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Frequently Asked Questions


***We have moved 5 miles east, to the
Crestwood Festival Center, Birmingham, AL


Are you licensed and inspected by the health department?

Yes, we have been licensed and inspected regularly by the Jefferson County Department of Health (an arm of the Alabama Department of Public Health) since we opened in 2006. We have our facility license posted in the studio in addition to regular spore test results for all autoclaves currently used on site. All body piercers, tattoo artists and microblade artists carry Body Art Operator permits and have completed Bloodborne Pathogen Prevention training. 

What forms of ID do you accept?

The state of Alabama requires that clients present current (not expired) government issued photo identification cards that includes full name, photo and date of birth. We cannot accept photocopies or photos, it must be your actual ID card. Acceptable ID can be from any state or country and include:

  • Driver's license 

  • Learner's permit

  • Non-drivers Identification Card 

  • Military ID

  • Passport 

  • Out of country driver's license

  • Mexico Voter Card ID

  • US "Green Card"

We cannot accept photo copies, social security cards or credit cards to prove identity. 

If I am over 18 but do not have identification can I bring my parent and my birth certificate?

No, the state requires that you present proper identification of your own if you are 18 years or over.

How old do you have to be to get a tattoo?

You must be 18+ years of age for tattoos at Cloud 9. In the state of Alabama you must be 18 years of age or older to consent to your own tattoo or piercing. The age at which studios and body art operators agree to provide various services is up to their own discretion however. Our current artists choose not to tattoo minors for multiple reasons including, but not limited to, anticipated stretching of the tattoo as the minor continues to grow. Stretching of the tattoo will negatively effect clarity of lines and details over time. 

How old do you have to be to get a piercing?

In the state of Alabama you must be 18 years of age or older to consent to your own tattoo or piercing. The age at which studios and piercers agree to provide various services is up to their own discretion however.

We will have only person per artist or piercer in the procedure rooms except in the case of minors which must have their biological parent or legal guardian present at all times. Children are permitted in the piercing room only if they are the one being pierced and children cannot be left without a supervising adult in the lobby. Please do not bring infants or young children to the studio unless they have an appointment to be pierced. If you bring children with you to an appointment and we cannot pierce or tattoo you due to that you will lose your pre-payment or deposit.​

NOTE: Swimming and excess moisture will cause healing complications for new piercings. If your child is going to be swimming, going to the beach or spends a lot time playing outdoors (sweat and humidity), summer time may not be the best time to get their piercings done. We recommend waiting a minimum of 3 months post-piercing before resuming swimming or other water activities. It is also important that hair is completely dry before going to bed at night. Please consider how a change in bathing routines or blow drying hair thoroughly will factor into your family's schedule before scheduling your child's piercing.


MINOR piercing update 07/01/2022 We offer limited piercing services to minors with parental consent and documents (read more below). MINOR piercings should be scheduled online unless indicated otherwise below.

Ages 7-11:

  • earlobes (email for a special appointment to be scheduled directly with the piercer) 

Age 12+:

  • earlobes

Age 15-17 years:

  • conch

  • daith

  • earlobes

  • eyebrow

  • helix (cartilage along the outside ear rim or on the flat)

  • nostril

  • tragus

Update 3/13/24: We are temporarily suspending navel/bellybutton piercing service for minors. We are happy to help minors with navel jewelry changes on existing piercings with an appointment and their parent present but we won't be offering new piercings to anyone under 18 until further notice.

When scheduling online for a minor piercing appointment choose the service option that begins with "MINOR". If a piercing service is not listed for minors, it is not being offered to minors at this time.

If I am under 18 what do I need to bring with me for a piercing?

You will need 4 things according to Alabama state law to perform body art on minors within a licensed body art studio. We cannot perform minor piercings without all four of these items.

  1. Biological parent or legal guardian must be present. We cannot accept permission slips or phone calls. AND..

  2. Minor's birth certificate to serve as documentation to prove that this person is your biological parent. If the adult is the legal guardian then you must bring official legal guardianship papers. This requires an official paperwork with the notarization stamp or raised notarization mark (NO PHOTOCOPIES OR PHOTOS) or of the executed legal guardianship papers (no photocopies). AND...

