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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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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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Piercing apprenticeship in a UK APP studio.

6 months into my 3 year piercing apprenticeship.

It’s officially been 6 whole months (and a bit) since I started my piercing apprenticeship here at Rogue, so I’m writing this blog detailing my time so far here. Mainly so I can document how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved, but it’s also good for those of you wanting a piercing apprenticeship to really know all the stuff that goes on, even before you pick up a needle. Piercing apprenticeships (especially good ones) can involve a lot more than initially expected, and your day to day activities can majorly vary from what you may have considered.

 So let’s start from the beginning, before I was allowed anywhere near the inside of the piercing room there were a million and one things I had to learn, and my first memory was spending an entire day doing the Blood-borne pathogens training. The BBP training was an online video course set up by the APP that I was able to do from the studio and from home. It was 8 hours in total, in which I had to watch videos separated into different topics, such as donning and doffing PPE, the difference between contaminated, clean and sterile, and Epidemiology and Exposure Management and then answer questions about that section. This was my first sort of introduction into keeping myself safe at work, preventing cross contamination, and working in a sterile environment.

My first week also consisted of a lot of shadowing, and watching Aiden prep for piercings, watching the piercings happen and how he uses different techniques. 

I also spent a lot of time with Kat, learning how desk works! At first it started off with doing the post office runs, and learning the aftercare speeches, taking trips out to get stuff for the shop, learning all the different jewelry, even learning how to take photos of jewelry. This also included how to set up the shop in the morning, and close the shop at the end of the day. Everything from doing the helix tests, hoovering and mopping, running the water distiller etc. It was really surprising to find out how much stuff went into everyday life of piercing, without even doing actual piercings! My favorite example piece to talk to people about is changing bins! Because of contaminated waste, there’s a whole procedure to safely change out the clinical waste bins to keep yourself safe, but also prevent any type of cross contamination. It definitely was not something I expected to have to learn. 

The biggest challenge that completely exhausted me, was when I first went through the process of cleaning and sterilizing the jewelry, while doing stock takes, and making sure everything is still in date. It has become a huge part of my day to day work life now here at rogue, but when i first started the task i spent a solid two days doing it, and it was a lot mentally! Now I don’t think twice when doing it, and can do it a lot faster and with greater precision.

The first few months of my piercing apprenticeship were very repetitive as I learned the ropes! Every week I had a new section of information to study and learn, as Aiden had written a sort of learning manual for me! Each week was a new section, which I had to read through, physically demonstrate, and then answer a small quiz! This ranged from lots of things, from sterilizing jewelry and tools, to learning COSHH and MSDS safety protocols! 

My favorite stuff I started to learn along the way, is the ongoing learning of piercing history! The traditions, culture, heritage, and the origins of body piercing. It’s really amazing to learn where piercings have originally originated from in different cultures of the years, how the industry as a whole has made body piercings very westernized, and how over the years it’s slowly started to become more socially accepted. The learning of piercing history is not something you can sit down in a day and learn, it’s an ongoing teaching session through your career, and that is genuinely so fantastic to me. 

The month leading up to Christmas was a very interesting time! Rogue introduced another guest piercer to the shop, which was the lovely Krista! This was my first time meeting another member of the industry outside the studio. This was really interesting to me because Krista is not a UK piercer, she’s a traveling piercer, and a resident in Honolulu, Hawaii! Her whole vibe and atmosphere is so kind, caring, friendly and energetic! Definitely a little bit different to the calmer, quieter, more ‘introverted’ UK atmosphere. It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside someone who works in a slightly different manner, with different experiences. It’s always exciting to meet other industry members and learn new things! 

Krista also repierced my bridge piercing for me, and introduced me to marking piercings as she helped me and let me draw the markings for my own bridge! This was my first proper physical introduction into piercings, rather than just watching and learning, and being really involved in my own piercing was really gratifying. 

Coming back from christmas was very exciting, it was the first introduction of me picking up needles! We originally started with larger gauge needles and sheets of foam, looking at how bevel theory works and how to pierce without removing tissue, just displacing! Working with larger gauge needles initially was very helpful in terms of being able to see what I needed to do and how to do it with the shape of the needles! This then gradually moved on to me piercing bananas and oranges. I pierced the fruit with the skin on and off. This is because it was similar to working with skin in terms of feel and movement. Working with the skin on helped me get a feel for depth of layers in the skin, and also the toughness of skin. 

And then, it was time! I got to do my first ever piercing! Aiden got to be my first ever client as such, and we started off nice and easy with a helix piercing! We did a mid helix, with Neometal high polish threadless balls! He talked me through the entire process, showing me how to mark, how to work with the client, how to check my angles, and where to place my fingers for my own safety! I was definitely nervous, however I also felt super confident thanks to all the gradual training, and when it was done I had every right to be confident! For a first ever piercing, it was super impressive. The angles were super nice, and it came out straight! There was a slight bit of bruising during the healing process due to my technique, but definitely nothing to complain about for number 1!

That first piercing was then followed by a second helix piercing on Kat! I was definitely more nervous for this one, probably due to the adrenaline rush from the first one, but this time it was a much smoother process, and healed even better! And then Gemma also enlisted her trust in me, and she let me do my first ever conch! This was then followed by Gemma piercing my flat for me, learning new techniques! And then later in the week, I got to perform a double lobe piercing on Breo, which was slightly more challenging due to Breo already having stretched lobes. It was a really good bonding moment for the studio.

