Experts Tips on Everything You Need To Know Before Getting A Tattoo.

Categories : Aesthetics

Getting a tattoo is a serious deal and requires the same level of planning and thoughts like would you plan your wedding. If you think about it getting married and getting a tattoo is very similar. Choose the right one and you will happy for the rest of your life but if it was a spur- of- the – moment decision you will end up regretting for the rest of your life. You may think, well I can get it removed easily, let just not get to the removal part because it is not as simple or easy as you may think it is. 

So, to avoid the disappointment of choosing the wrong tattoo or having to remove the tattoo, it is important to take your time and put in lots of thoughts and carefully consider your decision. To give you a better understanding of what to expect, the pain, the style, the things to ask the artist, the aftercare and more, Beauty Insider Malaysia has gathered following expert advice from a couple of top tattoo artists in Malaysia. We suggest you read these expert tips first before making a solid decision about your tattoo. 

1. Know What is A Tattoo and How It Is Done. 

shallow focus photo of person tattooing person's right arm

Before getting to more technical and in-depth topics, let’s start off with the simpler ones like what is a tattoo and how it is done.  it is very important to know the basics to give you a bigger picture of things. Most people would have a general idea of tattooing as a form of body art and that it is permanent. Well, that’s true. A tattoo is a permanent kind of body art. A design is made by puncturing the skin with needles and injecting ink, dyes, and pigments into the deep layer of the skin. 

Basically, a tattoo is a permanent picture of your choice that is drawn on whichever body part of your choice using a needle to penetrate inks into your skin. In the older days, people used a long stick with a needle-like edge to insert the ink into the skin but with technology advancement, today’s tattoo artists use motorized needles and brightly coloured inks and there are many schools where they typically spend years perfecting their skills. 

Today, tattoos may be a taboo but it is one of the oldest forms of body art. Scientists have found evidence of tattoos that dates back approximately 5,200 years ago. Tattoos were a cultural symbol of many ancient civilizations, including Egyptian, Indian, African, Greek, Roman, South American, North American, Japanese and Polynesian. For thousands of years, tattoos have served people as protection, medicine, punishment, symbols of social status, signs of religious or spiritual beliefs, and assigns of love and devotion.

2. Look Out For the Best Tattoo Artists and Parlours.

help me run away rock on GIF by St. Lucia

Make sure the tattoo parlour and artist that you’ve picked has a proper license to run the place. The parlour’s license should be prominently displayed on their website and on the shop wall. A quick Google search will let you know the quality of the parlour and artist. Read other reviews about the place online or just go the place yourself. Check if the place looks clean, go through their past works and talk to their staffs. 

Only book an appointment if you get good vibes from the staffs. You need to be in a comfortable place and surrounded by friendly people that would ease the worry off your shoulder. You should also ask the tattoo artist his background and experience in the field also to make sure he or she has completed the necessary requirements. Hygiene is very important when comes to tattooing so if the artist isn’t using gloves and using the same needles on different people, just leave the place immediately. Click here to find the right tattoo parlour for yourself.

Find the best tattoo parlour in Malaysia, here.

3. Discuss With Your Tattoo Artist on The Design.

Above everything else, you have to know what imagery you want. Remember, a tattoo is permanent hence make sure to get something that is really close to your heart and has deep meaning to you. Want to Make sure to have a core idea of what you want before going in for a consultation with a tattoo artist. If you have a basic idea of the design you want then your artist can work out the finer details. It is better if can show them any images as an inspiration. 

Let’s say you still can’t figure out what design you want, ask your tattoo designer for their inputs. Many tattoo artists have tons of designs they’ve created. Once if you have your dream tattoo picked out, you and your artist can figure out the placement and pricing together.  Let the artist know if you have a place choose and other aspects of the tattoo you’re not willing to change. If you don’t speak up, you’ll get something you didn’t want. 

