in the western world becoming underground. At some points in history, only those on the outskirts of society had their body adorned with such metal and jewelry. However the tradition of lobe piercings in the western world can be sourced back to being symbols of wealth, power or status. During the renaissance era, men started to adorn their ears with earrings to show their nobility. Every nobleman would have at least one piercing, and typically larger diamonds and pearls were worn to show off one’s wealth. This was a really good way to become known on the marriage market. On a famous portrait painting of William Shakespeare, you can clearly see a golden ring threaded through his lobe, and even portraits of male monarchs at the time, such as Charles 1, you can see beautiful earrings, such as pearls.

Charles 1

Its also noted that around the same time and possibly even earlier, earrings were also worn by sailors. There’s many theories surrounding why; including it helped their eyesight, to signify their bond with the sea (like a marriage), and also being a symbol of accomplishment of sailing the world. Another one was that because they were solid Gold rings, they could fund their funeral after they died.

A famous portrait showcasing lobe piercings, is the oil painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, commonly known as the girl with the pearl earring. 

But when, why, and how did lobe piercings become as popular and as normalised as we know them to be now, especially among women and young girls? Well, all eyes are on Queen Victoria for starting this trend. The pre-Victorian era saw a general decline in earrings due to the changing fashions of the time, as chic coiffures (headscarves) began to cover the ears. However, Queen Victoria began to adorn her ears with pendant style drop earrings, and long earrings set with many luxuriant gemstones. Because the Queen had significant power and influence across Europe, she had a huge direct effect on fashions of the time. we soon saw lobe piercings once again be in vogue, with the pendant drop especially favoured.  She reintroduced this practice during her Coronation as she wanted to wear a pair of very rarely used earrings from the Royal collection and so had her ears pierced for the occasion. 

Much later on, after World War 2, around the 1950’s there was a boom in the economy and women started spending more money and time focusing on their looks, and this is where we see another surge in the ear piercing trend. Typically it was a single lobe, and surprisingly it was a lot of clip on piercings. Over the years the trend of ear of single lobe piercings stayed, (whether real or fake), and choices of jewellery saw a demand in larger, showier pieces. Rings in the lobes were also a hugely popular choice.

During the late 70’s and 80’s ear piercings started to become more popular in general, especially amongst gay men and teenage girls. This is where we see a trend of multiple lobe, and upper ear piercings become in demand. The large statement pieces became replaced with much smaller earrings made of gemstones and pearls. During this decade was when we saw another increase of men having their lobes pierced. George Michael is an excellent example, as he adorned his piercing with a simple gold ring. 

However there was a lack of brick-and-mortar piercing studios during this time, and at-home piercings were quite the norm. Over time, piercing studios began to pop up around the UK and become more normalized. The second ever piercing studio in the UK was the London Piercing Clinic. The founder and owner was the famous Mr Sebastian – The father of the UK body piercing industry. Despite not being the first, they were the first ever studio to have a high street presence and address. Set up in May 1988, it helped to make waves not just across the piercing industry, but in popularising and normalising body piercings across the UK and in popular culture.

Since the rise of social media since the late 2000s, body modification and especially body piercings are becoming more and more accepted and popular every day. It doesn’t take long once walking out of your front door to spot someone with their ears pierced, whether they be a man or woman. Often you might notice multiple lobe piercings, or even multiple or various piercings scattered across the ears. And here at Rogue, we perform lobe piercings on people as young as 8, and our eldest client was 92. Lobe piercings are becoming more versatile as we go along, with a huge range of jewellery and placements now available. Gone are the days of a standard single lobe piercing – Now we are getting creative with stacks, triangles and other styles of ear curations.

You can book your appointments via our website – Click HERE to book!

You can also follow us on instagram.

Thank you for reading! We will be back next Friday with another blog 🙂

— Jay <3

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Aftercare – What Not to Do

Especially in the age of the internet, it is so incredibly easy to find advice on your piercing problems. Online forums, often filled with piercing enthusiasts, are the go-to when it comes to aftercare advice, how to treat your piercing bump and troubleshooting. Unfortunately, often the advise given in these forums are anecdotal and not backed by the medical world nor by experienced, high quality piercing studios. This blog will be all about debunking common aftercare cures that we regularly hear about, and what to do instead!

