I got my first tattoo when I was 14 on the inside of my left wrist, and since then I’ve had over 60 more tattoos (stopped counting at 60 a few years ago) I also lived with a tattooist when I was younger and would help him set up (mums now ex) and I’d spend a lot of time in the local tattoo studio keeping the artist company, answering the phone, making tea etc; I’ve also designed tattoos for various people too so I often get a lot of questions regarding tattoos and being tattooed. I thought that today I would write a post giving some advice to people getting their first tattoo that are maybe unsure of what to expect.
First of all, you really need to think about what design you want, because tattoos are permanent and can’t always be covered or removed easily. So don’t get something you may later regret (like your boyfriend/girlfriends name, that’s never a good idea!) You also need to think about the placement of your tattoo- most decent tattooists won’t do hands/face/neck/throat tattoos on someone as their first tattoo because unfortunately it can stop you getting certain jobs (if you’re already heavily tattooed like myself then they’re more likely to do tattoos in those places) I would advise you to get a fairly small design for your first tattoo just in case you don’t handle the pain very well. Find a tattooist who shows interest in your ideas and makes you feel comfortable (I had a tattoo on my leg by a tattooist who made me feel really uncomfortable with his inappropriate comments towards me and the texts I received from him after)
Always listen to your tattooist- if they say your design need to be a different size or that it won’t work in the placement you want it they’re not saying it to be a dick they’re saying it because they want their work to look good on your skin so that you can go away happy with the end result, so don’t have a shitty attitude with them. If they’re a decent tattooist they’ll know what they’re doing. Always go to a certified decent tattooist, don’t get your mate to do it when they have no idea what they’re doing!
Preparing For Your Tattoo Session
If you’re having your tattoo in a place that has hair (legs, arms etc) then shave the area the day before (this is what I do as its kinda weird having someone else shave you! Though if you’re not bothered the tattooist will do it anyway if needed this is just my personal preference)
Make sure that you’re wearing comfy clothes that can be easily rolled up if needed so that you’re comfy while sitting/laying down and your tattooist can get to the area easy enough.
Make sure that you’ve had plenty to eat and drink before your tattoo, and take something with you in case you start to feel a bit light headed during your session (no alcohol as it can make you bleed more, I usually take coca cola or fruit juice and some sweets or chocolate)
If you start feeling unwell then tell your tattooist, they’ll stop tattooing and make sure you’re ok before continuing (it’s really common for people to feel light headed so don’t feel stupid for it your tattooist would of dealt with it before)
Whilst having your tattoo remember to keep breathing- if you hold your breath while being tattooed it can make you feel dizzy and even pass out, so try and concentrate on steady breathing and try not to forget; if you move and jog your tattooist it could mess up your tattoo, so I suggest either taking someone with you to chat to or do something like listen to music,read, play a game etc to keep your mind off the pain you may feel.
Tattoos hurt no matter on size, placement or person. Some may only be a slight irritating pain, others can hurt a lot more. Anyone who says they don’t hurt at all are liars. Everyone is different it doesn’t matter if it’s a fleshy area like your thigh or boney area like your ribs- it’s the nerves in your body that ‘make it hurt’. For example I was really skinny when I had my ribs tattooed and it wasn’t as bad as I expected, whereas my fleshiest body part is my thighs and that was more painful than ribs for me. Everyone’s pain threshold is different, so for example one person might find wrist tattoos really painful, whereas another person won’t find it very painful at all, it’s all down to the individual.
Decent tattoo studios will give you an aftercare leaflet of how to look after your healing tattoo. What I’ve always done, is keep the cling film on it for around 3 hours, then remove it and gently wash the tattoo with warm water to remove any blood or bits of ink, pat it dry with a towel and let the air to it. Some people use cream to speed up the healing process and stop it itching- do NOT use scented creams- the best cream to use is Bepanthem (baby bum cream that I’ve probably spelled wrong) but don’t smother the tattoo in it you only need a small amount. Tattoos scab while healing, and though it may be tempting do NOT scratch or pick off any of the scabs as it will pull colour out of your tattoo and increase the risk of infection. If it’s itching, then I find gently tapping instead of scratching helps.
If for whatever reason you can’t make it to your tattoo appointment please ensure to tell your tattooist ASAP so that they’re not wasting time waiting for you to not show up. Most tattoo studios will take a deposit from you to secure your appointment to try and reduce no shows.
I hope that my advice helps, it’s all my own opinion from personal experience I’m not claiming to be an expert it’s just what I have done myself while being tattooed which has worked for me and my tattoos.
Old picture of my back piece…the most painful tattoo I’ve had! Not the greatest photo as its rather difficult to take a photo of your own back 😅
🔹immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be🔹