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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

In the past year, I’ve gotten three tattoos from three different artists in three different cities. Having gone through the full process, I feel like I understand how to make the experience easier for both you and your tattoo artist. These are three things that I would recommend from my personal experience with getting tattoos.

  1. Prepare to Spend

Most tattoo parlors have a $100 shop minimum, which means you should expect to spend good money when you’re getting your tattoo. This isn’t as outrageous as it seems, though. When you’re paying, you pay for the quality of the tattoo you’re getting. And it’s definitely important to have enough money set aside to tip your artist as well, just like you would to your hairstylist or server. Saving money for your tattoo includes the money to pay for both the tattoo and the tip.

  1. Do your research

Imagine paying hundreds of dollars for a tattoo that isn’t quite what you asked for. Tattoos take months to heal completely, and the removal process can be quite expensive and painful. So it’s super important to do your research and ensure your design and artist are the right fit for what you want. Social media is a great resource to look into different shops, artists, and the styles that they specialize in.

  1. Prepare Beforehand

Before your tattoo appointment, you’ll usually be instructed to eat beforehand and not take any painkillers. But there are other tips that your artist will thank you for, even if they don’t tell you about it. The first is to shave beforehand. Tattoo artists have a small razor that will get rid of finer hairs, but if you’re getting an area tattooed that is naturally more hairy, you’ll want to do it yourself first. This will save you a lot of time during your appointment, and your artist will greatly appreciate it. The second is to wear the right clothes for your tattoo. If you’re getting an area tattooed that isn’t as accessible, make sure you wear something that makes it easy to go around. Whether it’s a bra that unhooks or shorts instead of jeans, it’ll make your appointment go by smoother.

These are just things that have helped me. Everyone will have a slightly different experience but knowing what to do before a tattoo appointment will make the process go by smoother for both you and your artist. If you’re anxious about getting your tattoo done, the right prep beforehand will help ease the nerves and make the tattoo experience more enjoyable for you.

Risa Bhutani is a junior at Michigan State University studying accounting. She is also the events director for Her Campus at Michigan State and enjoys creating core memories for people in the chapter through events. She is a fan of reality TV, true crime, reading, and hiking in her spare time.