Nervous about your tattoo? That’s normal. We’ve all been there.
In fact, many of us with tattoos still get butterflies and worry about our pain tolerance. And a lot of us use topical anesthetics to make the tattoo less painful.
There’re a few things you can do to make sure your tattoo is as pain-free and pleasant as possible. Here are 8 tips to help you prepare for and sit through your next tattoo appointment.
Tip #1 Be Sober
Never make a decision about permanent body art when you’re sauced; you will likely regret it in the morning. More importantly, alcohol thins your blood, meaning you’ll lose more of it during your tattoo. This could make you feel lightheaded or worse: faint.
Tip #2 Eat Well
You’ve heard about people who “carb-up” before a marathon, right? You’ll want to fill up before your tattoo session, too. The more food you have in your belly, the more stamina you have to stomach the pain. In fact, you’ll actually burn calories during a tattoo because your metabolism speeds up in response to tension. Carb loading is a great way to make sure you’ll have enough energy to get through your next tattoo appointment.
Tip #3 Stay Hydrated
That’s not only advice to remember before a tattoo session, but it’s also something to do as much as possible, alway. Start drinking more water than average about 12 hours before your tattoo.
Tip #4 Get Some Rest
It’s not unusual to feel tired after donating blood, right? Same with tattoos, too. Your body will naturally try to block out any tattoo pain by releasing adrenaline and endorphins. You’ll have more of these to go around if you’re well-rested.
Tip #5 Namaste & Ink
Do you practice yoga? Consider dropping into a class or practicing at home before your tattoo appointment. This will help your body and mind relax before your session, but be sure to rehydrate. Similarly, try meditating or focusing on your breathing if a tattoo begins to hurt.
Tip #6 Bring a Friend/Make a Friend
Most artists allow you to bring a friend to keep your company during your tattoo, but you’ll want to ask about their guest policy before your appointment. Regardless, tattoo artists are usually happy to chat. You’re gonna be in close proximity for a bit; make a friend.
Tip #7 Take a Break
Some skin’s more sensitive than other. The chest, ribs, hands, and feet are notoriously painful, even for the most heavily tattooed. But you don’t have to “sit tough;” it’s okay to ask your artist for a short break. Use the time to eat a snack and rehydrate, but don’t take too long.
Tip #8 Use the Right Products
From topical anesthetics to tattoo-specific CBD-infused foam soaps, there’re great options on the market to help mitigate tattoo pain without jeopardizing the tattoo itself. Do your research and make that body art.
¡Viva el tattoo!