Things To Know Before Getting a Tattoo

Tattoos are everywhere and there are an infinite amount of options for what to get. More and more businesses are becoming lax on their tattoo dress code standards, making them more attractive for people to get. Before you head out to get new work done, make sure you’ve thought the whole process through.

  1. How to Choose the Artist/Tattoo Idea: Finding the right tattoo artist can take time. You want to make sure that you like their style, that they are certified in all of the necessary safety courses, and someone who you feel comfortable communicating with. You have to feel free to bounce ideas back and forth between you and the artist. If not, you’ll end up with a tattoo that you don’t 100% love, and unlike a haircut, it doesn’t change.

As you’re searching for the right idea for your tattoo, look to instagram for inspiration. Follow tattoo artists and see what kind of work they are producing. Come to your artist with a few images in mind that they can work with. Some artists have designs they’ve created that are waiting to be put on someone. Collaborate with your artist, and they can help lead you to the perfect design for you.

  1. Where to Place the Tattoo: As you think about the design, also think about where you want to have it placed on your body. There are certain areas that are more visible and others that are more intimate areas. Figure out what type of tattoo this is. Ask yourself if you are looking for others to see and notice this, or if this is a personal tattoo where it can be covered up and it still is meaningful to you.

Another thing to think about is how quickly the ink will fade. Areas of your body like your hands and your feet will fade quicker than other areas because these are high contact areas. You use your feet and hands constantly all day, every day, and the more your skin comes in contact with other things, the faster the ink will fade.

Also think about the pain factor. Certain areas of the body have more nerve endings making them more sensitive. The top of your forearm is less sensitive than the underside of your arm. Generally, the ribs, feet, and butt areas are the most painful for people. Know yourself, and how you deal with pain before you jump into the chair.

  1. Prepare the Night Before: Eat plenty the day before, get a good night’s sleep, and stay away from the booze. You’re going to need energy to withstand the few hours of being in the tattoo chair, so you’ll need to  repare. Alcohol can thin your blood, while will make you bleed more during the process. Give yourself about 1.5 days without drinking before heading in to get work done.
  2. During the Tattoo: Depending on where it is, and how large it is, you may need to break up your tattoo in sessions. Areas like the middle to low back are difficult to knock out in one session because they require you to remain still for long periods of time and the artist has to work around you breathing. Typically, sessions are broken up into 2 hour increments. If you have a complicated design, expect to break it up into several visits.
  3. What to Expect in Healing: Your artist will give you specific guidelines on how to care for your new tattoo after it’s complete, but before you get to that point, it’s important to note that you can’t get in water for two weeks. If you are thinking about getting a tattoo done and then heading to the beach, think again. You should even keep it out of the bath for those two weeks. This is to make sure it scabs and heals correctly. If not, then the lines may not turn out right, fading will start sooner than later, or even worse–you could get an infection.

Similar to a regular scab, the tattoo will be tender and itch while it heals. Don’t pick at it! This can distort the tattoo or cause infection. Keep the area clean and hydrated with a unscented moisturizer.

A tattoo is a beautiful outward expression of who you are. Decide on something that will always be meaningful to you, and be completely honest with your artist. A good tattoo will cost a pretty penny, but paying for quality is worth it. Work with someone you completely trust, and you’ll have a great design that you can enjoy for the rest of your life.

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