So you’ve made your tattoo appointment!!! Here some things you should know before getting tatted.

  1. Show up for your tattoo appointment and be on time. It’s very important to show up because the artists are on commission, they adjust their schedule to accommodate your tattoo simultaneously turning down other potential clients for that time slot. If you cancel, you have wasted their time. Also, if you are late, it will interrupt their schedule for the rest of the day, so in order to not inconvenience the next client, your tattoo appt may be cut short. If you must cancel, please give the shop a few days notice so they can make adjustments.
  2. Keep skin healthy and moisturized prior to appointment. Keep your skin in good shape by moisturizing regularly and staying hydrated, but on the day of your appointment come in without lotion. Make sure the surface of your skin has no scrapes, sunburn, bug bites, peeling or blemishes because your skin may already have an infection and this can affect your healing process. If you are tattooed while the skin is damaged, once the damaged skin sheds and then rebuilds, there will be gaps in the ink. Allow the tattoo artist to shave you so there is also no risk of infection from used razors at home.
  3. Eat a big meal and drink fluids before coming in. It is important to be hydrated as well as nourished to prevent fainting, nausea or dizziness during your tattoo session. Eating replenishes your blood sugar levels and gives you the energy that you need to burn while your body fights the impact of the tattoo. Sometimes this process is very draining on the body, so it is also a good idea to bring snacks if you have a long session planned. This goes for clients with multiple tattoos also, everyone needs to protect themselves.
  4. No Alcohol or drugs. Although it sounds tempting to dull the pain, taking any drugs or alcohol will thin your blood, flushing the ink out of your body as it bleeds and making it difficult for the ink to be embedded in the skin, as well as for the artist to see clearly how the ink is going in. Your tattoo will appear faded and will have to be redone. Also, most tattoo artists will not tattoo you while you are under the influence. Your judgement will be impaired which is no good for making such a permanent decision and behaviors are unpredictable. Your job as a client is to be calm, clear and to not move.
  5. Wear loose clothing to your tattoo appointment. Make sure that your outfit will allow the location of your tattoo is easily accessible to the tattoo artist without exposing the rest of you and without distorting your skin. Also, wear clothing that you don’t mind getting ink splattered because as the artist works, their main focus is the tattoo, not your clothing.
  6. Proper planning for healing. If you get a tattoo on your foot or hands in the winter, your gloves/socks/boots could cause excessive sweating and the fabric can stick to the ointment. Make sure you are able to air out your piece as well as keep it clean. On the other hand, if you enjoy summer activities such as beach, pool, ocean, etc, allow at least 2-3 weeks before exposing your skin for extended periods to the sun. If you get a tattoo on a joint, it will swell. The more you move your tattoo, the more it will swell up and cause the scab to fall off prematurely and is likely to damage your tattoo, so be easy on that body part. After your session is completed, you will need to avoid working out until it heals. Sweating, your muscles expanding, and exposure to germs could lead to a staph infection or damage to the piece.
  7. Relax and get good rest. It is very important to try to be as relaxed as possible. Being tattooed requires you to lay still for an extended period of time so it is good to be prepared for that. Also, you may experience some pain so it is good for your body to be in a state to battle this. The more tired and drained you come in to your appointment, the less likely you will be able to tolerate the pain.

Your tattoo is a lifelong investment and it will stay with you until you are old and grey. Taking the time prepare your body and to heal it right is worth the effort, and you will thank yourself in the long run.