Getting inked can be compared to the dilemma of getting married (well, almost)! Thankfully, with a tattoo, you won’t have to share your bedroom and cupboard space; we’re only talking about the lifelong commitment factor that’s common between the two. Not to mention that if things don’t work out between you and your beloved tattoo, you’ll have to pay a bomb and go through pain to erase or fix it.
With that in mind, here are a few things that you absolutely need to know before going under the needle for the first time.
Never get your tattoo on a whim
If you’re drunk, feeling emotional or unusually excited after a friend’s recommendation to get inked, do not dare enter a tattoo studio. Only if you think you can happily look at it every day without any regret, go ahead with the decision.
Research, research, research!
A tattoo is something that needs to fit your personality and flatter your inner self. So, choose your artist wisely. A good artist will do justice to what’s on your mind. Now, comes the bigger question -What’s the tattoo going to be? Is it your lover’s name, your darling pet Harley’s picture, or Lionel Messi’s face (yeah, you’ll be surprised to know how many football fans have got him inked)? Whatever you decide, it’s a personal choice for sure but you need to be 100 per cent committed to that idea.
A good tattoo never comes cheap!
Listen to this carefully! Don’t haggle. If you think you can bargain with a tattoo artist, you’re wrong. The price of a tattoo depends on the size, effort involved, area of the body you want to be covered, and how experienced is the artist. So, don’t be cheap as you don’t want to go home with a crappy tattoo that is blemished and faded.
Avoid alcohol and eat before you go
Please don’t take inspiration from movie characters like Stu from ‘Hangover: 2’ who, after a wild bachelor party, wakes up only to realise that he’s got a Mike Tyson-inspired face tattoo in a Bangkok bathtub. Did you know that alcohol causes blood thinning and could lead to excessive bleeding during the process? We bet you didn’t. Also, eat a decent meal to normalise your blood sugar levels before going for your appointment.
Yes, it will hurt even after the numbing cream. Everyone has a different threshold of pain, but if you’re very sensitive, do not get tattoos done on your ribs, elbows, backs of knees or groin area for your first tattoo.
Some general rules of thumb:
- A tattoo over any bone area will be more painful.
- The ‘head’ is a big no-no for beginners.
- Before the procedure, apply something like the 5% Lidocaine ointment that is easily available over the counter and will relieve a lot of pain.
Don’t skip the aftercare instructions
Your tattooer would give you specific instructions after the needlework is over. The steps are pretty simple, though. A tattoo is like a wound that needs to be washed a couple of times a day with non-fragranced soap and water. You then need to apply an antibacterial ointment like Aquaphor or Bepanthen that helps soothe the sensitive and sore skin. Follow this for several weeks until it’s healed.
You need to enjoy the process and not let your fears stop you. If it’s a great experience, your first tattoo doesn’t really have to be your last one for sure!
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