Getting your eyebrow pierced can be a frightening experience. There's also nothing quite as defining as having a ring or a bar pierced through your brow. Eyebrow rings can be a statement of independence or individuality, of affection for another person, or just because you like the way it looks. There is a great deal of controversy over the safety of eyebrow piercing, but a smart, responsible customer who is willing to work to maintain a decent piercing should encounter no problems at all.

Getting up the nerve:
The first step to getting the piercing is to make sure you really want it. You're going to have this thing in you for at least a few weeks, so make sure you truly want to get it done. Do not make the decision drunk. Do not get the piercing done drunk. Make sure you are of sound mental state through all steps.

Finding a good place to get it done:
Unless you are absolutely certain of what you're doing, don't do it yourself. Look for a popular place that has passed health inspections. Most tattoo parlors will do the piercing, but be certain they are clean, and use fresh sterilized needles. Try a reputed place, maybe one that has had good reviews, or you've heard of your friends trying. Do your research.

Selecting your jewellery:
Your piercer should have a wide assortment of barbells and rings to choose from. Rings are more aesthetically appeasing to most, and have a nice little bead in the center that you can choose to have replaced. Most starter rings have amalite beads and are made of surgical steel to prevent rejection. Barbells come in more varieties of shape, and are generally recommended more for starters, as they are easier to clean around to stave off infection.

The process; what happens behind that curtain:
You will be brought into an isolated room and seated. Iodine (or an alternative if you are allergic) will be wiped all over the eyebrow for cleanliness. The piercer will attach a very tight clamp to either side of your eyebrow, and then, with a clean, sharp needle, pierce through the tight bulge of flesh. This will hurt more than getting a needle in the arm, but the pain is not excruciating. The jewellery you selected will then be put through and closed, and the iodine and any droplets of blood will be wiped off. Yes, it will hurt. But you'll be thinking on the way out that it was a lot easier than you thought. Some small bleeding may occur near the two fresh holes in your eyebrow, be careful to clean it off safely. A little dry blood never hurt anyone, so wait until you're home.

The healing process takes about six to eight weeks. Two simple pieces of equipment are vital to your maintenance: Q-tips and saline solution. Twice a day until the end of your healing process, soak your Q-tip in saline solution and swab the ring around the holes. Turn your piercing and clear off any developing crust or scar tissue. You will get a lot of crust, and you need to keep it off to prevent infection. Keep cleaning it daily, even after you've finished the healing process.

Do's and Don'ts:
Don't play with your piercing! This is the easiest way to open the wound up and get dirt in it. Touch it only while you're cleaning it.
Do use a soft toothbrush after a couple weeks of healing to remove scar tissue. It will make it look healthier.
Do use sea salt and water as a decent saline solution.
Don't get piercings made of anything but surgical steel. The body may reject these foreign materials, and that is certainly not a pretty sight.
Don't try to take out the piercing before the healing time is up.
Don't sleep on the side your piercing is on. This delays the piercing's healing, and can lead to undesirable migration.

Side effects:
Infection: Infection is a nasty business leading to a great deal of puss and possibly blood from your piercing. The area will be swollen, and if it grows to severe, you will be forced to remove your piercing prematurely.
Migration: Only use surgical steel! Your body is designed to keep foreign objects out of it. Any other materials you put into your body may slowly be pushed out, like a splinter from a finger. In the case of the eyebrow piercing, the jewellery will be pushed further and further out of your brow, until it is out of your face, leaving a nasty trail in its wake.

Removing your piercing:
This is tricky, and you need to be very careful. Hopefully your healing process is complete. (This applies only to rings, by the way.) Get a thin, very thin, pair of needlenose pliers, and put the nose in your ring. Slowly and firmly open them up until your bead falls out. Make sure you know where the bead is going, you don't want to lose it down the sink. If you're just replacing the bead, put it on one end and close the ring with your pliers. Otherwise, just slowly feed your ring out of the hole, and replace it with whatever you want to try next.

Hiding your piercing:
For whatever reason, you need to take your piercing out. (Well after the healing process has completed itself, of course.) 1mm thick fishing wire is the secret. Heat one end of the line so it is flat on one end like a nail. Clean the line, and thread a length of line approximately as long as your piercing through the hole, with the flat end preventing it from falling through. This is nearly invisible to the human eye, and will protect your hole from closing up.

That's it for this guide, enjoy your piercing!

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