And then, we got to open my calendar and I started offering apprentice piercings! Starting off nicely with helix piercings, and then conch piercings! It was really great meeting new clients, and previous clients, who trusted me enough to perform new piercings on them!  I was pretty confident from the start, although I definitely did have my nerves, but I think it was mainly because I have such a supportive and knowledgeable team around me! The most nervous I have been for a piercing so far was my first ever pair of nipples! It was my first freehand piercing, and it was also a slightly different technique than I was used to, and it was also one of my close friends! A lot of pressure! It went pretty well, however I did have to re-pierce one as it did not come out horizontally. Thankfully, my client was super amazing about the whole thing and her patience and kindness was highly appreciated. I’m still working on nipple piercings, alongside nostrils and lobes as well. My favorite lobe piercings I’ve done so far are the couple I’ve done working around already existing larger gauge/stretched lobes. I love seeing the second and love adorned with something small and contrasting to the larger piercing! It’s definitely a style favorite of mine. 

Alongside my piercing apprenticeship with Rogue, im currently being tasked with helping the social media accounts! I’m working on weekly instagram reels, in terms of filming, editing and uploading!  If you’ve been a fan of the current How It Works series, then thank you! Having to be the brains behind it was not as easy as I expected. I used a variety of apps when I first started experimenting with the design of how I wanted the reels to look. I’m still playing around with the design, and trying to make them more inclusive! I’ve recently found closed captions which was a really important addition. I’m also working on building a Rogue tik tok account, which I want to make the vibe for this one a little less serious than the instagram! I want it to be a bit more loose and for people toi laugh and have fun, and see the not always so serious side of the shop! 

We’re currently moving forward to opening my calendar up one day a week for junior piercings! This means I’ll get to work 1 on 1 with clients, without full supervision as I’d have completed my training on these piercings with the current technique! And that’s not the only exciting thing to look forward to this year. In September we are heading to the UK APP conference which is very exciting! It’s going to be a really great opportunity to meet new piercers across the industry and make connections, and to learn so much more stuff! The future is definitely looking shiny.

Good piercing apprenticeships can be very hard to come across, and they’re not necessarily what you think they might be! There’s so much information that really helps further your training than you would think. A good piercing apprenticeship should take between 2-3 years, with a very experienced mentor. If you’d like to understand why, read our other blog post detailing why they take a long time!

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Interview with a Rogue – Jay Abell

Tell us about your first experience with piercing?

My first ever experience with piercing was when I got my lobes pierced, but I was too young to remember, so my first actual experience was when I got my helix pierced. I think I was around 14, and my mum had got her daith pierced, and I begged her to let me have my ear done. Knowing what I know now, it probably wasn’t the safest piercing I ever had, but it was a new experience and I kind of just didn’t stop from there.

What’s your favorite piercing you have?

My favorite piercing I have currently is the one in my chin, probably because it’s more of a “fun” piercing, very short term and not viable. It’s a fun challenge to see if I can heal it, but in the meantime it’s just really cute! I love watching people’s reactions when they see I have a piercing in my chin! 

How did you get into the industry?

I got into the industry through gaining my apprenticeship with Rogue. To be honest, I was extremely lucky with how I landed it. I left university and came home to Nottingham, got a local bar job, followed by a second job at a cafe. During this time I started visiting Rogue and slowly started to upgrade my jewellery to brands like neometal. (I was wearing a lot of odd sizes, and different materials like plastic). Upon talking to Kat and Aiden, I told them I was wanting to become a piercer, but I was working other jobs. I interacted with the studio online, but I also did a lot of home research. I started learning more about the APP and UK APP, and how they work and things like that.

I actually had a folder at home, with lots of their stuff printed out!

From there I got offered an interview with the studio, spoke about Harry Styles and One Direction a lot, and was just honest the entire time about what I  liked, what I knew and didn’t know and fortunately, got offered the apprenticeship.

What’s your favorite thing about working at Rogue?

Probably the environment. The clients are absolutely lovely and always make you so excited to work with them. There’s no pressure to wear anything I’m uncomfortable with, I can be myself, I can also have a couple of biscuits with my tea if I want to. There’s the right level of pressure, do your job and do it well, make sure your stuff is done, keep moving forward and working and aspiring harder. 

What are you most proud of in your career so far?

To be honest right now I’m just proud of making it this far. Every single day I learn something new, or I do something new and it’s all so exciting. Honestly, I’m just super proud of how far I’ve come since a year ago. 

Jay’s first ever piercing, performed on Aiden

What does the future hold for Jay?

The future probably holds a lot for me but to be honest I hate thinking about it! I find if I make any sort of long term plans it always changes by time I get there! Plus I just really struggle to think that far in advance. I like to take every day, and every week as it comes by, and I just work with what I’ve got and what’s coming.

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a modded person?

To be honest, I’ve been extremely lucky when facing any challenges. I wouldn’t say I’m heavily modded or anything like that, although I suppose I might stand out a bit more in a crowd than your average person. I’ve been extremely lucky with working jobs where heavy makeup, and short dyed hair, and piercings were never an issue. They’ve also been a great conversation starter for people as well! My biggest issue has been with people asking if there’s other places I have pierced that they can’t immediately see, or purposely pointing out tattoos on my legs and chest which can be quite uncomfortable. Either that, or remarks from family, or people slightly older telling me I’d look much nicer without it all.

How did your family/friends react when you became a piercer?