Homemade Salt Water

Homemade salt water is probably the number one incorrect aftercare that we see as a quality studio. So why is it still so common? It’s still commonly advised to customers by old-school, low quality, or inexperienced piercers as homemade saltwater was once the recommended aftercare given by all piercers. However, this was only the standard aftercare advice in the late 90s and early 2000s – It has not been recommended by high quality piercers for over 20 years. So why is it not good?

Homemade saltwater has three main issues: Sterility, additions, and concentration. Firstly, when you boil a kettle of hot water it has not been sterilised. When you add salt to it, the nonsterile salt contaminates the water with yet more bacteria. This means you can potentially introduce bacteria and other irritants to your piercing. Secondly, additions. Salt often has anti-caking agents and other additives that you do not want to introduce into your piercing. Thirdly, concentration. 99% of the time, homemade saltwater soaks are made far too highly concentrated. More is not better in this situation! A strong salt solution will damage your healing cells, removing necessary fluids and plasma from the skin to cause contact dermatitis and salt burns.

We do not recommend homemade saltwater soaks for any piercing – We have simply moved past it as an aftercare routine. If you are having issues with a piercing and are using salt water, we recommend moving over to a sterile saline solution to remove a possible irritant that could be damaging your piercing.

Homemade salt water soaks are a common cause of irritation bumps.

Tea Tree Oil

We do believe that the tide of public opinion is finally turning against Tea Tree Oil. This harsh essential oil has no place in the piercing aftercare arsenal. Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is an essential oil made from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Unfortunately, natural does not mean harmless in this situation as Tea Tree Oil is very caustic especially when applied undiluted as is often the case with piercing treatment. When applied multiple times a day as is often recommended, TTO is simply going to burn the skin and damage your healing cells. Tea Tree Oil is also a common allergen, causing contact dermatitis and painful rashes in up to 5% of the population.

We cannot stress enough how much we do not recommend using TTO!

Aspirin Pastes

Aspirin is NOT recommended to solve your piercing bump.

Aspirin pastes have long been touted as the ultimate cure for your piercing bump. If you are a long-time reader of our blogs, you know that there is never one simple solution and aspirin paste is definitely not the answer! Aspirin pastes contain Salicylic Acid, a harsh acid irritant that burns off the bump over multiple uses. This does not solve the underlying problem that is causing the bump, and can often make it worse due to damaging and weakening the surrounding skin. Aspirin paste usage can also increase your skins sensitivity to UV rays which can increase your risk of damage.

In short, it is always a bad idea to misuse medical items against their intended use. Please do not use aspirin pastes on any of your piercings!

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide is a classic piercing aftercare product, but another that has no place in the modern piercing industry. Hydrogen Peroxide is an oxidising agent, and a type of bleach. Hydrogen Peroxide is too harsh to apply to a piercing and is definitely too harsh to apply multiple days in a row as is often recommended. H202 is a common irritant that damages your skin. Your piercing problem may look like it has improved for a day or so as the skin lifts and dries, but the underlying issue has not been rectified and so the bump will invariably return.

In addition to this, due to Hydrogen Peroxide being an oxidising agent, H2O2 can be very damaging to your jewellery. Titanium in particular is susceptible to being oxidised by H2o2 application, which damages the surface finish of your jewellery leading to a porous, scratched surface that can compound any irritation you are experiencing.

The jewellery on the left has been damaged by Hydrogen Peroxide application.

Antiseptic Creams

This is one we see fairly often. This often comes from the misconception that your piercing bump should be treated like any other cut or injury on the body which requires medical help. Antiseptic creams such as Savlon, Germolene or Sudocrem are not intended for application to a piercing, where they can smother the piercing and prevent the cells from respiring and the wound from draining. Creams will leave your piercing wet, and soaked in moisture which can exacerbate your problems and extend your healing time. Antiseptics will damage the natural skin flora, leaving you more susceptible to overgrowths of harmful microbes. Especially when applied multiple times a day over a long period of time, creams like this can damage your cells and do not help your piercing in the way you think it will.

Conclusion

This is not an exhaustive list of all of the bad advice you can find on the internet. There seems to be a new fad each week! A common counter-argument we hear when we debunk these type of things is ‘But it worked for me!’ Unfortunately we don’t accept anecdotal evidence. Confirmation bias is a very real phenomenon and is a logical fallacy – What may have worked for you has been proven to cause harm to most other people!

