- 1 Tattoo Frequently Asked Questions (Tattoo FAQ)
- 1.1 How Do I Choose a Tattoo Shop or Tattoo Artist?
- 1.2 How Do I Choose a Style or Design for My Tattoo?
- 1.3 How Old Should I Be When I Get My First Tattoo?
- 1.4 Will I still Like My Tattoos When I get Older?
- 1.5 How Do I Decide Where I Want the Tattoo?
- 1.6 Should Tattoos All Have Meanings Behind Them?
- 1.7 Does it Hurt? What Does it Feel Like?
- 1.8 Will I Bleed in the Tattooing Process?
- 1.9 What are the Risks of Getting Tattooed?
- 1.10 What Should I Wear When I Get Tattooed?
- 1.11 How Long Will a Tattoo Take to Heal? What is the Healing Process Like?
HI! Everyone, I get lots and lots of questions about tattoos. So, I decided to write a tattoo FAQ answering all the common questions that I get or that I had about the whole tattoo process.
Tattoo Frequently Asked Questions (Tattoo FAQ)
How Do I Choose a Tattoo Shop or Tattoo Artist?
Your number one priority when you’re looking for a shop or an artist is your safety. You need to go to the shop you know look around make sure looks clean, reader reviews online, make sure they have a health certificate displayed, make sure they licensed, make Sure They have a blood borne pathogens training certificate displayed. All these things will ensure you that they know how to sterilize equipment, they’re licensed with the state and that they’re just like legitimate and it’s more likely that they know what they’re doing.
If you go into like some back alley shop and they don’t have anything up on the wall. You probably not want to go there just because you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. You really need to treat your tattoo artists like a doctor. I know that sounds weird but they are messing with your body. you need to make sure that they know what they’re doing and that they have been professionally trained especially with like sterilization and all of the health aspects of it.
Secondly going to look for a shop where you like the work. if you want a traditional tattoo you not going to want to go to a shop that specializes in realism and vice versa. if you look at shops website in their portfolio looks like a bunch of traditional old school tattoos they’re probably not your best bet for realism. you know I mean granted a lot of tattoo artists are versatile and they can do both but if you can try to find a shop that kind of specializes or mostly does what you’re interested in because that’s going to give you the best results for the type of tattoo that you want.
How Do I Choose a Style or Design for My Tattoo?
Honestly, style wise I personally am a huge fan of traditional tattoos. you might not be, if you look at different tattoos visually you’re just going to have preference. so just go with whatever style it is that you like. I’m not going to tell you traditional tattoos are the only tattoos you get. sure I think they look the best I think they’re like the classiest and I just think they’re the coolest but I am not going to say you should only get that.
so as far as like in the style that you’re going to go with that’s owed to you it’s going to be on your body so pick whatever style you want. As far as design goes some people like to draw tattoos themselves, some people like to just print something off of the computer and take it and have it tattooed. Honestly I think if you find a good shop with good artists you should let them design your tattoo. Taking a few like inspirations photos and say I want something like this but I want you to design it because I like your work. it’s important to find a shop that you like their work, they’re going to be designing something that’s going on your body.
And that’s not to say at all that you can’t design it you can’t draw it, you can’t print something out but realistically speaking these guys or girls are in the business they know not only what makes good artwork but what looks good on your body and what’s going to look good in the long run. Do whatever you want as far as the design goes but I would always recommend at least letting the artists to have an influence on the piece because most of the time they do know what looks best.
How Old Should I Be When I Get My First Tattoo?
Well how old you need to be depends on the state and the country or wherever you are. it depends on your local laws. so for me in the U. S. it’s 18. It’s 18 in California, New York and a few other states it’s 18 that’s I know for sure. so I believe it’s 18 for the U. S. but I could be wrong.
Some States will let you get tattoos if you are younger than 18 but you will need to have parental consent and your parents or guardian must be present during the tattooing process.
I think if you want to get tattooed you should Get tattooed. When you feel like You are mature enough to think about a tattoo rationally. I don’t think you should just get tattooed because you saw a celebrity with a cool tattoo and you really want it or you saw a TV show and really like the idea of getting tattooed. Don’t get tattooed please, if you think it’s going to make you cool. If it’s for other people in anyway please don’t get tattooed.
if you want to get tattooed and you’re thinking responsibly and rationally about it then go for it. For instance if you would like to be a health care professional or an elementary school teacher and you’re turning 18 and you think “oh I want to get a tear drop here” or “I want words on my knuckles”, you’re not thinking rationally. You can’t just give up all of your life dreams and goals because you want a certain tattoo. If you have these kinds of goals in your mind where tattoos are not appreciated much then don’t go for it. But if you are thinking rationally and want a tattoo on your upper arm that you could cover with T shirt or on your leg so when you wear pants its covered. So if you can think about stuff like that then go for it and get tattooed but if you’re not able to do that then please just wait because It’s just not a good decision.
