How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo: 4 Tips to Help You Make the Most of Your First Tattoo Experience by 30Seconds Mom
Deciding to get your first tattoo is one of the most significant, overwhelming, nerve-wracking and exciting decisions to make. According to research by Statista in 2019, nearly 30 percent of survey respondents said they have several tattoos. If you ask people about their first-ever tattoo, they can usually tell you a detailed story about it because getting your first tattoo is simply memorable. Even the idea of it can already give you mixed thoughts and emotions because of the fact that tattoos are permanent – and the last thing you’d want to happen is to end up regretting your decision.
Once you’ve finally settled into the decision of getting inked, there are several preparations you’ll need to do first. Below are some tips to help you get ready and be more prepared for your first tattoo experience. These tips may not make the experience less painful, but they’ll help to make the process easier and more memorable.
1. Plan Your Tattoo Design Thoroughly
Since this is your first-ever tattoo, it may be best if you go with a smaller design rather than a big one that would cover more of your skin. Remember that getting inked is often a painful process, and you have no idea how much pain you can bear yet. As much as possible, take your utmost time to plan, research and decide on your final tattoo design. You can approach your friends or family members who’ve been inked before and ask them how they decided on their first tattoo.
Alternatively, you also can go for a design that bears a significant meaning to you. It can be your name’s initials, your favorite quote, number, symbol, hashtag or mental health tattoos that will inspire you every time you see it. Avoid getting a tattoo that has something to do with your current emotions, as you might regret it later on. The point is, your first tattoo design must make you happy not just today but also in the future.
2. Consider the Tattoo Placement
If you already have a final tattoo design that satisfies you, now it’s time to decide on where to have it inked. Think of your first tattoo as an experiment, which means you’ll need to avoid having it placed on areas that are too visible such as your face, neck or hands. Remember, it’s a huge commitment, and your first tattoo will help you determine whether you’ll be getting another tattoo in the future or it will be the last time you’ll ever get inked. Don’t forget to consider your job, as some employers discourage their employees from having visible and large tattoos as part of their requirements.
3. Choose the Tattoo Shop and Your Artist Wisely
Part of your first tattoo preparation is choosing the tattoo shop and your artist wisely. With more than 21,000 tattoo parlors in the U.S., it's important to remember that not all tattoo shops and artists are the same. Some of them have different methods, and even use different brands of inks and materials for their service. To ensure that you get a good-quality tattoo, avoid going for bargain tattoo shops, regardless of how affordable their service is. You might put yourself at risk for a poor-quality tattoo result or a faulty ink used.
When you’ve chosen your tattoo shop, take time to read their reviews, check their health standards, profiles of tattoo artists and the tattoo inks they use. Some tattoo inks may cause adverse allergic reactions to your skin. Thus, make sure you research the ink they’ll use before getting that tattoo. Remember, safety first.
4. Be Physically Ready
Now that you have a tattoo design, you know where to place it, and you’ve finally chosen your tattoo shop and artist, it’s time to prepare physically. Remember that the tattoo process can be painful, so you need to be ready for it. Some preparations you can do for your physicality include:
- Hydrate Yourself: Do this by drinking lots of water, even at least 24 hours before your tattoo appointment. When you’re well-hydrated, your skin will be in its best condition to get tattooed and handle the ink easier without feeling drained or dehydrated.
- Eat a Solid Meal: Some people can’t tolerate much pain caused by the tattoo, which results in them fainting or feeling lightheaded during the process. Eat enough food to stabilize your blood sugar, strengthen your stamina and be able to withstand the pain for an extended period.
- Avoid Thinning Your Blood: As expected, your skin may bleed due to the needle used for tattooing. Since you’re unsure how much your skin will bleed, be on the safe side and avoid consuming blood thinner products, such as aspirin and alcohol. This way, you hopefully won't bleed as much during the process.
- Prepare Your Skin: You can moisturize the area where you’ll get a tattoo with your regular moisturizer at least a week before the appointment to ensure your skin isn’t dry and in good shape. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on to prevent the particular skin area from getting sunburned when leaving the house.
When your skin and body are properly prepared, you may worry less and focus more on savoring your first-time tattooing moment and enjoy the process.
The best defense against the anxiety and nervousness of getting your first tattoo is being prepared. Keep these tips in mind, and don’t forget to enjoy the tattooing process and keep it memorable!
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