  3. Parent or legal guardian must have current valid government issued identification such as a driver's license, non-drivers identification, passport or a military ID. AND...

  4. The minor must also have photo identification. If the minor does not have a driver's license, learner's permit, non-driver's ID, passport, etc. they may use a school photo ID, a laminated membership ID associated with some organization/library/amusement park or a yearbook with a clear face photo and full name as it appears on the birth certificate or legal guardianship documents. 

Note: Alabama Law Enforcement Agency issues non-driver's ID for children for approximately $36.25 plus a $5 document inspection fee (click here for ALEA website).

If I am under 18 can any older family member give consent for me, like a sister, uncle or grandparent?

No. The state of Alabama dictates that only a biological parent or legal guardian can give consent for minors to get a tattoo or piercing. Legally emancipated minors can give their consent but, of course, emancipation is a very uncommon situation. If you are legally emancipated you will need to bring your original legal decree along with appropriate government issued photo ID as listed above.

If I am under 18 but legally emancipated can I consent for my own piercing? 

Yes. Legally emancipated minors can give their consent for piercings but, of course, emancipation is a very uncommon situation. If you are legally emancipated you will need to bring your original legal decree along with appropriate government issued photo ID as listed above for adults. It remains the discretion of the studio and the piercer to decide if they want to pierce or tattoo any particular minor and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Age restrictions for each piercing type still apply.

Can I go swimming after getting a piercing?

Swimming and excess moisture can cause signficant healing complications for new piercings. We recommend waiting a minimum of 3 months before resuming swimming or other water activities after getting a piercing. Similarly, it is important that hair is completely dry before going to bed at night. Please consider how a change in bathing routines or blow drying hair thoroughly will factor into your family's schedule before scheduling a piercing.

Do you use titanium body jewelry?

Yes, we use high quality metals such as implant grade titanium jewelry for all initial piercings as recommended by the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). We also have solid 14kt gold available in yellow gold, rose gold and white gold. For some designs we offer implant grade niobium which offers similar healing qualities as titanium. We do not use outside jewelry, only high quality jewelry in perfect condition that we have sourced from reputable jewelers providing mill certificates to verify metal purity.


We have a large selection of jewelry available for you to consider during your visit. Some of our jewelers include Anatometal, Neometal, Alchemy Adornment, Buddha Jewelry Organics, LeRoi Fine Jewellery, Mettle & Silver, Modern Mood, Mushroom Body Jewelry, Quetzalli, Interstellar Jewelry Productions, Oracle, Tether, Maya, People's Jewelry, Industrial Strength, Body Circle and more.

Do you use piercing guns?

No, we never use piercing guns (or "piercing cartridges"). Piercing guns use blunt force to shove a piece of jewelry into the body. Jewelry used in piercing guns is not very sharp and certainly not as sharp as piercing needles. For this reason piercing guns are very traumatizing to delicate tissue and do not create a clean/smooth piercing tunnel. We use piercing needles that are very sharp and glide through the skin quickly with significantly less trauma.

Piercing guns also cannot be sterilized unlike the single-use sterile piercing needles that we use and immediately dispose of after your piercing. People using piercing guns have significantly less training in the prevention of bloodborne pathogen transmission, proper piercing technique and aftercare. In fact, many of them are required to only watch a 30 minute video before they are turned loose with a piercing gun. Compare this to professional body piercers that have committed themselves to years of studying and apprenticeship, including continued education, in order to provide safe and healthy piercings with quality jewelry.

Do you pierce babies and children's ears?

We do not pierce babies' ears. We strongly believe in personal consent for all body modifications including piercings. For this reason we will only pierce children age 7+ that can give consent and can participate in the aftercare for a healthy piercing outcome. Aftercare includes not touching the piercing while it is trying to heal even if it is uncomfortable. Babies cannot do this and are at risk for infection and poor outcomes. If a baby or toddler dislodges their earrings there is a chance of injury including accidentally swallowing one of the pieces.