Will I still Like My Tattoos When I get Older?
If you are not 100 percent confident that you want to be a tattooed grandmother or tattooed mother or father or whatever doesn’t get tattooed. Personally when I see really old people with tattoos I think it’s amazing and I am looking forward to being one of those people. I’m looking forward to being the tattooed grandma because I just think they are awesome. I just think those people look so cool and so fun and interesting to talk to. But if you are worried about things like “oh it’s going to stretch out, it’s going to smudges, it’s going to fade and going to get all blurry, it will. It’s a tattoo, they don’t stay perfect. They’re not going to look perfect when you’re 50, 60, 70 or 80. if you get it when you’re 18 or 19 just be prepared that when you get older it’s going to turn into a blob eventually. if you’re not okay with that then just hold off on getting tattooed because you have to be okay with that or else you’re going to be very unhappy in the future.
How Do I Decide Where I Want the Tattoo?
Let’s say you’re really set on getting something here on your biceps. You’re going to want to look for design that fits well going this way on that part of your body. if you’re really set on a specific design then find a place on your body where it would look good. I hope that makes sense. if it’s something really small honestly you can pretty much place it anywhere. You guys can also ask the artist “hey I’m thinking of getting this here or here where you think it will look better”. Again, they’re the professionals and they know a lot more about this than you do. so they can help you out and if you don’t like what they say, then it doesn’t matter, just say okay thanks and then do whatever you want.
But at least ask for their opinion because generally they are gonna knows better about where on your body a design would look good. And it looks really awkward if you put a tattoo in like a wrong place on your body. Not that there’s like wrong places but there’s places that look a lot better than others.
Should Tattoos All Have Meanings Behind Them?
Personally, I don’t think tattoos need to have meanings. I don’t think that you should only get a tattoo if it has a story behind it or if it has a meaning behind it. If you like the design, if you think it looks nice, if you think that it’s something that you’re not going to get sick of it and that you will appreciate for your entire life then get it.
You don’t need a reason if you really liked boats then get a boat even if you don’t really like boats but you see a really cool clipper ship then get it. If a tattoos has a meaning that’s cool if it doesn’t that’s cool too. Don’t try to make up a meaning though. That’s really awkward when you’re like “damn it, I really want that but I don’t have a meaning” and then someone asked you and you’re like “oh yeah I got this because Bla bla bla. Just say that you liked it and it looked good.
Does it Hurt? What Does it Feel Like?
Honestly, yes, it hurts, it’s a tattoo. There’s bunch of needles going up and down into your skin about 100 times a second or something like that. They’re drawing on your skin and it’s puncturing your skin and they’re dragging it around, so yes it hurts. After you get them done, they don’t hurt anymore. if you are extremely concerned about the pain and the pain is like the number one thing in your mind. Then don’t get a tattoo. You have to be willing to go through pain because you want a tattoo because It’s just how it goes.
As far as what it feels like, it feels like a bunch of needles going up and down into your skin and being dragged around. it doesn’t feel good. Some people will say, it feels like when you get sunburn and then someone scratches it. Yeah, that’s part of it. It feels kind of like burningish. It feels like you’re getting cut. it feels different depending on where you’re getting tattooed and feels different depending on what kind of needles the artists is using.
So it’s going to feel like different things but it doesn’t feel good I promise, it doesn’t feel good. You’re just going to have to deal with that. I’m not saying that it’s the worst thing in the world. I don’t like flinch or grimace or anything when I get tattooed but I also have a really high pain tolerance. Everyone has a different pain tolerance so it might hurt you really bad it might hurt you not so much but it is going to hurt because it’s a tattoo.
Just try not to worry about the pain as much as you can because the pain is only going to be there for that hour or 2 that you getting tattooed. Then for the rest of your life it is going to be there and it’s going to look badass. Don’t worry too much about the pain because it’s not going to stick around for that long.
Will I Bleed in the Tattooing Process?
