11 Do’s and Don’ts When Getting Tattooed
by Amanda Vermeer
Feb 02, 2022
Eating a proper meal before getting a tattoo can help prevent passing out by keeping your blood sugar at a normal level. If your session is going to be several hours long, it’s a good idea to bring some snacks with you, too.
Most tattoo parlors make you sign a waiver or contract before getting a tattoo to ensure you understand the process and release the artist from liability, and that includes agreeing that you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of getting inked. This is for your protection, both in regards to your tattoo decision and your body’s safety.
Drinking enough water in the days leading up to your tattoo and also on the day of your session is important to staying hydrated. A hydrated body is a happy body.
It’s always good to know what you want out of your tattoo, especially considering it will be on your body permanently forever. Be specific with your wants.
It’s ok to tell your artist what you desire with the design, but at the end of the day they are the professional. They know more about tattoos and the tattooing process, and if they tell you that something isn’t possible because of placement issues, or that a design concept won’t work because of the size, they’re probably right.
If at any point while getting inked you feel like you need to take a break to stretch or if you’re not feeling well, definitely communicate that to your artist. They’re in the business of creating incredible tattoos, and part of that is making sure their clients are safe and comfortable.
This should go without saying, but you should absolutely remain as still as possible while getting tattooed. Any sudden, unexpected movements can interfere with your artist and their work. If you need to take a break and move, just ask!
If your tattoo is large or intricate enough to require several hours of work, it’s a good idea to bring something along to help pass the time. Some tattoo artists are chatty, but more likely than not they’ll be focused on the tattooing process, so bring a book or some music to keep yourself occupied. Just make sure it won’t interfere with your artist as they work.
Bringing a friend along with you to get a tattoo as your support system isn’t unusual, but bringing multiple people is typically frowned upon. Unnecessarily crowded parlors can be stressful for the tattoo artists and others getting inked. Be mindful of this when choosing who to bring with.
Your tattoo artist’s time and talent should always be respected, including their shop policies. Being respectful of these can help make your entire experience go smoothly.
Tipping is not required but heavily encouraged, and it’s typically considered rude if you don’t. In the US, a 20% tip is pretty standard. If you’re looking to maintain a great relationship with your tattoo artist, tipping is part of that!