Tattoos - the mere mention sounded something like an alarm bell, until a few years ago - are now gaining popularity, and how! Gone are the days when tattoos were associated with only gangsters and criminals. Ordinary people like you and (soon) me are also getting tattoos. Their acceptance is growing. If you have been contemplating getting yourself inked, you should consider a few things before you decide to do so. Here is a list of things you should be aware of before getting a tattoo.
Facts to Know
Before I begin, here is Tip Number 0: educate yourself about the entire tattooing procedure. Read up about it, talk to people who have had a tattoo inked, go and talk to the tattoo artist too. If you are scared of taking shots, chances are that getting yourself inked might not be a very enjoyable experience! So make sure you have read up on how is a tattoo done before you decide to get one yourself. Now, here are things to consider before getting a tattoo.
It hurts. How much? That is totally subjective. Depending on your tolerance level, getting a tattoo may hurt less or more. But definitely, it is not completely painless.
It Takes Time to Heal
A tattoo takes quite some time to heal. It does not heal as quickly as a piercing does. (In fact some piercings take time to heal as well.) Most definitely the whole affair is not going to be over within a couple of days.
It Takes Quite Some Aftercare
The aftercare that any tattoo requires cannot and should not be compromised on. The key-point of tattoo aftercare is to keep the 'wound' clean and generally free from infection. Many tattoo artists suggest applying ointments or creams to help the wound to heal. Cocoa butter is commonly used.
It Is ABSOLUTELY Permanent
Yes, it is quite possible to remove a tattoo, even a permanent one. But often tattoo removal can leave faint scars on the skin. In all practicality, a tattoo is absolutely permanent! So be sure you think through, and thoroughly, before you actually get a tattoo made.
It Is Going to be Visible
Depending on where you get your tattoo made, it is going to be visible after you put on your clothes. Now some tattoo designs may go well with casual clothes, but they might look out-of-place on a dress, or an evening gown. So make sure you choose the design, as well as the place where you get your tattoo made, carefully.
Facts to Verify
Is It Safe?
Make sure the tattoo artist you plan to go to follows proper tattooing practices. Make sure the tattoo parlor is clean; and most importantly, make sure the tattoo artist uses a fresh new needle for your tattoo. Hygiene and safety should be your top-most priority, while selecting a tattoo artist to get your tattoo made from. Many sexually transmitted diseases and other life-threatening diseases can spread through tattoo needles. Choose wisely.
Is It Legal?
Different cities in the United States, as well as different countries in America and all over the world, have different laws regarding tattoos. Some do not allow people below 18 years of age to get a tattoo at all, while some ask for adult supervision if a minor wants to get a tattoo made, and some ask for written consent from the parents or guardian. Check the legal status in your city and/or country.
Is It Going to Affect Your Life?
Did you know that many people bearing distinctive tattoos are banned from public gymnasiums in Japan? This is because the 'Yakuza' clan of Japan wears tattoos, so anyone entering a gymnasium with a tattoo could be a member of this crime organization. Similarly, some tattoo designs are known to be associated with criminals, some with military men, some with the Russian mafia as well. Tattoos bear a negative connotation even today, though acceptance is increasing. How much is your tattoo (particularly the design) going to affect your daily life? Assess, and act.
Is Your Skin Allergic to Anything?
The inks, dyes and pigments used for tattooing contain such compounds as acridine, azo compounds, quinoline, carbon etc. Tattoo artists are known for mixing various inks available in the market to make their own colors. Do you have an allergy for any of the constituents of tattoo ink or dye? Make sure you clearly inform your tattoo artist and discuss this with him/her before you begin with the tattoo.
Is It at the Right Place?
This is in connection to the trend of getting tattoos made on your face. Many youngsters are now opting for facial tattoos. Even apart from these, tattoos can be placed on such parts of your body as may be concealed by clothes or not. Make sure you consider these points before you get your tattoo made.
Is It the Perfect One?
A tattoo is something very personal, very significant. Often people like to design their own tattoos. These are usually symbolic of something they like, or someone they adore, or a significant period in their life, a significant event too. Are you sure the tattoo design you have picked is one you are never going to 'grow tired' or 'get bored' of? Do not select a design simply because your best friend also has it. It is best to design your tattoo when you are in a neutral mood, as no transitional feelings will affect your design.
One important thing I would like to say here, if you are getting yourself inked, do NOT hide it from your parents. It is best to inform them before getting a tattoo, rather than waiting for them to find out on their own at the beach party next summer! They may not be happy and may not shy away from telling that to you. But 'informed and upset' is better than 'uninformed and furious'! Once you have considered the above pointers, you are good to go. Finally, take a second opinion on the tattoo design and the place on your body where you are going to get it made. You can talk to a friend regarding the design. You can talk to the tattoo artist regarding the place, he can tell you where it will hurt less, if you are concerned about the pain.