No matter if you are getting your very first piece of body art, or if you are already covered in ink from head to toe, each experience is unique. And some slightly more… intense than others. In any case, it pays off to set yourself up as well as possible beforehand in order to make the experience as little traumatic as could be. We are kidding, its not that bad, really. It is actually an exciting endeavour, and whatever pain experienced is easily forgotten. Otherwise, why would everyone want to do it again?
In order to ensure you feel as well and as comfortable as possible, here are some easy guidelines and steps to follow prior to letting yourself be stabbed repeatedly and adorned with that special piece for life.
Make sure you are well hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day before, and the morning/day of your appointment. It will not only help with your stamina during the session, but it will actually help you heal quicker.
That goes for your skin as well! Hydrated skin makes the surface take the ink easier. No, do not moisturise right before going to the studio, but make sure you slather on some lotion on the chosen spot the nights leading up to it. Preferably after doing some exfoliating as well.
Speaking of nights, make sure you get as much sleep as you can. Pain is hard to handle in any circumstance, adding sleep deprivation on top is not much help to anyone. Being well rested will also let you be more relaxed, hence less twitching muscles, hence better quality lines and finished product.
Eating well should also be a priority. Your body is going to need energy, so make sure you eat something hearty, warm and grounding before your appointment. Having low blood sugar can increase the physical reaction to getting a tattoo. Remember the part about muscle twitching? And if you have a long session scheduled, be sure to bring snacks. Your artist and you will both be happy for the break.
Avoid anything that makes your blood thinner. Yes, this includes alcohol. Yes, even beer. But it is a good idea to also stay away from aspirin for 24 hours prior to getting tattooed. Its blood thinning properties will make you bleed more during the process.
Also, stay away from weight lifting or strenuous exercise a couple of days beforehand. Putting strain on your muscles can cause the sensations to increase and your skin to be more taught than usual which could result in a slightly distorted motive once it returns to normal.
If you happen to have an ample amount of body hair covering the area you want the tattoo to be placed on, it is is great idea to shave before hand. Otherwise it will take up time from the actual tattooing. And it is not really your artists job. Just pay really close attention so that you do not perforate the skin in any way. Even a minor cut could make it impossible for you to get tattooed on schedule. And if you opt for waxing instead, make sure its far enough ahead of your appointment for the skin to heal, but not long enough for the hair to start growing back.
Make sure you wear comfortable clothing. Comfortable in this case means something that will be warm enough, make you feel as cosy as possible, and allow easy access to the part of your skin offered up for the pleasure of the needle without making you feel shy.