To get a tattoo means to permanently commit to a work of art on your body. So, in order for that work of art to be perfect and worthy of its permanence, one has to be well prepared and choose wisely. It is essential for a tattoo to be a well-thought-out decision, rather than something you do spontaneously, otherwise you might regret it.
So, in the following paragraphs we’ll share with you all the things one should NOT do before getting a tattoo. Unless you want to regret the decision and start making appointments for laser removal, here’s everything you should avoid doing before tattooing. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
9 Things You Should Avoid Before Tattooing!
1. Alcohol and Drinking
First and foremost; tattoo artists aren’t legally allowed to tattoo and provide services to customers that appear drunk and intoxicated.
However, in case you being drunk doesn’t seem obvious, and you somehow pass the visibility test and get a tattoo, you might still be in a lot of trouble. There is a reason drunk tattooing is highly advised against. Here are some of the reasons this is the case;
- Alcohol thins the blood – alcohol acts as a blood thinner which can contribute to a bloody mess you’ll experience during tattooing. Alcohol will cause excess bleeding during the tattooing, which will impair the artist’s vision and ability to trace and tattoo properly. This can compromise the final result heavily. Not to mention that alcohol can dilute the ink, which can contribute to heavier bleeding, as well as a patchy, faded, and completely ruined tattoo.
- Alcohol impairs judgment – getting drunk and then deciding which tattoo you’ll get can be a terrible mistake. Because alcohol impairs your judgment and makes you think something looks good when it looks horrible, will surely make you regret your decision. You will be asked to approve a tattoo design, the stencil, and where it will be placed. If you make a wrong decision, which you will do when drunk, a surprise will await for you once you sober up.
- Alcohol changes your behavior – when you’re drunk, your general behavior and reaction to things changes. You can’t control how you move and you become jittery and restless. All of this is not welcome during a tattooing session, because it increases the chances of the artist making a mistake and ruining the tattoo. Such behavior can also lead to a tattoo blowout as a result of the tattoo needle being pushed too deep into the skin and spreading the ink.
2. Blood Thinning Pills
Just like alcohol, certain pills like Aspirin or Ibuprofen can act as blood-thinning agents. It is essential to stay away from such pills (which are usually over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory tablets) at least 24 to 48 hours before getting a tattoo.
If you do take such a pill before getting a tattoo, you can expect excessive bleeding during the tattooing process. Moreover, you can expect the tattoo artist to mess up the tattoo due to lack of visibility caused by the bleeding. Not to mention that your tattoo will take longer to heal since the blood is thinned out and therefore harder to clot.
Also Read: What Happens If A Tattoo Artist Messed Up?
3. Sun Exposure
If you thought that after a long day at the beach you can just go and get a tattoo, you’re very wrong. Sun exposure damages the skin and makes it ‘burnt’. This can lead to excessive drying of the skin as well as peeling. Now, imagine slapping a tattoo on such damaged skin. Not only will the tattoo look all messed up, but it will hurt much more than it usually would.
Plus, damaged skin can contribute to a tattoo infection and a slower tattoo healing process later on. It is essential to avoid sun burning of the skin before and after getting a tattoo. And even after your tattoo heals, you still need to keep protecting it from the sun to avoid fading and aging of the tattooed skin.
4. Dairy and Sugar
It is believed that increased consumption of dairy and sugar prior to getting a tattoo could result in a slower and more difficult tattoo healing process. Moreover, foods rich in milk and sugar can cause you to bloat and expand your skin. This can potentially mess up the tattoo, especially if it’s placed in the abdomen area. The stretched skin can make the tattoo look different after the bloating passes.
Bloating means you’re also retaining fluid which messes up the hydration balance in the body. As a result, your skin will look older, wrinkled, and dry, which can further disturb the tattooing process. Instead of dairy and sugar, load on food rich in protein and vitamin C, as well as healthy carbs and fibers. Not to mention that it is also a good idea to drink a lot of water, but not too much to cause a pee emergency every 15 minutes during the tattooing session.
