The decision to get a tattoo is a big one – particularly if it’s your first; you might have questions about selecting tattoo designs, finding just the right artist, and more. Here are some FAQs designed to help you through the process and make the decision that’s right for you.

How much does it hurt to get a tattoo?

When it comes right down to it, that’s what most first timers really want to know! The amount of discomfort varies depending on location and also the pain tolerance of each individual client. It also depends on how you’re feeling – if you’re sick or feeling tired or a bit down, you can be a bit more sensitive to the pain. We’ve found the sorest areas to be the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. Other areas that tend to be a bit more painful than others are the armpit and ribs, however these areas are still quite bearable. Other factors that can make a difference to the level of pain is the tattoo design itself – lining produces a different sensation from blocks of colour and some people prefer one over the other. Tattoo artists’ technique can also play a part in the amount of pain a client can experience, as with a large tattoo, going back over freshly tattooed skin an hour or so later can be rather uncomfortable. Here at Visual Intelligence, Aaron does everything he can to make his client’s tattoo session as comfortable as possible.

Is it safe to get a tattoo?

Going to a professional tattoo studio where the proper equipment is used and with the correct sterilisation methods, getting a tattoo is very safe. We pride ourselves in our sterilisation methods and use autoclave sterilisation for all stainless steel grips and tips together with single-use disposable equipment and needles. All needles are opened in front of our clients and are disposed of by a professional company specialising in hazardous waste disposal. Isopropyl alcohol is used to wipe down all surfaces before and after each client. When choosing a tattoo studio, don’t be afraid to ask about their safety policies.

How much does it cost?

Tattoo prices vary according to the design, size and the time it takes to tattoo. Of course, a larger and more complex design will cost more than a smaller, more simple one. For a design that can be done in a single session, it will be priced based on size whereas larger work which requires multiple sessions will be priced at an hourly rate payable upon completion of each session. We have a minimum charge of $100.

I’ve heard that tattoos don’t look so good after a few years. Is that true?

If done correctly by a professional using good quality ink and equipment, your tattoo will look great for many years, however it starts with the client making sure they follow proper aftercare instructions during the healing process. Keep in mind that any tattoo may fade over time but it’s important to look after your tattoo and to use sunscreen whenever you go outdoors as the sun is one of the biggest causes of ink to fade prematurely. You go through the pain and cost of getting your tattoo, you want your tattoo to look as good as it possibly can for as long as it possibly can!

How old do I have to be to get a tattoo?

The age requirement for our studio is 18 years. Parental consent is required for anyone who is 16 or 17 years old. This means the parent will need to accompany their child into our studio and complete a parental form consenting to the tattoo procedure. We will not tattoo anyone under the age of 16 years – no exceptions.

When should I not get a tattoo?

We will not tattoo anyone who is drunk or under the influence of any other substance. It’s also advisable to not get tattooed while you’re sick – not only is this for your own benefit, but the benefit of ourselves who don’t want to get sick! The other reason for not getting a tattoo is if you’re unsure. Wait until you’re 100% sure it’s what you want before making that booking.

I’ve heard that getting tattoos can be addictive. Is that true?

It’s certainly true for a lot of our clients that once you get one, you’re very likely to get another! For some, the excitement of getting a tattoo is a similar feeling to those who love to go shopping!

Tattoo Aftercare - How to Take Care of Your New Tattoo

It is important that you follow these after-care instructions, as it will give you the best results for your tattoo:

  1. If possible, try to get to a shower within two hours of being tattooed.
  2. Gently wash the tattooed area with a mild soap using your hand, then rinse under shower.
  3. Slowly turn the heat up on your tattoo until it’s slightly hotter. It will sting but get use to this heat then turn it up a little more. Keep doing this slowly until the heat is no longer bearable. This process will clean and get rid of any blood or excess ink that has dried on the skin.
  4. Pat dry with a clean, dry towel.
  5. Apply tattoo aftercare cream of your choice with clean hands and gently rub in.
  6. The next morning, follow the above shower instructions again. You may find that pj’s or sheets may have stuck to your tattoo during the night – be careful when pulling off!

Keep applying the aftercare cream until your tattoo is fully healed (generally 10-14 days). Apply the cream when your tattoo looks dry, approx 3-4 times a day. Always wash hands before and after applying cream.

DO NOT pick at your tattoo! This may pull ink out while it’s trying to heal. You may find that your tattoo can get quite itchy while it’s healing, DO NOT scratch your tattoo! DO NOT swim at the beach or the swimming pool while your tattoo is healing. You may go swimming after it has fully healed (14 days). ALWAYS use sunblock if you are going out in the sun, after your tattoo has healed. And lastly, personal hygiene is a must!!!

Disclaimer

These guidelines are based on a combination of vast professional experience, common sense, research, and extensive clinical practice. This is not to be considered a substitute for medical advice from a doctor. If you suspect an infection, seek medical attention. Be aware that many doctors have not received specific training regarding tattooing. Your tattooist may be able to refer you to a tattoo friendly doctor.