If you've never been tattooed before, or if you just want to brush up on your pre-tattoo procedures, the following tips will help ensure a top notch tattoo session!
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The last thing you want is to come in and be completely exhausted for your tattoo session. It is incredibly important to be well-rested so that you can be alert and in-tune with your body.
This one might be obvious but it bears mentioning, please remember to shower before your appointment. You want your skin to be as clean as possible since tattooing creates small cuts and opens the skin up.
Do not moisturize on the day of your session, however leading up to your session it is recommend that you moisturize your skin 1-2 times a day for 5-7 days before your tattoo. During the winter months, your skin can become more dry than usual, which means if your tattoo appointment is anywhere from December-February you should be extra attentive to how your skin looks and feels.
Healthy, moisturized skin is much easier to tattoo, with studies showing healthy skin has much better ink saturation and retention.
24 hours before your appointment you should be drinking a lot of water. A good goal is to aim to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water to fully ensure that your body is in the best shape possible. Not only is it good for your health, but it will make sure that your skin is hydrated and prepared for your tattoo session. Hydrated skin takes ink a lot better than dehydrated skin which will make the entire process a lot smoother.
Showing up to your appointment on an empty stomach is a No-Go! You are going to need your energy, especially if you are about to sit through a longer session. A balanced and healthy meal will help your body as it deals with the tattoo session and it will help you mentally. By doing so, you'll lessend the chance of getting light-headed and you won’t run the risk of passing out from exhaustion and a drop in blood sugar.
It is recommended to bring snacks to your appointment as well. It can be especially helpful if you are someone who deals with low blood sugar. Having a piece of fruit, granola bar or cookies can really help. Additionally, I keep soda, gatorade, granola bars and candy on hand if you don't have a snack with you.
You want to be as comfortable as possible during your tattoo and that means wearing a comfortable outfit. Loose clothing will help make sure that you aren’t randomly getting itchy, overheated and it will allow you to easily re-adjust your positioning in case you become uncomfortable.
Also, there is a potential for tattoo ink to get on your clothing that is nearby the area being tattooed. Don't wear clothing that is super expensive or that you'd be upset if it gets permanently stained.
Lastly, please use common sense and make sure you wear clothing that allows easy access to the area being tattooed. For example, don't wear skinny jeans to get your calf tattooed. Instead opt for sweatpants or shorts of some kind.
The idea of a new tattoo is exciting, but getting a tattoo can be a long process and get a little boring. Feel free to bring headphones if you'd like to zone out to your own music or watch a show / movie on your phone. The only thing to avoid is bringing a form of entertainment that moves your body around or disrupts the session.
Exercising before your tattoo is fine but you should avoid activities that drain your muscles and make you super sore in the area you're getting tattooed. Anything that strains your muscles will make your tattoo process a lot more painful as your muscles will already be aching.
If you have any cuts, bruises, burns, peeling or fresh sunburn, your tattoo appointment may be postponed. The main reason is that your tattoo will have a difficult time healing because your skin is going through trauma. The damage caused will lead to complications as your body tries to take in the ink during the healing process.
It's a bummer, but if you're sick, please postpone your appointment. Not only is it miserable to get tattooed when you're sick, but it risks getting your tattoo artist sick.