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faq

FAQ

Here you will find answers to a lot of questions we often get asked about tattoos and piercing.

If you still have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to call or email us.


TATTOO FAQ

Q: Who is your best artist?
A: We are a fully custom studio, which means we don't have, "flash," or books of images. Rather than picking something off the wall that's been stuck on hundreds of other people, you get to communicate with your artist about exactly what you want to have, so it can be drawn for you. One of a kind art; Yours and only yours. Therefore, every artist has their own, "style," unique to them. For example, Vincent VanGogh and Picasso; They could both paint a flower, yet would looks worlds different. The most important step in the tattoo process at our studio is finding the right artist for the piece you're wanting.


Q: How do I schedule A.S.A.P.?
A: Some artists take walk-ins as well as appointments, and some are appointment only. Once you know who you want to work with, the easiest way is to e-mail him directly through the website, or call to find when the artist will be in the studio. 
Click here for a direct list of all our ARTISTS

Q: Does it hurt??
A: Yes, sort of! Getting tattooed is most commonly described as a slight burning sensation. The area of the body, as well as your own pain tolerance will play a small part in the tattoo experience. It's usually more bearable than expected.

Q: Can you numb it first?
A: We do offer a topical anesthetic to take the edge off, but always believe it's not a necessity.

Q: Is it safe to get a tattoo??
A: When done by a professional artist, in a sterile environment, with proper materials and a consideration to aftercare, most definitely. Feel free to ask your artist questions every time, to be educated on their sterile procedures.

Q: What are the accepted sterile practices your studio follows?
A: Needles are always sterilized in an autoclave, used ONCE, and then disposed of in a sharps container. All reusable equipment is scrubbed, placed in an ultrasonic shaker, and sterilized in an autoclave, packaged, and then re-sterilized a second time. Even the q-tips, rubber band and gauze is autoclaved before touching tissue.

Q: How do you know your autoclave is functioning properly?
A: Every month, a spore test is sent to a lab to ensure the highest sterility standards. A certificate, and log of every spore test done (for the last 16 years!) is viewable at our studio to anyone.

Q: Why is there a negative opinion of tattoos done out of a home?
A: When working out of a house, a properly educated artist and his sterile environment are the largest issues. Is the artist Bloodbourne Pathogen Certifiied? Is there a properly functioning autoclave with monthly spore testing? Are chairs, couches or other furniture pieces used for both tattooing and living? Are the floors made of a porous material? (carpet, wood, concrete) Are the barriers plastic and disposable or porous like sheets and blankets? These are all important questions to ask yourself which can effect your health for the rest of your life.
 
Q: Will it bleed??
A: Yes. All areas of the body have differing amounts of blood flow, so some body parts are more prone to bleeding. Overall, bleeding is minimal. Do not drink alcohol, or take any drugs, (including over the counter pain relievers) the day you plan to be tattooed. These will thin your blood, and make you less likely to clot and heal properly. We also recommend you refrain from ingesting Cinnamon, which is an intense natural blood thinner.

Q: Why are tattoos so expensive??
A: Aside from the time put into the art and design, to safely apply a tattoo we adhere to a strict set of laws and personal standards. To insure both your safety and ours, many precautions are taken for every single tattoo including:
-Brand new needle(s)
-Disposable ink
-Sterile gauze
-Surgical soap
-Many pairs of gloves
-Plastic barriers for clip cords, lights, chairs, etc. for a sterile field

These supplies cost the artist money and are figured into the price of the tattoo.  As with all things, there is a scale of cost; Some places tattoo cheaper, and others more expensive. We try to maintain middle of the road prices, without ever compromising our artists skill level, sterility, and quality of service. In this Industry, you get what you pay for. How much money people spend on trivial things, like a pair of shoes, a car, and even a house will be long gone before your tattoo. If you're still unsure, a few minutes on Google will yield the results of cheap tattoos.


Q: Can my parents sign for me to get tattooed although I'm under 18??
A: No. Texas state law prevents anyone under the age of 18 to get tattooed.

Q: Can I have a drink or get drunk before I get tattooed?
A: Absolutely NOT. Texas State Law prohibits any licensed parlor to tattoo or pierce anyone who has been drinking or using any illegal substances. Alcohol drastically thins the blood which will prevent the ink from staying and the tattoo from healing properly. We want you to have the best tattoo and experience possible.

