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7 Essentials for Your First Tattoo

If you’ve made the decision to get a tattoo, congratulations! You’ll soon be part of the group of over 45 million Americans that have gone through the process of getting inked. Because making this permanent life decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, it helps to be prepared. Before your appointment, make sure that your experience will be enjoyable and worry free with these seven essentials.

A Well-Thought Idea
Try not to forget that the tattoo you will receive will be on you forever. Due to this, you’ll want to make sure that you think long and hard about what you decide to place on your body. The tattoo doesn’t necessarily have to be a memorial piece, but it should have meaning to you in some way. If you like a design just because it’s “cute and pretty,” then please think about whether or not it will be cute and pretty in 10 years.

A Sterile Shop
The most important and essential aspect of a breathtaking tattoo is to pick a shop that is sterile and sanitary. By doing so, your entire process will be much easier. Remember that your health, safety and happiness are on the line, so do not compromise these essentials by visiting a random shop that you haven’t researched.

A Reputable Artist
After you’ve chosen a sterile and friendly shop, make sure that you find a reputable artist to complete your tattoo. It helps to look through their portfolio to see the types of pieces that they have done and are comfortable doing. You can also meet a potential artist while you’re visiting the shop to get a sense of their personality to see if you will mind sitting with them during your tattoo. Another helpful tip is to get your design done by an artist that specializes in the type of design that you want, whether it’s new school, American tradition, Japanese, or whichever else you desire. An exception is if you’re getting a script tattoo because many artists can complete them just fine.

A Small Scale Tattoo
Even if you have a normally high pain tolerance, you’re still unaware of what a tattoo will feel like, so don’t pick out a large scale tattoo for your first piece. Ideally, try to choose a piece that will take an hour or less, rather than a piece that will take several hours and more than one session. Nothing is worse than having to walk away with a half-finished piece if you find that it’s too uncomfortable for your liking.

A Healthy Meal
Before any big event, it’s important to fuel up with proper nutrition. The same rule applies when getting a tattoo. It may be tempting to skip this step if you’re anxious and not in the mood to eat, but it will benefit you in the long run to eat at least a small meal before your appointment. It will prevent you from feeling dizzy, and, therefore, will help you to stay focused and alert.

Water and/or Gatorade
It’s important to stay hydrated during your tattoo experience. When you’re dehydrated, you won’t feel your best, and your experience will not be as pleasant as it can be. Water is a sensible choice for everyone, but if you’re feeling especially nervous, Gatorade will help to replenish electrolytes that you may have lost.

Cash
Although many tattoo shops take credit or debit cards, it’s always a smart idea to bring cash with you to your appointment. If you have a definite price set prior to your appointment, then it’s easy to plan out how much you will need. However, if it’s still undetermined, then go with your best estimate. In a case where you may come up short on cash, there will probably be an ATM around, but to avoid banking fees, simply come prepared with cash beforehand. Also, be sure that you remember to factor in a tip for your artist once your piece is complete. It’s a sign of respect and appreciation.

With these seven tattoo essentials, you’ll be sure to get a beautiful tattoo that you can be satisfied with for the rest of your life. Enjoy your new artwork!

By: Jen Morgan | Image: Source

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