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5 Important Tips For Getting Your First Tattoo

A little over half a year ago, I got my first tattoo (it’s a palm tree). Since then, I’ve been wanting to get more and more tattoos. It becomes an obsession! Anyways, if you’re considering getting your first tattoo soon, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind and will help make the process a bit less intimidating! 

  1. 1. Tattoos don’t have to be significant in meaning to you. 

    This is a common misconception of those who don’t have or don’t want to have any tattoos. There is always the pressure of having to come up with a design that means something special for the individual. If you’re set on a tattoo that commemorates a loved one or has a specific significance to you, then that’s great! Good for you! However, if you’re planning on getting a design that you simply like for the aesthetics of it, go for it! My palm tree tattoo has no particular significance to me, but I still love it and have no regrets! 

  2. 2. Figuring out sizing and placement can be a hard decision. 

    Sizing and placement are probably the most indecisive, yet important aspects of the tattoo process. If you’re going for a rather small piece, I suggest placing your tattoo somewhere near your wrists, your knees, or your ankles. If your tattoo is tiny and/or you want to hide it, consider placing it behind your ear or on the back of your neck. If you want a medium-sized or large piece, some great places to put it are on the stomach/ribs, thighs, upper arms, and the back. Make sure to keep in mind the length and width of your tattoo. For example, if your tattoo is thin, but long horizontally, it may look out of place if you put it on your legs or arms, because it will wrap around. 

  3. 3. Do your research beforehand. 

    It is very crucial to do thorough research before you go and get a tattoo. Quality of the tattoo really does depend on the tattoo shop you go to. Just like you look up reviews and ratings before buying a product online, you should do the same when you’re looking for a tattoo shop. Make sure the reviews are almost all positive and definitely take a look at some of the artists’ work. You want to go to tattoo artists that are trust-worthy, friendly, use safe and sterile equipment, and most importantly, good at what they do. 

  4. 4. Speak with your tattoo artist and figure out logistics. 

    When getting your first tattoo, it’s better to visit the tattoo shop that you’ve decided on beforehand to make an appointment, rather than to just do a walk-in. While you should expect to pay a deposit fee for your appointment, it is smarter to set up an appointment because you will have the opportunity to speak to one of the workers and ask any questions that you may have. Discussing your plan for your tattoo with an artist is a good way to avoid making impulsive decisions. At the end of the day, this is a commitment and is permanent, so you don’t want to regret it. Additionally, discussing pricing for your tattoo while setting up an 

    appointment is key. Many tattoo shops will try to over-charge you for your tattoo since it is your first one, and they don’t think you know any better. This happened to me! Don’t let them cheat you out of your money. Don’t be afraid to negotiate pricing, but make sure you’re polite. 

  5. 5. The pain is worth it in the end. 

    Many people who don’t have tattoos are often hesitant to get them because they are afraid of the pain. Truth is, it really isn’t that bad. The most painful places to get a tattoo are the ribs, hands, and feet. I got my large palm tree tattoo on my ribs. Let me tell you, people over exaggerate the pain level. I admit, it is quite unpleasant, but it is definitely tolerable. The best way I can describe the feeling of being tattooed is that it feels like getting a shot at the doctors, but instead of the needle being inserted, it is dragged and pressed hard against your skin. If this still seems too intimidating for you, I suggest bringing a friend with you to your session to distract you from the pain. Having a friend keep you company will not only make the time go by quicker, but also will keep you focused on conversation, rather than the needle that’s being scraped against your skin. The pain is very temporary, and you won’t feel it anymore as soon as the tattoo is finished. At the end of the day, what’s a few hours of discomfort compared to having an amazing tattoo on your skin for the rest of your life? 

Hopefully these tips have alleviated some of the anxiety that comes with getting your first tattoo. Remember to take care of your fresh ink for a week after you get tattooed and enjoy it! It’s a great experience that will just make you want to come back for more after the first one!