Q: How long is the healing process?
A: Everyones body is unique in it's own and therefore heals differently. If following your Artist's guidelines, this will be final in a 1-2 weeks, with the most intensive healing done the first week.

Q: When can I can get my tattoo wet??
A: You need to refrain from submerging your tattoo until it has fully pealed and healed. Showering is fine, but lakes, jacuzzis, rivers, pools, and baths should be avoided until the tattoo has fully healed.

Q: Do you do black light tattoos?
A: No. Black light tattoos use an ink made of Phosphorus, which is poisonous to the human body.

Q: I want a white ink tattoo, can you do that?
A: White ink is usually used as a highlight inside of a color tattoo. It gives depth, light source, and realism against other colors. When only white ink is used, a design is very hard because it can't be seen properly, as it's put into the tissue. You also have to understand that ink of any color heals under your skin. Therefore, your skin tone changes the shade of that color. This means white doesn't heal as white, unless you have pale or albino skin, rather as a dingy yellow, or brown. While there may be some exceptions, they are very few; There is no way to know until the tattoo is done. White is the ONLY color, that is IMPOSSIBLE to remove with a laser.

Q: I'm planning on getting my first tattoo; Do you have any other recommendations?
A: Here's a few:

-First and foremost, COME PREPARED! Once you know what you want, bring some reference material, or a clear idea you can vocalize to your artist. Remember, we don't have images to pick from, and we don't know what you think looks good or has meaning. So any idea or theme you bring us can be expanded on.

-Have a good meal in you and settled. Bringing water or something SUGARY TO SIP ON on isn't a bad idea either. When you become excited or nervous, your heart rate increases which can make your blood sugar plummet quick. This can make you dizzy or if you haven't eaten, pass out. Having a sugary drink can help keep your blood sugar stable and you feeling comfortable.

-Any BLOOD THINNERS need to be out of your system for at least 24-48 hours. Alcohol, aspirin, allergy medications, Cinnamon, and Midol are examples.   
 
-This is your experience and we want you to have a good memory. Bringing a friend is awesome, but A GROUP OR PARTY ONLY CROWDS the artist and can cause issues with surrounding customers and their artists. Our studio is open and closely connected, which can lead to chairs being bumped, other people not able to relax, and an overly loud environment.

-Only adults 18 and up are allowed. If you have young children, we recommend you to make arrangements for them. Adult conversations, music, and situations are expected. We do our very best to clean the entire shop twice daily, every day. Nonetheless, it is a biohazards environment, UNFIT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18.

-TRUST YOUR ARTISTS RECOMMENDATIONS! We can only speak for the artists at our shop and their level of knowledge. We have seen tattoos age and spread, trends faze out, and bad designs forced onto an artist. If they recommend a different size, color, or small change to the design, it's only because we want you to leave with the best piece possible.



PIERCING FAQ

Q: Does it hurt?
A: Not really. Piercings are over before you breathe out, and feel a bit like a sharp pinch or sting. Everyone's personal pain tolerance varies though, so what is painful to one person may be only an irritation to another.

Q: Can you numb it first??
A: No. Topical and injectable anesthetic is only legal to be applied by a medical professional in the State of Texas.

Q: Is body piercing safe??
A: When done by a professional piercing artist, in a sterile environment, with proper jewelry and with proper aftercare- most definitely. Feel free to ask your piercer questions every time, to be educated on their sterile procedures.

Q: What are the accepted sterile practices your studio follows?
A: Needles are always sterilized in an autoclave, used ONCE, and then disposed of in a sharps container. All reusable equipment is scrubbed, placed in an ultrasonic shaker, and sterilized in an autoclave, packaged, and then re-sterilized. Even the q-tips, rubber band and gauze is autoclaved before touching tissue. Jewelry is meant to be used by one person and is sterilized to the same standards.

Q: How do you know your autoclave is functioning properly?
A: Every week, a spore test is sent to a lab to ensure the highest sterility standards. A certificate, and log of every spore test done (for the last 20 years!) is viewable at our studio to anyone.

