Every day, thousands of tattoo mistakes are made. And while it’s possible to make a tattoo fade using laser removal technology, it’s time consuming, costly and painful. So here’s how to avoid the most common mistakes that people make with tattoos.
1) Never Agree To Get A Tattoo When You’re In The Wrong State Of Mind
Getting a tattoo when you’re in the wrong frame of mind is a shortcut to disaster.
So don’t even think about getting tattooed when you’re drunk, depressed or under pressure (it’s not a good enough reason just because all your friends are getting one, or have got one). And don’t get a tattoo done on a whim.
You know it’s a whim when you find yourself in a tattoo studio and you hadn’t even considered getting a tattoo the night before!
It’s good to be spontaneous, but not with something that will last you the rest of your life. So before you get a tattoo, always ask yourself “Do I want to get this tattoo?”
And keep asking yourself that question every day for a fortnight. And only after you genuinely answer yes every day, do you go anywhere near a tattoo parlour.
2) Choose The Right Design
Choosing the right design is absolutely vital to the amount of pleasure you get from your tattoo.
Let’s face it, if you want a dragon, you won’t be happy with a flower design. And if you want a large tattoo, you won’t be happy with a small design.
So don’t compromise on what you want. The final choice of tatoo design must be yours and not that of your friends, partner of tattoo artist. After all, you’re the one who’ll have to live with it.
It should be a piece of artwork that you absolutely love. And something that you’re certain you’ll continue to love for years into the future.
Another mistake that many people make is believing the they have to select a design offered by their chosen tattoo studio. If you choose a reputable artist, they’ll be able to create a tattoo from any design that you take along with you.
In fact, this is one of the best ways to get the right tattoo.
Browse the internet where you can find thousands of high quality tattoo designs to choose from. Most cost less than $20. Take time from the comfort of your own home to decide which design you want. Take a few days to think about the designs that you like. Then, once you’ve made up your mind, print out both the color reference guide and the tattoo stencil and take them to your chosen artist.
This option is much more relaxed, and you’re much more likely to select the right design. It certainly beats picking a design on the spot when you’re waiting in the tattoo studio.
3) Cheap Isn’t Always Best
Whatever happens, make sure that you select a high quality stencil for your tattoo design.
All high quality tattoo designs consist of two parts, the main tattoo design which includes the color reference, and a matching stencil of the design.
What many people don’t realise, is that the stencil is applied directly to your skin by the tattooist using a machine caller a “liner”.
So don’t be tempted to do things on the cheap. Buy a quality tattoo stencil (most cost less than $20). Trying to create a tattoo from the color reference design or trying to trace a stencil is a shortcut to a tattoo disaster.
A poor stencil will always lead to a poor tattoo. Traced stencils are not accurate and will translate into a shaky looking design. Regardless of how good they are, a tattoo artist can only quality work from a quality stencil.
4) Test Your Tattoo First
Okay, you’ve found the tattoo design that you want, but you’re not sure where to place it and what size to go for. Do you take a risk?
No. There are millions of people around the world who wish they’d chosen a slightly different tattoo design, gone slightly bigger, or placed it further to the left etc.
So if you want to avoid adding to these regrets, it’s important to test your tattoo before you take the plunge.
It’s now possible to get special tattoo test paper that will allow you to turn your design into a temporary test tattoo. Just print your chosen design onto the test paper and apply it to your skin.
Then it just a case of living with it for a day to two and forming your own opinion. How does it make you feel? Are you happy with the size and the position that you’ve selected? Does it catch your eyeline when you’re not looking at it? Is it distracting? And then comes the big question; ask yourself, “could I live with this for the rest of my life?”
Testing your intended tattoo is the only way to confirm whether you’ve made the right decision.
5) The Tattoo And Aftercare
On the day your tattoo is created, a better overall affect will be achieved if you are well slept (it will help to keep you relaxed and to sit still) and well fed (an empty stomach can lead to feeling faint). If you are tense, full of stress or restless, it will take longer and the tattoo won’t be as perfect.
Once completed, most tattoos will take up to a month to heal properly. During the first five days, the area may be uncomfortable, irritated and slightly swollen. Make sure that you keep the area clean during this time. If possible, wash the area gently with an antibacterial soap four or five times a day. Gently pat the area dry with a clean cloth or piece of tissue.
It’s also suggested that you apply a thin skin of antibiotic ointment after every wash. A good quality aftercare product will help to reduce scabbing and protect your skin from infections which can cause scarring and make your tattoo appear blemished. They will also help to reduce irritation and redness and keep your skin supple.
The second stage of the healing process (weeks 2-4) will have the biggest influence over the look and lifespan of your tattoo. Taking care of the affected skin during this stage will ensure your tattoo stays bright and clear for as long as possible.
Just make sure that you use aftercare products that are specifically recommended for use with tattooed areas, as these won’t contain any artificial colors or fragrances which might irritate your skin.
Different artists will recommend different aftercare techniques, but the vast majority agree on three things.
Number One: Keep your tattoo clean
Number Two: As your tattoo heals, the skin will naturally dry out, so it’s vital to keep the area moist.
Number Three: Keep your tattoo away from direct sunlight.