How does the tattoo process work, and does getting a tattoo hurt? The application process of tattooing requires a needle that goes under the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and delivers ink into the dermis (middle layer of skin), which contains nerves and blood vessels. It does hurt, especially in areas of your body that are sensitive, such has the stomach, ribs, feet, armpits, head, neck, hands, etc. Tattoo inks consist of pigments made from various minerals and a carrier. Tattoo inks are most similar to watercolor paint as far as consistency goes. This also includes its ability to mix with its background. Whatever pigment your skin is, the ink color will be on top of that, meaning that pale skin will generally show any color, while certain lighter colors will not show up well on darker skin tones. How much is it going to cost? This will 100% depend on the size, the detail, and the placement of your tattoo. Looking for cheap tattoos is never a good idea, as you'll probably have to spend a lot more later to cover it up because it was done in a cheap fashion. I may be able to give you a ballpark answer, but please be overly-prepared rather than not prepared financially. Tattoos are an accessory, and like a designer bag, you should not buy one if you cannot afford it. What is your pricing? Our shop minimum is $100, and our artists' hourly rates vary between $150-$200. Is it possible to cover an old tattoo? It is , but we will have to go darker and bigger. Traditionally, black was the main color used in cover ups, however, certain cover ups will be able to hold reds, blues, and greens, as well as certain browns, purples, and oranges. The older and lighter tattoo is, the easier it will be able to cover. How should I prepare for my tattoo session? Please be well rested, hydrated, and have eaten a good amount recently before going under the needle. We also recommend that you bring a water bottle and snacks that you can nibble on to keep your blood sugar up, because blood pressure and blood sugar tend to drop dramatically during a tattoo. Please shower beforehand. Do not be under the influence of any drugs or medications, especially anything that thins your blood like alcohol or certain pain medications. What is your touch-up policy? During the first year after your tattoo has been finished, you will get one free touch up as long as aftercare instructions were followed. Touch ups are to make the tattoo look absolutely perfect after the healing process. You are expected to take care of your tattoo, so if it looks faded due to sun exposure, you will be required to pay for the touch up. The only body parts that do not get free touch ups are fingers. I will try to talk you out of getting a finger tattoo, and after reading the above information about the risks of finger tattoos, it's on you to understand that. Can you draw up a design so that I can have a different tattoo artist put it on me? Absolutely not. This is insulting to ask any tattoo artist, so please refrain from doing so. If I am under 18, will you tattoo me with a parent's consent? Unfortunately, I will tell you to wait to book until you turn 18. Often when thinking up ideas before your legal age hits, it may lead you to tattoos that would not be suitable for future career choices, or that you would mentally grow out of and later regret. Unlike semi-permanent piercings, tattoo ideas are not something you should rush just to "look cool," so please think of it as a lifelong commitment.
Aftercare Info A tattoo normally takes 7- 14 days to look fully healed, depending on the type, size and placement. For most people it usually takes up to a month for a tattoo to be fully healed below the surface of the skin, but everyone heals at different paces.
Bandaging When your artist finishes your tattoo, they usually clean the tattoo with some green soap, water, and may use a little witch hazel before they take a picture. Before bandaging you up the tattoo artist may apply a thin layer of an appropriate ointment. Some ointments can cause the skin to break out in a rash or get pimply. If this happens, stop using the ointment immediately!! *Leave bandage on for about 4 hours. If you have allergies to adhesives make sure that you let your tattoo artist know or bring your own tape.
How long do you have to leave the bandage on? Your tattoo will continue to excrete bodily fluids between 4-12 hours after tattoo completion (depending on size and location). Immediately after taking the bandage off, you will need to thoroughly clean the tattoo with very warm water and antibacterial, unscented soap. The only thing that you want to use to wash it is a non-scented anti-bacterial soap. Do not at any time use soaps with fragrance. When washing, you want to make sure that you are only using your clean hands to do the washing, and do not scrub with anything, but you do want to remove any fluids, ointments, etc. If you have to, pat it dry and do not rub. Thoroughly clean You must also avoid soaking in any pool of water for the next two weeks. Do not expose the tattoo to the sun for the next two weeks in any way. After the full two weeks, you must always keep a layer of sunscreen on the tattoo at all times when in the sun. This will protect it from sun damage that UV rays will cause to the pigment in your tattoo. When you apply lotion, use only enough to moisturize the tattoo, dab off the excess with a paper towel. You want to only put on enough ointment for your skin to absorb the ointment (just how you would apply lotion to normal skin). The following two to three weeks, apply lotion throughout the day. Please keep your tattoo moisturized at all times to avoid it from getting dried out and flaky. Your tattoo push out some bodily fluid and ink the first night/day. Be careful what you wear to sleep and how you sleep. Do not sleep on your new tattoo. Try to wear loose clothing over the next few days and don’t wear anything that will irritate or rub on the tattoo. The more air the tattoo gets, the faster it will heal.