Furthermore, the ears are very small on infants and toddlers. Even the slightest discrepancy in placement will become very obvious as the child's ears grow. Piercings performed at a very young age may not be well matched or poorly placed as an adult.

Our minimum age for piercing children is 7 years (by special appointment, get in touch for details on piercing children ages 7-11). Please consider though that even though a child wants a piercing and asks repeatedly for pierced ears it does not mean that they are mature enough to cooperate through the piercing process and 6 month healing period. Ask yourself if you think your child can sit through the entire process when they get anxious or uncomfortable. In most cases children really aren't ready to sit through the entire piercing process until they are about 7 or 8, at the minimum, and some will not be ready until much older. 

A good way to prepare children for their first earlobe piercings is to sit down and watch some videos with them. Find a couple of videos in advance that demonstrate a child getting pierced by a professional body piercer using a piercing needle (we do not us piercing guns or "cartridges"). Allow your child to see a video where the child shows some discomfort.


It is much better for your child to have realistic expectations and come in prepared and feeling brave. Please do not tell your child that the piercing doesn't hurt or that they will barely feel it. When the child does indeed feel it you will have broken their trust and it will be hard for them to move forward with piercing the second earlobe which results in an unfortunate dilemma. We usually tell children that it feels like a strong pinch that doesn't last long but then the ear turns a little red for a short while and feels very warm and tingly.


If at any time your child withdraws his/her consent we will respect your child's wishes and discontinue the piercing process. Please consider this when deciding when you feel your child is ready to be pierced. Children's first ear piercings (under age 12) are done by special appointment (scheduled directly with the piercer) and are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Do you reuse needles or ink?

No. Never. Absolutely not. All of our needles are sterile and single-use. After performing your piercing or tattoo the needle(s) will be deposited in a biohazard sharps container like you see in a hospital or doctor's office.

How do you sterilize your equipment?

We use hospital grade steam autoclave sterilizers in our studio. We purchase many of our supplies as disposable, pre-sterilized and packaged in single use pouches that we open in front of you for your assurance. We also use a SciCan Statim 2000 steam autoclave for rapid sterilization of body jewelry. When we use the Statim we insert an indicator strip to verify that the autoclave did indeed reach the appropriate temperature to sterilize the contents for your cycle. We are happy to show you the indicator strip for your sterile batch.

How much do tattoos cost?

Tattoo artists quote their own prices based on many factors that will determine the degree of difficulty and time spent on your tattoo from start to finish. This includes size, amount of detail, part of the body (some areas take longer to work on). Other factors would include estimated amount of resources required to execute your tattoo design. Our studio minimum is $100 which is rather standard for professional, licensed studios in the metropolitan area. 

How much do piercings cost?


Piercing service will start at $50 and go up from there depending on the piercing(s). Jewelry is additional with a large variety of options available (see our online appointment scheduler for details.) Cost of jewelry will depend on what you choose. We carry high quality jewelry with hundreds of options in our selection that would be hard to find in other studios in our area. We use implant grade titanium, implant grade niobium, gold, rose gold, white gold. We have very simple looks if you prefer or you can choose any number of colored Swarovski crystals, opals, genuine diamonds or other genuine stones. Jewelry will generally start at approximately $40 plus tax each for studs (not per pair) and go up from there depending on what style/metal/stones you choose. 

We do not pierce with outside jewelry. We know exactly what our jewelry is made with and that it has not suffered even minor damage from previous wear or poor handling because the jewelry is always brand new and inspected.

You can find more information regarding pricing and jewelry on our online appointment scheduler. Please visit the Piercing Appointments page for details and a link to our online appointment scheduling service.

Do piercings hurt?

