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Five Things to Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo

Getting your first tattoo may be a painful experience but it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking one. In addition to the general fear of needles and keeping some numbing cream for tattoos on hand, you’re also making a permanent mark on your body… something you will see for the rest of your life.

With that in mind, it is important to make sure you are getting something that you will love for the long term and not something that might lead to cringe-worthy embarrassment in a few years. Check out our five tips to keep in mind before taking that leap and going under the needle for the first time.

1. Research Your Artist

For your first piece, it is best to go with a reputable artist. This way, you can be sure you are getting high-quality work done with safe practices. You should be able to look up a portfolio of their work online. Make sure you look at samples from various styles, such as black and grey, color, realism, etc., so you can see what kind of work they are most comfortable doing. Make sure to ask about how many tattoos they have done. It can be helpful to see if they have done any on similar body parts or skin types to yours.

2. Shop Around

Once you have a few artists in mind, it is time to shop around and make sure you are getting the best price for your desired piece. This can be tricky, due to the fact that many artists will charge a different amount for the same piece, depending on how long it will take to complete. To avoid being surprised by a hefty price tag, make sure to ask about how long each piece will take. A good artist should be able to provide an estimate of how much a piece is going to cost.

3. Set a Budget

It is important to set a budget for your first tattoo, even if it is just in your head. Another thing to keep in mind is that bigger tattoos will cost more and will most likely require more than one sitting, which can also affect the price.

Tattoo prices can vary widely, especially depending on the artist, location, size, and type of tattoo. If you go into it knowing that you have a certain amount of money to spend on your tattoo, you’ll avoid getting caught up in the excitement of getting your first tattoo and going too big.

4. Decide on Location and Design

Choosing the location and design of your tattoo go hand in hand. Some designs will work better in some areas of your body than others. Your tattoo artist can provide guidance on this; use their experience to your advantage, and be sure to ask questions. This way, you can be sure that the design you fall in love with will be a good fit for the location you want it placed.

Keep in mind that the best location(s) for your first tattoo are ones that you will be able to cover up if you choose to. This is because, while many tattoos are beautiful and meaningful, not all employers will see them as appropriate work attire. 

5. Aftercare Advice

Always remember to go over aftercare with your artist beforehand. This way, there are no surprises, and you are able to follow the proper instructions from the start. Your artist will likely recommend a cleaning solution that you should be using to clean your tattoo, a brand of ointment to put on your tattoo after each cleaning, and how many times you should be doing this per day.

Each artist has their own specific instructions, so it is important to follow them carefully. If you don’t, you might end up with an infection or have to get your tattoo redone. If you have your heart set on a particular design and your artist is not comfortable doing it because they think it will lead to an infection, it might be best to check around. Another artist may have the necessary experience, or you might find that artists’ advice is the same across the board and you need to re-think your approach.

Final Words

Getting your first tattoo can be a great experience as long as you take the proper steps. It is important to make sure you are going to a reputable artist and that you are picking a design and location that you can easily cover up. Once you have settled on a design, make sure to go over aftercare with your artist, as this is crucial for a healthy tattoo.

With these tips in mind, you can be sure that you are getting the best experience possible and walk away from your first tattoo with nothing but love for it.

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