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How to properly prepare before getting your tattoo


Getting a tattoo is an exciting and transformative experience, but let's face it, it can also be a bit nerve-wracking, especially if it's your first tattoo. The anticipation of the tattoo needle, the fear of pain, and the desire for a flawless result can all create a swirl of emotions.

However, here's the truth, properly preparing before getting your tattoo can significantly ease those pain points and turn your tattoo journey into a smooth and enjoyable process. In this guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to ensure you're well-prepared, physically and mentally, for your upcoming tattoo appointment.

Why should you prepare yourself before getting a tattoo?

Preparing yourself before getting a tattoo is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it's a permanent or semi-permanent addition to your body, so careful consideration is crucial to ensure you'll be happy with it for years to come.

Researching the design, style, and placement helps you make informed decisions, ensuring the tattoo reflects your personality and values. Moreover, preparing mentally is important; tattoos can be painful, and having a clear mindset and realistic expectations can help you endure the discomfort more easily.

Finally, preparing your body can promote a better healing process and reduce potential complications. Overall, thorough preparation is the key to a satisfying and safe tattoo experience.


tattoo artist doing a leg tattoo


What to do before getting a tattoo

Conduct thorough research 1-3 months ahead

Choosing the right tattoo artist

One of the most critical aspects of preparing for your tattoo journey is finding the right tattoo artist. Not all tattoo artists have the same style or tattoo process, so it's crucial to do your research. Start your quest well in advance, ideally 1-3 months before your desired tattoo date.

Explore local tattoo studios, browse artists' portfolios, and read customer reviews. Instagram is a valuable platform for researching tattoo artists, allowing you to view their work and understand their style.


Once you've identified a potential tattoo artist, schedule a consultation. Meeting your artist in person or via video call allows you to discuss your ideas, expectations, and any concerns you may have.

Building a rapport with your artist is essential for a successful collaboration. Ask questions, share your vision, and listen to their professional advice.

Pay attention to your blood health 1-2 weeks before your appointment

The importance of vitamin K

If your tattoo is in a highly vascularised area, such as the head, neck, or hands, consider adjusting your diet to include foods rich in vitamin K, such as leafy greens (spinach, kale, or Brussels sprouts). Vitamin K can help reduce bleeding during the tattooing process. You can also consume these vegetables by juicing or opting for pre-made green vegetable drinks.

Avoid bleeding agents

Certain supplements can thin your blood and increase bleeding during the tattooing process.

To minimise this risk, avoid supplements containing ginkgo, garlic, ginseng, and vitamin E for at least two weeks before your tattoo appointment. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any significant dietary changes.

Minimise sun exposure 1 week ahead

Sunburned skin is not suitable for tattooing. Therefore, it's crucial to avoid excessive sun exposure one week before leading up to your tattoo appointment. Sunburn can lead to complications and affect the quality of your tattoo. Protect your skin with sunscreen and clothing, and stay in the shade as much as possible.

Moreover, if you have a tan, be aware that the colours of your tattoo may appear differently than they will on your natural skin tone. Plan your tattoo placement carefully to avoid unwanted variations in colour. Discuss this with your tattoo artist during your consultation.

Refrain from drinking alcohol the day prior

One of the most crucial steps before getting a tattoo is to avoid alcohol consumption the day before your appointment. While some people might think a drink or two will help ease nerves, alcohol can thin the blood, which makes you more prone to bleeding during the tattooing process. Increased bleeding can affect the tattoo's precision and quality.


stop drinking alcohol picture


Ensure a good night’s rest the night before

A good night's sleep is not only essential for your overall well-being but also plays a significant role in the tattooing process. A well-rested body and mind can better endure the tattooing experience.

Sleep also supports your immune system, which is vital for healing the tattooed area afterwards. Aim for a full night's sleep to ensure you're physically and mentally prepared for your tattoo session.

Prepare your skin the night before

Taking care of your skin before your tattoo is vital for a smooth process and optimal results. The night before your appointment, ensure the skin in the tattoo area is clean and moisturised. If necessary, shave the area, but be cautious to avoid nicks and cuts.

Tattoo artists often clean and prepare the skin again upon your arrival, but your initial efforts can contribute to a more comfortable experience and better tattoo outcome. Avoid exfoliating your skin, as this can lead to skin irritation and complications.

Stay away from partying, alcohol, and drugs on the day of appointment

The day of your tattoo appointment should be treated with utmost seriousness. It's essential to maintain a clear and focused state of mind. Avoid partying, consuming alcohol, or using drugs on the day of your appointment.

These substances can impair your judgment, alter your perception of pain, and hinder your ability to communicate effectively with the tattoo artist. Staying sober and alert ensures that you are fully engaged in the process and can provide any necessary feedback during the session.

Avoid intense exercise on the day of appointment

While regular exercise benefits your health, engaging in intense physical activity on the same day as your actual tattoo appointment is discouraged. Intense exercise can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate, leading to increased bleeding during the tattooing process.

If you plan to work out, do so well before your appointment and allow sufficient time for your body to return to a resting state.

Maintain a nutritious diet and stay hydrated on the day of appointment

Proper nutrition and hydration are crucial in preparing your body for a tattoo session. On the day of your appointment, make sure to have a balanced and nourishing meal.

Eating a well-balanced diet will help maintain your energy levels throughout the tattooing process and ensure you stay focused. Opt for foods rich in minerals and vitamins to support your overall health.

In addition to a nutritious meal, it's essential to have a well-hydrated skin. Drink plenty of water in the hours leading up to your appointment. Hydration keeps your skin supple and can make the tattooing process more comfortable.

Avoid excessive caffeine or sugary beverages, as they can lead to dehydration. Opt for water or herbal teas to keep your body hydrated and ready for the tattoo session.

Maintain good personal hygiene on the day of appointment

Personal hygiene is a fundamental aspect of ensuring a smooth and respectful tattoo experience for both you and your tattoo artist. On the day of your appointment, take extra care to be clean and hygienic:

  • Shower and cleanse: Start your day with a thorough shower and cleansing. Use a gentle, unscented soap to clean the area where you'll get the tattoo.
  • Fresh clothing: Wear clean and comfortable clothing to your appointment. Choose something that allows easy access to the tattoo area.
  • Oral hygiene: Brush your teeth as well as use mouthwash to make sure your breath is fresh and pleasant during the session. Good oral hygiene is considerate and ensures a positive atmosphere.
  • Nail care: Trim your nails and make sure they are clean. Long or dirty nails can cause discomfort to both you and your tattoo artist.
  • Fragrances: Avoid using strong perfumes or colognes, as some people may be sensitive to scents. A neutral scent or no fragrance at all is a good choice.


MTS Tattoo Balm


So, what's the takeaway?

Preparing yourself before getting a tattoo is crucial to ensure that the experience is both satisfying and safe. By doing so, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a beautiful and meaningful piece of body art that you can cherish for years to come. Remember that the journey of getting a tattoo is just as important as the end result, so make the most of it by being well-prepared.

And speaking of aftercare, once you've got your new tattoo, don't forget to check out our guide on "New tattoo aftercare: How to keep your ink looking great" for essential tips and aftercare products on maintaining the vibrancy and longevity of the tattoo ink. Your body arts deserves the best care, so be sure to explore our comprehensive aftercare guide.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz