Getting A Tattoo For The First Time? Here’s What You Need To Know

Have you been stalking all those ultra-chic Instagram-models with their glistening abs and super cool tattoos? You know you have, and if you’re one of those people who have been secretly eyeing people with tattoos, both in the digital and real-world, maybe it’s time you muster up the courage and get a tattoo yourself. Let us warn you though, getting a tattoo is a serious commitment and there are a couple of things you probably should know before heading over to get inked.

Tattoos Are Permanent

This is an obvious statement but rest assured it has to be the foremost thing to be on your mind. Tattoos are very permanent (even more so than your boyfriend and girlfriend) and so you should really put your head into all the aspects of the deed before you actually do it. To get a better idea you could first perhaps try a temporary tattoo for a while, to get used to the feeling and also figure out the size and placement that you would prefer.

Choosing What To Get (Meaning And Size)

You must also consider the size of your chosen design. It is advisable in various such forms of body art to start light because it is highly improbable that you would be able to handle the pain and the responsibility of a full tattoo bodysuit in your first joust under the needle.

Take your time when picking a tattoo. It does not necessarily have to be something super philosophical but it should mean enough to you to be able to live with it for the rest of your life. There are a ton of resources where you can search for trendy designs; the minimalist trend of tattoos is both new and safe for first-time experimentation. You can also look for ideas on Pinterest to decide what you want.

That really cool design in your head may not look as nice a couple of years down the road. So research well and hard. There are a ton of different tattoo styles, not to mention the options of colored tattoos or shaded ones or black on black. If you wish to go for a scripture rather than an image, you will need to figure out fonts and writing styles not to mention font size among various other details. There are various websites and applications readily available in the market that provide a visual guide, complete with graphics, and help you envision that idea in your head onto a body part thus making it easier for you to look at a certain design or font or handwriting in digital format before having it put onto your body. Have no shame in copying someone else’s tattoo if you spot something really nice, you can always add in a few customized tweaks. Your tattoo artist will probably be a good source of advice too.

Where To Put It On 

Probably the first question a tattoo artist will ask you is where you want your tattoo to go. Before you take this decision, you should know that getting a tattoo hurts, and that varies with the part of the body that you chose. Generally, areas with more muscles and fat (arms, calves, thighs) tend to hurt less than areas with more bones (don’t even think about going near the ribcage on your first time). You might also need to pay heed to the amount of exposure that you are aiming for your piece of body art. If you are nervous about reactions from loved ones or future employers, you might want to choose an area of your body that remains clothed but never shy away from explaining to any third party why you choose to get inked and how it is your artistic right over your own body. Show them a study paper for further enlightenment. Be confident and proud of the art on your body, and if you are still a little conscious, go for a low-risk area like the wrist for subtle exposure and also just to show it off.

Going To A Credible Artist

This part is as important as choosing a doctor for your surgery. Don’t go to that suspiciously cheap tattoo shop whose prices seem too good to be true, unless several trusted friends are vouching for it. It is best to do proper research, check portfolios and read reviews before you walk in to get inked. Once you are in a shop, keep an eye out for hygiene and general health habits. Keep a wide open communication channel with your artist, don’t be hesitant to ask questions albeit repetitive, and learn as much as you can about their way of practice. This continues once you start the actual process, be aware at all times, maybe even ask the friend you take along to keep an eagle’s eye on the equipment being used. Ensure that any needle that touches your skin is either new or properly sanitized. Tattoo artists have specialties where some specialize in abstract designs while others in traditional Japanese designs. Going to an artist who can spell well is also an unspoken advantage.

Timing And Season

Ask any person with a significant amount of tattoos for the best time of the year to get them and they will tell you spring and early autumn are the most practical. You will also not want to get a tattoo right before or during a tropical holiday as sun exposure and water submersion can damage a new tattoo. Pleasant weather conditions will mean that you can leave any newly tatted arm or leg exposed without the risk of getting burned or catching a chill.

Aftercare Is Important

If the artist doesn’t do it himself, ask him to give you a proper rundown of all the Dos and Don’ts. It is vital that you ask every question that you may feel is important for the aftercare no matter how silly you might feel asking them. Follow your artist’s aftercare instructions religiously. Once you’ve carefully removed the dressing on your new ink, wash it with an unscented soap with a neutral PH balance. Do not rub onto the newly inked skin and apply a gentle unscented lotion to prevent itchiness and dryness. However, if you sense or observe any unnatural peeling or burning, immediately contact a health care provider.


The most eminent tip that anyone can give you is to take your time and be happy of all the choices that you make, be it placement, size or artist because marking your body for life is a big decision, one you cannot take back unless you have loads of cash lying around to splurge on expensive laser surgery.