- WILL IT HURT?
The short answer is yes. Needles are entering the second layer of skin called the dermis and depositing ink, so obviously you are going to feel something. Modern tattoo machines are quieter, lighter and designed to make the needles enter the skin a lot faster. This means the tattoo time goes a lot quicker and you aren’t in pain for a longer period of time than you have to be. Creams have been designed specially for the tattooing process which soothes the skin and helps with discomfort.Different locations hurt more than others, a few common painful areas include;
The feet – an area with thin skin and a lot of bones!
The ribs – an area with thin skin over bones, some people feel like they can’t breath during the process. not a place for the faint hearted.
The Elbow – some people find this area ok whilst others find it excruciating! The skin on some people is very rough and is notorious for not keeping the ink in.
The Neck – A lot of artists won’t even touch the neck or hands, but for those that do, the neck can be a very painful place and most people struggle to breathe.
Back of the knee – a very nippy place with a lot of raised areas.The design also affects the pain. For example, if you are getting a piece lined over a piece that is shaded. All pain is relative however, everybody has different pain thresholds so the only way to know if a tattoo hurts or not is to find out for yourself!
- HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? As the old saying goes: “Good work isn’t cheap and Cheap work isn’t good
Every artist charges different rates depending on their ability and talent, but most artists work at a standard rate of £50 – £60 an hour. Some artists charge from the design and how much detail is included etc.
- IS NEW EQUIPMENT USED EVERY TIME? Every tattoo artist should be using sterilised equipment, or if they use disposable grips then they should be new and unopened by the time you start your tattoo. If any artists doesn’t show you that the needles are brand new, you should either ask them to get a new one, or just leave the studio and find a better place. All equipment should be clean and wrapped in cling film.
- HOW DO I LOOK AFTER IT?
* Leave the clingfilm or dressing on for at least 4 hours, then remove and wash gently with unscented soap and pat dry with a fresh bath towel and apply a thin layer of your favourite tattoo aftercare – NO SAVLON, PETROLEUM JELLY, VIX VAPOUR RUB OR SUDOCREM!* Wash your tattoo several times a day and apply aftercare cream at least 3 to 4 times a day – you only need a thin layer as it will let your tattoo breathe and heal it faster.
After about 10 days, you are ok to start using a moisturiser*Avoid wearing tight clothing whilst your tattoo is healing – avoid any clothing that clings or rubs against the tattoo as it might cause irritation, scabbing or ink loss.
*Showers are fine! – avoid baths, swimming pools, saunas and sun bathing for at least 4 weeks whilst your tattoo completley heals.
*Don’t pick any scabs, flaking skin or anything from your new tattoo, just let it come away naturally. picking scabs will damage the tattoo and may remove any colour from your fresh inking!
*Always keep your tattoo moisturised, at least once a week is perfectly fine. Always apply a factor 50 sun block to protect your skin and the ink inside it.
- CAN I USE ANY SORT OF NUMBING CREAM? You CAN technically use a numbing cream before having your tattoo done but most numbing creams only affect the top layer (Epidermis) of the skin and deadened/block the nerves. Tattoos are inserted into the second layer of the skin (Dermis) so the cream doesn’t affect that location, so you will still feel some discomfort, but maybe not as much. During the tattooing process, there are sprays that can be used called lidocaine which stops bleeding and calms the area down to make the rest of the tattooing process a lot easier.
- CAN I GET A TATTOO IF I’M ON MEDICATION? Different medication can affect the tattoo in different ways. it is a very good idea to tell your tattoo artist about your medication and what medical condition you have before booking in for your tattoo, as it may not be a good idea to even go for it.
Acne medication or any Tetracycline-related medication, including birth control can take up to 6 months to leave your system and can cause horrible scarring and leave your skin hyper-sensitive causing high levels of pain and discomfort.
Some antibiotics even fight the ink out of your system which can leave the tattoo patchy and or scarred.
Blood thinning medications (Like Paracetamol or Warfarin) can make things complicated as you are prone to bleed out whilst getting tattooed which can make the artist’s job a lot harder. Ink tends to come out with the bleeding and make the process difficult to keep the ink in. Healing may also be a problem if you are on this type of medication.
- CAN I BRING FRIENDS WITH ME? Of course you can bring a friend along with you to take your mind off the pain or as a distraction for a couple of hours, but please don’t bring a whole army of your friends along for the ride, as the studio will start getting loud and you have to remember that other people are there to enjoy their tattooing experience and don’t need you and your friends shouting and laughing. One of the main reasons why you should only bring only one friend is because your tattoo artist will want to put his full attention to the piece and won’t be able to if he is distracted. So really, it’s in everyone’s best interest!
- WHERE CAN I FIND PICTURES OF TATTOOS THAT I WANT? It’s a great idea to find reference pictures of ideas that you want and send them to the your artist as inspiration so that he can design something custom and unique for your tattoo. Google, Pinterest and Instagram are all great places to start your search, but please keep in mind that any respectable artist will not copy an existing tattoo, but will use it as an idea to create something entirely new and custom. It’s always a great idea to try and get the pictures yourself using a good camera, and to make sure the shots are big and crisp.
- WHERE SHOULD I GET MY TATTOO?
Where you get your tattoo should be a matter of preference, but unfortunately we still live in a society where certain jobs will not let tattoos be on show, so keep that in mind when thinking about where you would like to place your tattoo. Most artists will go by the rule of “Below the collar and above the cuffs” meaning that they won’t tattoo necks, faces, hands or fingers. This is so that it won’t affect your chances of getting a job.
- HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?Every studio is different, but the best way to book an appointment is to contact the studio directly by either going down and talking to them face to face, by E-mail or contacting them via social media.