Dye, Tattoo and Pierce Safely

Published on Oct 17, 2013
Photo courtesy of Strange Beauty Salon.Photo courtesy of Strange Beauty Salon.

Creative expression in your appearance is your right. Be unique, but do it safely. Here’s what you should do, and what you shouldn’t, when you're looking to try something new with your appearance.

Hair Dying


…leave hair dye on for too long. It can damage your hair.

…dye your eyelashes. It could cause swelling and increase your risk for infection.

… get crazy with bleach. It's caustic and can burn your scalp.


…read all of the directions and follow them. Even if you’ve dyed you hair multiple times, something may have changed.  Last time=perfect blonde; this time=orange nightmare.

…wear gloves while applying hair dye. Otherwise, you will have telltale brunette palms with that new color. Faux-pas!

…take a patch test of allergic reactions before dying.  Put a bit of hair dye behind you ear for two days and check for signs of an allergic reaction. You don’t want your hair coming out in clumps or to be covered in hives because they didn’t do the testing.

…use natural hair-dye alternatives like henna, or just go get your hair done with the pros.

Here are some salons that might be worth a visit if you feel like you might mess it up on your own: 

  • Strange Beauty Show specializes in unique hair dying and other services you can’t find elsewhere, like putting in dreadlocks or etching in your hair. No judgement. 1118 N. Ashland.
  • Natural Elements Salon uses many naturally derived hair products (less harmful for you and the environment). 2212 N. Lincoln.
  • The Aveda Institute will give you a great deal because it’s all student stylists. Time for some fun experimentation! 2828 N. Clark.



…get a tattoo when you’re sick. The better your immune system is, the better your tattoo will heal.

…let your friends practice tattooing on you. Friends don’t let friends tattoo them.


…plan your tattoo for the winter because your skin gets less abuse from the sun and sweat. 

…visit several shops before deciding to get a tattoo. You’re making a lifetime commitment so you want to get the best artist.

…ask to see the sterilization certification. Trust us; ask.

 Body Piercing


..pierce yourself! Please, that is not a good idea and you will probably get infected.

…let a friend pierce you. That’s probably a good way to end the friendship and get an infection.


…get your immunizations before body piercings (hepatitis and tetanus). Just in case something goes wrong, make sure you’re protected.

…make sure new needles are used and the piercing studio is clean.

…do some research about what the piercing will be like before you get it. You don’t want to be surprised to find out something once it’s already in you.

…make sure you know how to clean and disinfect the area and keep up the clean routine until you are fully healed.

Looking for a place to get that next piece of body art? Here are some places that come with good recommendations:

  • Code of Conduct has been featured in a variety of publications including US Weekly. 14 E. 11th St.
  • Revolution Tattoo is in Bucktown opened in 2004 and has been featured in the Chicago Reader. 2221 N. Western.
  • Family Tattoo was featured in the Chicago Reader, too. 2125 W. Belmont.