If you are having trouble with any of your existing piercings, we highly recommend booking in for an in-person piercing consultation. Head to our TROUBLESHOOTING FAQ to see if anything jumps out at you as a probably cause.

You can also contact us via email or social media!

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Nipple Piercings 101

Some folks may be surprised to learn that nipples are among the most common piercing we perform here at Rogue, and we’re not alone! Most people that you see out there, in their suits and ties, with their fancy frocks and briefcases, they’ve got a barbell-shaped secret under their shirts.

So, why would anyone want to pierce their nipples? Lots of reasons! Although they’re quite a private piercing as they’re not on public display as much as nostril or ear piercings for example, they are definantly a piercing that can help people to feel empowered. A piercing that is just for them and whoever they choose to share it with. We are always honoured to be a part of that experience for someone. Of course, nipple piercings can also serve a sexual purpose and as such should never be performed on anyone under the age of 18.

History Time

It is difficult to confirm when nipple piercings became popular in the West. There are many stories online of Bavarian monarchs piercing their nipples in order to accessorise extravagant dresses. Or sailors using them to mark a particularly long voyage. There is some evidence presented in ‘The English Mechanic and Word Science’ magazine in the form of letters written in 1880’s that provide insight into the opinons people had at the time regarding these piercings and also the experiences that (in particular) women had when travelling out to Paris to have these “operations” performed. In response to a lady teling of her desire to get gold rings pierced into her nipples, someone writes “it is incredible that in this enlightened 19th century any Englishwoman should wish to mutilate herself in a way that is utterly without sense or reason”. Needless to say, it appears that his opinon is a lot less common today. Throughout the discussion on “The English Mechanic”, several writers express concerns about the practically of breast feeding, even today we continue to bust the myth that a correctly performed nipple piercing will prevent breast feeding in the future. You can read more about that here.

We also have Jim Ward to thank for documenting his first experience with nipple piercings and how they were popularised throughout the underground fetish and LGBTQIA+ scene of 1960’s America. That’s right, we have kinky gay men to celebrate for bringing piercings to the mainsteam world! In his book “Running the Gauntlet”, Jim describes how he was fascinated by the idea of piercing his nipples after discovering “the erotic pleasures of nipple play”. He had small gold rings made up by a watchmaker and used them as his inital jewellery (we live and learn through the trials and tribulations of piercings pioneers such as Jim, thin gauges are definantly not recommended these days in order to heal a nipple piercing well!)

Nipple piercings were almost exclusive to gay men involved in the leather and BDSM community, underground and often unsafe by modern standards. However, thanks to the rise in acceptance and education of these marginalised groups, nipple piercings are incredibly common. Worn publicly by celebrities such as Rihanna and Kendall Jenner, nipple piercings have become a strong fashion statement for people to wear with tight shirts and no bra. In the year 2022, we have the privelege of performing many nipple piercings each week here at Rogue, from the standard 14g all the way up to 8g for those who are a fan of heavy gauge work (anatomy dependent of course!)

NOTE: Sources used to research the history of nipple piercings come from documents written in English and are therefore bias to English perceptions. If you have any information regarding piercing history from anywhere around the world, in any language, please feel free to reach out to us at hello@rougepiercing.co.uk – we always love to learn!

Anatomy of the Nipple

A common problem we see with nipple piercings, is placement. The piercing should pass through the nipple itself and not the areola surrounding the nipple. If you take a look at the diagram below, you can see that the nipple is it’s own delinieted tissue with a clear boundary between it and the aerola (the often slightly darker skin that sits around the nipple).

Piercings should never pass into the areola tissue

Biologically, male and female nipples devlop the same way. Begining in utero at around the fourth week of development, each fetus begins to grow breast tissue. During puberty and extending to early adulthood, female breast tissue will continue to grow as estrogen levels rise in the body. Lobules inside biologically female breast tissue transport milk through the nipple ducts when stimulated to do so by hormones released after giving birth.

Nipples and Surgery

There are two main types of surgery that effect the nipple: Breast augmentation, and a mastectomy or top surgery. Both can impact your anatomy and wether we can pierce you!