I first wanted to be a piercer when I was 17 and was going to leave sixth form. My mum was really supportive and was behind me pursuing what I wanted to do. She’d just make sure that I knew what I was doing and that I had back up plans! For example, I was working a part time job as well. And then when I told my family I was dropping out of university to pursue it, again everyone was really supportive and happy that I was doing what I wanted to do. They’ve been really proud of me every step of the way, and I couldn’t be more grateful.

Top 3 movies?

That’s such a nightmare question, I don’t watch movies a lot, and when I do I can never remember them afterwards! 

What’s on your playlist?

The song I’m obsessed with rightnow is ‘Friendly Sex’ by Caity Baser. But overall it’s a really weird mix of 80s, 90s, and early 2000/2010 love songs. Although if you ask me again in about a week it’ll probably be something completely different!

What advice can you offer to aspiring and established apprentices?

Be yourself, and work hard. When wanting to be a part of a world that thrives on ‘being yourself’ it can be really easy to be swept up with trends, or what other people might be doing. It can be really easy to lose yourself when trying to fit in, and in the long run it doesn’t benefit anyone. You’ve got to stick to your guns, and be unapologetically yourself.

You’ve also got to work hard, whether that’s at your apprenticeship or the other stuff you’re doing. I worked two jobs before I gained my apprenticeship, and dropped out of uni when truly realizing it’s what I wanted to do, but every step of the way I continued to work hard. I finished my year at uni, taking every last exam and meeting, even though I knew I was leaving. Working hard is a really good way to prove your commitment to things, but also if and when you do eventually leave, it’s always good to keep those connections in life.

What’s some of the most valuable advice you’ve been given so far?

“It’s amazing what you can learn when you stop talking and start listening”

What’s your favorite snack?

I really struggle with having favorite things, I just normally fixate on something for a few weeks and then never touch it again! My latest one is probably magic stars. wonderful.

Favorite drink?

Obviously redbull.

If you weren’t a piercer, what would you be doing? 

That’s a tricky one. I think if I’d never had realized I wanted to do piercing, I’d probably still be at university studying acting. However, if I’d never have gotten my apprenticeship when I did, I don’t think much would be different. I’d still be working in the pub and the cafe, still trying to gain one!

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Curved Problems

With our changeover of basic range just around the corner we thought we should highlight how much effort and investment goes into producing the high quality body jewellery we stock. It may come as a surprise but the humble curved barbell and circular barbell throw up the biggest problems for jewellery makers. This blog will show some of the solutions to these problems by jewellery design and the processes and machinery used in curved jewellery production.

Disclaimer: These are not the only methods to produce these items. There are many ways to make everything.

Shape

Circles aren't as simple as they seem. Who doesn't love a bit of radial geometry!
Circles aren’t as simple as they seem. Who doesn’t love a bit of radial geometry!

Body jewellery may look like simple pieces of metal but the exact shapes have been refined over decades to create designs that promote a smooth, healthy heal and lifetime. Sadly not all body jewellery is made equal and a lot of the time lower quality pieces come from aiming to create the cheapest item possible rather than creating the best.

Geometry seems simple on paper but making a finished piece of jewellery from a drawing is made much more difficult due to implant grade Titanium being notoriously difficult to work with.

Curves or Bends?

The key word in curved barbell is “curved”. High quality curves are made to be an arc from end to end. Having the same profile and curve the entire length of a wearable is required so jewellery can move through a piercing without stretching and irritating the piercing channel (as shown in fig 1 and fig 2 below). Lower quality curves are bent in the middle which will put more pressure on the centre of the piercing channel as well as stretch the piercing channel as it passes through (as shown in fig 3 and fig 4 below).

Bends

A “bent” barbell is just that; A barbell which has been bent. The bend can be applied manually or by using machinery such as a hydraulic press. In both methods the barbell is held in a vice or jig (fig 5), a lever is placed over the barbell and then force is applied (fig 6). Ideally some form of go no-go gauge for manual or a pressure gauge for hydraulic would be used to create standardised bend. These methods are fast and low cost but require lots of operator time and there is a high chance of variations in the final pieces.

Curves

As a curved barbell is a full arc and it is generally made from a coil, full ring, part ring or straight bar blank. Whichever blank (a piece of material prepared to be made into something (such as a key) by a further operation) is chosen there is going to be material wastage. This material waste goes onto the final price of the piece so it is already going to cost more than the bent barbell. Coils create the most wastage but can also increase the speed (And therefor cost) of the cutting, drilling and threading stages. Full rings are less expensive in material costs but are more manually intense due to not being able to create batches. Part rings are generally made from coils and full rings or machines such as CNC wire benders can be used. CNC wire benders are very specialised and very expensive pieces of machinery. Curves minimise the material wastage but due to the high cost of CNC wire benders and a specialist skilled operator being required they increase the setup cost significantly. Bar blanks will be pressed into a custom jig to form them in a hydraulic press.

A CNC wire bender in action

A part ring would now be ready for drilling and threading. Coils and full rings will need to be cut down to the correct length first and this will require using specialist jigs to hold them and either a power saw/grinder or a milling machine. If a milling machine is used then it can also be used for the threading section too. All of these machines add cost. A saw/grinder setup would be the cheapest setup cost but has an ongoing cost due to the manual nature of this method. A milling machine would add a large setup cost but has a much lower ongoing manual cost as batches can be setup so the milling machine can keep running on its own.

No two body jewellery companies make their curved barbells to the same radius. As piercers this variation can be useful as no two bodies are the same but does mean stocking multiple brands.

Circulars or Horseshoes?

