Whether you're after a simple earring or a more unique fixture, here are the best recommended, safe and sanitary piercing places in Cairo.
Back in the day Cairo had but a limited amount of places where you can get your piercings done; I remember about a decade ago when I was a teenager our options were limited to El Mawardy jewellery store in Zamalek, who pierced only earlobes with what I thought was definitely an overused and rusty piercing gun or the enigmatic Dr. Heba in Mohandessin; a plastic surgeon who for some reason decided to jump in on the whole piercing culture and attract dozens of teenage clients, including me, and finally, the infamous 123 Accessories store who offered a limited amount of piercings done by a half-trained number of staff (if trained at all).
Now we hear of all the established and up and coming piercing studios about town, swiftly running in and out of businesses for a selection of reasons including not enough clients due to store location or poor promotion, merging two companies into one, not abiding to health and safety regulations; not that any inspectors will ever show up at their studio unless they're looking to cash in on tax payment or bribery rather than ensure all practice is ethical. However we've done our best to search and select a few note-worthy and somewhat steady piercing parlours to check out.
It is important to understand the piercer's responsibility, which is to use sterile equipment and accessories at all times, as well as comply to health and safety regulations by providing a full service of sanitising, piercing and providing the client with immediate aftercare attention and guidelines. That as well as the YOUR responsibility to continue to pursue aftercare for their piercings by keeping it clean (soak in saline solution, rinse and dry twice a day until it heals completely) and generally looking after their hygiene. With both parties' responsibilities in full effect you can poke all the holes you want in your skin and not worry of any infections or further complications, and we recommend you do it at one of the following parlours:
A girls-only piercing studio in Faisal, Giza is run by women for women specialising in literally ALL sorts of piercings from collar bones to nipples and vagina piercings with prices ranging from 25LE to 600LE and an additional charge of 200LE if you prefer them done from the comfort of your home. Open 12 hours a day, from 10am to 10pm, they run a 50% off sale on all their piercings and accessories every once in a while so keep up-to-date with them.
A renowned and exclusive tattoo and body piercing studio located in Maadi, Graffinks is probably the first studio to ever open in Cairo, and one of the most professional in town, offering a diverse selection of piercings. It may be pricier than the usual stuff and they don’t necessary respond to Facebook, email or text inquiries; they're almost too exclusive which is a bit of a turn off, but one of the best recommended.
A tattoo and piercing parlor run by Alya Fadaly, a young, talented and liberal female artist who dubs The Ink Shop as “most professional” in Egypt, they pierce 24 hours a day in Cairo as well as in Gouna. Their piercers Edena and Zeinab, however, are freelancing so make sure to call first to set an appointment. We’ve heard nothing short of great feedback from their clients, their prices range from LE60 to LE260 including jewellery. They do most basic medical piercings, which means practically everything apart from genitals. For appointments and enquiries call 01121317979 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The tattoo parlour taking Cairo by storm, Nowhere Land also offer all kinds of piercings with their very own Dr. Kitty in charge. Her equipment is from Sweden; sterile and brought straight from the hospital. Her prices range from LE200 to LE550. Unlike any other parlour in Egypt you can bring your own jewelry to Dr. Kitty to use on your new piercing immediately. With 25 years of piercing experience, Dr. Kitty cares a great deal about health and safety, ensuring her work is ethical, clean and free from infections. "There is so much to bare in mind when it comes to piercings," says Dr. Kitty. "Egypt has a big problem with Hepatitis C virus and people should be extremely aware of being in a sterile environment when getting pierced, unfortunately all they think about are the prices of the piercings rather than how responsible their piercer is. They don't know enough either; for example you're not supposed to swim for the first six weeks after getting pierced, and it takes up to an entire year to heal a piercing. Did you also know that children are not supposed to get pierced before 12 years of age? Otherwise it affects their immunity system."
Main photo credits: Petteri Kaniini at DeviantArt