Getting a tattoo is always going to be a bit uncomfortable, but there are things you can do to ensure your appointment goes smoothly and prepare yourself mentally and physically. Here are our top tips for things to do before your appointment...
Moisturise your skin
Using body lotion a few weeks before your appointment will help to keep your skin hydrated and soft. This can help the ink to apply more easily and heal well. Don't use any lotion or moisturisers on the day of your appointment. Usually I will need to apply a stencil to your skin and if you skin has been moisturised that day, it can interfere with how well the stencil applies.
While drinking plenty of water on the day of your tattoo appointment is recommended, it’s also beneficial to stay hydrated in advance, three to four weeks prior to your appointment is ideal. Drinking plenty of water improves the quality of your skin.
Take extra Vitamin C
Vitamin C has an antioxidant function in the body and is necessary for the formation of connective tissue, the absorption of iron, and the maintenance of resistance. Always consult a doctor about Vitamin C dosage recommendations prior to taking any kind of vitamin supplements.
Get plenty of sleep
If you have a tattoo appointment scheduled, please don’t spend the night before partying and staying up until the early hours.
Getting a good night’s rest will prepare your body and your mind for what’s in store.
Eat a meal
Always eat a hearty breakfast or lunch on the day of your tattoo appointment. Even if you’re nervous or don’t feel particularly hungry, try to get some food into your body. This will help keep your blood sugar up and help you avoid feeling dizzy or faint during your appointment.
Bring snacks and sugary drinks to your appointment
To prepare for a long tattoo appointment, make sure that you have plenty of water, snacks and drinks. We can take breaks whenever you need to and you are welcome to keep any snacks or drinks in the refrigerator at the studio. We also sell energy drinks and other snacks at the studio.
If you start to feel dizzy or faint at any time during your tattoo appointment, tell us straight away and ask for a break. Eating snacks like nuts or candy or drinking soda can help boost your blood sugar.
Wear comfortable clothing
Consider the area you plan to get tattooed and wear clothing that makes it easy for your artist to get to. If you are getting your leg tattooed, shorts may be the best option, a tank top may be a better option for an upper-arm tattoo, etc. For back tattoos, consider bringing a zip-up hoodie or button-up shirt so that it’s easy to cover-up your front if it makes you feel more comfortable. It's good to have an extra layer handy for if you become cold, which is common when you're being tattooed!
We'll be as careful as we can to not get ink of your clothes, but sometimes it can happen, so please wear something you don't mind getting dirty.
We love talking to our clients and it can take their mind off the pain, however, some people prefer to distract themselves in other ways and that's totally fine - please do whatever makes you feel most comfortable! Some people read a book or listen to music/watch videos/play games on their phone or tablet. All we ask is that you use headphones, this way we can concentrate fully on your tattoo.
It's fine to take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen before, during and after your tattoo. Please avoid any blood thinning painkillers, such as aspirin. If you take any anti-coagulants or any other medication which could affect the healing process, please tell me before your appointment.
Some people ask if they can use numbing creams - this is completely fine but you must let us know if you're going to do this as it can sometimes affect the tattooing process. The other thing you should be aware of is that numbing creams can help for a little while, but clients have sometimes told us that once they wear off, they get "all the pain at once". If you have questions about this, please just ask.