We recommend having a discussion with your surgeon before the procedure about your piercing aims, so that they can give you as much information as possible. The general advice that we give clients is to wait a full year post-surgery before booking in for nipple piercings. Surgery takes a large toll on your body, and we do not want to take energy away from your healing body to heal your piercings. In addition to this, it’s important to keep in mind that the scarring from surgery (especially methods that involve full nipple removal and re-attachment) can change in shape and size over time and again needs to be fully healed and settled in place before we pierce through them. If pierced whilst the body is still healing and regenerating, we cannot guarantee as good a heal, or a straight piercing. Patience is definitely the name of the game with this! It is always better to wait longer than you think, than go into it too soon and have less-than-perfect results.

What to Expect

At Rogue our aim is to always make you feel as comfortable and safe as possible, regardless of where you’re getting pierced. You’re always welcome to bring a chaperone for moral support and we will talk you through each step of the process as we go, answering any questions/concerns/queries you may have along the way.

When you arrive for your nipple piercing (which you can book here), we will initally do an anatomy check and measurement of the nipple to discuss placement and provide you with your initial and healed sizes for jewllery. Then comes the fun part, picking your jewellery! We carry a range of options for you to choose from and we’re always happy to help with recommendations, you can check out some of barbell ends here (remember, these are sold seperately to the barbell itself which can be purchased here). As your new jewllery sterilises, we will chat to you about how to care for your piercings.

Aftercare & Healing

As always, follow the three Golden Rules for piercing and click here for a more detailed post about that!

  1. Keep it Clean
  2. Keep it Dry
  3. Leave it Alone!

Clean with sterile saline twice daily, pat dry with clean kitchen paper/non-woven gauze and avoid soaking/submerging your piercings.

Some healing times to consider:

  • 4 – 6 weeks – come see us for your check up & downsize, you can book that here
  • 3 – 4 months – you’re about halway there! you can safely change your jewellery at home and potentially swap to rings
  • 6 – 9 months – that’s your full heal! everything should be back to normal and fully settled at this point

If you every have any concerns about your piercings, pop in to see us for a check up and we will help troubeshoot with you 🙂

When it comes to getting your nipples pierced, we will always endevour to make you feel at ease, we understand that this piercing can be an intense one and bringing along some moral support is always recommended if you’re feeling a little nervous. Never hesitate to ask for reassurance (or a cuppa!)

In Conclusion

We love nipple piercings here at Rogue, no matter the size or shape, they’re certainly an empowering piercing for everyone with a wonderful and weird history behind them. Whether they’re for functional, sexual or aesthtic purposes – pierced nipples are a great way into the world of body piercing and they’re far more common than you might think!

Special thanks to Dr Matt Lodder for his research guidance, much appreciated!

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BVLA Top Picks – May 2022

This weeks blog is dedicated to our top picks for the latest BVLA order – The deadline is TOMORROW at 5pm! Here are 6 of our favourite pieces currently, using our favourite gemstones. If you are interested in any of the below, get in touch or come in for a jewellery consultation on or before Saturday, May 21st to guarantee your items are added to this order.

Mini Kandy

The BVLA Mini Kandy is an absolute classic, and a total favourite here at the studio. It was Kat’s first ever piece from BVLA and we just have a huge soft-spot for it. The Mini Kandy is only 5mm from tip to tip, making it absolutely ideal as a versatile wear-anywhere kind of item. We love seeing them in noses, philtrums, lobes and pretty much any other piercing you can imagine! They come in three different sizes from dainty 5mm to chunky 8mm, so are literally perfect for any taste.

Depending on pricing, these Mini Kandy ends can be a really nice small treat! Our most popular gemstone choices are White Sapphire (£155), Swiss Blue Topaz (£155) and genuine White Diamonds (£220)! We would love to use more unique colour options like Peach Topaz (£160), Mystic Topaz (£180), and Garnet (£140).

Double helix using a BVLA Genuine Diamond Prong and sandblasted Swiss Blue Topaz Mini Kandy.

The Miel

Mid-nostrils with BVLA Labradorite ends and custom 18k Gold chain.

