For whatever reason, you want more than one tattoo in a day. You may be preparing for a tatted-up vacation, maximizing your tattoo artists’ availability, or method acting for a tattooed character in a movie — we dig it.
There are no rules or regulations on how many tattoos you can get in a day, but we have our recommendations here at HUSH.
One recommendation is that you don’t do more than what is necessary and realistic. Multiple tattoos in a session can cause a whole lot of stress to your body.
Our other recommendation is that if you don’t listen to our first recommendation you go into that multi-tattoo process prepared. You should know what the tattoo process is like for one tattoo, and how it looks when you double or triple it. Here’s what to know.
The Tattoo Process
If you’re new to tattooing, it’s important to thoroughly understand the tattoo process before getting 15 tattoos on your body on the same day. Tattoos are different from stamps or stickers; your body won’t be too happy if you put so much stress on it.
Once you are prepped and ready to go (aka hydrated, well-rested, filled with good food, shaved, and cleaned), the poking will commence. This means a bunch of sterilized tattoo needles loaded with ink will be piercing your skin and depositing ink into deeper levels. Essentially you are receiving a bunch of little cuts that will heal with ink inside.
A tattoo is a wound. Every poke of the needle is a puncture wounding your skin, and when you get a complete tattoo, that makes a sizable wound.
Getting wounded activates your immune system to heal that wound. If you get multiple tattoos at once, you are getting multiple wounds at once. Ouch!
Once your tattoo artist finishes stabbing all that ink into your skin, you’ll be sent home bandaged with aftercare instructions.
Aftercare means cleansing your new tattoo once to twice daily, moisturizing multiple times per day, keeping your tattoo away from scratchy clothes and germy situations, letting the scabs and peeling skin be, and keeping it out of sunlight for the first 14 days.
After those first two weeks of intensive care, your tattoo will become a closed wound, and it’ll take less care to keep it healing as it should. You’ll still have to pay attention for the next two weeks, moisturizing and protecting it from the sun, but what most people consider the “worst” is over.
After the first month, your tattoo should be fully healed on the outside, but inside, it will still be healing. You won’t see the final results until about three to four months out, when your new tattoo will be ready for the hypothetical red carpet.
So, if you are out here with 15 tattoos, it isn’t going to be just pain while you’re on the tattoo table — you’ll also be nursing 15 fresh wounds!
What To Know When Gettings Tons of Tats
If you’re just asking if it getting multiple tattoos is technically possible, the answer is yes. But, let’s check the logistics for getting multiple tattoos at once.
You won’t be able to get a tattoo on your stomach and back simultaneously. When you’re getting tattooed on either one of these places, the artist will usually want you lying down on the opposite side. So logistically, that wouldn’t work!
Even if you wanted it one after the other, we wouldn’t suggest it — you will be lying down on a fresh wound that’s trying to begin the healing process.
If you want a tattoo on each arm, that could work if you have two different artists or one artist willing to tattoo you consecutively.
Basically, it’s complicated business, and you should make a point to plan placement.
If you are totally set on getting multiple tattoos in the same session, it’ll cost you! Whether it’s one tattoo artist or multiple, they will all have a rate.
And don’t forget to tip each of the artists! Like any service, tipping your artist is customary.
Tattoo Artist, or Artists!
Are you going to get back-to-back tattoos by the same artist or multiple tattoos at once by multiple artists?
Either way, you’ll need to organize that with all of the artists beforehand. If it’s one artist, they will need a lot of time in their schedule. And if it's with multiple artists, they will all need to have the same time slots open, and will all need to be in one place, which is usually not a vibe.
Do they even want to work together at once if it's multiple artists? If it’s one artist, do they want to do back-to-back tattoos?
Are you ready to take care of a bunch of tattoos at the same time? Do you want to lovingly care for each one multiple times daily and protect them from the elements?
Even so, you’ll be at a greater risk for infection. More wounds mean more places where sneaky bacteria can attack. Even if there is no infection, multiple wounds mean multiple places with scabbing, peeling, and itching — so much itching.
