Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Design

Before choosing a tattoo, you need to consider the type of design you want. Do you want something that symbolizes your heritage, your religion or spirituality? Or do you want a tattoo of your favorite sport or animal? You will need to consider all of these things and more when deciding on your first tattoo. You will also need to consider the popularity of the design. Crosses, skulls, butterflies, and roses are examples of very common tattoos. Make sure you are okay with seeing several other people with similar designs if you choose one of these for your first tattoo. Try to think of ways to make the tattoo a little different than others with colors and other elements.

Tattoo colors are also something to consider. Do you want black, dark blue, or do you want vivid colors of the rainbow in your tattoo? Your skin tone will play an important role in the colors for your tattoo. If you’re choosing to have Japanese or Chinese calligraphy or other symbols done, make sure you do enough research to make sure the symbol means exactly what you think it does. There is nothing worse than getting an awesome looking tattoo, then finding out it means something terrible and embarrassing. Take your time to find the perfect design for you and your unique taste and to make sure you get exactly what you are expecting.

Location

Deciding on where to get your first tattoo is just as important as the design itself. For first tattoos, it is highly recommended you choose a location that is easy to reach for cleaning purposes. Try not to select an area that may get rubbed by belts or undergarments. These locations can cause irritation and infection easier than other areas, especially for your first tattoo. It is always wise to find a place your tattoo will look great, but also gives you easy access for cleaning purposes. You should also choose an area where you can easily see your tattoo, particularly when it’s your first one. You will want to be able to see the healing process of your tattoo and how the colors progress from day to day.

You should avoid getting a first tattoo on your hands, neck, and face. These locations require special care and you should also check with your employer to see if tattoos in these areas are prohibited. If you have to take extra measures in order to cover up your tattoo, then you shouldn’t choose that area. Getting a tattoo on your foot can also require a bit more maintenance than other locations. If you’ve chosen to get a tattoo on your foot, make sure you’ll be able to go barefooted as much as possible for up to three months after the tattoo. If you must wear shoes, avoid socks and shoes that cover the top of the foot. Loafers and flats are great shoes to wear when your foot tattoo is still healing.

Size

For your first ink experience, getting a small tattoo may be the wisest choice. Smaller tattoos will not take as long for the tattoo artist to complete and you will not bleed as much as you would with a larger tattoo. The bigger the tattoo, the harder it is to clean and keep clean. With more surface area covered by a larger tattoo, there is more possibility of the sensitive skin rubbing on clothing and getting infected. Another perk of getting a smaller tattoo is the time. The bigger the tattoo, the longer it will take to get the tattoo finished.

Since this is your first tattoo, a smaller design will help you determine your pain tolerance. If your first tattoo is huge, you may not be able to endure the discomfort as long as you need to. This could result in an unfinished tattoo or you may need to make several different trips to the parlor in order to have it finished. Keep in mind that if you want a colorful tattoo, you will need to get a bigger design. Color ink tends to bleed into other inks, so it is not a wise decision to have several different colors in a small area. A smaller tattoo equals a smaller price tag. You may not want to spend a lot of money on your first tattoo. See how you like the experience and save up to get a bigger design on tattoo #2.

Henna

If you’re still not sure about getting permanent ink, try a henna tattoo. If you have the design, size, and location figured out, but are still undecided about going through with the actual tattoo, henna can be a life saver. Getting a henna tattoo will let you see the tattoo on your body with the option of washing it off. If you love the look and feel of it, you know you are ready to get the real thing. If you still feel apprehensive, you should probably wait a little longer before getting a tattoo. Regretting a tattoo is the last thing you want, so be 100% confident before making your decision.

Religious Aspects

Another thing you will need to consider before making a decision on getting your first tattoo is your religious beliefs. Many religions believe that getting a tattoo is considered to be a sin against your own body. Other religions (like Judaism) may even restrict you from being buried in their cemeteries if you have a tattoo. Consider the way your religion views tattoos and decide if you can live with your decision. Getting a tattoo is never without some judgment. Make sure you can endure that judgment before having your first tattoo done.

Ask for Advice

Talk to friends and see what they think. If some of your friends already have tattoos, ask them for advice in every aspect of the tattoo process. Find out which areas were the most painful to get and the most difficult to clean. Ask if they have any suggestions for the best size to get and ask how long it took them to get their tattoos. You will want to have a good idea on how much time you will be spending in the tattoo parlor. Get all the advice you can so that you can mentally prepare yourself for your upcoming tattoo.

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