If there is one word that sums up that moment when you’re about to get your very first tattoo, it would be “commitment.” Of all the things you could muster during this time, you just want to be that committed upon finally deciding that your body is going to be inked. Yes, getting a tattoo is both exciting and terrifying, but the truth beyond this decision is more than that. It comes with important things that you need to be armed with so the result of this endeavor is nothing but successful.
Today, we’ll be providing you just about the essential things you should know before getting yourself your first tattoo. Ranging from your “pre-tattoo” period all the way to when you get to have it put on your skin, this guide should ensure that this first experience shouldn’t be all that worry-filled. Also, this guide won’t only walk you through on the basics of this decision but should also ensure that your final tattoo output is top-notch.
#1. Choosing the Right Parlor
A thorough research of the parlor you’d soon be a client of is of paramount importance. You may visit the place and always in a polite manner, ascertain about the artist’s proof of business or licenses. You may also opt to check its reviews online.
Meanwhile, tattooing is known to differ depending on states, so it’s a must that you allot time to know these guidelines relative to your location. Remember that this shop you’re researching about is about to put on something that is everlasting on your skin. So if you plan to get extensive on your research that would serve you better.
#2. The Tattoo Pricing
If you exude this virginal prowess when it comes to tattoo stuff, then you might want to bring someone with you who knows about tattoo pricing.
- This is next to crucial as some parlors may rip you off in this respect.
- Moreover, tattoo shops often vary their prices depending on the tattoo size and style. As a beginner, you may easily get lost in these pricings.
- One of the last things you don’t want to regret right after your first session is paying up for something that you can get less from another parlor with the same tattoo quality.
#3. The Peril of Bargain Hunting
You may have snatched the nicest bargain of all time, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to an efficient and top-notch tattoo output. Some parlors that engage in bargains often end up giving you a subpar work and worse, some repercussions that involve infections. As you might know now, your very first tattoo will about to be a part of your body for life so if you need to invest with extra cash, go for it!
#4. Go for A Clean Tattoo Shop
More often than not, tattoo shops that are not that tidied up end up with some risks on your health. If that shop is already dingy-looking from afar, take your horsemen with you and find a parlor that deserves your skin better. These shops will open a wound on your skin and infection is just about the last thing you want to go for!
#5. A New Needle Package Should Be Opened Right in Front of You
Talking about cleanliness, ensure that your newly found artist opens a fresh needle package in front of your very eyes. Also, make certain that he or she utilizes a new disposable ink cup along with a set of gloves during the process. Otherwise, you’d be wondering whether a part of your body has been infected with a reused needle or not.
#6. The Importance of A Non-Porous Material
While we are still at cleanliness, also ensure that your tattoo artist allows you to get tattooed on a non-porous material such as stainless steel or even “sterilizable” materials. Porous surfaces like rock, marble, and wood are difficult to sanitize and should not be your tattoo station should be made of.
#7. Your Artist’s Social Media Also Counts
You’re not stalking; you’re investigating. Don’t be shy when you’re checking your artist’s body of work whether they’re on Facebook or Instagram. In fact, this snooping will allow you to compare their work from other artists, and for that, you can still get to decide which one among them you’d want to work with. Ultimately, their users’ comments would also allow you to determine how they interact during the process.
#8. Mind Their Manners
Whenever you feel like your tattoo artist is subjecting you to some serious ridicule, feel free to leave the parlor outrightly.
- One fine example of this is when they get cranky or visibly offended when you just ask to adjust the proportioning or the design of your tattoo.
- Also, when the artist begins to make you uncomfortable for whatever reason, you all have the right to leave that session.
Your very first tattoo is anxiety-inducing enough, and your artist’s unappealing quirks shouldn’t add to this.
#9. Big Tattoos Equate to Many Sessions
It is always to ask your artist how long your session should last with him. Having a false expectation in terms of completion can be a little disappointing on your end.
The rule of thumb in the tattooing world is that the bigger your tattoo is, the more sessions it would require your artist to finish it. That goes the same to tattoos that have lots of colors in them and the ones with lots of details.
Now, if you’re opting for a smaller tattoo like a start or just three words in it, the session won’t usually last for five minutes.
#10. Your Choice of Design Should be The Ane That Lasts
Remember when we talked about commitment earlier? Just to reiterate, your very first tattoo, once inked, will be a part of your body forever. On that note, consider the significance of the design that you’re about to choose. Tattoos that are done on a whim or just a product of one of your spur-of-the-moment occasions usually don’t fare well in this regard.
When I get to have this question right before I get a tattoo, I always envision the tattoo artist placing my chosen tatoo ink on my forehead, which makes my decision all the more important. I hope that one inspires and works for you as well.
#11. Keep Your Tattoos Fresh and Moisturized
My brother, who has way more tattoos than I do, has allowed me to see how he keeps his tattoos fresh and radiant-looking. Somehow, this scenario has taught me to use a higher SPF moisturizer should I decide to go out in the sun.
