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  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water, especially the day of and day before your appointment. Hydration helps your skin absorb ink more easily, which can lead to a smoother, less painful process. Bring a water bottle with you.

  • Eat well: Eat healthy meals and nourishing foods. A big breakfast or substantial lunch is never a bad idea on the day of your appointment. Bring snacks with you too. A little sugar and some protein can do wonders to help get you over the hump during a longer tattoo session,

  • Avoid alcohol* and aspirin: These thin your blood, which can cause excessive bleeding and ink weeping. *Having a drink prior to your appointment to calm your nerves isn’t a deal breaker, but getting hammered the night before or coming to your appointment drunk is unacceptable and a waste of everyone’s time. Everything in moderation, including your favorite mind altering substances. If you can’t maintain and sit still, it’s going to be a bad time. 

  • Get some rest: Even though you’ll be just sitting still while you’re being tattooed your body will be pumping out adrenaline and endorphins and will feel pretty drained after a long session. A good night’s sleep beforehand will help with that

  • Protect your skin: Avoid exfoliating scrubs and excessive sun exposure. Coming in with a sunburn is going to be a deal breaker. Plan to stay away from tanning beds and the beach afterwards as well. The sun is your mortal enemy while you heal!

  • Moisturize: Apply moisturizer daily for a week before your appointment. This helps your skin absorb ink more easily, which can lead to a smoother tattoo and overall healing process.

  • Dress comfortably: Wear layers so you can remove them if you get hot or add them if you feel cold. Wear clothes you’re not overly worried about getting ink on. It can get messy! The artist will do their best to provide you with coverage so that you will expose the minimum amount of necessary skin to get your tattoo, but bringing along clothing that will help in that regard would be appreciated. 

  • Numbing creams and sprays are more prevalent than ever before. However they are not all created equal. Let your artist know if you have used or want to use a product beforehand. Some ointments will literally change the texture of your skin and affect how it takes and holds ink and that can ruin your tattoo experience and results.

  • Tattoo Flu: Some people may experience the “Tattoo Flu” or “Needle Shock” after a particularly grueling session. You may experience flu-like symptoms, exhaustion, the shakes, lethargy, etc. for several hours afterwards. Your body is in shock and it will pass. Rest, good nutrition and no strenuous activities will help. Pamper yourself. 

Following these basic rules will ensure you have a better experience during and after your tattoo session. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your tattoo, please reach out to your artist

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