Tattoo Advice and Etiquette

Tattoo Etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts of Getting a Tattoo

Knowing the proper etiquette is essential if you’re considering getting a tattoo. There are certain dos and don’ts that you should follow to ensure that the experience is a positive one for both you and your tattoo artist.

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Tattoos are more popular than ever, with nearly one-third of Americans sporting at least one. Are you thinking of getting a tattoo? If so, congratulations! 

Tattoos are a beautiful way to express yourself and commemorate important moments in your life. And how essential it is to find the best tattoo artist in your area. Several resources like Ink-Match gathered talented tattoo artists in one place for you to look at them, watch their portfolios, and easily choose the best one.

However, before you head to the nearest tattoo shop, there are some things you need to know about tattoo etiquette. This article will discuss the dos and don’ts of getting a tattoo. So if you’re ready to get inked, keep reading!

Dos and don’ts before the meeting

If you want to have an enjoyable experience and not be disappointed in the result, there are a few things you should and should not do before getting a tattoo.

Please don’t make it spontaneously

You may have the urge to get a tattoo on a whim, but don’t be tempted! A tattoo is forever, so it is essential to take the time to think about what you want and where you want it done. Once you’ve made up your mind, do your research and find a reputable master who can make your vision a reality.

Do your analysis 

You want to be sure you’re getting a quality tattoo that you’ll be happy with for years. Here are some things to keep in mind when doing your research:

  • Design: Decide what you want your tattoo to represent or symbolize. Choose the style and size of the tattoo. Do some sketches or look online for inspiration. 
  • Artist: Not all artists are created equal. Look at their work, make sure their style is compatible with what you’re looking for, and read reviews (if available). It’s crucial to find an artist who you’re comfortable with and who has a style you like.
  • Shop: Research the shop where your tattoo artist works. Make sure it’s clean and reputable. Read reviews and talk to people who have been there.
  • Cost: Tattoos are an investment, so be prepared to spend money. Shop around for prices, and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the artist for a better price.

Do you think about the location?

Placement is vital when it comes to tattoos. Here are some tips about it:

  • Make sure the tattoo is in an area you can easily show or hide, depending on the situation.
  • Whether the tattoo will stretch as you age, some areas of the body are more prone to stretching than others, so keep that in mind when choosing a location.
  • Think about how easy (or difficult) it will be to take care of the tattoo after. 

These are all things to consider before making your final decision on placement.

Do the consultation in the tattoo shop

If you’re considering getting a tattoo, schedule a consultation at a reputable tattoo shop. It will allow you to meet the artist and get a feel for the shop’s atmosphere and professionalism. It is your chance to tell them what you’re looking for and get their input on placement, size, and design. 

During the consultation:

  • Be prepared to answer questions: The more information the artist has about what you want, the better they can design a tattoo that’s right for you. 
  • Ask questions about the artist’s experience, sterilization procedures, aftercare instructions, etc. Feeling comfortable with the artist and the shop is essential before moving forward with a tattoo.
  • Take some time to look around the shop and observe how clean it is. A clean and sterile environment is crucial for preventing infection.

Dos and don’ts during the day-X

After your research, all preparations, and consultations, it’s time to get the appointment to make your tattoo. Arrive at your tattoo appointment on time. The artists are usually very busy, and running behind schedule can throw off their day. Arriving on time will help make sure that your tattoo is done right and on time. And there are e few things you should remember during this day.

Do your hygiene

It is seriously the most important thing. If you are not clean, the tattoo will not heal properly and can get infected easily. The artist will not tattoo you if they think you are not clean enough. So make sure to:

  • Take a shower, shave (if necessary), and generally just be as clean as possible before your appointment.
  • Don’t sunbathe or use a tanning bed before getting a tattoo. A fresh tan looks great, but it can make it harder for the artist to see what they’re doing.
  • Don’t put any lotions, oils, or other products on your skin before getting a tattoo because these can interfere with the tattooing process and cause problems with the final results.

Besides, wear some comfortable and not constricting clothing. It will help you to move around and provide easy access to the tattooed area.

Don’t be drunk or on drugs

It is a crucial moment because it will hinder your ability to make sound decisions, and you may end up with a tattoo that you regret later. Not to mention, it will be more painful than if you were sober.

Finally, don’t forget to take a meal and drink plenty of water. Getting a tattoo is a long process, so you should have enough energy to get through it. Additionally, a full stomach will help you to tolerate the pain.

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Don’t bring a support team

You’re going to get a tattoo. It’s a big decision! And you should consult your friends and family about it, but don’t bring them with you when you go under the needle. It is something you have to do alone. 

  • If you’re getting a big piece, it’s understandable to have someone there with you but try to keep it to one or two people. 
  • Additionally, having too many people with you can be distracting and make it hard for you to focus on what’s happening. You need to be able to pay attention to the artist and listen to their instructions.

Don’t disturb tattoo artist

It can be tempting to want to chat with your tattoo artist while they’re working on you, but it’s important to remember that they are trying to focus on giving you a great tattoo. 

  • If you must talk, keep it brief and to the point.
  • The same goes for taking pictures. It’s normal to ask if you can snap a photo of the tattoo artist at work, but don’t use your flash or get in their way. 
  • Don’t try to take pictures of someone else’s tattoos without their permission.

Don’t change your design at the last moment.

Don’t change your design at the last minute. It is one of the essential tattoo etiquette rules. And there are a few reasons why not to do this:

  • First, your artist has already drawn up a stencil and is ready to go. 
  • Changing the design at the last minute will only result in a subpar tattoo.
  • If you must make a change, discuss it with your artist beforehand so they can make the necessary adjustments. 

And always remember, a tattoo is forever, so think carefully before making any impulsive decisions!

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Allow the artist to be creative

When you get inked, you should understand that the tattoo master is the artist first. So give them some freedom and allow them to be creative during the tattooing process.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your ideas and vision for the tattoo, but it’s essential to trust that the artist knows what they’re doing and don’t force them to copy some specific design exactly. So if you’ve done your research and found an artist whose style you love, then sit back and relax – let them do their job.

After all, they are the experts and want you to be happy with your tattoo too!

Sit still

The number one rule of getting a tattoo is to sit still. If you move, the tattoo will be blurry, and the artist will not be happy. You can do a few things to stay still during your tattoo. 

  • First, take a deep breath and try to relax. The tenser you are, the more likely you are to move. 
  • Second, focus on something in the room and stare at it during tattooing. It will help take your mind off the pain and keep you from moving.
  • Lastly, drink plenty of water before your tattoo appointment. It will help prevent you from getting lightheaded or dizzy, which can also lead to movement.

Tattoo Etiquette

Dos and don’ts after you get inked

After getting your tattoo, you should do a few things (and avoid doing) to ensure that your new ink heals appropriately. Here are some Dos and Don’ts of post-tattoo care:


  • Follow all the instructions that the tattoo artists gave you.
  • Keep the tattoo clean during the healing. Gently wash it with soap and water twice daily, and apply a thin layer of tattoo ointment or lotion to keep it moist. 
  • Avoid hot tubs, saunas, or soaking in the bathtub for at least two weeks. 
  • Wear loose clothing to avoid irritating the tattoo. 


  • Don’t pick or scratch at the tattoo, as this can cause infection or scarring. 
  • Don’t expose your tattoo to sunlight for at least two weeks. After that, use sunscreen with SPF 30 and more to protect it from fading. 
  • Don’t let anyone else touch your tattoo until it has healed.


Getting a tattoo can be a fascinating experience. However, there are some things you should know before you get inked. We covered all dos and don’ts of getting a tattoo. Now you have an opportunity to use this information to avoid any uncomfortable or embarrassing situations.

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