Things to know

Don’t make any tattoo decisions lightly.

Before you sit in that chair, think long and hard about what design you want. A beautiful design can provide you excitement for a lifetime, but you should be exceedingly cautious about tattooing anyone’s name on your body.

You’ll certainly admire your mother and children forever but think twice about inking anyone else’s name. Cover-up tattoos exist for a purpose. Tattoo removal is also possible, but it can be costly and painful.

Wouldn’t it be better to spend the time now carefully selecting a design that you know will comfort you for years to come?

Research, research, research.

Inquire with a friend who has the ink you like who the artist is and how to reach them. To get a sense of what you want, look for tattoo artists whose work truly moves you on Instagram.

Artists in high demand will be booked for months, so the sooner you decide who you want to tattoo you, the better.

Before scheduling your appointment(s), you should ensure that you and your artist agree on the overall size, shape, and design. Do enough homework ahead of time to ensure that you adore that artist’s interpretations. You and your tattoo artist will be happy, and your design will be exactly what you desire.

Please keep in mind that elaborate and/or very large designs will most likely require more than one session, so plan accordingly.

Make certain that both your tattoo artist and the tattoo parlor are concerned about your safety.

Tattoo artists must meet different regulations in each state. Some demand permits for individual artists, while others just require that stores be licensed by the local health authority. States may or may not require tattoo artists to have bloodborne pathogens training certification. Some cities, such as New York City, may have their own standards in addition to any state regulations.

You want a clean environment where your artist unwraps new, single-use needles and prepares fresh ink that hasn’t been used before. Keep in mind that a fresh tattoo is essentially stunning exposed wounds.

Don’t bargain. Be prepared to tip as well.

Consider your hair. When you visit a salon, you expect the best. You’ve done your homework, you know what you’re getting, and you’re prepared to pay. Why would you approach the artist differently if he or she is going to tattoo a piece of art on your skin for years if not a lifetime?

Do not be cheap or bargain. A talented tattoo artist, like any other professional, has earned the right to charge what they do. Also, tips are always accepted in the world of tattoo artistry.

Tattooing requires thousands of tiny pricks to inject ink into the dermis. Tattooing can expose tattooists and customers to bloodborne pathogens through contact with diseased blood. Infection control knowledge and techniques are crucial in preventing tattoo-related infections.

On the day of your appointment, arrive prepared.

The night before, get a decent night’s sleep. Prepare yourself mentally as well. Getting a tattoo may be a mental and physical challenge.

Eat a good meal before your appointment, and carry snacks if desired. You don’t want to go into hypoglycemia during the procedure.

Yes, it will hurt, but great art is worth it.

Because everyone’s tolerance for pain is different, we can’t tell you how much it will hurt.

Some general guidelines:
It is more uncomfortable to get a tattoo immediately over the bone. The sides of your body, rib cage, undersides of your arms (think armbands), and inner thighs are also quite sensitive. Getting your head tattooed is a different type of agony.

Prepare to follow all of the aftercare instructions provided by your tattoo artist.

It takes roughly two weeks for a new tattoo to heal. Your new piece of skin art is an open wound that must be carefully cared for from the time you leave your artist’s chair until it is fully healed, both to safeguard the art and to avoid infection. It is in your best advantage to listen to your skilled tattoo artist regarding aftercare and strictly adhere to their regulations.

Your tattoo artist will most likely advise you to use Aveeno unscented lotion on your new ink. Apply the stuff religiously. Also, don’t plan on going swimming or bathing in a tub while it’s healing. You can shower (please, please keep the area clean), but when you’re finished, make sure to pat the newly inked area dry. Do not even consider rubbing it.

 Finally, keep that region out of the sun while it heals, and avoid wearing anything that will stick to it.

You’ll most likely require touch-ups in the future.

Touch-ups will be required in areas of your body where skin cells turn over more regularly (such as your hands and feet). Any area of your tattoo that is frequently exposed to sunlight or soaks in water will almost certainly require touch-ups. In reality, most tattoos will require touch-up work overtime to maintain their appearance.

Most tattoo artists guarantee their work and will do one free touch-up within the first two years. Check with your tattoo artist to learn about their individual policies, and don’t forget to tip!