If you have a weakened immune system and struggle with healing, opt for one tattoo at a time. Better not to give your body too much to handle.
What Is the Pain Level of Getting Multiple Tattoos?
One tattoo, depending on where it is, can be painful enough. What does it feel like when you get multiple tattoos at once? Well, it hurts extra!
How much pain can your body handle? It will depend on where you get your tattoos. Maybe getting multiple arm or leg tattoos at the same time would be sustainable, but getting a sternum tattoo while you get a shin tattoo will feel like your whole body is rattling since both places are pretty boney. Thinner skin = more ouch.
You can minimize pain levels if you use HUSH Numbing Gel, which has four percent lidocaine and many other soothing botanicals.
If you use a numbing gel or numbing spray during your tattoo session, you should theroretically be able to sustain more tattoos at once, or multiple tattoos in a row (at least pain-wise).
Should I Wait Between Tattoos?
While sometimes it makes sense to get a couple of tattoos at once, typically, we recommend you wait at least two weeks between getting tattoos. Let your first tattoo heal until it’s a closed wound, and then get another if you’re itching for another tattoo (pun absolutely intended).
If you wait until your first tattoo is semi-healed, you will lower your risk of infection and aftercare will be better. Tattoo aftercare is super important.
If you don’t have the time or patience to take care of multiple fresh tattoos, don’t do it. Messing up your aftercare could mean what should have been an avoidable infection or scarring.
Why Get Multiple Tattoos at Once?
Besides breaking a record, why would someone get multiple tattoos at once? Believe it or not, it’s not that uncommon, and there are some solid reasons.
Some people like multiple artists who work at the same tattoo shop. Maybe you are scheduled to get a tattoo with one artist, and the other artist you’ve been waiting to get an appointment with just had a no-show. Giddy up!
Maybe you’ve thought ahead and asked your two favorite artists from your favorite tattoo shop to let you know when their schedules align because you want a double whammy, and to have healed tattoos by swimsuit season.
Small tattoos count! If you want a bunch of small tattoos, you can probably handle a lot more than a few full-blown pieces. Maybe you have a sleeve and are looking to fill in all the free space you have left, so you get a bunch of small tattoos in one session.
You may be doing some dot work and symbols on your hands, or maybe you’re touching up a bunch of old tattoos or giving them some add-ons. It can make more sense to slam them all out at once!
Angel and devil on each of your shoulders? Technically that’s two tattoos. If you want a set or more of tattoos that are a part of a greater design — that’s multiple tattoos.
(Our editor got three bees to help fill some spots on her forearm — they are all individual little bugs, so she technically did get three tattoos at once, plus the honeycomb, so four.)
Some artists may prefer to break it into multiple tattoo sessions if each of the tattoos is a complex design. Or maybe they are complex, but if you want two different artists to do a tattoo, they might be able to do it at the same time.
Sleeve or Piece
Are you considering getting a sleeve that covers the length of your arm or a full piece on your entire back? While technically it’s considered “one tattoo,” these are typically done in multiple sessions making each part its “own” tattoo.
You may be able to get more done if two artists work in unison on it. Make sure their styles and artistic visions align (though to be straight with you, this isn’t really common practice).
Unless you have a good reason for getting a bunch of tattoos at once, we recommend you wait for your tattoo to heal before getting another one.
If you go for multiple tattoos at once, ensure you know what the tattoo process entails and you’re ready for it. It’s more than just being able to handle the pain of getting multiple tattoos. Think about the logistics needed to set up a multi-tattoo session and make sure you have the money to pay for it (and the aftercare time).
Another overlooked factor of getting multiple tattoos: If you don’t have time to take care of multiple tattoos for about four weeks, do not get them!
If you have a good immune response, the money, the patience, and some HUSH products, go on and get your 15 tattoos! Tag us, too — you’ll set a HUSH record at least if not a Guinness one 😉
Practical Uses of Botanicals in Skin Care | PMC
Wound Healing Phases | StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf