What to Know Before Getting Your First Tattoo
This is a good place to start if you’ve never gotten a tattoo before, or if you simply have questions that you never got around to asking. To learn more about our studio, you can take a look at our FAQ. Also, to learn specifics about how to prepare for your tattoo and take care of it, please take the time to read over our before and aftercare instructions.
Is there an age requirement?
In California, the minimum age to get a tattoo is 18. Parents cannot override this law with their permission. Please bring a photo ID with you to your appointment.
Does getting a tattoo hurt?
Yes, but to varying degrees. The pain from receiving a tattoo is personal and hard to describe to the inexperienced. Location, health, age, and hormones can all impact how your session feels. We have clients who have been working with us monthly for years, who describe it as a changing sensation. Some say it is easier when younger, while others say that it gets easier as you get older. Some think that if you can see the work as it’s done, it hurts less, while others say the opposite, or that it makes no difference at all. However, we have never had a client ask for a tattoo to be stopped and not finish it. It is a type of pain that can be managed; it’s simply part of the experience.
Will my tattoo fade?
All pigments can fade, some more than others. How you care for your tattoo will impact how well it lasts. Welders’ arms are notoriously difficult to keep ink in due to the UV exposure. Tanning booths can also cause premature aging of a tattoo. Sunscreen is always a good idea on a healed tattoo. If you live somewhere as sunny as California, like we do, you might just want to be liberal with the sunscreen all over.
When is the best time to get tattooed?
When you are ready. We do encourage people to try and schedule a tattoo for when they won’t be in the sun or water, to allow for ample healing time. In our area people tend to prefer winter, when a big sweater will keep the tattoo protected from the sun. However, if you are in a super cold area, the thought of goosebumps on a fresh tattoo may make you opt for spring instead.
Summer is when most people see everyone’s ink out and on display and start getting inspired. But if you opt for summertime, be sure to give yourself the time to heal before you head out on that big summer adventure. There’s nothing worse than going with your buddies to Hawaii and having to hide inside while they play in the sand and surf.
Is it okay to get tattooed when I’m sick?
Please don’t. Your body needs its immune system to be at 100% to heal your tattoo and keep you infection-free. If your body is already fighting to keep a cold at bay, you run the risk of not having your tattoo heal right. Also, it is inconsiderate to pass on your illness to the artists and other clients getting tattooed.
We know that some of our artists have wait lists that are several years long, but they will try to accommodate for your illness and get you in once you are better. They would much rather reschedule you, than have to reschedule a week’s worth of clients if they catch your cold.
Can I get tattooed while pregnant or breastfeeding?
We would prefer not to work on someone who is breastfeeding or expecting, and would greatly appreciate it if you are honest with us about it. A pregnant or nursing woman is not only caring for her own immune system, but that of her child’s as well. Just give it some time. You won’t be the first person for whom we’ve had to move an appointment back a year.
Are tattoos safe?
We autoclave all reusable equipment after each use. Our preference is pre-sterilized disposable equipment whenever possible. We buy our tattoo inks from reputable companies who sell to businesses in the industry. As independent contractors, our artists are free to choose the products they feel best works for them, while upholding our studio’s safety standards, as well as state and federal requirements. Please let your artist know if you have any specific questions, allergies, or health conditions.
Are tattoos permanent?
That is the goal. Sun exposure and poor aftercare can damage your tattoo. Tattoos on locations such as hands and feet may eventually fade away completely. However, don’t use this possibility as a way of getting a temporary tattoo. Depending on skin type and other factors, even poorly cared for tattoos can sometimes last for decades.
What colors are best for my skin color?
Our skin’s pigment is kept in a layer of skin just above where the tattoo ink heals. This means that darker skin can create a filter that appears to mute some of the colors. They are still there under the skin, but some of the contrast might be lost. If you are concerned about what would show best for you, please schedule an appointment with your artist.