How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo

So, you’re getting your first tattoo? It’s a big move, one that you’ve thought long and hard about, so well done getting to this point! We are guessing you’ve met and selected a tattoo artist, and you have a design finalized, so you’re ready to go. You’re bound to be nervous – everyone is when it’s a first time – so take the time to relax and follow the suggestions below to make sure everything goes well. Let’s get started, here’s what you can do to prepare for your first tattoo!

Shave the Area Involved

A lot of these tips help out the tattoo artist as much as they do you, and the first is to make sure the area where you are to be inked is shaved. Be careful when shaving – or waxing if you prefer – as you don’t want nicks or cuts in the skin. A smooth surface to work with makes life a lot easier for the tattoo artist. If you are waxing, it is recommended you do it a couple of days before your appointment, and that you also follow the next step.

Moisturize Your Skin

Skin that has been moisturized makes for an easier subject than that which is harder and less supple. Use your favorite lotion or ask the tattoo parlor for recommendations as they will know which products act best on your skin. Make sure you moisturize regularly in the days leading up to your appointment as you want your skin to be as healthy and soft as possible for the best results. One important tip – don’t apply lotion on the day you get your tattoo as the oil will not have had time to soak into the skin and will make it harder for the artist to do their job.

Drink Plenty Water

You can also moisturize from the inside by drinking the recommended amount of water daily. This is in fact something you should be doing to maintain basic good health, so if you are, you’re already helping. If you don’t get much water intake you should start drinking 2-litres per day from 4 weeks before the appointment for the best results.

Take Vitamin C

This tip is important not for the day itself, but for those following the application of the tattoo. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. A good intake of the vitamin from a few weeks prior to the tattoo will boost the levels in the body. As Vitamin C is also known to help improve skin healing, your tattoo will heal more quickly and efficiently if you ramp up your Vitamin C intake as recommended.

Sleep Well the Night Before

Getting a tattoo is not something to be taken lightly. It is a serious undertaking and one that needs careful thought and consideration. The reason we recommend a good night’s sleep before the day of the tattoo – in fact, it’s not just us, as all of these tips come direct from tattoo artists – is because you want your body to be ready for the occasion. You are putting it through something that is unusual and new, so you want to be fresh, alert, and ready. Don’t go out drinking the night before – a tattoo artist will not perform if you turn up intoxicated – and don’t stay up too late. Get that night’s sleep to give your body a chance to be ready.

Eat Well Beforehand

If your appointment is in the morning, have a good and hearty breakfast before you attend. If in the afternoon, make sure you get a good lunch inside you. This will boost your energy levels and make sure you are ready to be tattooed. Remember that some tattoos require a lengthy sitting. Want you do not want is for you to react to the tension of having a tattoo which lowers your blood sugar level. This will make you feel dizzy, and the artist will have to stop the session. Get that food into you and build your energy levels.

Choose the Right Clothes

You will want to do all you can to make life easier for the tattoo artist, and dressing for the occasion is a consideration that is often overlooked. You want to wear something that makes it easy for the artist to get at the parts of the body to be tattooed. For example, if you are having arms done, wear something without arms or with short arms. Likewise on the legs. If you are having a back tattoo, for example, make sure you have something that can be lifted out of the way. The artist will do all they can to avoid damage to your clothes, but accidents do happen. Be aware also that there will be bleeding afterwards, so don’t wear your best designer gear!

Take Food and Water with You

You should have already eaten as instructed but be sure to take a bottle of water with you and some snacks that provide energy. This is especially essential if you are having a complex tattoo that will take a long time. The snacks will keep your blood sugar level up, the water will help keep you hydrated, and the tattooist can get on with the job.

Keep Entertained While Being Tattooed

If you are one who likes to chat, then you will have chosen a tattoo artist who is happy to strike up conversation. If not, they will not be averse to you reading a book, for example. Things can get boring sat for several hours in one place, but whatever you do, don’t entertain yourself with anything that may distract that tattoo artist from the job at hand.

The above is not a comprehensive list, but we believe that having a routine and checklist from these tips will not only help make life easier for you and the tattooist, but it will also help you concentrate on something to overcome those nerves. Your first tattoo may be daunting, but we are willing to bet once you have one, you will be back for more!


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