Skilled piercers take their art very seriously. Most shops will not pierce infants; some pediatricians will perform the service for patients. The Michigan Body Art Act of 2009 requires that if a minor desires a tattoo, brand or body piercing, a parent or legal guardian must provide written consent signed in the presence of the shop or artist, and must bring a valid birth certificate or legal proof of guardianship. While the law does not include ears in the definition of body piercing, shops may require the same identification for any procedure. Expect to pay $35 to $60 and up for ear piercings at these Metro Detroit shops. Price depends on the location on the ear and number of piercings, plus the cost of jewelry.
XS Tattooing & Piercing
105 E. 2nd St.
Rochester, MI 48307
Adornment Deluxe specializes solely in piercing, leaving tattooing to its host storefront, XS Tattoo. Appointments are highly recommended, since Adornment is currently only in the studio on select days. Even with the limited availability, fans of Adornment rave about the cleanliness and hygiene of the studio and the knowledge of the staff. The piercing is explained in detail both before and step-by-step during the procedure, which can help to calm nervous clients. Minors may be pierced with a parent present in the room and photo ID is required for both. The minimum ages for ear piercing at Adornment Deluxe are 12 for lobes, 15 for outer rim ear cartilage and 16 for all other ear cartilage piercings.
Elite Ink Tattoo
25543 Van Dyke Ave.
Center Line, MI 48015
Clients consistently praise Elite Ink Tatto for its friendly staff, clean studio and quality work. Piercing equipment is sterilized in an autoclave prior to each use and procedure tables and chairs are sterilized after each client. Elite also gets high praise for its philanthropic activities; the shop has held fundraising events or drives for organizations such as Handbags for Hope and The Pink Fund. Parents must accompany minors for all piercings.
4629 S. Telegraph Road
Dearborn Heights, MI 48125
Cleanliness, attention to detail and a professional staff make Liquid Chaos a favorite among many Metro Detroit body art enthusiasts. The piercers get high praise for their efficient work, which minimizes the pain of the procedure. Even the most nervous clients are put at ease with the staff’s knowledge and explanation of the process. Liquid Chaos’ minimum age for piercing is 16 and minors must be accompanied by a parent.
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211 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
One of the few piercing-only establishments in the area, Pangea is dedicated to ensuring a quality experience for every client. Piercers must undergo extensive training and a two-year apprenticeship under an expert with at least a decade of experience. Hygiene is a primary focus, equipment is run through an autoclave, piercers wear gloves and Pangea will sterilize any jewelry brought in by a client before inserting it. Clients also appreciate the friendly and courteous staff. Pangea will not pierce anyone under 12 years of age. Photo ID is required for all clients and/or parents or guardians.
Royal Oak Tattoo
820 S. Washington Ave.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Royal Oak Tattoo is committed to hygienic piercings, using both a germicidal bath and an autoclave to sterilize tools. The staff is experienced and knowledgeable, taking time to consult with the client prior to the procedure to be sure the timing, location and jewelry are the right choice. After-care instructions for fast and safe healing are explained to the client in detail and a written sheet is also sent home. Minors are frequent clients and must bring a parent along with the appropriate legal documents.
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.