How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo Session

We’ve all been there. You’re about to get your first tattoo and you are full of questions. “How much will it hurt?“, “Should I shave the area“, “What to do before the session“… Lucky you, you’re in the right place to get your tattoo related questions answered.

Your first tattoo is a big deal and you should be well prepared for it. Hopefully, before you got to this point, you already did some steps to prevent a bad tattoo experience, but let’s go through the checklist real quick:

  • Pick the Right Placement for Your First Tattoo
  • Pick the Right Design for Your First Tattoo
  • Find the Right Tattoo Artist for Your First Tattoo
  • Ask Questions

All done? Right, let’s get ready for your first ever tattoo session. There is no difference between getting your first or your 21-st tattoo as far as preparation goes. The only difference is, the more tattoos you get, the more comfortable and relaxed you are about the whole process. People with multiple tattoos will tell you to “relax and enjoy the process”, and you should take their advice, but also make sure you are well prepared. There are certain things you should do ahead your appointment, and certain things to keep in mind on the very day of getting the tattoo. Don’t forget about tattoo aftercare, and make sure you go through our article on what happens during your tattoo session.

In this post we will cover what you should keep in mind before and on the day of the tattoo appointment.

How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo Session – Before the Appointment

Protect Your Skin from Sunburns and Damage

Sun burnt skin is damaged and it’s definitely not a good idea to get a tattoo done on freshly damaged skin. The risks are numerous, and not only will your body have a really hard time working to repair bot the sun damage and the damage caused by the tattoo, it will leave your skin open to complications such as infections and scaring. The tattooing will also be affected, as damaged skin is more difficult to work with for the artist. Same goes for any fresh scars and cuts. If you had an accident, consult with your artist before going in for the appointment.

Moisturize Intensively

It makes a lot of sense to intensify your moisturizing routine a couple of weeks ahead of your appointment. If you’re not moisturizing, it’s time to get friendly wit some skin care, you’ll need it if you plan on keeping your tattoos looking fresh in the future. Moisturizing will make you skin more supple and easier to work on for your tattoo artist, and that will help the artist make a better tattoo for you. No special tips on how to do it, just apply your skin care product of choice to the area where the tattoo will be placed, and do it regularly for a couple of weeks before the appointment. Getting compliments for you radiant sink will be an added bonus.

Let us help you with your tattoo. Get assistance from experts and a free consultation with tattoo artists in your area.

Stay Hydrated

Your skin will also benefit from some internal moisturization, so make sure you stay hydrated leading up to and including the day of your appointment. Not only will your skin be healthier, it will help you feel better through the process of getting the tattoo.

Get Plenty of Rest, DO NOT Drink or use Drugs

The night before the appointment, make sure you go to bed early and get plenty of rest. Your body will be better prepared for the shock it will have to endure when it gets pricked thousands of times during the tattooing process. It will hurt much more if your body is not well rested.

Alcohol often leads to bad choices, especially when your skin is about to get pricked. The alcohol will thin your blood, and that can result in more bleeding while getting tattooed. Also, you will probably be denied service and lose your deposit if the artist notices you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Feeling Sick? Call your Artist

Not only will you feel shitty getting the tattoo, if you’re not feeling well chances are you are contagious, and bringing your illness to a tattoo shop is a terrible thing to do. Phone your artist or the shop, let them know you are not feeling well and get that appointment rescheduled.

How to Prepare for Your First Tattoo Session – On the Day of the Appointment

Have Cash on You

Before going in for the appointment, (unless you opted for a walk-in tattoo) make sure to ask your artist how much will you be charged on the day, and check if they take cash or credit. Most places will only take cash. Make sure to bring a little extra in case you end up getting a longer session or some last-minute changes to the design. Also, please tip your tattoo artist! Keep some money on hand for any tattoo after-care products. You’ll also probably need money for other things, like water and snacks.

Eat and Bring Snacks

Always eat well beforehand and bring snacks and water to your tattoo session! A sugary snack and plenty of water will help keep your blood sugars high and help you through a painful session in case you’re feeling a bit light headed – it happens everyone.

Mind Your Hygiene

Your tattoo artist will get pretty close and personal with certain areas of your body, so keep that in mind and make sure you clean up properly. Also, don’t bathe in perfumes.

Let us help you with your tattoo. Get assistance from experts and a free consultation with tattoo artists in your area.

Do not Shave the Area

There’s no need for you to shave the are where the tattoo will be applied, the artist will do it for you, it’s a part of their routine. Doing it yourself, you might end up with a cut or a razor burn, and as we said earlier, you don’t want that.

Don’t Wear Your Best Clothes

Some ink or even blood might end up on your clothes, so make sure you wear something you don’t mind getting ruined. If you’re going in for a longer session, wear something comfortable.

Bring Your ID

You’ll be asked to confirm you are legal of age to get the tattoo, so make sure you have a valid ID with a picture, passport… something to prove your age.

Should I use Tattoo Numbing Products or Pain Relief

Pain relief products, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, can thin your blood and cause more bleeding. Tattoo numbing products should be discussed with your artist before going in for the appointment.


Make sure you are well prepared for your tattoo session, and just relax. Getting the tattoo is a major part of the experience so just enjoy it!


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