Just like curves, the keyword in circular barbell is circular A circular barbell will move through the piercing channel smoothly and with minimal resistance (fig 7 and fig 8). A common slang name for circular barbells is horseshoes, but a horseshoe shape isn’t ideal for body jewellery. Horseshoes cause similar issues to bent barbells as they also distort and stretch the piercing channel during movement (fig 9 and fig 10). This distortion can lead to irritated piercings. The extended legs on a horseshoe also bring the attachments closer together which gives a different aesthetic and increases installation difficulty.

Horsehoes

A horseshoe is basically an arc with extended legs on each end. The legs are a symptom of the production method and process order. A horseshoe will be drilled and threaded before it is formed. The forming can be completed in a manner of ways but the most common would be to use a custom jig and a hydraulic press. A barbell would be placed into the jig (fig 11) and then the press would apply force to wrap the bar into a U shape (fig 12). A second stage jig and/or press would be needed to push the legs in towards each other (fig 13). The initial setup cost for this method would be much less but the ongoing manual cost would be high.

Circulars

Hydraulic press 10 ton
A hydraulic press with pressure gauge.

A circular barbell would use some of the same machinery and blank shapes (albeit in a different diameter) as curved barbells. Coils and Full Rings would follow the same process as curves and Part Rings could also be produced using the CNC wire bender or by using a hydraulic press and custom jig.

Threading

Threading creates the biggest problem for high end curved and circular barbells. This is because the threading must be added after the shape has been formed otherwise the thread will be distorted and will not work (fig 14). All of the lower quality curves and circulars can have the threading added first as they have straight sections on the end that doesn’t distort during forming (fig 15). The straight end section uses faster processes, less steps and lower skilled operators so is much cheaper.

Adding a thread inside a small curved item adds an extra level of accuracy. Drilling a straight thread inside a curve doesn’t leave much space for error and can cause a weak point in the jewellery (fig 16). The accuracy required to avoid this can be achieved using machinery and skilled operators but this significantly increases the cost.

Some of the machinery that can be used to thread our circular and curved barbells is cutting edge technology. CNC 5 axis milling machines can be used to batch produce items using specialised jigs, CNC lathes can be used for single item manufacture but both of these methods are high manual intensity for highly specialised skill sets. Cutting edge technology comes at a cost though.

We love the amount of effort and perfectionism that goes into the body jewellery that we sell. Having suppliers that care as much about the jewellery that goes in your body as we do at Rogue really makes us happy. The items we use at Rogue are made to last a lifetime without harming your body, all while looking amazing. We hope that this blog has helped you see that simple looking items can be anything but simple to produce.

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Repiercing 101

We are often asked if it is possible to pierce in the same spot as an old piercing. There seems to be some misinformation floating around that says that if you have had a piercing in X location, you can never have a repiercing in the same place! This is not the case and we will explain why, but also talk about which conditions need to be met in order for your repierce to go smoothly.

What Is Scar Tissue?

Your piercing scar is made of scar tissue. Scars are a natural and unavoidable product of your wound healing response – There is little you can do to prevent the growth of scar tissue! Healing a piercing is a careful balance of healing a scar in a certain way to support jewellery. A piercing is a wound, after all. That scar tissue is avascular (has no blood vessels) and is made mostly of collagen. The collagen is not assembled into the organised layers that undamaged skin is, but is quite jumbled and rigid. This is why you might feel a little solid ‘lump’ where your old piercing used to be – That is the scar tissue that formed the piercing channel of your old piercing. As your scar matures, the amount of collagen drops by as much as 20% and you can feel the scar get softer and softer, until you might barely even notice it. This is what we are waiting for when we ask you to remove your jewellery and wait for a re-piercing!

Everyone heals at a different rate. There is no set time frame for when your old piercing has settled enough to repierce. Interestingly, it may take longer for young people to be ready for a repierce as our immune systems are too good at healing! The re-epithelialisation stage of wound healing is when the collagen for the scar tissue is produced. The younger you are, the more energetic this response is and the more collagen you produce. The more collagen you produce, the heavier the scar tissue will be and the longer it will take to settle and be ready to repierce. People over the age of 50 tend to scar less, as their immune response is lower and they do not undergo such an overproduction of collagen. You can read more about the healing process here!

When Am I Ready To Repierce?

This is different for everybody. The best way to know if you are ready to be pierced in the same spot is to head to your piercer and allow them to assess the area. We know what to look for in a scar! Is it hard and granular still, or has it softened enough to repierce?

Repiercing before you are ready can cause issues. Like I mentioned earlier, scar tissue is avascular. This means that if we repierce before the scar tissue has diminished, then there will likely be less blood flow and nutrients to the area which can significantly extend the healing time of your repiercing. Not only would your healing time be extended, but piercing through hard scar tissue is not fun! If the old piercing fistula is still open, you can also have issues where the new and old piercing channels interact and cause issues with draining of fluids.

As a general rule, we recommend waiting:

  • At least 8 weeks to repierce soft tissue like a lobe or navel piercing.
  • At least 12 weeks before repiercing ‘soft cartilage’ like a nose or septum piercing.
  • At least 6 months before repiercing hard cartilage, such as daith, helix or conch piercings.

This is not a hard and fast rule though. Everyone is different! Check in with your piercer if you are unsure, and always wait longer than you think you need to. There is no rush to repierce! A good piercer will produce a great piercing that will last you the rest of your life.

A beautifully settled and repierced second lobe piercing. When done well, you wouldn’t even know that this has been pierced before!