Piercing discomfort varies from person to person. A piercing is done swiftly so the initial discomfort is quite brief. Most people say that the area gets very warm and tingly or numb shortly after it is done. You will be aware of it but it would be rare for you to feel like you are in significant pain or for it to be prolonged. Most of the discomfort of a piercing has to do with what happens or doesn't happen after you leave the studio. For example, if you bump it, catch it on your hairbrush or wash cloth or don't take care of it properly it can get rather sore. In general, most people say this at the end of their piercing experience "It didn't hurt as much as I thought it would."

How much do tattoos hurt?

Most people will feel some irritation or discomfort during a tattoo but it's very manageable. The tattoo needle does not go very deep and does not feel like an injection. Most people would say it's just irritating and gets sore. Others say it feels like a sunburn. Some areas of the body are more sensitive, especially in more bony areas (ex. along the spine, on the ribs or sternum, on the feet).


It is very important that you are completely still while your tattoo artist is working so if you are very nervous, have a low pain tolerance or think you will have a hard time sitting still you should consider getting your first tattoo in a more fleshy area that won't be as sensitive. We are happy to advise you on good locations for your tattoo in consideration of all your concerns.

Do you use numbing solutions for tattoos or piercings?

No, we do not use any numbing solutions. In order to effectively numb the area an injection of prescription grade Novocain or Lidocaine would have to be delivered under the skin in multiple spots around the piercing or tattoo location. We are not physicians and cannot offer such a service. Additionally, the capillary restricting action of numbing agents can lead to healing complications in some cases so we don't recommend them for your average tattoo or piercing.


It is standard practice to use topical numbing agents for microblading eyebrows and semi-permanent makeup tattoos. We do use topical numbing agents for microblading, powder brows and permanent cosmetics.

What kind of jewelry do you use for new piercings?

We use internally threaded or threadless implant grade ASTM F-136 6AL 4V Eli Titanium, implant grade niobium, gold, rose gold and white gold jewelry for fresh and healing piercings. Both implant grade titanium and niobium are used in various medical devices. For example, implant grade titanium is used in joint replacements and various rods and screws for repairing bone fractures. All jewelry is properly sterilized in a hospital grade steam sterilizer prior to use.


We have hundreds of options for you to choose from. Jewelry pricing will depend on what you choose. Starter jewelry with Swarovski crystals, for example, start at $40 each plus tax per stud (a pair would be $80 plus tax). Curved barbell prices and straight barbells will differ in pricing. We have bezel set and prong set gems, diamonds and other genuine stones. If you prefer an understated "dome" or ball, we have those as well.

Can I bring my own jewelry to get pierced with?

Sorry, we do not use outside jewelry. The high quality jewelry options we provide are carefully chosen from reputable jewelers, made of high grade, verifiable metals, and inspected to insure a well polished, smooth surface to maximize the potential for a healthy piercing and healing experience with an attractive outcome. 

Do you have colored metal jewelry for a new piercing?

We do not use jewelry that has been painted or coated with different colors. These coatings tend to crack, flake and peel inside your piercing...a truly terrible experience. We do, however, have anodizing equipment in-house and can safely change the surface tone of your titanium or niobium jewelry with an oxidation process called anodization for a small fee. This is not a plating. The anodization process involves placing your jewelry in an electrolyte bath and then sending an electrical current over it. This causes the surface of the jewelry to oxidize. Various colors of oxidation are achieved at different voltage levels. Anodized jewelry is safe for fresh and healed piercings. 


The oxidation will not crack, peel or flake off your jewelry like what happens with plated jewelry. The oxidized surface can begin to fade over time depending on your body's pH and what makeups or skin products you use. The fading is not harmful and for most people takes a long time to become noticeable. Fading can occur more quickly on jewelry inside the mouth, genitals and if exposed to a lot of make-up or other pH altering products including skin toners. If fading will bother you then we do not recommend anodization for jewelry in tongue piercings or genital piercings. You may want to consider yellow or rose gold if you are looking for something different. If you look at the jewelry in photos on our piercing page you will see that we have options that are unique and eye catching.

Which piercings do you do?