Yeah you’re going to bleed a little bit because there’s a bunch of needles cutting into your skin but it shouldn’t be like splashing around or like bleeding a lot. Basically it will look like this. They’re going to talk to you in a certain spot and then they’re going to take the needles away and you’re going to be able to see it. There’s going to be little tiny light dots of blood coming out from where the needle punctured your skin. At the end of the tattoo, they’re going to wipe it off and bandage it up. It’ll bleed for maybe another 10 or 15 minutes slightly not a lot of blood. if there’s a lot of blood you have a problem. And you should probably ask them why they’re so much blood but it’s hardly any blood it’s just little dots coming up from where the needles went into your skin.
What are the Risks of Getting Tattooed?
There are a lot of risks if you aren’t careful with whom you get tattooed by. Which is why in the first question, I answered that the most important thing is to make sure that you go to somebody who knows what they’re doing. Who cleans all their instruments very well. You want someone who’s very thorough and who is a perfectionist when it comes to cleanliness. Because if you get tattooed by somebody who didn’t sterilize something or they happen to use the same needle that they used on somebody else. That’s a huge no. if you ever see anyone doing that walkout. Walk out of the shop. Don’t ever go back in there. They might give you hepatitis and you can get any other disease that is transmitted through blood.
Other risks include fainting or blacking out, although that doesn’t happen very often but if you do have a super low pain tolerance that can happen to you. There are probably more risks than that but if it’s done properly you are not at risk for getting a disease. You just need to make sure that the artist knows what they’re doing. I cannot stress that enough; you need to make sure that you go to a good shop a reputable shop.
There are more specific things that could happen to you from getting them but most of them are just errors of the artist which totally sucks. But that’s why I say you really need to make sure you’re going to someone good who has been trained in blood borne pathogens, who has been trained in sterilization and sanitation and who’s been inspected by the health department in their country.
What Should I Wear When I Get Tattooed?
Don’t wear something cute, don’t wear something tight. Wear something like gym shorts, a T-shirt or tank top depending on where you’re getting a tattoo. If you are getting a tattoo on your wrist or something, you can wear jeans and a top or whatever. But a lot of times you’re going to get sweaty when you get tattooed. So, don’t dress like you’re going on parade.
If you’re getting a tattoo on your back or your shoulder wear something like Cammy or wear a T-shirt and a cammy underneath. So you can take off your bigger t-shirt and you know you might have to take your strapped down so they can do your shoulder. Just wear something normal and comfortable and easy to maneuver and that you’re not too worried about getting stained.
How Long Will a Tattoo Take to Heal? What is the Healing Process Like?
When you go to a shop they should give you after care instructions on a piece of paper that you can take home with you to refer to you. Everyone’s aftercare instructions will be a little bit different than another shop. So, don’t worry if you get a little bit of conflicting information.
Personally, what I’ve done for my tattoos is I will leave the bandage on for like 2 or 3 hours after I get tattooed. Then I’ll take it off. It might just be Saran wrap or it might be like a piece of gauze underneath. Once you take the bandage off then you want to wash it very well with water and a really gentle fragrance free soap. You barely got to touch it. You are not going to scrub anything off. You just want to let the blood or like the residue off.
And then from that point on you’re going to want to apply like Aquaphor which is kind of like a first aid ointment or like really thick Vaseline. That basically is going to keep it moist so that when it begins to peel or scab you are not likely to lose the ink. Because of its really dry and it starts to scab off, some of the ink might get pulled out from underneath.
So, you want to make sure that it stays moist but you’re not going to put too much of that on because then you could get a rash or little bumps on your skin from too much moisture. You basically take a really thin layer of healing ointment and you just apply that for the first like 4 or 5 days. You just one want to do that a couple times a day just make sure that it is moisturize.
And then by that point you should see your tattoo start to peel or kind of scab and the top layer of the skin will start to lift off because it’s healing up and it’s so shedding that top layer and underneath you’ll be left with the permanent part of the tattoo.
After it’s all peeled off and scabbed off then you can switch to a normal lotion but you want to use one that’s fragrance free. So you can use that lotion for basically however long it takes before it it’s totally back to normal. It could be like a week, could be like a month. You just going to want to keep it moisturized as well. It doesn’t need to be as intense as when you first get it because then you should be carrying the sucker around with you. You need to keep it moisturize if you wanted to heal up well.
At that point it’s pretty much going to be done healing. It does take a little longer than that but as far as we can actually see and tell, it’s like almost finish. So, when its healing up, you will need to stay out of the son, stay out of swimming pool. You can shower but don’t let it soak.
As far as the healing time goes it’s very subjective. There’s not a certain time frame that it’s suppose to take or not suppose to take. That’s kind of the process that you will go through.