Getting inked? We know you’ve been a Very Responsible Adult and caught up on your basic reading — think about your design for at least a couple of months, don’t count your cents when it’s your skin that’s involved, stay away from water and harsh sunlight — but there’s a couple more points you may have missed that you should add to your list.
~You can be allergic ~
Not to the concept of tattoos — that’s so meta — but tattoo ink is made up of many pigments found in make-up. So if you’re allergic to certain types of make-up, you may also be allergic to certain types of tattoo ink. Do your research. You do not want a severe reaction during the process when, as it is, you don’t know if the moisture on your face is from your eyes or your nose. #truth
~The tattoo artist should open the needle packet in front of you~
This is essential. If you walk in and see him/her poised with a needle already in hand, run like the wind…or (sweetly) ask for a new one to be opened right in front of you. Take it from us, you’re not being fussy. Regardless of what you’re told, you have no idea where that needle has been and getting tetanus (or, worst case, HIV) should be the last thing on your mind. Actually, it shouldn’t enter it at all.
~It’s as much emotional as it is physical~
Let’s not kid around here. Aside from a Brazilian wax, getting a tattoo is one of those times when you’ll be in so much bodily pain, it may actually take your breath away (and monitoring your breathing is truly one of the smartest things you can do). But another, equally important aspect, is the emotional one.
Most people get tattoos because it has significance: a tough period they’ve overcome, a loved one they are grieving, a life-changing happiness they don’t want to forget. And when your body’s in that much pain, your emotions are going to be in over-drive too, so be prepared for excessive tears (both happy and sad) as you relive the moments that brought you here, to this inking table.
~You should be completely comfortable with your surroundings~
If you find the tattoo artist dodge at the beginning, you will not become comfortable with him as the process continues — in fact, making yourself this uncomfortable will only increase the pain. Make sure you’re relaxed with him/her, and your environment; play some music; take a friend along for company. And don’t rely on alcohol. Most reputed places will make you sign a disclaimer confirming that you’re not under the influence. If yours doesn’t…dangerous waters, girl. Because while it may make you numb (even then, dubious), it’ll also make you bleed more than expected because it’s a blood-thinner. True story. Keep the wine for when you’re back home, nursing your wounds.
~Connecting with your tattoo artist ensures you’ll get your truest tattoo~
What do we mean? Well, it’s an intensely personal experience— an incarnation of your experiences. Having someone who gets that, and to a certain extent, you, will undoubtedly make the final product deeper in meaning and more vibrant to the eyes.
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