The studio offers most piercings unless they are associated with a high chance of poor outcome or unnecessary damage to the body. Piercings that we absolutely do not do are: snake eyes on the tongue, cheek piercings, implants or magnetic implants in the fingertips.  


At this time we are not offering dermal anchors or surface bars but may do so in the future. 

Each of our piercers will offer services to the public based on their training, experience and comfort level. You can find more info when accessing the online booking scheduler on the piercing appointments page.

If you are interested in a particular piercing but do not see it listed on our online piercing appointment scheduler, please give us a call. 205.458.9998 (ext. 2) to discuss.

Will you downsize the post or barbell on piercings that were done elsewhere?


Yes, we are happy to assist you in your healing journey by downsizing the post or barbell shaft on your still-healing or healed piercing. We carry threadless and internally threaded APP compliant labret posts and barbell shafts that is compatible with most reputable jewelry companies. Please make an appointment if you require a downsize service or have any concerns about a piercing that you received elsewhere.

Can I get a piercing or tattoo while pregnant or breastfeeding?


No, we will not perform a piercing or tattoo on you if you are pregnant. During pregnancy the body is investing valuable energy and resources to growing a healthy baby. The immune system is already stressed and should not be overworked by diverting energy to heal a piercing. Getting pierced during pregnancy poses an unnecessary risk to the unborn child in the event that you develop an infection, allergic reaction, or require medications to treat complications of healing while pregnant. We recommend waiting to get pierced until you are at least 3 months post-partum if you do not breastfeed or 6 months if you do breastfeed. We are able to assist you with jewelry changes during pregnancy.

Will I have privacy during my piercing or tattoo?

Yes. Unlike many studios all of our artists and piercers work in private rooms with walls and doors for your privacy and comfort. You can choose to have the door open or closed, as appropriate.

Do you offer intimate piercings (nipples, genitals)?

Yes, for ages 18+ we offer:

  • Vulva piercings - We offer piercings in the vicinity of the vagina and vulva including horizontal or vertical clitoral hood (HCH, VCH), Christina piercing, as well as the vaginal labia (inner and outer). We do not offer Triangle piercings or Princess Albertina piercings at this time.

  • Penis/Scrotum/Perineum- We offer piercings that include Prince Albert (PA), Dydoes, Frenum, "Jacob's Ladder", Scrotum, Hafada, Lorum, Perineum, Guiche. (We do not offer Reverse PA, Ampallang, or Apadravya at this time.)

  • Nipples 

When you make your genital piercing appointment online please indicate which piercing you want in the notes section.

Can I get a piercing or tattoo if I'm taking Accutane?

Accutane is an oral medication prescribed for treating cystic acne. Accutane will make the skin fragile and very dry during the treatment period and for up to 6 months post treatment. This puts a person at high risk of complications if they are tattooed or pierced while taking Accutane or while Accutane is still in the system. If you are taking Accutane you should wait 4-6 months after completing your treatment before you get a tattoo or piercing.

Do you have a female body piercer?

Yes. Our studio is female owned and managed. The studio owner is our Head Piercer with 19+ years of professional experience and our Junior Piercer, Aimee Leigh, has been piercing since May 2021. We do not currently have a male piercer on staff. Regardless of the gender of our clients and our piercer(s) you can be assured that you will be treated with respect and professionalism.

Do you do white ink tattoos?

No. White ink tattoos do not hold up well and tend to discolor unless the skin is very fair. The ink also tends to dissipate fairly quickly leaving a blotchy tattoo that with a design that may be unrecognizable. We want your tattoo to hold up for many years so for this reason our artists do not do white-only tattoos. We do use white for highlighting color or black and grey tattoos but it will also lose some effect over time. This is common issue with white tattoo inks of all brands.

Do you offer tattoo touch-ups and reworks?

Our tattoo artists do offer no-charge touch-ups to their clients for a limited time. The time frame for this can vary by the artist therefore it is important to ask them about their touch-up policy when considering a tattoo. 