The Miel is a novel take on a classic cabochon setting, giving it a new lease of life with a gorgeous honeycomb shape. These stand out because they really let the gemstone speak for itself – Perfect for nose piercings, lip piercings, conch piercings. Again, super versatile. These work really well with unique gemstones such as the above Labradorite, or Oregon Sunstone (£210), or rose-cut Rainbow Moonstone (£200). Rose-cut gemstones in general look incredible in this item which is available in three different sizes from dainty 3mm to bolder 6mm.

Yellow Gold – Rose-Cut Chrysoprase

Pave Teardrop

Yellow Gold, White Sapphire

We’re big fans of textured jewellery, and the Pave Teardrop is a perfect choice. These ones have teeny 1.75mm gemstones and are a petit 4x2mm size. Perfect for snug spots like high lobe piercings, paired eyebrow piercings, or dainty nose piercings. These work really well with solid-colour bold gemstones like White Diamonds (£195), London Blue Topaz (£180) or Genuine Emerald (£230).

The Marquise Panaraya

Many thanks to the Boston Tattoo Company for use of this incredible photo!

The Marquise Panaraya is an absolute showstopper. Perfect as a wedding gift for your wedding day, birthday gifts or general treat-yoself moments! The best part of this piece of jewellery is the many gemstone choices, and the arch mimicking the natural curve of the ear to make something truly special. The classic options would be White Swarovski crystals (£500), or genuine AA Amethyst (£560) as a twist on the standard. The Panaraya style can be used in many different gem cuts such as Baguette or Brilliant cuts – There is genuinely something for everyone.

BVLA Rings

BVLA make the best rings in the industry, without a doubt. Wether you want a simple single-gem ring like the Round Prong ring above, or a unique septum piece like Nikki’s Hammered Janna, BVLA absolutely has you covered.

We hope this has given you some ideas for the BVLA custom order! If you want even more Instagram inspiration then we highly recommend following us on instagram, and following BVLA and their wearable-photography instagram BVLALOVE.

To place your custom order, please email us at kat@roguepiercing.co.uk! The process is really quick and simple – Just give us a vibe to work with and we can absolutely work with you to curate something awesome.

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Piercing Myths

Today we will be tackling a broad and fascinating subject, and something we have to hear about fairly often working in a high quality studio. There are so many misconceptions surrounding piercing, especially as most people find their aftercare advice or do research for their piercings online. As we all know, the internet is a great and terrible place for misinformation and myths! We will be covering 6 of the most common piercing myths we hear, and explain what, if any, truth comes from them!

Nipple Piercings prevent you from breastfeeding.

This is quite a common one we hear! This is based on the fact that some people believe piercing a nipple can damage all of the milk ducts. The nipple contains on average 9-20 milk ducts, and a 1.6mm needle will never be able to permanently disable all of them. Clients with nipple piercings can definitely still breastfeed after a nipple piercing, and it does not affect your flow of milk! Keep in mind that we do recommend removing all nipple jewellery during the breastfeeding time period as it constitutes a choking hazard for your baby.

White Opal Nipple Barbell, available to purchase on our webstore.

Infections are Common.

It is fairly common for clients to mistake normal healing symptoms as symptoms of infection. It is also really common for irritated piercings to be called infections as well! This is definitely a myth, and a misconception that we are trying to change. Infections are in fact extremely rare – One in 10,000 if not more rare. Irritated piercings can be red, swollen and produce a small amount of clear/yellow/green discharge. This is entirely normal! However, when googling your symptoms you can cause yourself an unnecessary panic! We have a whole blog dedicated to irritations vs infections, which you can read here.

Infections are a serious medical matter – Thankfully practically unheard of in high-quality piercing studios!

Cheek Piercings Give You Natural Dimples

There are lots of myths surrounding cheek piercings, but this is the one we hear most often. The myth goes that you can get your cheeks pierced, heal them for 3-4 months, and then when you take them out you are left with beautiful natural looking dimples. This is far from the truth! Aside from the obvious fact that cheeks are a very complex and fairly high-risk piercing (read more on that here!), the main issue with this is that the scarring caused by cheek piercings is often unpredictable and almost never give perfect nor symmetrical results. Cheek piercings are a lifetime commitment and not something to be pierced on a whim. The best way to get dimples is to consult a facial plastic surgeon, not a piercer.

