What To Expect When Getting a Tattoo


Even though my parents hate it… I love tattoos and currently have six! I’ve always been fascinated with tattoos and think they’re a beautiful form of art. It may sound weird but with each tattoo comes a heightened sense of confidence and pride. Just me? My tattoos are MINE and no one can take them and their meanings away from me. 

As of recently, tattoos have become more accepted. While getting a tattoo is easier and safer now a days, it’s still important to take the proper steps to making sure you’re experience is the best it can be. Unless you want to pay for laser removal, your tattoo will be on you for life. Therefore, also avoid getting something temporary (aka: your current S.O. or the trendiest tatt of 2018).

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There are TONS of different artists and you need to find out which one is best for you. Take the time and do your research on local artists. Check out their former work and recent client review. It may be even worth it to drive a little further for a good tattoo! Depending on what you want, find an artist who specializes in what you’re looking for. Some artists are better at color, line work, traditional work, etc. than others. Every artist has their own unique style.

You should pick what design you want months beforehand, therefore you have the time to be confident in your decision. If you choose last minute… you’re more likely to regret it afterwards. Plus, the more time you have the more time you have to make changes and little revisions before it’s permanent. If you’ve been wanting the same tattoo for months, get it. A week? Maybe not. 

If it’s your first tattoo, you may want a friend to tag along. It’s nice to have a friend’s hand to squeeze and someone to distract you from the needle. However, I’ve been going on my own recently.


It’s important to eat and drink water before your tattoo appointment. The process is tiring and may put a bit of stress on your body. You don’t want to take the chances of passing out! (Yes, it does happen) Sometimes I even bring a snack to my appointments, depending on where I’m getting tattooed. Plus, it’s said that having a well-balanced meal before a session helps the ink lay better and faster.

DON’T DRINK ALCOHOL FOR UP TO 24 HOURS BEFORE GETTING TATTOOED. FOR NUMEROUS REASONS. Alcohol will postpone your blood from clotting so you will bleed more.

Many tattoo parlors don’t accept cards or they do but appreciate cash. Run to the ATM and get cash before your appointment.


Everyone’s pain tolerance is difference. As well as, different parts of your body are more painful to get tattooed than others. It’s expected for a tattoo to hurt more in bony areas, like the elbows, ribs, and ankles, than fatty areas. Yet, I’ve never found it intolerable. The closest sensation I can compare getting a tattoo to is of a cat scratch.

Your artist (and me) will hate you if you’re constantly moving. Be very still during your session. Any quick movement can lead to a wavy line or tiny mess up. An artist can only be SO steady with their hands, the rest is up to you.

It makes me cringe when people leave after their session without giving their artist a tip. Remember to tip your artist AT LEAST 20%! And If you’re looking to establish a working relationship with this artist, I would recommend tipping higher. If you can’t afford to tip, don’t get a tattoo. Plain and simple.


Now it’s up to you to make sure your tattoo heals well! You’ll leave the shop with a bandage covering your new piece and should leave it on for 2-3 hours after getting your tattoo. A tattoo is an open wound and can get infected if not properly tended to.

After removing the bandage, you should gently wash your tattoo with fragrance free soap and apply AQUAPHOR healing lotion. Repeat this two times a day.

Your tattoo is going to itch like hell during the healing process!! Do not itch or pick at your wound. During this phase, you can apply more lotion for some relief.

Avoid having your tattoo submerged in water for at least a month. YOUR TATTOO IS AN OPEN WOUND. Swimming in the ocean or hot tub is basically a big cesspool of germs! After the healing process, you’re good to go! Congratulations on your beautiful new tattoo that will last you a lifetime.

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  1. Carine

    I always tell people about bringing cash when they’re getting a tattoo.! So many parlors don’t take cash, so it’ll save you from having to leave and run to a bank!


    12 . Feb . 2018
  2. Beth

    These are all great tips! I currently have five tattoos and have found all of the same things to be true. I find it depends where on your body too for the level of pain sometimes. Man I wish I had some money to go get another one, I have become kind of addicted!

    12 . Feb . 2018
  3. Nicole Booz

    Your tattoos are gorgeous!! I don’t have any (and don’t plan on getting any time soon), but I do think if I ever got one, it would be go big or go home and I’d definitely get something intricate and colorful!

    12 . Feb . 2018
  4. Charlotte

    Such great advice!! I only have two wee tattoos but have been thinking about my next. My bf has a lot of tats, including a full sleeve and I always love to admire the artwork. Yes to tipping generously and holding still!!

    12 . Feb . 2018
  5. Rachel R Ritlop

    ahhh thanks for being so detailed with this! I’ve gone back and forth with wanting a tattoo! I drew one on myself for a year to see if I wanted it to last forever but turns out i didnt lolol! people really thought I had a tattoo during that time though lol Sometimes I think i want one again, but I dk if I want to go through the pain!

    12 . Feb . 2018
  6. Betsy

    I’ve never thought about some of these being important to your tattoo process. I’ve debated getting a tattoo in recent years but I think I’m too much of a wimp haha.

    12 . Feb . 2018
  7. ShootingStarsMag

    I have NO idea what my pain tolerance would be, but I don’t sit still well so I imagine I’d be a bad person to get a tattoo. haha My sister has one, and my brother has a lot. I think they’re cool!


    13 . Feb . 2018
  8. Jenny

    I’m so scared to get a tattoo because I’m such a baby haha.

    13 . Feb . 2018
  9. Alexis

    Such great info! I wish I would’ve known half of this stuff before I got my first tattoo, lol.

    13 . Feb . 2018
  10. Lily

    I wish I had the courage to get a tattoo…but then again I don’t know how I feel about having something so permanent on my body. These are great tips though.

    13 . Feb . 2018
  11. Alix Maza

    Thank you for this! I remember my friend picking at her new tattoo and regretting it later.

    13 . Feb . 2018
  12. Greta

    I have five tattoos and love them! These are such important tips for getting a tattoo.

    14 . Feb . 2018
  13. McKenna Bleu

    These are great tips. I’m going to share these with my friend. She is getting her first one tomorrow.

    14 . Feb . 2018
  14. The Southern Thing

    I don’t have any tattoos so I’m totally clueless about the process!

    14 . Feb . 2018
  15. Sami | The Classic Brunette

    I don’t currently have any tattoos (although my sister has a few and some friends do too) but these tips seem spot on and extremely helpful!

    The Classic Brunette

    15 . Feb . 2018
  16. adriana

    Great tips! I’m so afraid of needles that I don’t think I ever could get a tattoo!

    16 . Feb . 2018
  17. Ash

    Im so happy I stumbled on to this because I’m thinking of getting my first ever tattoo!!

    17 . Feb . 2018

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