Most of our artists are willing to offer tattoo reworks and brightening for your existing tattoo done by other artists, at a fee. Reworks usually require re-tattooing the entire tattoo so that the shade of inks match and the tattoo appears cohesive. Not all tattoos can be reworked due to multiple variables such as time-associated ink spread. In that case we may recommend a cover up tattoo.

Do you offer cover up tattoos?

Yes. Sometimes people find themselves with tattoos that they regret or just don't accurately reflect who they are any longer. Many of these can be tattooed over in order to hide or distract the eye from some or all elements of the original design. These are referred to as cover up tattoos. Despite the name you should not expect a cover up tattoo to make the original tattoo disappear, just be much less noticeable.


Cover up tattoos are a challenge, how much of a challenge will depend on how large, dark and thick the lines are in your original tattoo(s). We will have to help you design a tattoo with enough dark color and detail to help cover the tattoo as much as possible. Although we strive to cover up your old tattoo as much as possible, most cover up tattoos will show the original tattoo design upon close inspection, some more than others. This is true even with dark colors largely due to compromised skin integrity (including raised lines or scarring in the original tattoo) or sheer darkness of the original ink used. We may have to change the shape or details of your cover up tattoo design idea in order to place the heaviest coloration over the old tattoo. We will get your "ok" on any design changes before moving forward the tattoo process.

If the original tattoo is quite dark or thick in the linework we may even recommend that you seek some laser removal services to help lighten the old tattoo before attempting a cover up. We cannot recommend any particular laser removal practitioners.


It is important to have realistic expectations of cover up tattoos because there are multiple variables that influence how well your new tattoo will cover the original tattoo. Cover up tattoos will never look quite *as good* as the same design executed over unaltered/tattooed skin. This is another reason why it is important to carefully choose the right artist(s) for all your tattoos.

Can you tattoo over stretch marks or scars?

Yes and no. Scars and stretch marks are a normal part of our personal journeys through life. Sometimes people want tattoos in an area with scars or stretch marks and sometimes they want tattoos to help cover them . We are happy to tattoo over well-healed scars and stretch marks but will need to take this into consideration when designing your tattoo. Depending on the severity of the scar or stretch mark we may or may not recommend tattooing over it. Tattoo ink tends to spread out more quickly in stretch marks and scars so we recommend not putting too much detail over the scar tissue itself. We may suggest adaptations such as tattooing more solid coloration without intricate detail when appropriate. 


Please note that scars and stretch marks should be very well healed for a couple years (not raised or still red/purple) before attempting to tattoo over them. This tissue may experience more swelling until it is well healed. Ultimately we will need to ask you about your scars and feel the texture of them in person before making the decision to move forward.

Should I expect swelling?

Yes. Everyone will have some degree of swelling but very small tattoos may have so little that it is virtually unnoticeable. Some people and some parts of the body swell considerably more than others such as areas where there is thinner skin, stretch marks, or scars. Women tend to swell more than men. Swelling will be more notable in larger tattoos or already compromised skin. Remember, the tattoo is a wound and your body will react accordingly.


Significant swelling can prevent detail from being well laid out because of the skin puffing up and distorting the lines and shading. We want you to have the best possible outcome therefore if you experience significant swelling we may need to have you return for an additional session in order to complete your tattoo or touch it up. This should be arranged with your tattoo artist.


It can be difficult to get good photos of a fresh tattoo for a variety of reasons. Please don't be offended if your artist doesn't post photos of your new tattoo online due to excessive swelling, lighting glare, etc. Those photos wouldn't be an accurate reflection of the quality of work done on your tattoo. We encourage clients to return once the tattoo is well healed (preferably during daylight hours) so their artist can take photos without swelling, redness or glare from any residual products we used during the tattoo process.

Do you have experience working on darker skin including African Americans?

Yes. A considerable percentage of our clients have darker complexions. Our artists will advise you on ink colors that will be most visible short and long term on your complexion. Many, but not all, people with darker skin may experience significant swelling with larger tattoos, especially in certain parts of the body.