Nose Piercings can Paralyze You.

This is an odd one that we occasionally hear! We are not sure where this myth originated, but we do sometimes hear of it from clients. This one is 100% a myth and definitely nothing to be concerned about when booking for your piercing. On very rare occasions you may feel a small amount of mild numbness around the piercing site – This is due to initial swelling and is not permanent. This piercing myths may originate from viral news articles where a handful of people have had severe infections due to unsafe piercing practices that have resulted in long-term health issues. We work to the highest standards of safety and hygiene, and if you correctly follow our aftercare advice you have absolutely nothing to worry about!

Nose piercings are by far the most popular facial piercing that we offer.

The (insert ear here) side is the gay side!

This is one of the most common piercing myths that we hear! We have actually written a whole blog explaining its origins. This myth originates from the early days of the piercing industry, when it was still a very gay underground operation. Piercing was seen very differently then, and often was used as a method of silent communication between gay men and general piercing enthusiasts. We love this side of our history and are very proud of our roots, but this has definitely changed since the 1980s and we would not say that any piercing has any specific gay connotations anymore. If anything, all piercings should be considered gay as this is where our industry started!

Daith Piercings can cure Migraines

This is a difficult subject to discuss, and there are many pitfalls to consider. We will be taking a scientific approach to tackling this unfortunate myth. The daith piercing myth comes from old medical information regarding vagal nerve stimulation. The vagal nerve is said to be able to be medically stimulated to reduce chronic pain, however there is no evidence to suggest that the vagal nerve or any of its subsidiaries pass through the daith region of the ear. Traditional VNS treatments involve an implant in the chest, not the ear. In addition to this, vagal nerve stimulation has only ever been FDA approved for the treatment of epilepsy and depression, not migraines. Even with this approval, the success rate for this treatment has been fairly limited and more research is definitely needed. In terms of daith piercings, there is very little actual research. Most people offering daith piercings as a cure for migraines are relying on anecdotal evidence and small surveys, or reports that are not peer-reviewed or published in any scientific publications.

We really wish a simple ear piercing could be offered as a safe cure for migraines, but there is simply not enough evidence to prove this claim at this moment in time. We would not feel comfortable misleading people suffering from a distressing medical condition that a single piercing will cure them. We can offer a beautiful and safe piercing that can be a really nice adornment to your ear, but we would never want to take advantage of someone in pain. If you come into your daith piercing with an open mind and not put all your hopes into it as a cure, then that is the ideal way to approach it. The placebo effect is an incredibly strong psychological phenomenon, so it may very well work for you! We pierce dozens of daiths every week, and they are beautiful and fairly easy to heal as well. If it doesn’t work for you, you still get an epic piercing regardless!

Daith piercings are absolutely gorgeous, and the array of high-quality jewellery is almost infinite! We love performing daith piercings, so do not be discouraged by this unfortunate piercing myths.

We hope that this has shed some light onto some of the most common piercing myths spread about piercings. As with any topic, new myths and false information will always pop up so we may make this piercing myth post a series!

If you have any questions regarding piercings, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

To book your piercing appointments, CLICK HERE.

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Lip Piercing 101

Let’s explore the world of lip piercings. Where they originate, how they’ve developed, what they’re called and how to care for yours! Lips are one of the most popular facial piercings so let’s talk about the anatomy of the lip and what options are available to wear in your lip piercing.

The History of the Lip Piercing

Lip piercings have a fascinating and ancient history. As far back as 6400 B.C we have evidence of lip piercings being worn in Sudan. Probably the most well recognised ancient piercing practice is the lip plate body modification practiced by the Mursi and Surma women of Ethiopia in which large plates of clay or wood are worn in lip. These can then be decorated with carvings and inks. Traditionally, once the girls reach child-bearing age and are ready for marriage, the lip is either pierced or cut by their mother to begin the lip plate process and then slowly stretched up to the desired size. Lip plates are a symbol of great beauty, worn during ceremonies, times of celebration and when presenting their husbands food. As the tradition is passed down orally to each generation, there is no clear documentation as to why this practice began. Some speculate it may be connected to dowry payments, the larger the lip plate, the larger the payment in exchange for marriage. Others believe it is a symbol of fertility and commitment to the tribe. Regardless of it’s origins, images of tribal members adorning large, decorated lip plates still fascinate people all over the world to this day and contribute to tourism throughout Africa from curious travelers.

