Tattoo Etiquette: What To Do In Your First Tattoo Session

Published January 10, 2024
By Celebrity Ink

Getting your first tattoo is an exhilarating experience, brimming with anticipation and creativity. However, stepping into a tattoo studio for the first time might also feel overwhelming.

The realm of tattooing comes with its own set of unspoken rules and customs, often leaving newcomers wondering about the etiquette to follow during their inaugural ink session. Understanding tattoo appointment etiquette is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable experience and fostering a respectful relationship with your artist. Join us as we discuss how to prepare for a first tattoo, how to handle your first tattoo, and general tattoo appointment etiquette tips.

How To Prepare For Your First Tattoo

Before you go to the tattoo studio to get your first tattoo, there are a few things you should do to ensure a smooth process.

Drink lots of water

While it’s important to be hydrated every day, it’s especially important to be hydrated before getting a tattoo. It’s likely that you won’t drink a lot of water during your tattoo session, and being dehydrated could lead to feeling faint and unwell during your session. Drinking lots of water is also important in the prevention of dry, flakey skin, which won’t make tattooing your skin any easier.

Prep your skin

Speaking of avoiding dry, flakey skin, implementing a good skincare routine is important in the lead-up to your tattoo. During the week leading up to your appointment, use a good moisturiser to get your skin ready. However, don’t moisturise on the day of your appointment, as it could interfere with the tattooing process.

Get a good night’s sleep

While it may be daunting thinking about getting your first tattoo, it’s imperative that you have a good night’s sleep before your session. Some people find that getting tattooed while running on little sleep can cause it to hurt more. However, this entirely depends on the individual. In any case, having a good night’s sleep before your tattoo session will ensure it goes smoothly.

Avoid the sun

In the week leading up to your tattoo appointment, avoid spending too much time outdoors in the sun, as sunburnt skin cannot be tattooed.

Don’t drink alcohol 24 hours before

It’s recommended that you don’t drink any alcohol between 24 and 48 hours before your tattoo. Alcohol can thin your blood, which can lead to excessive bleeding when getting tattooed.

Eat a balanced meal

While it may seem like you’re only sitting down when getting tattooed, your body is actually expending a lot of energy during the process. It’s important to have enough energy to get through the session without having your blood sugar levels drop. To ensure you have enough energy, eat a well-balanced meal before getting inked.

During Your First Tattoo Session

The day has finally come to get your first tattoo. So, what should you do during your session?

Dress comfortably

No matter where you’re getting your tattoo on your body, you want to be as comfortable as possible. So, ditch the tight jeans and opt for loose, cool clothing that’ll make you feel comfortable while sitting in the chair getting inked. Not only will loose clothing allow you to easily re-adjust your position on the chair if you become uncomfortable, but it also makes it easy for the tattoo artist to access the area you’re getting tattooed.

Bring some source of entertainment

Depending on the size and detail of your tattoo, it could take a few hours to get inked. In long sessions, you can become bored quite easily. To avoid boredom while your tattoo artist works their magic, it pays to bring some entertainment to keep you occupied, such as your phone and headphones to watch something or listen to music. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t bring any entertainment that causes you to move around or disrupt your artist.

Bring a friend

Getting your first tattoo can be a nerve-wracking experience for some, which is why it’s always good to bring support. Bringing a friend to your tattoo session is accepted by most artists, as it’s a fantastic way to distract yourself when getting inked. However, ensure you check with your artists beforehand and only bring one friend with you, as more people could be a distraction for your artist.

Tips For General Tattoo Studio Etiquette

Let your artist take the lead on the design of your tattoo

Tattoo artists are just that: artists. And when it comes to tattooing, they want to create something for you with their own art and style. Tattooers generally have perfect a certain style (or styles), such as fine-line, realism, etc. Due to this, their best tattoo design and execution will be in that particular style. Tell them exactly what you’d like them to include in your design, and let them come up with something on their own.

Let your tattoo artist concentrate

As mentioned above, it’s important not to distract your artist when they are working on your tattoo. While some artists don’t mind chatting during the session, others need to stay focused. If you’re unsure of whether to talk or not during the session, let your artist take the lead.

Sit still

A general rule of thumb when going to any tattoo studio is to sit still when getting tattooed. If you feel like you need to move or take a break during the session, just let your artist know.

Follow your tattoo artist’s aftercare instructions

Once your artist has completed your tattoo, they will give you aftercare instructions to ensure the proper healing of your ink.

General aftercare instructions include

  • Remove the tattoo wrap after an hour of getting inked
  • Use fresh towels and sheets
  • Use warm water and fragrance-free soap to clean your tattoo
  • Apply antiseptic ointment for as many days as your artist recommends
  • Never touch your tattoo without washing your hands first
  • Don’t submerge your tattoo for four to six weeks after getting inked
  • Don’t pick at your tattoo when it starts to scab

Book A Design Consultation with Celebrity Ink

Are you thinking about getting your first tattoo? Take the first step and book a design consultation at your nearest Celebrity Ink tattoo studio. Our tattoo artists specialise in a range of tattoo styles and are ready to sit down with you, discuss your preferred style and design and bring your vision to life.

Whether you’re after a fine-line, realism, watercolour or even script tattoo, our dedicated and experienced artists are ready to help you begin your journey to getting your first tattoo.

Get your next tattoo at Celebrity Ink

The team at Celebrity Ink can provide you with not only a tattoo that tells your story but also detailed aftercare information that goes beyond the question of how long does a tattoo take to heal.

Our team sets standards in tattoo design while working alongside you to bring your vision to life. Whether you’re seeking traditional tattoos, realistic designs, mandalas, or any other, we have artists specialising in a range of tattoo styles that can provide you with the tattoo you have envisioned.

Book a consultation to discuss your tattoo design, get in contact with the crew at Celebrity Ink, and we will lock you in for your next ink session.
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