Have you been considering getting a tattoo but find it all a bit overwhelming? It’s understandable, as it’s a significant decision which will impact you for the rest of your life. The words ‘spontaneity’ and ‘tattoo’ should not go together if you’re a bit of a nervous wreck or a meticulous planner!
It can be an exciting process and a wonderful experience with good preparation. Even if you know a bit about the tattoo process, the following guide will help you through.
Beforehand – Preparation is key
It’s essential to research your design well. Talk to your family, friends and acquaintances about how they came about their design. Jump on line and look up tattoo hashtags on Instagram and Pinterest too. This will give you inspiration and also provide a wealth of knowledge about the various design styles including Geometric, Colour, Mandala, Oriental, Neo Traditional, Portrait, Realism, Script, Traditional, Trash Polka, Tribal and Watercolour to name more than a few.
- Your tattoos naturally fade as your body ages so anything too detailed doesn’t age that well.
- Crisp clean lines can grow softer and become blurry. The simpler your tattoo design for your first, the better.
- Ensure you have your finished design in mind before the artist can get to work. It’s a good idea to print it out and make sure you sit with it for a while to ensure it’s what you will love to live with for the rest of your life.
- Finally, make sure it has some personal meaning, if not go back to the design ideas to ensure you have a connection.
For your first tattoo, avoid any larger undertakings. You’ll quickly be able to work out your pain threshold and certain placements will be easier than others. For example, a tattoo on your forearm is generally a good place to start as this is one of the least painful areas of the body to have a tattoo. You don’t have to limit it to just this area but generally speaking, anywhere with a bit more muscle and body tissue will be easier to manage. Also, you may need to consider any workplace guidelines for your tattoo. There’s plenty of fantastic design elements to choose from, but taking on something larger like an Oriental style is best left to future visits.
The Right Service
Finding the right tattoo studio should be included in your research. Bad reviews travel fast so research the internet and your family and friends for the best recommendations. Any good tattoo studio will have artists who can deliver on many different tattoo styles.
- Ask to see their portfolios, check to see if the colours are solid and bright, are the lines clean and sharp on the designs and does the portfolio show great scope?
- Make sure the studio presents well and has the utmost concern for hygiene.
- It’s important to feel as comfortable as you can with your artist and make sure you ask as many questions as you need to feel satisfied.
The Week Prior to your Appointment
In the week prior to your appointment, you can prepare well with the following recommendations:
- Avoid exposure to the sun, don’t even consider getting your tattoo if you are sunburnt as it can affect the outcome of your tattoo.
- Moisturise your skin every day, as uneven or dry skin is more difficult to tattoo and again can alter the final outcome.
- Visit your GP if you have any conditions which may be impacted by the tattoo process or could affect you during the process. You’ll need to provide a certificate to your tattoo artist and make sure they are aware of any medical concerns you may have.
- Absolutely no stimulants such as caffeine, drugs or alcohol should be taken prior to your appointment. This isn’t just us saying you can’t have a good time – in fact – a high blood alcohol content can thin the blood and lead to excessive bleeding during your tattoo.
- Finally, get a good night’s sleep. If you are fidgety, it will impact your tattoo as it’s important to keep as still as you can throughout the session.
It’s good to keep your blood sugar up to avoid nausea and dizziness so have a hearty breakfast or meal before your tattoo.
Our other tips…
- Pack your goodie bag! You might be in for half a day, so bring along some items which can help relax and nourish you. Take your water bottle, some snacks if it’s going to be a longer session, make sure you have a fully charged phone and headphones so you can listen to music (just don’t bop to the beat too much!).
- You will need some suitable identification to show you are over 18.
- Take a shower and don’t shave. If an area needs to be shaved, the tattoo artist will do it for you.
- Finally, a positive mindset helps with dealing with any minor pain.
So, you’ve set yourself up very nicely by following all of the suggestions to ensure a great tattoo and you are absolutely proud of your new ink and can’t wait to show it off, but don’t let all of that hard work go to waste.
The aftercare of your tattoo is equally as important.
- Don’t remove your bandage for a couple of hours.
- You can shower using a mild, fragrance-free soap but don’t touch the tattoo with anything else and definitely don’t use any kind of cloth or loofah as lint particles can get stuck in the wound.
- No need to use a towel on the area tattooed – you can just let it air dry.
- Don’t swim or soak in a spa, bath or pool for at least two weeks or until your tattoo has entirely healed. Showering is ok.
Your tattoo needs to breathe to heal, so avoid using lotions. You can use a tattoo aftercare balm but apply this sparingly twice a day as it may affect the quality of your tattoo.
You have full permission to have a couple of weeks off exercise as you’ll want to avoid too much sweating, exposure to the sun and fake tans. Also, avoid shaving over the new tattoo for a while.
You’ve researched, consulted, settled on a design, found the best tattoo studio for your needs, completed your week prior preparation, nourished your body, packed your goodie bag and now you are all set!
We all know that preparation is the best defence so you can check that anxiety at the door and let your excitement take over as you have prepared well to help your first tattoo to go smoothly.
Haven’t yet booked? Our team members are here to help you every step of the way.