The Western world embraced lip piercings throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, particularly within the alternative scene. Many metal musicians rocked a labret including David Draiman of Disturbed and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. The most common is the lower lip piercing, worn either in the centre or towards the edge of the lower lip. A paired set of lower lip piercings is known as “snake bites” and these became very popular in alternative teenage circles throughout the early 2000’s. We’ll talk more about placement names later so don’t worry! And here we are, in 2022 and the love for lip piercings is just as strong. With the resurgence of 90’s nostalgia and pop culture, here at Rogue we have been loving the comeback of this classic piercing. In all it’s placements and with all it’s jewellery choices, there’s never been a better time to embrace the tradition and find a lip piercing that works for you and your lifestyle!

Lip Anatomy and Piercing Names

Let’s look at the anatomy of the lip. It’s important to keep the base anatomy in mind when marking and piercing lips!

The vast majority of lip piercings pass through the Orbicularis Orbis – The ring of muscles that encircle the vermillion zone (the lips themselves). The Orbicularis Orbis is actually made from four seperate quadrants of muscles. Top and bottom, left and right. The fibers are split into ‘deep’ and ‘shallow’ sections. The deep allow for chewing and swallowing, and the shallow are used for speech. The main blood supplies that feed these muscles are the superior and inferior labial arteries and veins.

mouth piercings

Because of the vast amount of places on the lips that can be pierced, there are many names that have been coined for each type of piercing. There is a lot of contention surrounding the names of lip piercings and these names can also change culture to culture and country to country. Here is an example of a few.

If you’re ever unsure of the name of the piercing you’d like, don’t worry! You can always show us reference images or simply point to where you want your piercing to be. (Of course we always double check placements with you before the piercing is performed!) The names for lip piercings change so often that it is often tricky to keep up!

No matter what you want to call your lip piercings, we love them all! They’re a great celebration of piercing world history and a fantastic facial adornment. Check out a small selection of the lip piercings we’ve had the pleasure to perform here at Rogue, and some of the beautiful lip jewellery worn by our team.

Click here to see more of our work on Instagram

Oral Piercing Aftercare

Oral piercing aftercare is slightly different to other body piercings as the piercing passes through both a mucous membrane and normal skin. Our usual aftercare advice can be found HERE.

  1. Keep It Clean! –> We recommend cleaning the outside of your lip piercing twice a day with sterile saline solution. Spray a small amount on, let it soak into and soften any crusties, then gently wipe to remove the crusties with a piece of folded kitchen roll or nonwoven gauze. Dab dry. Clean the inside of your lip piercing a maximum of five times a day with an alcohol-free, chlorhexidine based mouthwash. If you snack, smoke, or have sexual contact using your mouth then rinse afterwards with just clean water.
  2. Keep It Dry! –> Avoid soaking and submerging the piercing for 4-6 weeks.
  3. Leave It Alone! –> Do not touch, fiddle, twist or turn the jewellery. Do not rattle the jewellery across your teeth!

Healing Times

Standard Lip Piercings – 12 Weeks

Vertical Labret/Jestrum – 6 months

Cheeks – 18-24 months.

Downsizing

As with any oral piercing, wearing jewelery inside the mouth can pose a risk of damage to your teeth and gums and this can be a particular problem if you’re wearing inappropriate jewellery. Your piercer should always endevaour to ensure that they consider your teeth and gums when discussing placement and provide you with adequate information on the assosiated risks.

The most important way to protect your oral health is to downsize the length of the jewellery once your swelling comes down. This is usually recommended to be done 2-3 weeks after your piercing. Jewellery must be longer initially to allow room for your swelling, but that excess length will cause issues when it comes into contact with your teeth. If you do nothing else with your lip piercings, please have them downsized! Once downsized, lip piercings can experience what is called ‘nesting,’ where the disc sits just inside the soft inner oral tissue. This is completely normal and actually ideal as it again protects your teeth and gums from damage.

So there you have it, a good introduction to lip piercings! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Sources

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/tmi.12812

https://www.icdo.at/the-mursi-tribe-and-lip-plates/

https://www.mursi.org/introducing-the-mursi