Significant swelling can prevent detail from being well laid out because of the skin puffing up and distorting the lines and shading. We want you to have the best possible outcome therefore if you experience significant swelling we may need to have you return for an additional session in order to complete your tattoo within the time frame set forth by your artist.


It can be difficult to get good photos of a fresh tattoo for a variety of reasons. Please don't be offended if we don't post photos of your new tattoo due to excessive swelling, redness or glare in the photo. These photos wouldn't be an accurate reflection of the quality of work done on your tattoo. We encourage clients to return once the tattoo is well healed (preferably during daylight hours) so their artist can take photos without swelling, redness or glare from any residual product we used during the tattoo process.

Are you LGBTQ+ friendly?

Yes. We are an inclusive studio and are focused on giving you the service and consideration you deserve including our trans and non-binary clients. Our restrooms are private and non-gendered. Please let us know if you have alternate pronouns or go by a different name than what is shown on your legal ID.

Do I need an appointment?

Yes, we are operating on an appointment only basis in order to streamline client flow and reduce wait time. You will need an appointment for:


Piercing & Jewelry Appointment Info

Please see our page titled Appointments for more information regarding tattoo, piercing and jewelry appointments.


You will find a a link to our online piercing and jewelry purchase appointment scheduler. Click here for the Piercing Appointments info.

Tattoos are scheduled by the artist via email. Click here for Tattoo Appointments info.


Can I bring a friend or family member for moral support?

You can bring an adult friend to keep you company in the lobby but we cannot permit clients to bring a friend of family member in the tattoo or piercing rooms at this time. 

Can I drink some beer or alcohol to help get my nerve up?

No. Please do not drink before you come or within 48 hours of your tattoo or piercing. Drinking can actually make your skin more sensitive. It is also harder to sit completely still if you have been drinking. 


Alcohol thins the blood and will make you bleed more during a piercing or tattoo. Piercings may bruise or swell more than normal which can cause difficulties with healing. Excess bleeding during a tattoo will draw the tattoo out longer and most importantly can cause you to lose more ink which effects the long term look of your tattoo. If you want to drink alcohol we recommend you do that after getting your new tattoo or piercing. 

Legally, we cannot tattoo or pierce you if you have been drinking or under the influence of any mind altering substances. If we suspect that you have been drinking or have been using substances you will lose your retainer/deposit. We can schedule a new appointment for another time.

Should I take some painkillers or muscle relaxers ahead of time?

No. Please do not take painkillers or muscle relaxers prior to your tattoo or piercing. Some of them will make you swell, bleed or bruise excessively. Other issues include making it harder for you to sit still and fully cooperate during the procedure. Some people will choose to take an NSAID such as ibuprofen after the tattoos is completed if that is something that normally helps them. Please do not take ibuprofen prior to your appointment as it can excessive bleeding.

Similarly, please do not take any products containing aspirin or other blood thinning ingredients within 48 hours prior to your procedure unless your doctor has prescribed it. Aspirin thins the blood and causes heavy bleeding. Products containing aspirin include Bayer Aspirin, Goody's Power, BC Powder, Pepto Bismol and Alka Seltzer.

We are not medical professionals, however, and cannot advise you to take or not take any medications before, during or after your tattoo. Please consult with your personal physician on these matters.

How do I prepare in advance for a tattoo or piercing?


You should eat a balanced meal within 4 hours of your tattoo or piercing. Drink plenty of water starting at least 7 days before, if possible. Your body will handle the stress of piercing or tattoos better while hydrated and normal blood sugar levels. Well hydrated skin also accepts tattoo ink better during the tattoo process. You may want to bring a snack and beverage if you'll be here awhile or tend to get low blood sugar.

Please do not come to the studio if you are sick, sneezing, coughing, running a fever, have an upset stomach, sore throat, recent surgery or have been generally under the weather recently. It is best to let your immune system recover from illness and surgery before putting it to work on healing a new tattoo or piercing. Sneezing and coughing causes movement which may impact the precision of your tattoo or piercing and puts you and your artist at risk for an unintentional needle stick.