Apart from this, I’ve been taught to take care of myself in regards to keeping my skin healthy and choosing my food that well. More importantly, he quipped that hydrating myself now and then is also equally important.
#12. Know the Risks of Getting Tattoos in Certain Places
Ideally, all body parts can be tattooed on. However, there are noted risks and repercussions in some of these body parts. For instance, if you decide to get you tattoo on your palm or inside your fingers, you should be wary that the tattoo may fade and blow out in time. Meanwhile, body areas that are considered thinner or tighter will require the artist to touch them differently as opposed to areas that are muscular or contain large amount of fats.
As such, it is not only important to go with someone who knows about the different reactions in these areas, but it is crucial that you go with an artist that can explain these as well. On the other hand, it is also significant that you select someone who knows how to draw tattoos for your other “certain” body parts as there are particular tattoos that are only meant for these areas. Conducting a drawing that should be proportioned to a particular body part takes a lot of talent, and that is a hallmark of a seasoned tattoo artist.
#13. This Special Day Should Not be Done Days Before You Go for A Vacation
You just don’t want to schedule your very first tattoo days before heading to a beach or a place that requires you to be wet.
- Tattoos take at least two weeks for its healing to take effect depending on how your skin convalesces.
- Pool chemicals and the bacteria that you can find in the ocean are not only detrimental to your health but are also not good for healing too.
- Also, exposing your not-so-healed tattoo directly to the sunlight is strongly discouraged. I was also told that even the healed ones are known to be sensitive to ultraviolet (UV) rays.
So in a nutshell, wait for weeks before you even begin contemplating on going for a vacay.
#14. Touch Your Tattoos Up
The colors of your tattoos, no matter how vibrant their colors were in the first week, are still bound to fade in time. This is because our skin sheds new layers now and then. As such, you’re always going to have another session with your tattoo artist to get their color and design in top form.
It is always advised to get back to the same artist who donned your tattoo, but you may also go to any artist to get them touched up. Most tattoo parlors will charge you for this, but there are also few shops that do this for free. And akin to your tattoo pricings, the price tags for the touching up will also vary. Ask the artist first for his or her estimate before you begin the session.
#15. Tattoos in Some Body Parts Will Naturally Fade Faster Than the Others
As when a certain part of our body gets exposed to the sun more often, the so-called pigment will eventually break down that much quickly. Some of these areas are the outside of your arm and your shoulders if you always wear clothing that won’t cover these tattoos.
If you’re too worried about this, ensure that you placed your tattoo on a spot that is less exposed to the sun. These areas include the inside of your wrist or your inner arm.
#16. Pain Will Always be Relative to Your Tolerance
Although getting a tattoo may never hurt, it should all still boil down to your pain tolerance. There are people who won’t find it painful while there are others who will find a bit of a pain in it. Tattoos that are placed just right over your bones tend to be more hurtful compared to other parts. Also, if you have larger tattoos, chances are you will be in pain for quite some time.
#17. Just Cover it Up
You may adore some of your tattoos for a year or two, but there are just those whose novelty will wear off in time. Some of these examples are the names of your ex-girlfriend or a sign that is considered offensive in some places. There is no need to fret over these though as they can be covered (thankfully) by great artists. They can either place a new design on top of it or just add some modifications until it all appears to be a new one.
#18. The Tattoo Removal
Should in the event that you feel like really doing your tattoo away for good, you can have it removed with a laser treatment. The number of sessions will entirely depend on the ink color along with the ink’s resistance, and the tattoo size.
Meanwhile, colors like blue, green, and black are believed to be the easier ones to be removed with laser treatments as they can be detected easily. Now, for colors such as yellow and white, the session may have to be repeated for a couple of times before they can finally get removed. You should be told by now that attempting to eliminate these colors can give you some scarring. And yes, the treatment is a little expensive too.
#19. The Need to Be Shaved
If you’re especially hairy, prepare to be told that a little shaving has to be done in that area. You may also ask your artist if you could have it shaved instead right before you head to your first session.
#20. The Spot Test
Ink allergies are a not-so-common repercussion when you get inked. And as they do happen, ensure that you ask your artist first to perform a “spot test." It should be carried out in an area in which you'd know if it will get inflamed easily after a few weeks. Once you’ve seen adverse skin reactions, the tattoo may very well be inflamed. If this happens, seek a doctor so he could treat you with steroids.
As your tattoos will essentially become a part of your life, getting them inked on your body not only requires your utmost preparation but also asks for your resourcefulness, discipline, and a well-thought out decision. All of these culminate to a successful tattoo output that your well-earned money truly deserves.
If you have noticed, almost all of these essentials are all about being inquisitive. It is very much okay to ask questions in this regard as this concerns something that is permanent. More importantly, the significance of cleanliness in this respect should be taken seriously as an untidy tattoo environment might bring you some hurdles on your health.
Did you enjoy reading the article? Did it finally help you on your decision about your very first tattoo? If you think that I’ve missed on something more crucial on my tips, please feel free to sound them off in the comment section below. Until then, have fun with your first tats!