4. Do Not Worry About The Pain!

breathe slow down GIF by True and the Rainbow Kingdom

The most commonly asked question about tattoos is, are they painful? Well, there’s no definite answer to that question. It depends on the one’s pain endurance and also depends on the size of the tattoo and where on your body it is. Generally, the smaller the tattoo, the lesser it will hurt.  As for the body part, people with tattoo agreed the fleshier parts of your body will hurt the least. 

The most painful parts to get a tattoo are your forehead, ribs, spine, feet, ankles, and your knees. So, if you were planning on getting a tattoo in one of these areas, pop a painkiller in and eat plenty of foods, ahead of your appointment. A full tummy can ease the pain a little so will a painkiller. No matter what you do, make sure you are not drunk when getting a tattoo. Alcohol thins your blood and can make you bleed more during your tattoo. The excess blood can thin the ink and mess with your final result.

Let’s get realistic, no matter where or what tattoo, getting a tattoo is going to give you a slight stinging feel because of the intense vibration from the needle. Just bear with it for the first few minutes, let your adrenaline to kick in and then your body will adapt to the vibration and slowly the pain will fade away. If at any point the pain becomes unbearable, let your artist know. Most artist will stop and allow you to a breather. If you are getting a big tattoo or an intricate design, you can request the artist for multiple tattoo sessions.

5. Diligently Take Care Of Your Tattoo.

Once your tattoo is done, the artist will apply a moisturizing lotion and wrap the wound to keep it away from germs and dirt but you can’t keep the dressing on for too long. You should take it off after a few hours. Remember to wash your hands before removing the dressing. A fresh tattoo is an open wound so any dirt or germs getting on it will slow the healing process.

After you’ve taken the dressing off, wash the tattoo with your artist’s recommended cleanser or a gentle, unscented soap. You should avoid using any soap with fragrances or alcohol, as these ingredients can cause irritation. After washing the tattoo, gently pat the area with a dry and clean towel. Whatever you do, don’t rub! Rubbing can pull at the skin and may cause ink fallout.

If you’re dealing with itchy, dry skin, apply a layer of your artist’s recommended ointment or a gentle, unscented lotion. As with the cleanser, you should avoid using anything with irritants like fragrance or alcohol. Most artists will give you a verbal rundown of how to take care of your new ink and send you home with a handout to reference later. You should always follow your artist’s aftercare instructions.

6. Give Your Tattoo Some Time to Heal.

calm down amber tamblyn GIF by Talk Stoop

Your tattoo will look all shiny and perfect immediately after it’s finished, but that’s not the actual tattoo. Remember, a tattoo is pierced into the skin means what you see right after getting inked is open wound which hasn’t healed. Give it a couple of days to heal and it’ll start to dry out a little bit. You will get a few scabs and it will be itchy, but avoid scratching it or the design won’t heal correctly.

Avoid, doing intense workouts as sweats on a wound can cause irritations. Exposing the freshly-inked tattoo to direct sunlight can fade the colour away. So, apply a good sunscreen over the tattoo. Make sure your skin is always moisturized because dry skin can make the tattoo look dull. 

After around two weeks, your tattoo should be completely healed if you’ve properly cleaned it and took care like what your artists have advised you. Skipping on aftercare can delay the healing process. So, make sure to practise good hygiene and if you still feel irritation after two weeks, immediately go see a doctor.  

Find the best aftercare products for your tattoo, here.

Lastly… 

Tattoos are a great way of self-expression and look beautiful on all skin. They are going to be with forever so make sure to give it all your time and attention without hasting into the decision just because everyone on Instagram are flaunting off theirs.  The last thing you want is to cut corners on price or location and end up in dodgy parlour with a poor artist that gives you a shoddy tattoo that leads to infection. Patience will pay off in the long run, so be sure to explore all of your options until you find what works for you. And if you have a great experience, your first tattoo doesn’t have to be your last! Keep adding to your canvas and embrace the confidence that it gives.