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What to Expect When Getting a Tattoo


You have finally made the decision and picked the artwork that you would like to be etched into your skin forever. Now, you are probably wondering what to expect when getting a tattoo? It can be a scary experience for the first time, so here are a few things to expect when you walk into the tattoo shop.

ID and Waiver

First thing, the tattoo shop will probably ask for your identification and have you sign a waiver for them. The waiver basically states that you understand all of the risks associated with getting a tattoo, that you are not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and that you do not have any physical condition as to fwhy you should not get a tattoo! It’s pretty much for protection of the tattoo shop/artist.

Skin Prep

Once the legal things are taken care of, the artist will prepare your skin for the tattoo. Any hair will be shaven and your skin will be sprayed with alcohol. The artwork will be drawn onto your skin either by freehand or by tracing the design that you have chosen. Before beginning the inking process, the artist should open the brand new needle in front of you so that you can see it is new.

Tattoo Outline

The first few strokes of the tattoo needle will sting and cause a bit of pain until your body is able to adjust to the pokes. The black outline will be done first. The artist will use a spray bottle filled with germicidal soap to clean any excess ink or blood from the tattooing area. The soap will not burn, and may give you a bit of relief from the needle.

Tattoo Color

The color will be applied last and is normally less painful as the black outline. This could be due to a few things: for one, your body has somewhat adjusted to the needle and your skin almost feels mildly numb, also, the coloring process usually requires a smaller needle.

When the tattoo is finished and cleaned up, you will have a chance to look at the finished product. If you are satisfied with what you see the artist will cover the tattoo with something like saran wrap or some sort of covering. The artist will give you after care instructions telling you how often to clean the tattoo and what kind of ointment to use.

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