Taking Care of Your Piercing Scar

After removing your old piercing, you shouldn’t need to do anything special to it. No special cleaning, no lotions and potions. The piercing itself will shrink down and seal over fairly quickly, and needs no special care even if the piercing was very new when you removed it.

If your scarring is particularly obtrusive, we recommend that after you remove your jewellery you begin a daily routine of very gentle massage. Use a non-scented natural oil such as Jojoba oil to lubricate the skin, and gently massage the scarring between thumb and forefinger. This can effect how the scar remodels over time, and can break up the scar into softer, more pliable, tissue. There is not a huge amount of evidence (besides anecdotal evidence, which should always be taken with a grain of salt!) that scar massage is super effective, but keeping the area moisturised and stimulating blood flow will not hurt you either. If you have excessive scarring, like in keloid formation or large hypertrophic scarring, then a trip to the dermatologist wouldn’t go amiss. There are lots of things modern medicine has to offer such as laser, silicone patching, corticosteroid injections, and lots of other treatments that can soften and minimise scarring. A standard repiercing shouldn’t need all this special attention though! Time is the greatest healer of all.

As a side note, there is no discount in piercing fee whether it be a new piercing or a repierce. We use exactly the same tools and it takes exactly the same amount of time as a fresh piercing!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch via our instagram or email!

Citations

Bond, J.S., Duncan, J.A.L., Sattar, A., Boanas, A., Mason, T., OʼKane, S. and Ferguson, M.W.J. (2008). Maturation of the Human Scar: An Observational Study. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, [online] 121(5), pp.1650–1658. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Abstract/2008/05000/Maturation_of_the_Human_Scar__An_Observational.19.aspx [Accessed 11 Nov. 2021].

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The Basics Transition

At Rogue we pride ourselves on using the best jewellery, equipment and techniques that we have access to, to give our clients the best service we possibly can. A lot of our regulars will know that I (Aiden) used to be a Mechanical Engineer for the MoD and specialised in metal standards and that this knowledge lead me to be a driving factor in the creation of the Material Standards for the UKAPP. Keeping up with progression is an important part of any piercing studio and any piercers career and the time has come for us to progress again.

Since the beginning of Rogue our basic range jewellery has been produced by a UK based body jewellery manufacturer who has responded well to demands from piercers to keep improving. It has come to our attention recently that this company hasn’t been as open to progression and their quality has been dropping and this has left us in the tricky position of having to change supplier. There currently isn’t another option in the UK working to the standards we require so we are beginning to import our jewellery all the way from America.

So, What’s Different?

For us to be confident to install new jewellery into a fresh piercing we must know a lot of information but by far the most important is the grade of the material. The grade of the material is connected to a standard which tells us exactly what mixture of metals make up the alloy and the exact process for how the material was made. It is quite common for piercers and clients to get hung up on the chemistry of the material but that only tells us part of the picture.

Chemistry Test

An example of a Chemistry test for body jewellery. This example shows how only a tiny sample batch is tested.

A chemistry test is used to prove what the alloy is of a specified piece of metal. A chemistry test isn’t suitable for implanted materials because it only proves the chemistry of the single piece tested rather than the entire batch. We need a higher level of guarantee that body jewellery is safe to go in the body. In the industrial world a chemistry test is fine but as every single piece of body jewellery must be safe for use in the body we need a more detailed form of guarantee.

As the item has to be ground and damaged in order to be tested, it would be unusable after the test is complete.

In the image to the left, note the sentence at the bottom “Samples submitted by customer, results relate only to items tested.”. This means that even the testing laboratory agree that this test is only suitable for the exact test piece rather than the entire batch.

Mill Certificate

Mill certificates tell us the exact process that was used to produce the metal and guarantees that all metal produced in the process will be homogeneous (Definition: Of uniform structure or composition). This is vitally important when installing jewellery into the human body.

The UK piercing industry has been specifically requesting Mill Certificates (not Chemistry tests) from all of our suppliers since the formation of the UKAPP. The reason for these requests is that in the past Titanium sourced from certain mills around the world has been found to have falsified their paperwork for Titanium used in surgical implants. This non-compliant metal only revealed itself to be unsafe when people that had medical implants started to have reactions to the metals and in a few extreme cases the implants were rejected by the body. Legislation for Body jewellery is not nearly as stringent as legislation written for medical implants, but the body can have just as serious reactions to non-safe body jewellery as it would to a non-safe medical implant. As Piercers we want every piercing to be happy and healthy so having a guaranteed safe material is of the utmost importance to us.

Important points to note on a mill certificate are:

  • Material Country of Origin – For DFARS approval
  • Material Grade – To show the designated grade of the material from this melt
  • Melting Process – To show the process the mill followed to produce the material
  • Heat/Melt Number – For batch control and material traceability
  • Material Dimensions – To show which supplied raw material came from the batch
  • Total Material – Shown in either weight or length – To show how much raw material was sourced

DFARS

Multiple Launch Rocket System (M270) | Lockheed Martin
An M270 MLRS (Multi launch Rocket System) produced as a product between the US, UK and French defence industries. The materials used to manufacture this vehicle are all controlled y the DFARS agreement.

DFARS – Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement

Due to some Titanium Mills falsifying their paperwork and producing material not of the grade stated the Body Piercing Industry started to search for a form of guarantee that material sourced is of the grade advertised. There were very few options available for this and the final choice was the DFARS agreement.

