You’ve found the right artist for you, had the consultation, and booked the date to get your first tattoo. Excited? Nervous? Relax, Ink Different Tattoo School has made this guide on how to ensure you have a great first tattoo experience. Read this second installment in our series of top first tattoo tips to make sure you have a great experience!
Tattoo aftercare is important. Important enough to start thinking about it even before you’ve been tattooed! Not only will it make the healing process more comfortable, it affects how the tattoo will look when it has healed.
It is best not to book your tattoo session the week before you go hiking in the mountains, or just before a holiday at the beach. A fresh tattoo is an open wound and needs to be protected from infection and irritants—so no swimming in public pools, tanning sessions, or hot tub parties! Sunblock and chlorinated swimming pools will irritate your skin, and can lead to some loss of color.
Don’t be that generous person who shares their flu with everyone else. Your artist would rather you reschedule the appointment than have to worry about your sneezing and flinching mid-tattoo. If your immune system is stressed by fighting even a mild cold, the tattoo will probably hurt more, and your body is going to have a harder time healing your new tattoo.
Staying up partying until 4am the night before your noon tattoo appointment is not going to do anyone any favors. Turn down that invite and have a relaxed alcohol-free night in. Being well-rested and not hungover will make your first tattoo experience more enjoyable. Alcohol thins the blood, which makes you bleed more and makes it harder to apply the color well. Being hungover will make the session feel a lot longer and less comfortable!
You will probably be anxious about the experience. Make your life easier by planning to leave the house with plenty of time to get to your appointment. Don’t worry about the pain. Getting tattooed does hurt, but less than you think. Yes, you will bleed a little. Getting overly worried about it will only make the experience harder. Try to focus on knowing that this pain is not for nothing, at the end of it you will have a nice new tattoo!
Follow your usual routine. You do not need to shave the area on the day of your first tattoo. Some artists prefer to do this themselves to avoid cuts. Ask your artist in advance what they want. Be a friend to your artist and make sure you’ve cleaned your teeth, wear deodorant, and keep the perfume or after-shave to a minimum, no need to send them into a coughing fit!
When you’ve followed these tips to get you through your first tattoo appointment, you’re on track for a memorable first tattoo experience! Wonder how we know so much about making first tattoos a special experience? We’ve been training successful tattoo artists who excel at world-class customer service for over eight years! And we’re always looking for talented artists to join our team.
Also, be sure to check out the other articles in this series where we give more top tips for a great first tattoo before and after your tattoo appointment, including 5 more top tips for the day of your tattoo appointment.