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Tips for Getting the Best Tattoo

Advice for the Perfect Tattoo Experience

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Ensure a pleasurable ink experience with these tips for getting the best tattoo.

Prior to heading to the tattoo shop, you've likely put a lot of thought into a meaningful design and are ready to make a permanent mark. This can be the most fun, exciting, apprehensive and fearful part of the tattoo process. It's normal to have the jitters and it's OK to ask lots of questions. It's your body and you should be calm and ready to experience the pleasure of adornment. Simply prepare your body and mind for a transformative experience with these tips.

1. Choose Your Artist Carefully

Find an amazing tattoo artist before you make a permanent mark.

Souvenir tattoos, last minute ink jobs and on the whim art can leave their regret. Do not rush the artist selection process. If you have a tattoo itch to fill, simply visit a shop and get inspired with ideas and interview potential artists instead. Unless you're opting for an airbrush or henna tattoo piece, artist skill and client chemistry are top priority.

2. Feed Your Body

Your body needs energy to heal and repair itself during and after the tattooing process. Fuel up on healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and iron. Forgo the junk and the sugar and stay hydrated. You will not be allowed to be under the consumption of alcohol during the tattoo job, so drink healthy and smart and feed your body so that it can reward you with a stabilized and balanced tattoo experience.

3. Speak Up

A tattoo shop is not the place to be a wallflower. Artist chemistry is vital in the tattoo process so don't be afraid to speak up and talk to your artist. If you are experiencing extreme discomfort you need to say something. While a certain amount of pain is inevitable, you shouldn't be cringing through your ink job either. Perhaps you need a break or to reposition yourself to finish the tattoo comfortably. If you stay uncomfortable during an ink job for too long, you risk passing out. What fun would that be for you or your artist? If necessary, you may need to divide your ink job into segments and go back several times, especially if you opt for a rather large or colorful piece. Unless you tell your artist how you're feeling, they will continue on and that may not be a good thing. Listen to your body and then ensure your artist listens to you.

4. Dress Properly

Depending on your tattoo design location the amount of clothing and type you wear to your appointment may vary. The basic rule of thumb is to opt for comfort and try to wear loose fitting garments that are easy to slip off and on. Don't squeeze into a tight fitting pair of jeans or uncomfortable and itchy fabrics. If you opt for an arm tattoo, wear a sleeveless shirt. If you're going for a leg tattoo, consider shorts or a sundress. Think ahead and dress properly, you'll be much more comfortable and at ease, and that can settle lots of fears.

5. Care for Your New Tattoo

Aftercare for your new tattoo is vital. Keep your tattoo bandaged for a minimum of two hours to prevent bacteria from entering your fresh wound. Once you've removed the bandage, you'll need to cleanse the tattoo thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap and a light splash of water to remove any excess blood and ink. Pat your tattoo dry with a paper towel and finish with a light application of an antibacterial ointment such as Bacitracin. Remember not to pick your scabs and be sure to apply sunblock from now on to prevent fading of your ink. By following these tips for getting the best tattoo, you'll wear your ink with love for a lifetime.

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