DFARS is a system used by the US Defence sector. It was originally laid out to allow the American Defence Industry to source material from outside of the US and still guarantee that the material is of the correct grade. I used to work within a similar framework when sourcing Armour for the British military. As the American Defence sector is incredibly specific about the metals used in their products this was the perfect system for the body jewellery industry. This system may seem like it doesn’t apply to body jewellery but as there aren’t any systems for material guarantees outside for the defence world, the DFARS agreement is currently the best system we have.

Rather than have individual companies or metal mills be compliant with DFARS, different countries will claim compliance. This means that any material sources from these countries will have a guarantee it was produced using a process specified in the material grade. Current countries in the DFARS agreement are:

AustraliaGreecePortugal
BelgiumIsraelSlovenia
CanadaItalySpain
Czech RepublicJapanSweden
DenmarkLatviaSwitzerland
EgyptLuxembourgTurkey
EstoniaNetherlandsUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
FranceNorway
GermanyPoland
Notable nations missing from the DFARS agreement are China, India and Thailand.

The UK is a DFARS compliant nation, but as we have no Titanium Mills here we must source our Titanium from elsewhere. Currently the vast majority of titanium is produced in China but as China isn’t a DFARS compliant country we CANNOT accept this as safe for use in body jewellery. Currently most verifiable implant grade Titanium is sourced from US or Italian mills.

Polish

SHOP TIPS #293 Surface Roughness Finish 1 of 2 tubalcain - YouTube
A Roughness Scale used in industrial applications to compare surface finishes

At Rogue we are constantly shouting about surface finish. This is because there is a direct link between the quality of the surface finish, the ease of healing and the long term health of a piercing. The suppliers we are switching to achieve a much better polish so this will be a big improvement on our current basic range. A better (more shiny) surface finish improves your healing process. We discuss this in lots of details in our dedicated Surface Finish blog!

A super-shiny mirror finish on an Anatometal 18k Dome is a perfect example.

Thread Quality

Screw Thread Terminology Explained | Assembly Fasteners, Inc.
A Diagram of the dimensions required for a screw thread to be produced

The new suppliers we are moving too also have a much tighter Quality Control system. this means that there will be less issues with jewellery coming unscrewed, being lost or being damaged. We would love to live in a world where products are 100% perfect all the time but sadly this isn’t realistic. The companies we are switching to also want to live in a world where products are perfect 100% of the time and we are excited to be working with companies that have such pride in their products.

Cost

With higher quality Titanium, better quality control, international shipping, import tax, inflation and the damage to the supply chain that COVID has caused we will be seeing a price rise on our basic options. We never like having to put our prices up but during this time we are going to have to. We will give all of our clients plenty of notice so we can all prepare for the change.

We are not in the business of changing prices without giving you plenty of notice! We are aiming to change our basic range jewellery to new, higher-quality basic jewellery in January. Any appointments after this day will have a different cost for basic jewellery – Our high-end prices are staying the same!

As always we will be striving to be the best piercers we can be and will continue to do the best we can for our clients. That’s it for this week. We’ll be back next week with a blog all about circular barbells. Have a good week everyone!

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions, you can contact us via email or instagram.

Aiden

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Piercing Retainer 101

Now that school is back in session and everyone is back in work, we are being asked ‘what is the best way to hide my piercing?’ We also frequently get asked what to wear when undertaking medical procedures such as MRIs and surgery. There are a few different options to consider in terms of piercing retainer, and we will discuss them today.

The MRI Machine was invented in Nottingham. One of our little claims to fame!

Do I Even Need a Retainer?

The biggest thing to consider is, do I actually need a retainer in the first place? There are a few things to consider in this case. Firstly, how old is your piercing? A well-healed piercing can usually sustain itself without jewellery for a short while, such as for the duration of an MRI which usually lasts between 15 and 90 minutes. For MRIs and other short procedures, it is recommended to remove your jewellery just before the procedure, and reinsert it as promptly as possible afterwards. You may need an insertion tool or taper to help you do this, which we recommend buying in advance. If you are not confident in changing or reinserting your jewellery yourself and have a medical procedure coming up then please get in touch! We are more than happy to help you remove and reinsert your jewellery absolutely free of charge in the case of medical procedures. You do need to book this, so give us a phone call to avoid paying the checkup fee.

If your piercing is still relatively young, or is in a placement that closes more quickly such as an oral piercing, it is best to choose a retainer in advance of when you need it.

The Gold Standard Retainer

Even though our jewellery is ASTM F-136 Titanium or solid 14k and 18k Gold which are all totally MRI safe, a lot of medical practitioners will ask you to remove your jewellery before procedures regardless. If you feel confident in doing so, you can self-advocate to your MRI technician and medical team. We are happy to provide you with the paperwork required to prove your jewellery is MRI safe if you need it. However if you do need to remove your jewellery, for example if your procedure is on your head or face, then do consider a retainer. If your procedure is longer than an hour, we’d recommend purchasing glass jewellery as a retainer. Glass is the perfect retainer piece, being inert and transparent so as not to leave an afterimage on any x-rays or imaging work you have done. Lead-free Borosilicate Glass is also totally nonporous and body safe – It is truly the gold standard. If you have a procedure coming up, we highly recommend contacting us to organise ordering glass retainers for any piercings that you are worried may close. 

Glass is one of the best materials for body piercing and is usually the material of choice for stretching amongst professional piercers, although you do not need to stretch your piercings to wear it. Glass jewellery is available in every size and thickness! One of the biggest advantages of glass for piercing jewellery is its non-porous, extremely smooth surface. This allows for easy and frictionless insertion and removal of the jewellery. It also means that the jewellery can be easily cleaned and will not collect bacteria as with a porous structure such as acrylic, plastic or wood.

