Should I Get A Tattoo? - Important Things To Think About
For most people tattoos are not a random thing they do one Saturday afternoon. Many people debate the question of whether to get a tattoo for weeks, months, or even years before they dive into actually getting one. If you think tattoos are cool, you don’t have to get one tomorrow.
It’s okay to wait. In the meantime, here’s what you should consider as you think about getting inked.
Ask Yourself Why You Want One
Take some time to think about what is driving you to consider a tattoo. People have lots of reasons. Some people want a deeply meaningful tattoo that reminds them of an important part of their life or philosophy.
That’s a pretty cool reason, but a tattoo doesn’t have to be deeply meaningful. Other people want tattoos for their beauty, and to turn their bodies into art.
There isn’t a ‘right’ reason for wanting to get a tattoo. But there are some wrong reasons, such as the ones below:
Someone Else Wants You To
A tattoo should be for you, not for someone else. This is especially applicable if a romantic partner is pushing for their name on your body. Just say no.
You want to prove you can take the pain
First, who cares how much pain you can take? Being able to tolerate pain is not really a measure of self-worth, and there are other ways to challenge your body that don’t leave as permanent a mark, like hitting the gym.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to talk anyone out of a tattoo. Just make sure you know why you’re doing it, and you’ll feel good about it a year from now (or ten).
Do You Have The Money?
Tattoos are pricey. High-quality tattoos that you can be proud of are even pricier. Tattoos can be beautiful or just really cool, but they shouldn’t take away money you actually need for more important things, like necessities to live. If you’re struggling financially, wait a little while and save up for that tat.
Are You Prepared For The Aftercare?
Getting inked is not just about the process while you’re in the tattoo chair. You also have to take care of your new tattoo for quite a while afterwards. It needs time to heal, and you have to follow the right aftercare steps to keep it from fading or scabbing up too much if you want it to look its best.
If you have a lot going on in your life right now, you may want to hold off until you have the time to properly care for a new tattoo.
Have You Had A Tattoo Before?
As you think about what kind of tattoo you want, you need to be realistic. If it’s your first tattoo, it’s not the time to ask for a sleeve or something that covers half your back. Start small. You can always add to a tattoo later. But for your first time, you don’t want to get in over your head and end up with something half finished.
Know How Well You Tolerate Pain
Yes, a tattoo is going to be a bit painful, and that may be something you want to consider before deciding to get one. Different areas of the body are more or less painful than others. Some of the least painful places include the outer part of your upper arm and the inner part of the forearm.
You shouldn’t select a particular placement only because it’s a less painful area, and you should be informed about the comparative pain level of the place you would like to have tattooed.
If you are set on an area of skin that you probably can’t tolerate the pain level for, then you may want to reconsider. Don’t get a tattoo you aren’t fully happy with instead.
For most people, the pain is tolerable, especially if the tattoo is small. Your mind kind of adjusts to the sensation after the first few minutes.
Are You Healthy Right Now?
It’s best to go in for a tattoo when you aren’t sick. Your body will be able to handle it much better.
After all, your skin is being exposed to a bit of trauma when you get a tattoo. It’s nothing that your body can’t handle and heal on its own.
However, tattoo healing will go much faster and be more tolerable if you’re feeling well to begin with.
Do Your Research
Especially before getting your first tattoo, you should read everything you can that will help you to make the decision. You need to know if getting inked is right for you.
You need to make sure you understand the process and how it works, and you need to make sure you have selected both a tattoo and tattoo body location you will be happy with in the long run.
Here are a few other things to research beforehand:
Look into the tattoo studios near you to see which ones have the best reputation. Talk to people you know who have tattoos, and find out what their experience was and how happy they are with the finished tattoo. If they don’t mind you taking a look, also check out their tattoo to see what you think.
You want to select a studio that’s known for quality work and clean conditions.
Once you’ve selected a studio, or as part of the studio selection process, find out what you can about the artists who work there. Check out pictures of their previous work, and if possible, talk to someone you know who used that particular artist for their tattoo.
Two different artists in the same studio can, and probably do, have vastly different experience levels, techniques, and styles.
In conjunction with selecting a studio and artist, you want to take a look at the different types of tattoo styles so you can select a tattoo artist who is skilled in the particular techniques you want for your tattoo.
Taking time to think about the entire tattoo process means you’re on the right path to getting the tattoo that’s right for you, or deciding not to get one before you go through with something you’re not sure about.
Remember, you can get a tattoo later after you’ve thought about it more, but it’s difficult to take away a tattoo that’s already there.
Thinking Of Getting A New Tattoo?
REMEMBER - Tattoo aftercare is extremely important, and a good quality tattoo lotion is vital to ensure fast and proper healing of your new ink.
The best tattoo lotion I've ever personally used is a (vegan) tattoo aftercare product called Hustle Butter. This stuff works amazingly during the healing process - not only to keep your tattoo really well hydrated but it's also very good at soothing that annoying itching.
Many other users of the product also advise that when using it from the very start of the healing process it appears to decrease healing times and seems to reduce heavy scabbing.
Read more about Hustle Butter here. Have a quick look at some of the customer reviews and you'll see why it's one of the most popular tattoo lotions.
Here is a selection of my other favorite tattoo lotions and ointments that are currently on the market. Be organised and make sure that you have your lotion before you get your tattoo.