Q: Do you pierce with a gun??
A: NO!!! Body Piercings should NEVER, be done with a gun. THIS INCLUDES EAR LOBES. There are MANY reasons why, but here are the top two:
1.) They spread disease and bacteria! The insides of a piercing gun are made out of plastic, and would melt if sterilized in an autoclave; therefore they haven't and can't ever be sterilized. A gun utilizes merely blunt force trauma to shove the jewelry through tissue, which causes blood to splatter into the firing mechanisms of the gun. The blood then dries and is transferred person to person. This easily spreads Hepatitis, HIV, and other bloodbourne diseases. *Hep C can survive for up to 5 months outside of the body.*
2.) Piercing guns were originally built to tag cattle, so pain and accuracy weren't put into consideration. The design of the gun doesn't allow any visibility of the mark which is often missed. The sound and crushing feeling of the stud being shot through the tissue usually causes to piercee to jump, which commonly causes the gun to jam. (Our piercer had a Claire's employee tell her over 65% of the time!)

Q: Will it bleed?
A: Yes. All areas of the body have differing amounts of blood flow, so some piercings are more prone to bleeding. Overall, bleeding is minimal. Do not drink alcohol, take any drugs, (including over the counter pain relievers) or ingest Cinnamon the day you plan to be pierced. These will thin your blood, and make you less likely to clot properly.


Q: Do you offer heavy body modifications like tongue splitting?
A: No. In the State of Texas, these procedures are strictly prohibited & illegal.


Q: Can my parents sign for me to get pierced if I'm under 18?
A: If all paperwork required by the Texas State Health Department is brought, yes. This covers all piercings besides oral and genital, which are sexual piercings and will not be performed on ANY minor. You will need:
1.) Your government issued, photo, i.d. No copies, school or library i.d's.
2.) Your parent and their government issued photo i.d. The parent must be present in the room during the time of the piercing.
3.) Original Birth Certificate; NOT A COPY.
4.) All must have matching last names and addresses, which proves guardianship.

http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/searchresults.aspx

Q: Why does it cost so much??
A: Similar to tattoos, safe piercings require a large amount of precautions, equipment, and maintenance. Most of the materials used to do a piercing are single use, and have to be disposed of properly. As with all things, there is a scale of cost; Some places pierce cheaper, and others more expensive. We try to maintain middle of the road prices, without ever compromising the quality of jewelry and service. We also offer special days where most piercings are discounted with unembellished jewelry.


Q: What kind of jewelry can I get pierced with??
A: The initial jewelry needs to be done with Implant Grade Titanium. In some cases, quartz crystal or Biolast is an option. Implant Grafde Titanium is the same metal used in surgical implants like hip replacements.

Q: How long before I can change the jewelry in my piercing??
A: In a perfect world, we would love you to keep your original jewelry in until the full healing time has been reached. The minimum change time we ask is 9 weeks, although the longer you wait the more beneficial.

Q: This jewelry is long and less than appealing, can I just put in a shorter piece?
A: For some piercings with vascular tissue, like the lip, longer jewelry is required for a minimum of 9 weeks to allow room for swelling. If the jewelry is replaced with something shorter, you risk it painfully embedding and having to be cut out-not a fun service we offer.

Q: Can I take my jewelry out for school/work/sports/ etc??
A: We recommend not to do so without a retainer. Everyone's body is unique, but most piercings will close very quickly, regardless of how long they've been healed. For most people, their piercing will be closed after only a few hours without jewelry. If you want to keep your adornment, maintain the space with jewelry or a retainer at all times.

Q: Can I just put a band-aide over my piercing to conceal it?
A: No. This will create an oxygen depleted, moist environment, which is just a breeding ground for germs and bacteria.

Q: Can I go swimming?
A: No lakes, jacuzzis, rivers, or pools until the, "crusty" stage is over. The chemicals needed to maintain pools and jacuzzis are super harsh and all of the above are breeding grounds for nasty bacteria, and un-clean bodies. Remember that your piercing is an open wound directly in link to your bloodstream. On the other hand, salt and ocean water is one of the closest natural liquids to amniotic fluid & can actually help to heal the piercing in moderation.

