If you think getting your first tattoo is a ‘leap of faith’, you’re in a world of hurt. Literally.
Like if it wasn’t obvious enough, tattoos are very permanent and the only way to get rid of one is via laser and removing a tattoo hurts more than getting one done. Whatever your reason for getting a tattoo, remember that it is valid… unless you’re inebriated.
Here’re a few words of advice on what to do and what not to do when it comes to your first tattoo.
DO check out the tattoo parlour beforehand
Make an appointment for a consultation and when you are there, note their cleanliness and professionalism. If you’re uncomfortable with your visit at the tattoo parlour, do not go ahead with it. Things to note include whether the artists wear disposable gloves, use new needles from sealed containers, has a sterilisation machine, and use new pigment trays.
DO know what you want
Go to the tattoo parlour with a solid idea in mind. Make a Pinterest board of tattoo ideas or have screenshots and pictures of tattoos that you like. Show these to the tattoo artist and he or she will be able to tailor it to your tastes.
DO have a big meal before your tattoo appointment
If your tattoo is pretty extensive, it will take a while to do. On average, a simple script tattoo about six inches long will take less than an hour. However, a full colour palm-sized tattoo can range between three to four hours. Having a big meal will prevent your sugar levels from dropping too low and cause you to tremble. Trembling=uneven lines.
A tattoo parlour isn’t a pasar malam and a tattoo artist has poured many hours of blood, sweat and tears into perfecting their art so it is insulting to try to haggle. Tattoos are expensive because they are works of art that you’ll most probably carry to the end. If the price quoted is too high, either wait a little more to save up or downscale your tattoo.
DON’T skimp on moisturiser
Right after your tattoo is finished, it’ll be wrapped in cling film but don’t let it sit in the cling film for more than 2 hours. Go home, take it off and take a shower. Treat your new tattoo like a wound and clean it with a mild cleanser and gently dab it dry. Moisturise immediately to prevent the tattoo from drying out and also to help with the scabbing.
DON’T pick or scratch at it
Other than hurting yourself, picking or scratching off the scabs can disfigure your tattoo. Additionally, you might transfer bacteria from your hands to your fresh tattoo which is basically like a wound, and cause an infection.
DON’T drink any alcohol or take any drugs before your tattoo appointment
Any good tattoo parlour or shop will turn away people who are drunk or on drugs. Alcohol and drugs such as aspirin which is a painkiller sound like a good idea before getting a painful tattoo but they also act as blood thinners and could cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo session.