Aside from being great for medical reasons, glass is also a handy way of concealing piercings for work or school. Glass is shiny though, so do consider Neometal ‘Freckle’ Discs if you want something extremely subtle. 

Glass jewellery is not only beautiful, but a perfect material to wear as a retainer.

The Unsafe Piercing Retainer

Retainers, although intended for short term wear, should still be implant-grade and body safe. Anything that is inserted into the body needs to be safe to wear. So where does plastic jewellery stand? Plastic jewellery is pervasive in the piercing industry. Whether that be under specific brand names, in the form of flexible a plastic ‘retainer’ or classic acrylic jewellery, plastic jewellery is everywhere. So why do we not stock it here at Rogue? What is the issue with flexible plastic jewellery?

Here you can see a plastic retainer under an SEM electron microscope. Bacteria will live and grow very quickly in this cozy matrix of holes. Your body will be permanently irritated by the rough texture, too.

The main issue with plastic jewellery is that plastic is porous and rough in texture, and made from unregulated mystery polymers. When something is porous, it means that it is covered in small holes that allow liquids to pass through. This means that bacteria and other nasties have crevices in which to grow. This biofilm can cause severe irritation to a piercing, alongside causing nasty odours and excessive crusting. The roughness of the texture of plastic also means that it is constantly rubbing the inside of your piercing like sandpaper. This can cause irritation bumps, scar tissue formation, and can significantly damage the inside of your piercing. There is little research into plastics that act as an implant such as in piercings, however a study performed in 2016 showed that plastic or teflon jewellery was found to carry up to ten times more bacteria and biofilm than the same type of jewellery made from highly-polished Titanium, (Borges et al, 2016). This study also viewed the different jewellery under a microscope to visualise the difference in surface finish and bacterial buildup (yummy!).

There is so much more biofilm present on the plastic jewellery – This porous surface allows buildup and irritation.

All this aside, the number one reason why Rogue does not stock plastic jewellery is because we simply do not know what it is made from. There are seven main categories of plastic, however there are thousands of different plastic polymers with their own composition and characteristics. No plastic jewellery manufacturer is willing to divulge the exact plastics they use. With every single piece of jewellery we stock, we receive certification that it is A) What it says it is, and B) Made from a material proven to be implant-grade and safe to wear. We simply do not have this information for plastic jewellery. Some plastics have been shown to release carcinogenic or toxic compounds at body temperature, such as when ingested. All plastic jewellery degrades over time, and can cause issues at any point. It’s our prerogative to provide our clients with safe jewellery that can last a lifetime, which is why plastic is not offered at Rogue. If you do have plastic jewellery as a piercing retainer, do use it as a last resort and remember that it is only recommended to wear for a maximum of 8 hours before being discarded. Plastic is not at all made for long-term wear.

The main takeaways from this are that we are here to help! If you cannot get jewellery back in after a procedure, we can help you. If you need a piercing retainer for long-term wear then we can order items in for you too. We just want to see happy and healthy piercings out there! 

Contact Us

Instagram

hello@roguepiercing.co.uk (General Enquiries)

kat@roguepiercing.co.uk (Custom orders, Jewellery Enquiries.)

References

Borges, L.P., Ferreira-Filho, J.C.C., Martins, J.M., Alves, C.V., Santiago, B.M. and Valença, A.M.G. (2016). In VitroAdherence of Oral Bacteria to Different Types of Tongue Piercings. The Scientific World Journal, [online] 2016, pp.1–6. Available at: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2016/7349371/ [Accessed 23 Sep. 2021].

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An Introduction To: Nose Piercings

Nose piercings are incredibly popular amongst all ages, all genders, all walks of life. They can be part of self expression, cultural tradition, or self-discovery. We absolutely adore a nose piercing. Here you’ll find an overview of nose piercings, their aftercare, and what to expect in terms of healing and jewellery options!

Placement

There are many places on the nose that can be pierced. Not all are easy, not all are to everyone’s taste, but we love how much of a blank canvas the nose is.

Traditional nose piercings are exactly what most people imagine when thinking about a nose piercing. They sit about 8mm from the edge of the nose, below the nasal crease. Some people will want their nose piercings directly on the nasal crease, but we do not recommend this as it is the thickest part of the cartilage, where two cartilage plates meet. This means that ‘nasal crease’ piercings can be very tricky to heal. Traditional nose piercings are the most common type, and have the largest range of jewellery choices once healed.

Here are my nostrils! All BVLA, all the time.

High Nostril piercings are their own subset of nose piercings, and are easily the most tricky to heal. High nostril piercings are defined as any nose piercing placed above the nasal crease. Some piercers will split them into two secondary categories depending on their height. For example, we would define my (Kat) nostrils as ‘mid-nostrils’ even though technically by our own definition they are high nostrils. High nostrils, when done correctly by a skilled piercer, can be practically against the bone of the nose bridge. High nostrils are not to be taken on lightly and can take upwards of 9-12 months to fully heal. Aiden is incredibly experienced with high nostrils, and has done many sets for other piercers too!

This set of high nostrils was done on the lovely Gemma of Pierce of Art! You can see them in comparison to a set of traditional nostrils below with the black jewellery.

Mantis piercings are a relatively new trend in nose piercings. Otherwise known as ‘forward facing nostrils,’ these are nose piercings that pass through the front or tip of the nose. Mantis piercings can be a trickier heal and are complex to mark and pierce. It is so easy for a tiny discrepancy in angle or placement to throw the whole thing. We would love to do more forward facing nostril piercings if the right client chose them!

