Everything You Need to Consider Before You Get Your First Tattoo

Getting a tattoo, especially when it’s your first one, can be a stressful experience. There is no doubt that if you are considering a tattoo, you have asked yourself over and over, Do I like this enough to get it drawn on my body forever? I have gone through this experience myself, and I have put together a list of things that are essential to consider before getting your first tattoo. 


MAIN things to consider:

1. It really is a life-long decision

If you have ever mentioned to anyone – and I mean anyone– that you want a tattoo, you have probably been told something like, “It never goes away,” or “Think about when your skin gets saggy.” These people are trying to dissuade you from getting a tattoo by trying to make you insecure about your own body. Remember, getting a tattoo is something you do to your own body, and therefore it is completely your decision. However, these people are technically right about a tattoo being stuck on you forever. Although tattoos often fade, they are permanent. However, you can get them removed. Although this process is painful, expensive, and often scarring, tattoo removal is possible. 

And anyways, tattoos don’t always look bad when your skin starts to sag! Just look at this woman for proof:


2. What do you want?

The most important thing to consider in getting a tattoo is what you want and where you want it. Getting a tattoo should ideally not be an impulsive occurrence. Consider what you want, its meaning, where you want it, how big you want it, etc. People often recommend printing a picture of the tattoo that you want and hanging it on or near your mirror for at least a year. At the end of this year, if you’re still not tired of the design, you can get the tattoo and be confident that you will not get tired of it at all. A significant part of this process is confidence; to get a tattoo that you are satisfied with, you must first be completely confident in what you want and where. 


3. What tattoo artist will you go to? 

Every tattoo artist is different. They each have a different style and level of experience or expertise. Therefore, it is important to choose your tattoo artist carefully. Before making any appointments with any tattoo artists, you should look on their websites, read reviews, and look at their other work. You especially want to like the style of the tattoo artist that you eventually choose. If you want a smaller or simpler tattoo, this is not as important, although I do recommend it regardless. Additionally, know that you will most likely need to make an appointment well in advance, especially if your artist is popular. 


4. It’s more expensive than you’d think

My tattoo is quite simple, and it took ten minutes at most to get it done. However, I paid $70 for it. When you get a professional tattoo, you have to pay a shop minimum. Additionally, every hour after the first hour in the shop you have to pay around $120 per hour, depending on the shop. Although you might feel like the tattoo artist is trying to rip you off, remember that you wouldn’t want a $10 tattoo. You are paying for your guaranteed health and safety, and for a professional, quality tattoo. Just don’t be shocked when your tattoo ends up costing way more than you anticipated. 


Some other RANDOM things to consider:

1. You won’t be able to donate blood for a year

If you donate blood, know that you will not be able to for a year after you get a tattoo. This is due to the exposure to potential infections that a tattoo needle can bring. 


2. You can’t submerge yourself for a full week 

If you’re just about to go on a beach vacation, wait to get your tattoo! You cannot submerge your new tattoo underwater for a week, so make sure you plan accordingly. 


3. It can get infected – do your research!

Getting a tattoo exposes the area to the outside world. Especially when the tattoo is still new, it is prone to infection. Make sure to do your research, look at reviews of potential tattoo parlors and artists, and take care of your new tattoo. 


4. Consider your future employment 

When you get a tattoo, everyone seems to be concerned that it will somehow make it hard for you to get a job in the future. If you decide to get a tattoo on your face, then perhaps this might prove true. However, you can usually hide tattoos that are smaller or in more discreet places. Or maybe, depending on the job you want, you don’t care! 


5. Make sure you get it for the right reasons

Some people love getting tattoos, and that’s great. However, for me at least, a small and simple yet meaningful tattoo was most appealing, and that is exactly what I got. I got my tattoo for myself and no one else; make sure you do the same. It doesn’t have to mean anything significant at all, but make sure that you like it and that you are getting it to make yourself happy. 


Because I only have one, small tattoo, I am not as well-versed as I could be on the subject. Nevertheless, these are my recommendations. I was very ambivalent about getting a tattoo, especially at first, but now I am glad that I got one. I hope this was helpful to those considering getting a tattoo! Good luck!