My daughter started begging to get her ears pierced when she was four. I put her off for a couple years, but we finally let her on her sixth birthday. I really wanted to celebrate the occasion as the rite of passage it was for me, and I had heard some horror stories from friends about experiences at mall piercing places staffed with teenagers. I did some research on the cost and procedure, and decided to go ahead and make an appointment at La Lobe in Preston Center.
Later my daughter told me she really liked the piercer, Craig, because he was so “gentle.” (!!) That’s an amazing review when he was the man who stabbed her with a needle – twice. But I agreed: Craig was slow and patient, telling her what was about to happen and letting her get comfortable with the next step before moving on in the process.
We signed a waiver, picked earrings, and got her ears physically pierced in less than 15 minutes total, without a hint that we were being rushed. We were the sole patrons in the store, so neither Craig nor my daughter got distracted.
He explained to us how a new piercing requires long post earrings to leave room for the wound to breathe, which helps it heal faster. He advised that La Lobe only sold strong back earrings that prevent against the backs falling off or squeezing too tight, damaging the hole. They will not pierce ears with screw-back earrings, or use posts less than 11mm long. They also sell only *solid* 14k gold earrings to help guard against infection.
The discussion was clear and concise; then he sat her in the chair and marked her ears. He measured and marked multiple times, choosing the best location possible. He explained that he chose a spot in toward her cheek so that as her ears grew they wouldn’t appear too wide. He explained a gun would smash her ears, which is why La Lobe uses a hollow point needle. And he taught us that there’s a proper direction to pierce (in and toward the cheek) that is difficult to achieve with a piercing gun. Then he sprayed a cold numbing spray on Annie’s ears and pierced them one at a time.
There were no tears. No yelling. No exclamations of pain. She barely winced. Now my girl is strong and brave for sure, but she will express her pain when it’s there. I was blown away at her (lack of) response.
The final step was hearing how to care for the new piercing, (we will go to a follow up appointment 4 weeks following the initial appointment) which was also clear and direct.
When we left, my daughter’s ears were just slightly red and not swollen. I didn’t medicate her at all right after the piercing because she wasn’t complaining, though I remembered going to sleep with throbbing ears the night my own were pierced over 2 decades ago, and thought we might need something around bedtime.
She didn’t complain about her ears once the entire day, and let me clean the site that evening without complaint as well. We ran into a friend who observed it looked like her ears had been pierced a while, because of the lack of swelling and redness. She didn’t mention any pain when she laid down that night. (What?!) So no medication was needed at all!
The price tag is definitely higher at La Lobe. There is a piercing fee (ears are $37.00) and the jewelry is sold separately and starts at $54.00. Alternatively, you could bring your own jewelry and pay $55.00 for the piercing. I planned to offer her the cheapest earrings, so the price tag stung a little when I decided to upgrade to a pair we both liked better. But by the next day I would have been willing to pay double for the experience…we had cleaned her ears three more times, snagged a necklace and compiled 2 ponytails atop her head without a cringe. Amazing.
My hope is to reuse the pricey earrings when my second daughter gets her ears pierced in a couple years, thus reducing the cost by a significant amount. Overall, the price point reflected my desire for a really positive experience for this “rite of passage.”
All I can say is I’m now a believer! And if you’ve considered La Lobe but been turned off by the price tag – for us it was well, well worth it.
*This post was not sponsored by La Lobe. I just wanted to share my experience with other moms!