Getting a tattoo is something that should be carefully thought about, after all, this piece of art is going to be on your body until you’re grey and old.
But here’s the thing – you don’t want get to 73 and be thinking “man, I really wish I got that done” so instead of being scared, just do it.
So there’s lots of different styles of tattoos (traditional, watercolour, Japanese, realism, etc) so I’d highly recommend having a look at the design you want and figuring out which style it is. When you’ve got this, it’s best to stalk a few tattoo artists on Instagram – check out their work and see if it’s what you’re looking for. You may get sucked into doing this for hours, like me, as there’s just TOO MANY nice ones. I personally went to a highly respected studio in my home town and gave them my idea – from this they found me the artist they thought would be best suitable. She was an absolute babe and even gave me a slice of chocolate cake after…. can’t guarantee that yours will do that though, sorry.
Let’s skip the bullshit – tattooing hurts. It’s a needle puncturing your skin and injecting ink, so it’s not exactly pleasurable, but it’s definitely bearable. Try not to psych yourself out too much about the pain and remember that it’s different for everyone, so that horror story you read online at 1am the night before about Amanda in Brighton probably isn’t going to happen to you. You’ll be fine. Take a sugary snack or drink; and try to zone out.
If I had to describe the feeling of getting tattooed it would just be a sharp, very hot sensation. What I like is that as soon as they remove the needle to wipe your skin, the pain is obviously instantly diminished. When it’s over, that’s it, you’re not going to be aching or burning afterwards. Also keep in mind that tattoo pain varies from placement to placement.
Every studio is different and they’ll all give out different aftercare advice, so make sure you follow exactly what your studio says, as they’ll know best.
It’s a good idea to grab some Bepanthen for your tattoo aftercare though and ideally apply this 3-4 times per day for 2/3 weeks. Make sure you do this with washed hands and that you’ve also given your tattoo a little clean, too.
If, when you’re applying Bepanthen, you notice the tattoo gently shedding away then don’t panic, this is totally normal. Your body is naturally healing itself and it will feel less 3D/raised soon. You will just know when it’s healed as the ink will look more “lived in” and it will feel totally normal. The size and placement of your tattoo can really affect your healing time though; and my artist actually just told me that the further away from your heart it is, the longer it takes to heal. *Fun Fact*.
You’ve probably read this already but i’ll reiterate – do not scratch or itch your tattoo. At all. The best way I found to relieve this was by gently patting it until the itching sensation had gone away.
Anyway below are my tattoos and i’m planning to get a couple more. Honestly, it’s really addictive. Before I got my first tattoo, I thought i’d be happy with just the one, but when I left the studio I felt a huge adrenaline rush and was soon looking at more ideas.
The pain definitely isn’t as bad as people make out, and if you get an artist you really like, you’ll enjoy it more. So just do it!