Triple nape piercing
My first piercings started with, of course, my ears. One set on the lobes, then a second, then after two attempts of a third set professionally(both times they got infected) I eventually did them myself after getting an eyebrow piercing when I was thirteen, a lip ring the next year, and my tragus the next. I thought this would be the end of my piercings, as my mother wouldn't allow the uvula and after a while I lost interest, but then I found another desire: the nape.
I've used bme as a reference ever since I looked into getting my eyebrow done, so I browse around a lot. Over the past few months, the nape piercing started growing on me, but I didn't like how only one looked. I saw doubles, but I didn't like those either. Eventually, I set a goal to get what I haven't seen much of. A triple nape.
I read the stories, I looked at pictures, I read the procedures and the risks. I knew it could migrate or reject and I knew it was expensive, but I still wanted to try. I looked through the bme experiences to find a shop close-by that had experience, and I found Hot Rod, which is only an hour away. I called to ask them about it and whoever I talked to sounded very professional. He told me the nape isn't right for everyone because some people just didn't have the right anatomy for it. He said I didn't have to call in advance, just trot on in. It was $75 per piercing, so I saved up my money and asked my dad to take me; mom doesn't like to drive in Pittsburgh and I knew she wouldn't want me driving in Pittsburgh. My dad agreed to bring me and we were off.
Hot Rod is in the southside of Pittsburgh, so the tattoo shops don't exactly look...sanitary. However, when I walked into Hot Rod my worries and doubts left me. Everything looked very professional and very clean--it didn't look like the stereotypical downtown tattoo shop.
I told them what I wanted done and they studied my neck. They said it looked long enough, but they wouldn't know for sure whether or not we could pull it off until they put on gloves and felt around. While Josh(?) set up to do the piercing in the back room, the guy up front, Joe, went through the aftercare information very throughly with me. Mild anti-bacterial soap("the orange old-school dial") for a week, salt-water soaks and how-to, risks of my hair getting caught and the piercings bumping together, longer healing time since it's more than one piercing at once, etc. He checked to see if Josh was ready and I was sent to the back room.
Josh waited until I was back there to put on gloves, then he got me to look straight ahead, look down, tilt my head back, and he felt around my neck and pinched some skin to make sure there was enough extra skin and to make sure everything could be spaced out okay. He gave me a choice between lengths and he suggested 7/8ths and I agreed. I sat down and tilted my head forward while he made the markings, which he wiped off and re-drew a lot. He measured the length of each mark where the jewelry would be and he measured the space in between each line to make sure everything was evenly spaced. He got a second opinion from Joe, who said it was amazing how straight the marks were, and he asked if I wanted to check, too. Joe said they probably wouldn't look straight since my head wasn't exactly straight looking at them, but they looked perfect to me. I told them so, and I was directed back to my chair, where I leaned over to rest my head and arms on the table to begin. He made sure I was comfortable ("everything alright?" "is the table high enough?" "is the chair high enough?") and as he went through the procedure, he told me everything he was doing. He told me when he was going to clean my neck, he told me when he was lining up the needle, he even double-checked the spacing after each piercing and told me he was doing so.
Anyways, that's just what he did. He asked first if I had an allergy to iodine, I told him no, and he told me he was going to clean my skin first with iodine, "which isn't okay to clean your piercing with, but okay to clean the skin with before the piercing, so don't worry." Before we started he asked if I would mind him taking a picture after it was done, and I said of course I didn't mind at all. He said we'd work top to bottom, then he told me I was going to feel a slight pressure on the right as he lined up a little glass tube and a slight pressure on the left as he lined up the needle. He told me to take a deep breath in and the needle went in. It only felt like a prolonged pinch, and I could feel it going through my skin, which is the first of any of my piercings that I've felt that way. After the needle was halfway through he told me to slowly let out my breath. It was slightly more painful as the needle got closer to exiting, like a bigger pinch and a little pressure. But it was done, and he got the jewelry, told me the jewelry was comin in, and I felt that, too. He told me that it was done and we were moving on to the second. It worked the same way for the second one. It was a little more painful, and I think it was because my neck was a little tender after the first piercing and because of the different area of skin, because the third one hardly hurt at all. He took his picture and handed me the mirror so I could look at it. It was perfect. I thanked him and went out front to pay. They told me to check back in every once in a while, about a month and a half to two months so they could make sure everything was turning out okay, they reminded me again that it would take longer to heal, and they told me not to hesitate to call if something happened that I felt shouldn't happen with the piercings. My dad and I went on our way and walked around for a while; the cold air kind of made my new piercings sting a little and I was a bit paranoid to turn my head for a while in fear of extreme pain, but I eventually realized I could get quite comfortable with the small sting when I moved. My neck was tender for a good bit, but four hours later, here I am. The tenderness has been reduced to a small sting and I'm pretty confident about my new adornments. Overall, my experience was great. The guys at Hot Rod made me feel extremely comfortable and I'm very happy with my choice of where to go and what to get done. Everything was sterile, Josh changed his gloves between each piercing and re-checked the measurements every time, and everything went smooth and well. I would highly recommend this piercing and most definately this shop to anyone considering a nape piercing. The guys there got a thrill out of getting to do three piercings at once, I even got the vote for gangster of the day for it, and it was definately worth my $225.
My only suggestion for anyone who wants a nape piercing is to look into it a lot, read other experiences, and know what to expect when you go to get it done. If they don't do what you expected and if it seems like they don't know what they're doing, don't be afraid to ask questions(like "shouldn't you do this or that?" or "well my friend got this done and her piercer did this and that..") and DON'T be afraid to walk out of the shop if you are not comfortable with your piercer's techniques. Also know that this is not a simple piercing. It is something that has to be cared for every day, you can't just neglect the piercing and expect it to heal. From what I've read, you never know when a nape piercing can act up, even after it's mostly healed, and it can definately cause some difficulty and hard work. However, if you're consistent with your care and you're sure you can handle it, have fun! I'm already loving the results, and hopefully I'll write again as my piercings continue to heal.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 April 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing