Pre-tattoo preparation guide

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At the start of the new year, it’s time to break old habits. I will be the first to admit in the past I have not prepared properly for my tattoos, and it has made the experience harder. Rushing around the morning before, not getting any decent food in, and forgetting to drink any water all add up to feeling weak and unprepared for the tattooing ahead.

This year, let's prevent bad sessions. Here is our guide to prepare you for your upcoming tattoo.

  • Be hydrated
  • Prepare your skin
  • Get a good night's sleep
  • Eat well before
  • Bring snacks and water
  • Wear comfortable clothing

Be hydrated

Hydration is important all of the time, of course. But before a tattoo, make sure to load up on water. It’s likely that during the tattoo you won’t drink a whole lot, but being dehydrated could lead to feeling faint and unwell during your session. Staying hydrated is also important for preventing dry, flakey skin, which won’t make your tattoo any easier.


Prepare your skin

Speaking of avoiding flakey skin, implementing a good skincare routine is also important in the lead up to your tattoo. In the days before your appointment, use a good moisturiser to get your skin ready for its new ink. But, it’s best not to moisturise immediately before a session, as any residue on your skin could interfere with the tattooing process. 

Get a good night's sleep

Doing anything when you’re overtired is hard, but sleep is crucial before a tattoo so that you can be aware of how your body is reacting. Some people also find that getting tattooed on little sleep can cause it to hurt more, but of course this varies for each individual. Regardless, being well rested is always a good thing and could make your session easier.

Eat a balanced meal beforehand

While getting tattooed feels like you aren’t doing much, your body is actually expending a lot of energy during the process. Getting a tattoo is causing trauma to your body, so it’s super important to have enough energy to get through without having your blood sugar drop too low, which could cause it to feel more painful. Plus, the last thing you want while getting a permanent piece of artwork on your body is to be shaking the whole way through. 

Get some protein and complex carbohydrates in, they will give you energy that lasts longer and won’t spike and fall too quickly. It has also been shown in studies that vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) helps with wound healing and boosts your immune system, so try to eat some vitamin C rich foods before and after your session.

Bring snacks

On the same topic, if you know you are in for a long session it’s a good idea to bring some healthy snacks and drinks along with you. Nuts or protein bars are a good idea, rather than sugary sweets, to avoid intense blood sugar spikes. You will feel like you are dying for something sugary afterwards, so I usually bring a bottle of pure orange or apple juice, but you could treat yourself to a can of fizzy drink. You’ve probably earned it. 

Wear comfortable clothing

This one is important; think about where you are getting tattooed. Getting a thigh piece? Don’t wear skinny jeans then. Soft, loose, practical clothing is usually best; it’s easy to move and won’t be rough on your skin afterwards. Putting a bit of thought into your outfit can save you a whole lot of hassle on the day.

Hopefully this guide will help you get ready for your next tattoo. One last tip: remember to get cash out before your appointment. Don't be that guy.