Wear comfortable clothing that will allow easy access to the area you are getting tattooed or pierced. Consider wearing layers in case you get cold or too warm (we keep it cool in the studio on purpose). Bring a hair tie or headband to pull your hair out of the way for tattoos or piercings in the area of the ears, neck, shoulders, etc.

What piercing aftercare products do you sell?

We recommend and sell Neilmed Wound Wash Piercing Aftercare fine mist sterile saline for your healing piercing. This product is in a pressurized canister which will keep the pH balanced contents sterile while allowing the gentle mist to be released at any angle. The mist is formulated to facilitate gentle cleansing and promote healing in fresh, healing or irritated piercings. You do not need an appointment to drop by for a Neilmed purchase, however we do recommend calling ahead to verify our hours which may change due unexpectedly due to severe weather, illness, etc.


Cloud 9 and the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) now recommend only sterile saline products formulated for wound washing (not contacts solution.) The Neilmed product offered at Cloud 9 meets these qualifications. We will advise you of piercing aftercare recommendations at the time of your appointment.


Note: Current recommendations in caring for healing piercings no longer include mixing salt or sea salt soaks, tea tree oil or emu oil. We do offer emu oil and emu oil lip balm for moisturizing the skin in the vicinity of your piercing if you are experiencing some dryness but do not advise applying it to your piercing. We also do not recommend using any of these products on your healing piercing: antibacterial soap, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Bactine, commercial "ear care solutions", products with BZK or ointments (antibiotic or other).

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept debit and all major credit cards including Mastercard, Visa, Discover and Amex (your ID must match the card). We also accept Apple Pay and Google Pay. For your convenience you are welcome to include a gratuity for your artist on your credit or debit card transaction or tip them through their personal Venmo or CashApp.

Do your artists use vegan tattoo inks?


Yes, our artists do use vegan inks but you are welcome to mention it to your artist when you come in for your tattoo.

Do you offer branding? No, we do not offer branding services at this time.

Do you offer tooth gems? No, we do not offer tooth gems.

Do you sell gift cards?

Yes, we sell gift cards. You can purchase physical gift cards in our studio or call in during studio hours.

Where exactly are you located?


We have recently moved 5 miles east, to the Crestwood community. We are located in the Crestwood Festival Center which houses Home Depot, Burlington Coat Factory and Dollar Tree. Our address is 7001 Crestwood Blvd., Suite 416, Birmingham, AL 35210.

Where do I park my car?


The Crestwood Festival Center has a large parking lot. Parking is plentiful and free of charge.

Are you wheel chair accessible?


Yes, we are disabled-accessible / wheel chair accessible and have a wheel chair accessible restroom for our guests. We have wide hallways and doorways to make movement easier for all our guests. Please free to let us know in advance if there is anything we can do to assist you in our business or if you have questions. 

Do you permit service animals?


Yes, in accordance with health department regulations we are happy to permit service animals that are trained to provide a service for a persons with disabilities as outlined in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). We are animal lovers but cannot permit family pets or emotional support animals (ESA) to accompany our guests. Service animals that act inappropriately or unsafe during the visit are a risk for our staff and guests will be asked to leave as outlined by the ADA and the health department. Guidelines for service animals can be found on the website.


If you bring a service animal your artist may need to schedule you early or late in their shift to allow enough time to properly clean the room and floor after your service is complete and reduce allergens for our guests with allergies. We will also need to respectfully schedule so that service animals are not present at the same time as guests with a fear of dogs/animals. Please advise us in advance if you will need to bring your trained service animal so we can schedule you appropriately.




7001 Crestwood Blvd


Birmingham, AL 35210

Phone:  205.573.4699

Appointments required. 

Thursday - Monday

(closed Tue & Wed)

By Appointment only.


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NOTE: If you have questions regarding piercings or piercing prices please visit the online booking scheduler (link is on the Appointment page) which provides details for most questions regarding each piercing, prices, etc.

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