A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Your First Tattoo: Everything You Need to Know

Ever been curious about getting a tattoo, but then thought about it for too long and the idea of needles or pain started to freak you out? Or maybe you don’t mind either of those things, but you just aren’t sure what you want on your body for the rest of your life. Or neither of those resonate with you and you’re eager to get your first tattoo just haven’t found the right person or time to do it yet. Getting your first tattoo can be an exciting and memorable journey- one that quite literally lasts an eternity- so here are some important things you should consider before getting inked.

Finding the Right Artist for Your Custom Tattoo

Your tattoo artist plays a crucial role in bringing your vision to life. Look for an artist whose style aligns with your desired design. Research their portfolio, read reviews, and schedule a consultation to discuss your ideas and any concerns you may have. Social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok are popular tools artists use to showcase their work- so this may be a good starting point for you to look around. A good artist will listen to your wishes and provide expert advice on design and placement.

Design and Placement: Your Tattoo’s Forever Home

Your tattoo is going to be with you for a long haul, so let’s make sure it’s in the right spot. Consider how it’ll age and how it fits with your future self. If you’re in a field where visible tattoos are frowned upon, maybe you want to reconsider getting it in a spot like the wrist, ankle, neck, etc. if you’d be forced to cover it up every day. Think of it as buying the perfect real estate- property location is essential.

What You Need to Know Before Getting Inked

Age Restrictions on Tattoos

Like many things in life, there are legal age requirements for getting a tattoo, and they differ from state to state. In some places like Colorado and Connecticut written consent from a legal guardian is enough to get you an appointment at a tattoo parlor, while other areas like Flordia require a guardian to attend the session. Meanwhile, in states like Washington, it’s illegal to give a minor a tattoo under any circumstance. 

The Importance of Aftercare

Proper aftercare is crucial for the healing and longevity of your tattoo. Follow your artist’s instructions, which will likely include:

  • Keeping the tattoo clean and dry.
  • Applying a thin layer of aftercare ointment.
  • Avoiding direct sunlight and not submerging the tattoo in water for at least two weeks.
  • Refraining from picking or scratching the tattooed area.

Water Exposure: When Is It Safe?

If you’re considering getting a tattoo in the summer but love the beach, you might want to wait a few months. It’s advised to avoid swimming or soaking your tattoo for at least 2-4 weeks after getting inked. Exposure to water can lead to infection, fading, and other complications. Showers are fine, but keep them short and avoid direct water spray on the tattoo. 

Pain Levels in Different Areas

Tattoo pain varies depending on the body part. Generally, areas with more flesh like the thighs or upper arms are less painful, while bony areas like the ribs, spine, or ankles tend to be more sensitive. Your pain tolerance also plays a role, so consider starting with a smaller design in a less painful area if you’re concerned about discomfort.

A Journey to Self-Expression

Getting your first tattoo is a journey of self-expression and creativity. By choosing the right artist, understanding the pain and healing process, and following proper aftercare, you can ensure your tattoo experience is positive and fulfilling. 

Interested in starting your custom tattoo design TODAY, visit Custom Tattoo Design to learn more!