Stay out of swimming pools, hot tubs, the ocean, lakes, baths, or any pool of water. Stay out of the sun and dirty/dusty places until your tattoo is completely healed (2-4 weeks). You should not exercise for the first four days after your tattoo. Sweat can irritate your tattoo and move bacteria from other parts of your body onto the new tattoo. Once you begin working out again, be sure to clean the tattoo off really well as soon as you've completed your workout. Constant moving/stretching of the skin will also damage your new tattoo. A new tattoo is an open wound and you should use caution in your daily activities to avoid infection.
Starting between the three to four days after receiving the tattoo, your skin will peel and become itchy. This is totally normal, and keep making sure the tattoo remains moisturized. The entire healing process will take up to six weeks. Do not hesitate to ask questions about your tattoo. After the tattoo has healed, always use a sunblock with spf 50 or higher on your tattoo to prolong the longevity of your artwork for the years to come. In addition to avoiding sun exposure to the tattoo, during the first several weeks do not put sunscreen on your not yet healed tattoo. There are chemicals in sunscreen that will cause your tattoo to become itchy and potentially heal improperly, so please avoid the sun altogether if you can. Caution: Petroleum based products have a high zinc content which promotes the healing too fast and helps pull the ink out of your skin instead of allowing your body to lock in the ink particles.
SLEEPING: Do not re-bandage your tattoo! Your skin needs to breathe in order to encourage and speed up the healing process. If you get a tattoo on your back, sleep on your belly for a few days or the other way around. If you can sleep with your tattoo exposed, please do. You may want to have separate sheets for when you have a new tattoo, as ink may stain them . It's a good idea to sleep with clean sheets as you heal to minimize bacterial exposure. You may also place a clean lint-free towel between your tattooed skin and the sheets. If your sheets are stuck to your fresh tattoo, soak it off with cool or lukewarm water.
CLOTHING: Depending on where you get your tattoo, it's a good idea to wear loose fitting clothing, or leave the area exposed. Your tattoo needs to breathe! Tight clothing can keep that from happening. Do not re-bandage your tattoo, but if you are in a working environment that risks contact with harmful chemicals, a germ-filled situation, or just things coming in constant contact with your tattoo, loose fitting clothes can be your best friend. If that isn’t possible, then a loose bandage, put on at the last moment and removed at the earliest possible moment may be the best option. If you do have to take this route, make sure that you wash the tattoo after removing the bandage, let it air dry for a little while and re-apply your lotion.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Avoid excessive sweating, saunas, steam baths, and gym workouts that may compromise your artwork. We recommend waiting at least four days
INFECTIONS: FOLLOW ALL OF OUR AFTER CARE INSTRUCTIONS TO AVOID INFECTIONS. Some tell-tale signs of an infection include a red haze surrounding the tattoo after a few days and it may be accompanied by a white haze over the tattoo, extreme scabbing, yellow or green oozing of pus, bad smell, significant heat radiating from tattoo site, excessive swelling, indentations in the surface of the tattoo, or lines of red or black branching out from the tattoo. Know that it is possible for you do everything correctly and your tattooist to do everything correctly and still get an infection. If you think you are having a reaction or a problem, be sure to contact your tattoo artist immediately.
RED DYE REACTION: There is a small percentage of people that can get something called “Red Dye Reaction.” This is generally for people with extremely sensitive skin. If you have metal allergies this can be warning sign that you may have red ink issues. Cheap metal compounds usually contain nickel, and red tattoo ink usually has nickel in it. The red ink would not want to heal and could form craters, looking like a bad infection. If you feel that you have a nickel allergy and fall into this category, then let your artist know. You can choose a different tattoo ink brand or color, or do a very small test spot and wait to finish your tattoo until you have solid results.
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