Getting a tattoo is an important rite of passage in one’s teenage years as they embark on their journey to adulthood. But deciding to make a spontaneous trip downtown to the tattoo parlor may end in regret or you paying even more for laser tattoo removal. Healthline reported that in 2019, about 75 percent of their 600 respondents admitted to regretting at least one of their tattoos. Researching before you decide on a tattoo can spare you from having to spend even more money to fix that one late-night decision that involves you getting your boyfriend’s name Theodore written across your chest in cursive (we all know that one friend).
Know What You Want
The most important thing you need to have ready before you decide to get a tattoo is the design, font and size. It’s extremely important to be confident in your choices, as a tattoo is as permanent as it gets. Certain places on the body cost most than others, as well as fonts and sizes that create a price ranging from $50 to over $250. Second-guessing what you want can cost you time and money so schedule a consult with an artist!
What It Feels Like
Will it hurt? How long does the pain last? Will I pass out? The answers to these questions really depend on where you get the tattoo and what your pain tolerance is. For example, my rib tattoo hurt more than my ear tattoo because more nerve endings were triggered by the tattoo pen. Some people can say differently because all bodies are different, so do not be alarmed if you encounter each tattoo differently. To ensure you are physically ready, you need to eat something nutritious, hydrate and get a good night’s sleep to avoid passing out!
Do Not Let Others Decide for You
When I got my first tattoo, I was with a group of friends who were pressuring me to get one since they were. Reluctantly, I got a heart in the hopes I would not hate it after. NEWS FLASH: I regretted it. My second tattoo was even worse as I agreed to get a matching tattoo with one of my friends, only to find out after the fact that she was backing out. The moral of the story is to never assume someone else will follow through or allow others to influence your choices because at the end of the day it is your body, and you have to live with it the rest of your life. In the end, these tattoos have grown on me, but I have learned my lesson on taking time to decide on what I want before I get inked again.
Know the Risks and the Precautions
While getting a tattoo is fun and exciting, it comes with its side effects. Some people experience allergic reactions to the ink, while others’ skin does not react at all. Asking your doctor about possible allergies and consulting with your tattoo artist can give you a better idea of what to expect when picking out the color or pigment of the tattoo. Also, allowing your tattoo to heal for at least two weeks while avoiding baths, hot tubs and the ocean is very important in order to avoid an infection.
The takeaway from this is to research before you consider getting a tattoo, especially if you are getting matching tattoos. Consult with your artist, bounce ideas off your friends and have fun exploring this amazing art of expression!