Is it Rude to Wear Headphones During a Tattoo?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on October 1, 2021
    Last Updated: October 12, 2021

Getting a tattoo can be an exciting but long and quite painful process, with you sitting or lying in one position for a few hours. It can also be an intimidating experience, walking into a tattoo studio for the very first time. 

You need to make sure that you’re comfortable during the whole process, from walking in through the door to walking back out with your stunning new tattoo. This could mean occupying yourself during the long tattoo process, but what are you able to do? Can you listen to music, meditate, chat with friends, or watch a movie?

A lot of this will depend on the area that you’re getting tattooed and your tattoo artist. You should check with them what is acceptable or not as they should also be comfortable during this process as they’re the ones doing the intricate artwork. 

We’ll let you know if it’s seen as rude to wear headphones while getting a tattoo, what is acceptable, and what isn’t.

What Can You Do While Getting a Tattoo?

There are lots of things that you can do during the tattoo process to relax and take your mind off it. However, your tattoo artist needs to concentrate at all times during the intricate procedure so you should bear this in mind. 

Speak to your tattoo artist before you start the tattoo process to find out if they’re happy for you to wear headphones to listen to music or watch a movie. Snacks are a good thing to bring to keep your energy levels up and also a drink to keep you hydrated. However, no alcohol should be consumed when having a tattoo done.

Is it Rude to Wear Headphones While Getting a Tattoo?

Most tattoo artists will prefer you to wear headphones if you’re listening to music or watching a movie. They may not share your preferences and will see this as a distraction that they don’t need when concentrating so hard. It could be that the tattoo artist also wears headphones as this may help their concentration and drown out the noise around them. 

Communicating with your tattoo artist is the best way to understand what is and isn’t accepted during the tattoo process. Some may find chatting a comfort and may not be distracted too easily. Others may just want the silence to get the job done to the best of their potential.

How To Prepare For the Tattoo

It can be an exciting and exhilarating experience getting a tattoo, especially if it’s your first one. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you’re fully prepared before going to your tattoo appointment. 

The first thing that you need to do in the days before is to eat and drink well as this prepares your body and your skin in the best way. You should also have a good night’s sleep to relax you as the tattoo process will take lots of energy from you. 

Wear comfortable clothing and eat before your tattoo appointment. Having this done on an empty stomach could make you feel faint and weak. 

No Distractions 

It can be easy to want to distract yourself when you’re having a tattoo done, especially if you’re bored, and the tattoo you’re getting is in a painful or uncomfortable area. 

However, you should avoid moving too much when the tattoo is being completed as this will distract the tattoo artist and can be frustrating. It could even mean that the tattoo isn’t completed the way that you want it and you may have crooked lines or damage to the tattoo. 

You should be careful if you’re watching a movie, making sure that you’re not laughing too much or moving about. If you’re wanting to listen to music or watch a movie, make sure that you have headphones with you. Check with your tattoo artist if they would prefer you to wear these or if they are happy to listen to this with you. You’ll find that most will want you to wear the headphones.

Most tattoo artists will ask you to visit the studio alone when having your tattoo done. It may be good for you to have friends with you for support but the tattoo artist will just see this as a distraction and crowding in the studio. 


The tattoo process is a personal thing and what’s acceptable will vary depending on your tattoo artist. Make sure that you speak to them to understand what they expect and what is acceptable during the procedure. 

You need to be comfortable but so do they. Many tattoo artists will be happy for you to wear headphones when listening to music or watching a movie. In fact, most will insist that you do. It’s not seen as rude to wear headphones while getting a tattoo, as long as you communicate when needed.

Related Tattoo Articles