The 8 Dos and Don’ts of Preparing for a Tattoo

by in Body Part tattoos
preparing for a tattoo

Are you getting ready to get your first tattoo? There are things you can do to prepare as well as minimize the pain.

For starters, you can try listening to a calming song like Weightless by Macaroni Union. Studies show that this song can reduce anxiety levels as much as 65% or more. By keeping your mind calm, it’ll be easier for you to keep pain levels low.

What other tricks can you use to have the best tattoo experience? Read on to find out everything you need to know when preparing for a tattoo.

1. Preparing for a Tattoo

First, choose a tattoo shop that’s clean and trustworthy. If you have friends or family members that have tattoos you like, ask them where they got their work done.

Oftentimes, references are one of the best resources for finding a quality tattoo artist. However, even if a friend or family member recommends a tattoo artist to you, you’ll still want to check out their shop ahead of time.

What to Look for in a Tattoo Shop

When you visit a tattoo shop, look at what’s on the walls, floors, and even ceiling. Starting with that waiting area, scan the room to see the condition it’s in. Also, check to see if the shop seems to get a lot of business.

Next, pay attention to the customer service the tattoo shop has. While you might not need a bubbly, happy person greeting you at the door, they should still make you feel comfortable.

If the place looks good and makes you feel good, you’ll want to check the artist’s equipment next. The tattooing station, along with all of their equipment, should be clean and well-organized.

Finally, the last test will be to ask the tattoo artist for their license. It’s normal for reputable tattoo studios to put copies of their licenses on display.

However, if the license isn’t on display, it’s perfectly okay to ask to see it. If the tattoo artist can’t produce their license, or gives you grief, look for another shop.

2. Discuss the Process

A big part of preparing for a tattoo is knowing what to expect. After finding the perfect tattoo shop, set your expectations by discussing the process with one of the tattoo artists.

During your consultation, let the tattoo artist know that this will be your very first tattoo. The tattoo artist will likely be very happy that you chose them for your first tattoo. They’ll also know to treat you with extra special care since you’re a newbie.

Next, have the artist walk you through every step of the procedure, including their aftercare suggestions. It’s also helpful to find out how long it’ll take to get your tattoo.

Know What to Expect

When you’re getting a tattoo they may use more than one needle. Each needle attaches to a handheld device. The handheld device works similarly to a sewing machine, moving the needle up and down.

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Each time the needle goes down it pierces your skin. It’s common to feel a stinging or burning sensation when you’re getting a tattoo.

The type of pain you feel will depend on what part of the process the tattoo artist is in. For instance, if the tattoo artist is adding fine details, you’re likely to feel a stinging sensation.

If you’re getting an intricate tattoo, it’ll take longer than getting a simple design. For longer tattoo sessions, prepare to feel higher levels of pain.

3. Choose the Right Design

When it comes to getting a tattoo, there’s no room for doubt. If you’re not 100% sold on the design of your tattoo, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. How exactly can you pick the perfect design?

It helps if the design for your tattoo has a personal connection. Finding a design that resonates with you is especially important when you’re getting your very first tattoo.

Your first tattoo is a chance to express yourself to others while also connecting with your inner self. If you choose a design that has a personal connection, you’ll be able to avoid regretting your tattoo in the future.

For instance, let’s say there’s a band you like right now. You get the band’s name tattooed on your leg. If 10 years down the road you don’t care about the band, will you be glad they’re your first tattoo?

On the other hand, what if you got a tattoo that had a deep personal meaning? Even as the years go by, the carefully selected design will still mean something to you. The meaning of the design may change, but the tattoo will still connect with a part of who you once were.

4. Drink a Lot of Water

Once you decide on the design and tattoo artist, you’re ready to prep your body for the big day! Preparing for a tattoo starts 24 hours before your tattoo session. During those 24 hours, you must drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.

Hydrated skin can take in the ink much easier then dehydrated skin cells would. How much water should you drink before your first tattoo? The exact amount of water you need to drink is going to depend on your lifestyle and body type.

The average person should drink about half a gallon of water a day to reach peak hydration levels. However, if you plan on working out in the 24 hours before getting your tattoo, you’ll probably need more water since exercise is dehydrating.

5. Avoid Being Hangry

Similar to how marathon runners will carb up before a big race, you’ll want to fill up before getting your tattoo. Going into a tattoo session hungry and angry, or hangry, is never a good idea. Not only will being hangry make it difficult for you to relax, but having an empty stomach can also lower your pain threshold.

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Low blood sugar makes you more sensitive to pain. By having a full meal in your stomach, it’ll be easier for your body to deal with the pain.

You won’t even have to worry about the carbs adding extra calories to your diet. During your tattoo session, your metabolism is going to speed up, and your body will be able to burn off all of those extra carbs.

6. Don’t Go in Sick

If you’re feeling ill on the day you’re supposed to get your tattoo, stay home. The artist will have to get extremely close while they’re tattooing you. If you’re sick, likely, the close proximity will also get them sick.

The vicious cycle will continue as a tattoo artist passes the sickness on to their next client. Whether you’re dealing with a cold, or something more serious, call the tattoo shop and let them know you need to reschedule.

You should also stay home if you’re dealing with an infection that you can’t pass on to others. For instance, let’s say that you have an ear infection.

It’s still a good idea to reschedule your appointment since your ear infection is compromising your immunity. When your immunity is vulnerable you don’t want to introduce foreign substances like the ink from a tattoo.

7. Do Go in Sober

Not to be a buzzkill, but you should never go to a tattoo session drunk or high. While it may be tempting to take a few shots before your session to help ease the pain, it’ll cause you more harm than good.

Drinking alcohol thins your blood. If you go to your tattoo appointment drunk, or even hungover, you’ll wind up bleeding more.

You should also avoid smoking or using marijuana before your appointment. Smoking could dehydrate you or make it difficult for you to communicate clearly.

Instead, find the best CBD cigarettes to buy online. After your appointment, you can light up to celebrate and help you unwind.

8. Wear Comfortable Clothes

Whether your tattoo session is going to be long or short, wear comfortable clothes that are easy to sit in. Your clothes should also make it easy for the tattoo artist to reach the part of your body they’re tattooing.

Are you getting a tattoo on your foot or ankle? If yes, you’ll want to wear comfortable shoes that expose your foot.

For foot tattoos, flip flops are a smart choice. If you’re getting an ankle tattoo, just make sure you wear some type of flats for comfort.

Finally, you’ll want to bring a light jacket, just in case the tattoo shop is chilly. If the tattoo is going to be on your arms, you can still drape the jacket over your legs to stay comfortable.

Follow Our Tattoo Advice

There you have it! The top tips everyone should know when preparing for a tattoo.

Now you can start exploring different tattoo designs and find the perfect artist to bring the design to life. For more helpful articles like this one, check out the rest of this site.

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preparing for a tattoo