Jewellery Choices

Nose piercings have a few options in terms of jewellery. Some are good for fresh piercings, some are good for healed piercings, and some are not great for piercings in general!

Studs

Studs, or flat-back labrets, are the perfect style of jewellery to start nose piercings with. The straight bar means than any excess length for swelling is neatly tucked away, and the healing piercing can drain easily and without issue. Flat-back labrets are very comfortable to wear and look unobtrusive even with extra room for swelling!

Labrets are incredibly secure, and do not carry the same risk of loss that a nostril screw or nose bone do. We will talk about those guys in a minute! Labrets are comfortable, and do not give you that big ‘metal bogey’ sensation. You also can’t see them sticking out of your nose. Winner!

All of our threadless ends are compatible with these labrets, which means you have a huge amount of jewellery to choose from for your initial piercing. You can see our full range of jewellery in-studio, or on our webstore.

You can read more about labrets, the different styles of connection, and the argument of rings vs studs here.

Rings

Rings are a really classic look for nose piercings. It’s usually the end-goal style, and are incredibly popular! However, they are only really suitable for healed piercings. Healed nose piercings do not need extra room for swelling and drainage, and do not need a stopper ‘design’ to avoid irritating your fresh piercing with a seam or hinge. We highly recommend waiting a minimum of three months before swapping to a ring, so your piercing has a chance to heal and settle before changing to this slightly more irritating style of jewellery.

If you chose to start with a ring, it would usually not be the style of ring you imagine! This ring would have to be much thicker in gauge, and larger in diameter, to allow for your initial swelling and drainage of fluids (yummy!). This ring would also mean you are much more likely to snag your piercing, knock it, or rotate and twist it to introduce bacteria. All of these can irritate your piercing and extend your healing time. If you are set on a ring, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into!

Left: Dainty ring for healed piercings. Right: The style of ring suitable for a fresh nose piercing!

Nostril Screws and Nose Bones

Nostril screws, nose bones and other styles of jewellery are easily lost and made of poor quality materials.

The other options for nostril piercings are nostril screws and nose bones. Nostril screws are those classic ‘corkscrew’ type pieces which you spiral into the piercing and are held in place via the curvature of the post. Nose bones are straight posts with a sharp point or small ball on the inside, so when inserted the ball is pushed through and holds the jewellery in place. We do not recommend either style of jewellery for long term wear, especially nose bones as they can damage your piercing! The main reason these types of jewellery are used is because they are incredibly cheap to manufacture in comparison to high quality threaded or threadless jewellery. There is no real benefit to you as the final customer.

These styles of jewellery lack security, and are the most common cause of lost piercings! They are often made from mystery metals and are cheaply manufactured. We only recommend nostrils screws for well-healed piercings, and only for temporary wear. If your nose piercing is irritated, it is best to swap to a high-quality flat-back labret as a first port of call.

The Piercing Process

Nose piercings are incredibly easy to get, and are not that uncomfortable to get! They do make your eyes water, but this is simply because your eyes don’t need an excuse to water.

The most uncomfortable part of the piercing is usually any clamps and tools that are used. Luckily, we do not use any clamps or tools for nose piercings so they are much more comfortable process for you. For each piercing, we use a single sterile tri-bevel needle, our hands, and your jewellery. Nothing else! This freehand technique is both easier for you, and produces less waste to go to landfill or be incinerated.

Once your nose has been cleaned, marked, disinfected and you are happy with the position, we ask you to lie down. We find that being pierced lying down is much less intimidating for you! Once you are ready, you are asked to take a nice calm breath in. On your exhale is when we pierce you. Once you have been pierced, we pause to insert the jewellery and then you are done! The whole process takes about 5-10 seconds.

Nose Piercing Aftercare

For our full aftercare instructions, click here.

For nose piercings, you want to clean the outside only. The inside of your nose is a self-cleaning location, so you really don’t need to do too much to it at all! The outside of your nose needs to be cleaned just twice a day in the morning and evening, using a sterile saline spray. You want to spritz a little bit onto your piercing, let it soak into any crusties for about thirty seconds, then gently remove any buildup using a piece of folded kitchen roll or nonwoven gauze. Then just pat dry to wick away any excess moisture.

All piercings should be kept dry, which means no bathtubs, hot tubs or swimming for 4-6 weeks. Showers are totally fine though – Just ensure you have some kitchen roll or nonwoven gauze to hand to dry with afterwards!

The final and most important rule is to leave your new piercing alone! You should not be twisting or turning your jewellery, touching your piercing, fiddling with the jewellery or any other action that can disturb your piercing or introduce bacteria.

The Healing Process

Noses are relatively straightforward to heal! We strongly recommend booking a check-up after roughly 4-6 weeks in order for us to downsize the length of your jewellery and check your healing is going well!

You can change the jewellery yourself at home after about 12 weeks if you have been healing well, and you can expect a full heal in about 6 months!

The main cause of issues on nose piercings is overcleaning your piercing and snagging your jewellery, so do just be careful with it and let your body do it’s thing! Getting your downsize at 4-6 weeks is super important to the health of your piercing.

So there you go, an easy overview of nose piercings! There are so many ways to wear them so you can really make them your own. If you have any issues with your nose piercings, please do book a checkup or get in contact so we can help you troubleshoot.

Contact Us

kat@roguepiercing.co.uk

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