Q: How do I take care of my fresh piercing and for how long??
A: Your piercer will give you full aftercare instructions before you leave, both orally and on a typed sheet to take home to refer to. Most piercings have 3 easy steps, done twice daily:
1.) Keep your hands off at all times!
2.) Sea salt soak for 5-10 minutes followed by using
3.) Provon or Satin soap for one minute to kill germs and bacteria. If you only have time to do one thing, just use the soap because a sea salt soak doesn't kill the bad stuff
4.) If your piercing penetrates your oral cavity, rinse with something alcohol free (Biotene) every time you eat, drink, or smoke.

Q: Can't I just use Dial or alcohol?
A: No. Dial's active ingredient is Tricolsan which isn't designed to be used on deep lacerations and puncture wounds, which is exactly what a piercing is. We also don't recommend:
-Ear care solutions, like the junk from Claire's
-Alcohol
-Peroxide
-Gels, creams, lotions, ointments or sporins
-Bactine
-Surgical Soap
-Bar soap
-Hibiclens
-Tea tree oil/ Melaleuca oil

Q: Is there anything I can do to accelerate the healing process?
A: Everyones body is unique to them, so bumps along the way are not abnormal and added benefits may or may not help. Overall, your general health is the most important factor. Eating healthy, exercising, avoiding stress and smoking, and drinking plenty of water will make you healthier internally, which will help the healing of your piercing. Science shows vitamin A, vitamin C, and Zinc all help regenerate cells and heal tissue at an expedited rate.

Q: My piercing has pus-like liquid coming out of it. Is it infected?
A: During the healing process, your body floods the pierced tissue with white blood cells. These dry and form the, "crusties." Normal secretions are clear, pale white, and pale yellow; These are good and a sign your body is doing exactly as it should. Don't worry. If your secretions are green, purple, or black and the surrounding tissue is swollen, red, or emitting heat when you hold your hand to it (fever), these are signs of a true infection. We recommend you stop by and speak with your piercer. Many times, people have issues we can easily resolve. If a trip to the doctor is recommended, DO NOT REMOVE YOUR JEWELRY for any reason; If jewelry is present, you can flush out infection. If jewelry is removed, the infection is now stuck in your bloodstream, which can make you VERY sick.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid doing with my new piercing?
A: Here are some recommendations:
-Putting yours or anyone else's hands on it is always number 1
-All oral contact; this includes monogamous couples
-All sexual contact; this includes monogamous couples
-Jewelry rotation, agitation, or manipulation
-Rough play
-Listen to your body; If it hurts, don't do it.

Q: I'm planning on getting my first piercing; Do you have any other recommendations?
A: Here's a few:

-First and foremost, COME PREPARED! Calm your mind, relax your body, and enjoy your piercing experience. You're in good hands! A lot of seasoned piercees actually look forward to the rush of endorphins released during their piercing.

-This is your experience and we want you to have a good memory. Bringing a friend is awesome, but A GROUP OR PARTY ONLY CROWDS the artist and can cause issues with surrounding customers and their artists. Our studio is open and closely connected, which can lead to chairs being bumped, other people not able to relax, and an overly loud environment.

-Have a good meal in you and settled. Bringing water or something SUGARY TO SIP ON isn't a bad idea either. When you become excited or nervous, your heart rate increases which can make your blood sugar plummet quick. This can make you dizzy or if you haven't eaten, even pass out. Having a sugary drink can help keep your blood sugar stable and you feeling comfortable.

-Any BLOOD THINNERS need to be out of your system for at least 24-48 hours. Alcohol, aspirin, allergy medications, Cinnamon, and Midol are examples.   

-Only adults 18 and up are allowed. If you have children, we recommend you to make arrangements for them. Adult conversations, music, and situations are expected. We do our very best to clean the entire shop twice daily, every day. Nonetheless, it is a biohazardous environment, UNFIT FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18.

-TRUST YOUR PIERCING ARTISTS RECOMMENDATIONS! We can only speak for the artists at our shop and their level of knowledge. We have seen piercings heal, trends faze out, and bad decisions forced onto an artist. If your piercer recommends a different placement, style of jewelry, or waiting altogether, it's only because we want you to leave with the best piercing and experience possible.


- Click here to read the Texas State law regarding Tattoos and Body Piercing -
 


 

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