How to Prepare for a Piercing Session

One of the most common questions we get at North York Ink is, “Is there anything I need to know or do before my piercing appointment?”

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is there are quite a few factors that will affect the way your body reacts to getting a piercing, and there are quite a few things that you can do in advance to manage the outcome.

When we think of how to take care of our piercings and how to make sure the healing process goes as smoothly as possible, we automatically think of the piercing aftercare instructions, which can be found here.

Though the aftercare of a piercing does play a significant role in how your piercing will heal, it is not the only contributing factor in a healthy and successfully healed body mod.

Let’s take a look at how you can prepare for your piercing appointment:

Do Your Research

This should be your first step. Finding a reputable piercing studio can make all the difference in how your body reacts to your new body mod.


Cleanliness is the most important thing to consider when choosing a piercing studio.

A clean piercing studio and clean piercing practices promote faster healing times and reduce the risk of infection during the healing process.

To find out more on how to avoid infections, check out our blog on that here.


Finding an experienced piercer is key. As often as we are asked, “is there anything I need to know before my piercing appointment?” we are asked, “is it going to hurt”.

Maybe even more often.

Again, the short answer is yes, piercings hurt. The pain is not excruciating, but it can be a little uncomfortable.

Our piercer at North York Ink (who is 12+ years deep in the game) often refers to it as a quick pinch.

With that being said, the more experienced the piercer, the less pain you are likely to feel.

For one, they know what they are doing, and for two, after years of poking holes in people just like you and me, they have developed a rhythm and are naturally quicker and more precise with the procedure.

Jewelry Selection

Choosing the right jewelry is important for many reasons, the big one being metal allergies.

We get calls regularly requesting gold as the preferred jewelry metal for piercings, as our clients are often allergic to other metals.

The thing is, though gold is the gold standard (pun intended) when it comes to the choice of jewelry, not all gold is just gold.

As a matter of fact, the most affordable gold is not JUST gold.

This means that unless you are spending big money to purchase 24kt gold earrings, you are still at risk of being exposed to other potentially allergenic metals like nickel.

At North York Ink, we use Titanium, which is one of the few reasonably priced hypoallergenic metals out there.

Titanium is a hypoallergenic metal, its alloys are aluminum and vanadium, not nickel.

Titanium is light and durable and is also corrosion resistant, which means it can be worn in an ocean or pool.

Sizing and Style of Jewelry

Sizing and style are also very important. Choosing the right length for your jewelry will determine how your piercing heals.

Jewelry that is too short does not allow room for the piercing to swell (which is normal) and heal properly, which will lead to irritation and potential infection.

Jewelry that is too long will also cause irritation and will result in the same fate as jewelry that is too short.

Getting pierced with the right length of jewelry is different with every piercing.

Any reputable piercing studio will know the differences in piercings, so this is less of a responsibility for you, but definitely good to know.

The style of jewelry you choose will also have an effect on how your piercing heals.

For example, at North York Ink, we encourage our clients to stray away from getting pierced with hoops because hoops are more likely to snag and irritate your piercing, causing infections.

Again, make sure you choose the right piercing studio and piercer, this should all be common knowledge amongst good piercers.

Be Well Rested

Piercings can be a spur-of-the-moment decision, we get it. They are fun and exciting, and they are kind of a non-committal alteration to your body.

However, as exciting as it might seem to drop into the studio and get a piercing, we highly encourage all of our clients to be well-rested before their appointments as much as possible.

Plan ahead. There is no telling how your body will react to the procedure, give yourself the best chance of dealing with the modification.

This will affect how your body responds to the trauma and the healing process.

Stay Hydrated

Everyone loves a good cup of joe in the morning, and that’s okay, but make sure you drink lots of other fluids prior to your appointment and try to avoid drinking coffee RIGHT before your appointment.

Our suggested drink of choice is water, but drinks like Gatorade or other high-electrolyte drinks are great too.

You do not want to be dehydrated or heavily caffeinated for your appointment.

This goes without saying, but alcohol is another big no-no.

The main reason why you should not consume drinks like alcohol, coffee, and certain medication immediately before or after your appointment is that they can cause blood thinning and lead to excessive bleeding, bruising around the piercing site, and extra pain.

Not to mention, good luck trying to sit still for a piercing 4 coffees deep. This is no fun for anyone.

Eat Some Food

We suggest eating some food, preferably a nutritious meal, at most two hours before your appointment. This will help keep your blood sugar steady.

Low blood sugar could lead to feeling dizzy or even faint during the piercing, which is not ideal.

Unfortunately, this can happen anyways, as some people are more prone to sudden drops in blood sugar or just get queasy at the sight of needles.

Giving yourself the best chance to avoid this happening is always recommended, so eat up!

(If you resonate with that last part, we have a secret cupboard full of sugary snacks at North York Ink to bring you back to life.)

Good Hygiene

Good Hygiene is important for so many reasons.

For one, respect your piercer!

In order for the piercing to go successfully, the piercer needs to get as close as possible to the area in order to do the procedure properly.

Some body odor is normal and expected, we are not shaming anyone.

But please do your best in making sure that when you show up for your appointment, you have done your due diligence in making sure that you are not putting your piercer in an uncomfortable situation.

Secondly, good hygiene promotes good healing habits, and though we clean the area before piercing it, you are responsible for everything that follows, so practicing good cleaning habits before and after your piercing appointment is recommended.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Wearing the appropriate clothing is helpful for both yourself and the piercer.

Make the area of your body that you want to get pierced easily accessible to avoid having to remove unnecessary layers.

Also, if you are coming in for a Helix piercing, for example, be sure to bring a hair tie or a scrunchy so you can put your hair up to make access to the area easier and avoid getting your hair in the way.

Last But Not Least – RELAX!

We understand that getting a piercing can be intimidating. After all, you are making a pretty significant change to your body.

Whether you remove your jewelry in two months or two years, or the latter, never at all – this is a permanent change to your body.

No takebacks!

It can be scary but don’t overthink it – our piercers at North York Ink are experienced, patient professionals and will hold your hand (metaphorically, they need their hands) throughout the whole process.

Not to mention, our staff and tattoo artists are some of the friendliest in the biz. We are here for any questions or concerns you may have and are always willing to assist you!

Ready to Get Pierced?

If you feel like you’ve gained some insight from this article and you are ready to book your piercing appointment at North York Ink, hit us up at or call us at (649) 501-8222.

We are located at 4864a Yonge Street, in North York, if dropping by is more your thing.

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Welcome to North York Ink! A local tattoo & piercing studio providing the community of North York with quality tattoos and piercings close to home. When hard work and devotion merge with passion and creativity, the possibilities are endless.