It is strongly advised to avoid consuming caffeine before getting a tattoo. Even though caffeine may provide you with a necessary boost to sit through a tattooing session, it will also cause some issues. The effects of caffeine are temporary, but while it is in the body, it does cause some long-term effects as well, like blood thinning and drying of the skin.
Caffeine can also make you jittery and restless, especially if you had too much of it or you combined coffee and energy drinks. Consuming caffeine can also increase your blood sugar levels and inhibit tattoo healing during the first few days when the tattoo should stop bleeding and start drying out.
6. Getting A Razor Cut
This may sound silly, but everybody knows that shaving the hair where the tattoo will be placed is pretty essential. The tattoo artists cannot work properly if the area is too hairy; it can impair the visibility of the tattoo completely.
However, shaving, especially with a razor, can often come together with a razor cut or burn. Unfortunately, getting a razor cut or burn can interfere with the tattooing process significantly. Both act as an open, fresh wound, so the tattoo artist cannot tattoo over an open cut or irritated skin.
7. Avoiding Showering
Every tattoo artist will say that they want their clients to be clean and fresh when they come to get tattoos. By taking a shower and cleaning yourself properly you will avoid smelling and making your tattoo artist uncomfortable. It can be pretty off-putting to smell bad while your tattoo artist is working.
Another thing is that not showering can cause bacterial transfer during the tattooing process. Dirty skin harbors millions of old skin cells and bacteria, which can all end up in your tattooed skin and cause a bacterial infection. This especially applies to cases where the tattoo is placed near armpits or genital area where the skin gets more humidity and sweat.
Not taking a shower is disrespectful to your tattoo artist and can cause you serious issues with your tattoo as well!
8. Wearing Tight Clothes
It is essential to wear loose and comfortable clothes both before and after a tattoo. When you wear comfortable clothes during the tattoo process, you will be able to sit or lay down properly. You won’t cut off the blood flow as if you were sitting in the tightest jeans ever. Plus, you will be able to breathe properly and help your skin breathe as well.
You also need to dress according to the area of your body that is going to be tattooed. This means that if you’re getting a tattoo on your thigh, you won’t wear tights and a skirt, or tight jeans. Instead, you will wear a short dress or shorts. Or, if you’re getting an arm tattoo, you won’t wear a tight, long-sleeve shirt. Instead, you will wear a tank top.
9. Partying The Night Before
Alongside avoiding drinking alcohol before getting a tattoo, you should also avoid staying up all night before your appointment at the tattoo shop. Staying up all night and partying will impair your immune system and make you feel tired, sleepy, restless, jittery, and groggy. You will also be more likely to drink a lot of coffee before your appointment to cover-up your lack of sleep. This can affect your experience while getting tattooed, as well as inhibit proper tattoo healing.
It is essential to be rested, healthy, and not stressed out before getting a tattoo. Instead, your tattooing experience will be much worse than it needs to be. Plus, the pain levels will be significantly emphasized as well. Getting a tattoo is already exhausting on its own, so coming to the session dead tired will only result in an overwhelmingly bad experience (and a painful one as well).
The Bottom Line
Getting a tattoo is not a simple project. You need to be well-rested, hydrated, de-stressed, and mentally as well as physically ready for a tattoo. And, you cannot be ready if you’ve been drinking and partying the night before the appointment, or you’ve been drying out on a beach in the sun. Make sure to take care of yourself and your health before you go and get a tattoo.
Avoid coming to the tattoo shop dirty or sick. It is also recommended to avoid getting a tattoo while you’re on your period. Come to get a tattoo once you’re in the perfect shape, mentally and physically. Otherwise, you will just create health issues, and your tattoo might not turn out good. Moreover, you can make your tattoo artist uncomfortable, or get them in trouble (if you turn out to be drunk during the session).