One of the most common questions when it comes to tattoos is; can I do it myself? Now, the reason many people have thought about tattooing themselves generally lies in the huge cost of tattoos.
At an hourly rate between $50 and $100, the majority of tattoo artists charge between $150 to thousands of dollars for a tattoo (depending on the size, color combination, custom design, location of the tattoo, etc.). So, we commoners have to save up a lot of money to go get the tattoo of our dreams. No wonder people keep searching for ways to do their own tattoos.
But, we want to be honest with you from the getgo; we assume that, unless you’re a professional tattoo artist, you don’t really know much about tattooing (hence you reading this article). As such, we would urge you to save up some money and get a tattoo done professionally.
We know that we just stated the obvious about tattoos being super expensive, but the risk of bloodborne infections increases by 100% when a tattoo is done by an amateur.
And, to be perfectly honest, we are not going to provide you with a detailed guide on how you can do your own tattoo. We believe it is too dangerous and the risk of a disease or tattoo infection is too high, and we do not want to be responsible for spreading false information about how convenient it might be to do your own tattoo. Instead, we’ll talk generally about what tattooists require for a tattoo, and alternative ways to get a temporary tattoo (which is a much safer option).
Can You Tattoo Yourself: What Do Tattooists Generally Need
Again, we are emphasizing that this is not a guide on how you can tattoo yourself! Unless you’re a professional tattoo artist (who already knows how to tattoo and doesn’t need this article as a guide), you should save up some money and get a tattoo done professionally. What we want to do for this article is talk generally about how some tattoo artists tattoo themselves.
Of course, in the case of self-tattoo, tattooists have all the necessary equipment and they work in a safe, clean, sterile environment which is their tattoo parlor. Getting a tattoo anywhere outside the tattoo parlor increases the chance of exposure to germs, bacteria, and all sorts of infection-causing airborne, or any other pathogens (organisms that weaken the immune system and cause infections and diseases).
Surely enough, they also have an access to tattoo guns and required needles to get the desired effects, color, shading, etc. Tattoo artists also use high-quality ink, special disposable containers for ink mixing, and so much more that makes the tattooing process easier. Of course, they need to work wearing gloves, using isopropyl alcohol and cotton balls for cleaning, and the green tattoo soap to disinfect the tattooed area and remove excess ink.
But, how do tattoo artists manage to give themselves a tattoo?
Well, obviously enough, they can only tattoo areas of their bodies that they can reach and keep completely straight throughout the whole tattooing process. So, we’re talking about areas like the forearm, maybe the thigh area, and other pretty limited areas of the body.
To make sure the designated tattooing area is clean, they have to shave all the hair off the area, clean it with lukewarm water and soap, and tap dry with a paper towel. Then, they need to transfer the tattoo design onto the skin, after which they can proceed with tattooing by outlining the tattoo and then filling in with color and details.
It can be pretty difficult to tattoo yourself mostly because of the pain. We are generally built and do react differently to causing pain to our bodies ourselves. However, tattoo artists manage to overcome that feeling and the pain as well, managing to complete the tattoo.
Of course, once they’re done with the tattoo, they clean it, wrap it up in a plastic wrap, and ensure to keep it clean and protected during the whole aftercare and healing process. Sure enough, if a tattoo artist has tattooed their own forearm, it would be unacceptable for them to keep tattooing other people until the tattoo has healed completely. It is too big of a risk of potentially catching bloodborne pathogens, especially from other clients.
So, a tattoo artist in this case needs to rest for a few days, let the tattoo dry, and start closing and healing. The healing process can last up to one month, but in some cases, it can go up to 2 months. This depends on the aftercare routine and the tattooist’s immune system and immune response.
Alternatives For Self-Tattoos
As you can see, you truly need to be a professional to be able to successfully and safely tattoo yourself. Without the proper training, experience, equipment, and environment, self-tattooing can be super dangerous and risky.
But, what is the alternative for us who want to try self-tattooing? We’d say, go for temporary tattoos!
Temporary tattoos are super fun, easy, and most importantly, safe. They are done in an instant and can last between 5 and 8 days. All you need to do is purchase the desired design, and apply them to your skin following the instructions (you often need to dampen the design sheet, press it onto your skin until the design transfers, and let it dry). You can even draw your own tattoo using basic household items like eyeliners, markers, even printer paper, rubbing alcohol, etc.
Temporary tattoos are an excellent way to experience having a tattoo without actually committing to the whole tattoo process (including the tattoo cost and the pain, especially if you’re scared of it). It is a cheap, fun alternative which we definitely recommend.
If you think temporary tattoos are a good idea, here are some of our favorites you should check out;
- INKBOX – this is the best temporary tattoo option on the market. Inkbox creates temporary tattoos that look like the real deal. They offer designs from more than 400 artists from around the world, and you can even create your own design if none of theirs match your requirements. The Inkbox tattoos are semi-permanent. They’re also made from a plant-based formula, using high-quality, skin-safe ingredients. Because they’re semi-permanent, the Inkbox tattoos can last up to 2 weeks.
- Momentary Ink – another brand that provides exceptional temporary tattoos is Momentary Ink. Their tattoos look like the real deal as well. You can choose from different designs, sizes, and even price range, to fit your needs and requirements. If you don’t like any of the offered designs, you can simply upload your own and create a custom tattoo. The tattoos will last you up to one week, and they can be easily removed using rubbing alcohol or baby oil.
- Conscious Ink – if you’re looking for a written/word/lettering tattoo design, we definitely recommend you check out Conscious Ink. They offer motivational, inspiring temporary tattoos for everyone out there. The tattoos are made according to the FDA cosmetics standards, which means they’re safe and free from any skin-harming toxins. The tattoos look like the real deal, and they’re super affordable. They can last you anywhere between 5 and 10 days, or you can remove the tattoo quickly using rubbing alcohol or baby oil.
So, if you’re an amateur or a tattoo beginner, we definitely do not suggest you tattoo yourself. We know, it is a super tempting and a badass idea to tattoo yourself, but in reality, it is also a super dangerous idea that can have some serious consequences. Tattoo artists don’t disinfect and sterilize their parlor and equipment for no reason.
They don’t clean your skin or wear gloves for no reason. It takes knowledge and experience to execute a tattoo safely, which you as an amateur do not have.
So, if you want a super cool, badass tattoo, be smart. Save up some money, fin dan affordable tattoo artist, and get a tattoo done properly. This will save you from a ‘bad headache’ later on when you realize how painful, messy, and bloody tattooing really is. Apart from preventing infection, professional tattooing will ensure your tattoo actually looks good and stays like that for a lifetime.