When is the Best Time to Get a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 5, 2020
    Last Updated: December 21, 2020

When you call the tattoo shop or send a message to your artist about a new idea that’s popped into your head, the first thing they’ll ask is, “When are you thinking of making the appointment?”

Lots of times, you might pick a day and time that’s convenient for you, but determining the best time to get a tattoo can be a tricky task. There are times of the year that are better than others, as well times of day, both of which we dive into within this article.

The Best Time of Day to Get a Tattoo

Many people will say the time of day you decide to get a tattoo is up to personal preference. Regardless of the time you choose, always make sure you eat a good meal at least two hours before your appointment.

Some people prefer to get tattooed in the morning or as soon as the tattoo shop opens (since many open around noon or later). This way, you can get the tattoo out of the way early and go about the rest of your day, or, if you’re getting a large piece, you won’t be worried about not having enough time before the shop closes.

Other people prefer getting tattooed later in the day or at night because they can go home straight after, relax and go to sleep.

The Best Time of Year to Get a Tattoo

The next consideration is the best time of year to get a tattoo. Some people don’t take this into account because once you decide on a tattoo, you’ll most likely be making an appointment that will happen in the next few weeks or so. If you like to plan, though, you can easily request an appointment months in advance.

Summer and Spring

Lots of people get tattoos in the summer. Lots of skin is showing. Minimal clothing means easier aftercare management and an opportunity to show off your new addition.

Getting a tattoo in the summer, though, means taking a greater number of precautions than you would during other times of the year. You have to avoid swimming, monitor sunscreen application, and sun exposure closely, and keep your traveling to a minimum.

Spring is also a popular time to get a tattoo because it will be healed by the time summer rolls around, and flaunting your fully healed tattoo without worrying about aftercare is exciting. 

There is a misconception that spring is the best time to get a tattoo, still, the truth is you’ll face many of the same issues you would have in the summertime. Spring typically means lots of rain and lingering humidity.

Additionally, spring sees a spike in new tattoos because most Americans are receiving their tax refund money, therefore, they have more disposable income. This creates busy parlors and longer waiting lists.

Fall and Winter

Spoiler alert: Fall and winter are the best times of year to get a tattoo.

In fall, the weather is colder and less humid no matter where you are, which means less sweating and exposing your skin to the elements. The weather outside is increasingly similar to the conditions you experience when indoors, thus, you won’t be dealing with temperature shocks and adverse conditions.

Getting a tattoo during the winter is the second best to fall as long as you don’t spend too much time outside. While it’s good to keep your tattoo protected from the elements, keeping it covered for too long can lead to infection or irritation from constant friction with fabric and rubbing.

On the plus side, winter is a time for celebrations, such as Hanukkah or Christmas. Receiving monetary gifts during the festive period can mean more disposable income to put towards a new piece of body art.

The only thing to look out for during the fall and winter is the cold and flu. You’re more likely to contract an illness in the colder months than the warmer months. You should never get a tattoo when you’re sick because your body will not be able to heal as quickly as it would be when completely healthy. Furthermore, you will likely experience more discomfort during the appointment because your body is fighting off the sickness and not the pain.

Colder temperatures also reduce blood flow and circulation, therefore, it’s important to stay warm to ensure a smooth healing process.

Other Considerations

Besides the time of year and day, there are other considerations to take into account when scheduling a tattoo appointment.

During Menstruation

Lots of women get tattooed during their period. If you feel like you can handle it, then there’s nothing stopping you from getting one. 

Some women experience heightened skin sensitivity during their period, so the pain you feel while getting a tattoo will be amplified. Another reason getting a tattoo during menstruation is not recommended is lower blood sugar levels, especially in those with anemia.

Again, if you feel like you can handle it, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from getting a tattoo during your time of the month (and you do not have to disclose this to your artist). If you struggle with blood sugar levels, though, or have a heightened sensitivity to pain during this time, you should schedule around it.

Working Out

If you are a frequent gym attendee, then you should consider how this might affect your tattoo aftercare.

Excessive sweating with a new tattoo can interrupt the healing process and open the door for many infections. A new tattoo is the same as a fresh wound, and you should treat it the same as you would after an invasive procedure. Think about changing your gym schedule or taking a few weeks off extreme workouts until your tattoo artist gives you the go-ahead.

The Best Time to Schedule Your Tattoo Appointment

So, when is the best time to get a tattoo? The best time is during the fall or winter. Temperatures and humidity are lower, and as a bonus, tattoo shops typically experience a decrease in customers during this time, ergo, you have more time windows to choose from.

The time of day is entirely up to you, though make sure you eat a good meal at least two hours prior to your appointment. Contemplate making changes to your gym schedule if you workout a lot, as excessive sweating can interrupt the healing process.

When you eventually go ahead with getting your dream tattoo, it’s imperative that you always follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality tattoo healing lotion to aid recovery.

The best tattoo lotion I’ve ever personally used is a vegan-friendly aftercare product called After Inked Tattoo Aftercare Lotion. This stuff works amazingly well during the healing process; not only by keeping your tattoo really well hydrated, but also by soothing any annoying itching and irritation. When using it from the very start of the healing process, this lotion will help to decrease tattoo healing times, and work towards eliminating any lingering dryness and scabbing.​

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