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Ear Piercing: My Experience at Claire’s

Lynnette's daughter just after getting her ears pierced
Lynnette’s daughter just after getting her ears pierced

My daughter recently turned 9, and we had decided that her present from her parents would be that she could finally get her ears pierced.  My daughter is a very girlie girl that wears dresses every day, and she was thrilled to add some bling to her lobes.

But where to go?  Fellow RMB contributor Bethany Drysdale had written a great post about why she chose to go to a piercing studio, and what a great experience she had at Black Hole Body Piercing in Reno.

But to be perfectly honest, I had a bit of sticker shock, they required an appointment, the place was not nearly as convenient to my house, and they require a copy of a birth certificate (which is just one more administrative task I’d prefer to avoid).  I’ll admit it now  — all excuses of a Slacker Mom.

As I was planning my daughter’s birthday date, I decided to pick her up at lunch, take her out for pedicures and then get her ears pierced.  We then had to be home to pick up her brother at 3:45.  Logistically, Claire’s really fit into my plan more.

But I kept hearing these online rumors that Claire’s re-uses the gun (giving you a chance for infection), and the earrings are blunt, so there is more damage to the ears.

And in my head, I’m thinking — but I got all of the holes in my ears from Claire’s over the years, and my ears are fine.


Claire's ear piercing gun
The piece of the ear piercing gun that touches the ear

We happened to be driving by Claire’s one day as I had been having this internal dialogue in my head, and my daughter and I stopped in.  The girl working that day showed us the gun — which were plastic sterilized parts that were sealed single use containers.  She demonstrated how the guns worked on a teddy bear named Claire Bear, and honestly, I was sold.  To this Mom that isn’t very familiar with the world of piercings, it seemed fine.  And the logistics and price tag worked perfect with my plan.  I went home and read up on their website, where I read these quotes:

  • “Every piercing earring we carry meets or exceeds US FDA and EC European Standards & Regulations – which are the highest standards & regulations world-wide.”
  • “Our Piercing Earrings are especially designed with ultra-fine points and thin posts to pierce gently and promote quick healing. They are also individually packaged in a disposable, sterilized single-use cartridge.”
  • “We offer the best selection of Piercing Earrings in tons of styles and at a price for any budget. Our 14kt Yellow Gold and White Gold styles are genuine gold and we offer Medical Grade Stainless Steel, Titanium and 24kt Gold Plated Stainless Steel.”
  • The ear piercing gun assembled after the pieces were torn out of their sterilized single use packages.
    The ear piercing gun assembled after the pieces were torn out of their sterilized single use packages.

    “To become an Ear Piercing Specialist our associates complete an intensive Ear Piercing Training & Certification Program. During the training, our associates learn everything they need to know to ensure safe piercing practices as well as comply with any government guidelines.”

So when the big day came, we got our pedicures, and then walked over to Claire’s.  The girl working that day was a self proclaimed perfectionist, and she spent a lot of time explaining the process and placing the marker dots on my daughter’s ear making sure that they were placed well.

I asked — do you ever pierce both ears at once?  Her answer was no.  She said if a child can’t handle getting one ear at a time, then they’re not ready.  She also said that kids tend to flinch, and if you’re doing two ears at once done by two different people, you’re likely to get the holes uneven.

Made sense to me.

Claire Bear
My daughter and the Claire Bear

My daughter held that Claire Bear in her lap.  The gun was placed, the trigger pulled —  and she barely flinched.  She then smiled excitedly as she waited for the second hole.  Took it like a total champ.

We bought the Claire’s ear cleaning solution, and my daughter got trained by the ear piercing girl on how to take care of her ears (because my rule was that she had to do this herself as I didn’t need one more task on my plate).  Three months later, her holes are healed up beautifully, and the mommy guilt from choosing Claire’s because it was easy and less expensive has totally lifted.

So, yes, Black Hole offers a great service.  I’m here to tell you that Claire’s is an OK choice as well — no Mommy Guilt required.



Sporting her marker dot on her ear lobe
Sporting her marker dot on her ear lobe
The finished product.
The finished product.

About Lynnette Bellin

Lynnette Bellin
Lynnette Bellin is the former owner and site manager of the Reno Moms Blog. She is a married mother of a teenage daughter and a highly energetic tween boy. Lynnette moved to Reno in 2001 after choosing to live in a place that she loved for its natural beauty. She has written four children's books, including The Kindness Ninja and a series of three books called Adeline’s Magical Moments Collection. She has been obsessed with blogging since 2002. Lynnette loves to experience outdoor adventures in our area, including skiing, hiking, camping, and open water swimming. She spends her days working from home for a NYC ad agency and shuttling kids to dance, lacrosse and basketball.

One comment

  1. Jeni @ Patron Saint {of Poopy Diapers}

    I kept waiting for the twist. The “BUT then her ears fell off.” Thank you for writing this; I see claire’s in our near future 🙂

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