Kids Ear Piercing Options for West Michigan
If you’ve ever asked for recommendations on where to get your child’s ears pierced in Grand Rapids, chances are that a mall venue, such as Claire’s or Icing was mentioned. But did you know that there are more options available?
First we will cover the two main procedures for piercing ears and then we will list local places where your child can get a little glam.
The Lowdown on the Piercing Gun System
These locations offer a walk-in, simple and quick process with a ‘free’ piercing. I used these venues the two times I had my daughter’s ears pierced. Neither time did we have problems, and I’ve recommended their services many times.
These locations use a piercing gun system. The front of the gun holds the stud earring and the back holds a clasp. The ear lobe is placed in between the two areas and the piercer pulls the trigger, firing the earring into the ear and securing it in the clasp instantly. Often piercers will team up and do both ears at once to minimize the trauma.
While this system may seem cut and dry, there are many warnings against this kind of piercing method. The biggest risk is of infection and disease. Although guns have improved over time, and disposable cartridges are now available, there is still the potential (typically because of inexperienced piercers) for the bacteria deposited on the gun from one customer to be transferred to the next customer.
Piercing guns also use a standard post that doesn’t fit all ear lobes and also hides part of the ear when placed on the ear, making it hard to accurately pierce in the right location. In addition, most guns force the studs through the tissue, causing more damage than necessary.
Going Pro for Ear Piercing
Professional piercers’ prices are often higher than retail, but with the price comes some advantages. The first is experience. Unlike the limited training and experience that a retail piercer often has, a professional piercer goes through extensive training and can easily be found with years of experience.
Another advantage is the piercing instrument of choice. The piercer holds the earlobe with forceps, while directing an extremely sharp hypodermic needle into the lobe, making a very clean hole that heals quickly. Scary sounding…yes…but with this process, accuracy is much easier to obtain than with the gun, and the tools are made from materials that allow them to be thoroughly sterilized in an autoclave.
Taking the professional route can be a little more intimidating for both the child and parent. After all, you’re entering a studio that may be clad with rainbows and butterflies, but not the kind you’re used to seeing at Claire’s.
You can also check with your pediatrician or dermatologist to see if they pierce ears, or ask for recommendations.
Or you can just use this great list of places that grkids.com readers recommend in and around GR.
Retail Locations for Ear Piercing in Grand Rapids
Claire’s | FREE piercing with the purchase of an ear piercing kit, which includes cleaner and jewelry ($19.50 and up).
Icing | FREE piercing with the purchase of an ear piercing kit, which includes cleaner and jewelry ($19.50 and up).
Piercing Pagoda (owned by Zales) – Woodland Mall | FREE piercing with the purchase of jewelry ($18.99 and up).
Walmart (at the jewelry counter) | Child is required to have had their first shots (typically done at 3 months of age). FREE with purchase of earrings ($10 and up).
Area Salons That Offer Piercings
Cindy’s Hair Care – Jenison | Must be at least two years old. $25, which includes earrings and cleaning solution.
Hair – Greenville | Toddler age and up (child should be able to sit still). $20
The Hair Studio – Grand Rapids | There is no age restriction, but kids under 18 must be accompanied by a parent. FREE with the purchase of earrings ($14.99 and up).
Shear Attitudes – Middleville | No age restriction, but kids under 17 must have parental consent. $20 for both ears. (Only one gun, so they pierce one ear at a time.)
Piercing and Tattoo Parlors Around West Michigan
Kitten Flower Boutique – Grand Rapids | Will pierce when a child is old enough to understand what they are doing and aftercare, which tends to start around 4 years old. $35 piercing fee (covers both ears with two piercers), plus the cost of jewelry ($10 and up). Under 8 years old requires an appointment, parent present, and parent ID and child’s birth certificate.
Mos Eisley’s Tattoos – Grand Rapids | 8 years old and up, with birth certificate and photo ID for the child (school ID), in addition to parent’s state issued ID. $10 each ear, plus the cost of each piece of jewelry ($15-$300).
Screaming Needle – Wyoming, Grand Rapids and Allendale locations | Birth certificate and photo ID required for the child (school ID, passport, child safe card), in addition to parent’s state issued ID. $25 each ear.
3rd Coast Tattoo – Holland | Will pierce a child when they’ve reached the age where they can tell them they want the piercing and why (they do not pierce infants or toddlers). $30 captive bead, $35 for studs. Walk-ins are welcome, but it’s recommended to call in advance.
Honest to Goodness Tattoo & Piercing – Grandville | 6 years and up, with birth certificate and photo ID (school ID, passport, or a current year book with the child’s name corresponding to the picture) for the minor, and valid state ID for the parent/guardian (if guardian, they also require the state paperwork proving guardianship). $15 per ear, plus the cost of each piece of jewelry ($25 and up).
Tell us about your child’s ear piercing experience by leaving a comment below.