So you’re thinking about getting a tattoo. You’ve got the support of your parents (or maybe not) and you’ve decided to finally go for it! The one thing you should know before you get your tattoo is…
Research, research, research.
Make sure you know everything, from the artist and location to how long it would take and the cost. If you already have a concept in mind, I highly recommend searching tattoo parlors around the area you live in. For every shop, read all the artists’ bios and see if their styles appeal to you. Familiarize yourself with different styles and techniques. There are many types — American traditional style, realism, watercolor — just to name a few. You can get to know more here. There are also a plethora of ways for you to get inspired: Pinterest, Inkbox and Instagram.
Safety and hygiene should be your #1 priority. Read reviews carefully to find out what people think the shop does well and what are some potential red flags to look out for. Never compromise on safety and hygiene. When you have found a place you like, be sure to set up a consultation to get a feel of the atmosphere and also get your questions answered. Discuss your ideas. Ask the artist for his or her expertise.
A good quality tattoo is never cheap and a cheap tattoo is never good quality. Personally, I went for a mid-tier tattoo shop. The shadings and color of the tattoo is still there after a few years, but if you look closer, tiny areas have faded away. While I value it’s meaning more than it’s aesthetic element, if you want the best looking tattoo, be prepared to fork out more money!
Stay calm. My biggest mistake was being overly paranoid. Seeing blood ooze out made my heart race. Feeling the artist press a little too hard made me jump. Ironically enough, I didn’t think getting my tattoo was painful. It was uncomfortable at first, but after a while, you start to relax. Do note that it would be more painful if you choose to incorporate colors! I brought a close friend with me for moral support. Be sure to check with the shop’s policy of bringing along guests — some definitely don’t allow customers to bring in their entire squad during the session!
Aftercare is paramount in ensuring that your tattoo heals properly and retains its original form. Once your artist is done with the tattooing, expect a little blood and discomfort (depending on how big your tattoo is). You will also be given an ointment to help with the healing process. Be very, very careful with your tattoo within the first two weeks of getting it. Do not expose it to the sun and always put sunscreen on your tattoo. Not only can sunlight cause blisters, but it also can fade your tattoo away. In general try to avoid doing strenuous activities and putting your fragile skin in contact with anything that might damage it. This means skin-tight clothing, going swimming and heavy exercise.
Remember, your body deserves nothing but the best treatment. Now get down to researching on the best tattoo you can get!