Firsts are always special and memorable; they tend to have a special place in our hearts. Each first is a special memory to be preserved, and your tattoo is no different. In fact, your first tattoo is more special, considering it is pretty permanent, and you should give it a lot of thought before getting inked. And if you’re thinking of getting a hand tattoo, make sure to take ideas from our article on small hand tattoos.
You should do your homework to ensure you’re ready to get inked for the first time. You’re getting a work of art done on your body, which is going to be pretty permanent, so it’s essential to think and consider everything for a lot more than just a few minutes before getting your first tattoo.
Here are a few things that you should consider before getting your first tattoo.
Think properly before you get your first tattoo
It is ideal for you to take time and think about the style you’d like to have before sitting in the chair. Beautiful designs can make you smile for a lifetime, but you need to be sure of placing anyone else’s name on your body.
You’ll likely cherish your mom and kids for the rest of your life; however, you should think twice about tattooing the name of some other person. Cover-up tattoos are a thing for a reason, and removing tattoos is possible; however, it could be costly and painful.
Wouldn’t you rather take the time now to carefully decide on a design that you know will delight you for years to come?
Ask your friends about their tattoos, who the artists are and the best way you can get in touch with them. You can also look up artists whose work touches your heart via Instagram to find out what kind of work you’d like to have done.
Everyone should be prepared with the following fundamental questions:
“Is the style of the artist and the tattoo compatible with each other? Meaning, is that something the artist is willing to take on? How do they work? Are there any deposits required? What is the cancellation policy?”
In-demand artists are booked for months in advance, so the earlier you can determine whom you’d like to ink you, the better.
A skilled tattoo artist will listen to your explanation of what you would like; then, they will suggest a style before arranging an appointment(s). Make sure you do enough research before the appointment so to ensure that you are awed by the artist’s interpretations. You and the tattooist will both be satisfied, and your tattoo will be precisely what you desire.
Note: Creating elaborate and/or extremely large designs may require longer than one session; therefore, you should make sure you plan ahead.
Ensure your tattoo artist and the shop have your safety in mind
Different states have their own requirements for tattoo artists. Certain states require tattoo artists to be licensed, while some only require shops to be licensed by their city’s local health department. States may or may not require that tattoo artists pass a bloodborne pathogens training certification, as well. Some cities, such as New York City, might have their own requirements — on top of any state requirements.
In addition to ensuring that the shop you’re thinking of visiting complies with local regulations, you should also examine you should also take a good look at the facilities. Are they sparkling clean and full of non-porous surfaces? You want a place with good sanitation, where your artist unwraps new, single-use needles in front of you and prepares fresh ink that hasn’t been used before. Keep in mind that a brand new tattoo is basically a gorgeous open wound.
A porous surface, like rock and marble, would not be something that your tattoo station should be made of. It should be stainless steel or [another] sterilizable material.
Don’t haggle. Be prepared to give a tip
Consider your hair; if you visit the salon, you’ll want the very best. You’ve done your homework, you’re aware of the quality of services you’ll receive, and you’re willing to spend. Why should you treat an artist who will put the artwork over your face or body for a long time, perhaps even a lifetime, differently?
Don’t bargain! Like any other profession, an excellent tattoo artist is entitled to charge the price they want. Also: Tattoo artistry is a field where tips are always appreciated.
Arrive at the shop prepared on the day of your appointment
Get a good night’s sleep the night before your appointment. Make sure you are mentally prepared for it. Tattoos can be an intellectual game just in the same way it’s physical.
Eat an adequate meal the day before your appointment. You can also take some snacks along if you’d like. Having low blood sugar during the procedure is not a good idea.
Yes, it hurts; however, great art can be worth the pain
Each person’s tolerance for pain is different, and we cannot give you the exact measurement of how much it’ll hurt.
Some general rules:
- Tattoos that are directly applied to bone are more painful.
- Your torso’s sides, the rib cage, the sides of your arms (think armbands), and the inside of your legs are extremely sensitive.
- A head tattoo definitely causes a lot more pain.
Be ready, willing, and able to do all the aftercare steps your tattoo artist suggests
A new tattoo will take around 2 weeks to heal. From the moment you step out of the chair until the tattoo is fully healed, your brand new tattoo will be an open wound that you would need to treat cautiously to safeguard the tattoo and prevent infections. It’s best to talk to your experienced tattoo artist about aftercare and adhere to their guidelines strictly.
Your tattoo artist will likely suggest something similar to A + D ointment or Aquaphor to be applied over your new ink. Apply the product consistently. Also, don’t plan to swim or take a bath in tubs during the period of healing. You can shower (please be sure to keep the area clean) but definitely pat the newly tattooed area dry when you’re done. Don’t even consider applying pressure to the area.
Keep that region out of the sun as it heals, and do not wear clothing that is likely to stick on it.
You’ll likely need some retouching in the near future
Areas of your body where skin cells turn over more frequently (such as hands and feet) will definitely need touch-ups. Any tattoo that is regularly exposed to the sun or is immersed in water may require to be touched up as well. In actuality, after a while, most tattoos will require touches-up to look their best.
A majority of tattoo artists guarantee their work and offer touch-ups for free or for a small fee. Make sure to ask your tattoo artist to find out their policies specific to them, and it cannot be stressed enough: Don’t forget to leave a tip!