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Preparing for Your Tattoo Appointment

Updated: Mar 30, 2022

Follow These Pre Care Guidelines to Ensure That Your Day is a Success!

Now that you’ve decided to get a tattoo, there are a few things you should know that

will both help you prepare for/ensure the best possible outcome on the day of your appointment. For detailed answers to some of our most frequently asked tattoo-related questions, please visit our FAQ page.

“It's important that your artist is aware of any allergies, medical conditions, and/or factors that may contribute to adverse outcomes during the application or healing processes ahead of time."

Aside from simply being a new piece of art that's applied to your skin, getting a tattoo

is similar to having a minor medical procedure done. Your skin is penetrated by rapidly

moving needles that deposit ink beneath the top layer. Once completed, your tattoo is-in fact-an open wound (prone to infection) requiring proper care.

Just as any doctor would expect you to arrive before any medical procedure having followed specific pre-care instructions (and rely on you to follow all further aftercare instructions in the hopes that your wound will heal well and NOT require any further medical intervention), your tattoo appointment is the same. This is why it's so important that you prepare yourself physically, mentally, and environmentally by following these recommendations;

pre-care Instructions

Do not drink alcohol in the 48 hours before your appointment, and do not take aspirin (unless prescribed by a physician) for pain relief. Both are commonly known blood thinners which could result in additional bleeding and potential damage to your tattoo.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! We can't stress this enough (for a number of reasons):

  • It's extremely important that you maintain your fluid levels while being tattooed as dehydration can intensify your discomfort, give you headaches, and/or make you feel ill. Your artist won't be able to continue tattooing you if you fall ill.

  • Hydrated skin is good skin and one of those things that tattoo artists truly love. Hydrated skin takes ink better, is easier to tattoo because less stretch is required, and heals more efficiently and effectively. Because we don’t live in a climate with a high moisture content, the average person’s skin is quite dry.

Make sure that you consume plenty of water during the week prior to your tattoo and moisturize your skin multiples times per day using a high quality moisturizer. We've got great options in the studio available for purchase before your appointment*

Do NOT shave or clip hair from the area that is to be tattooed. Sometimes this can result in

cuts or raised bumps that will then make tattooing the skin impossible. PLUS, we'll need to prep your skin with isopropyl alcohol first which can cause or worsen irritation if done after the area has been shaved. Your artist will do this at the beginning of your appointment in the proper order.

Make sure that you don't skip the meal prior to your tattoo. It's important to provide

your body with enough fuel to last the duration of your appointment and

avoid unnecessary drops in blood sugar.

Get a full nights sleep. Avoid partying or working a late evening or night shift before your

appointment. Getting a tattoo can be equivalent to running a short marathon as your body is put under increased amounts of stress. Being prepared both physically and

mentally is important to help you sit as well as possible

Wash your sheets and plan out your aftercare routine BEFORE you have your new tattoo (this

may include arranging for someone to assist you in cleaning and moisturizing tattoos in

hard-to-reach places). Doing this in advance will help you avoid the possibility of leaving

out important elements due to lack of time. Remember, you only get one chance to heal

your tattoo properly!

As mentioned in our aftercare post, you'll need to stay clear of places like gyms,

saunas, beaches, pools, etc. This means not scheduling your tattoo appointment before sporting competitions, vacations, etc. Your artist can help you determine the best time to schedule your appointment to avoid exposure to adverse conditions which could affect the healing process.

Be honest! It's important that your tattoo artist is aware of any allergies, medical

conditions, and/or any factors that may contribute to a delayed healing process

or adverse outcome (as identified on our FAQ page and later on in this post). This is to protect you both. More often than not (and depending on the topic or issue) your artist will be able sit down with you to recommend additional care measures or alternatives that will keep you and your tattoo happy and healthy.

That being said, there are certain times when an individual may be excluded from receiving a tattoo for his(her) own/or the artist's safety;

We will not tattoo anyone who:

  • is under the influence of heavy sedatives, illicit drugs, or alcohol.

  • is pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • is under the age of 18.

  • is taking blood thinners, immuno-suppressants, or antibiotics.

  • is going through fertility treatments

  • suffers from hemophilia

  • is sunburnt or has other skin conditions that may make tattooing the area impossible.

  • If you've been diagnosed with any of the following conditions we will require a doctor’s note for permission to proceed with the appointment (no exceptions): Heart Disease, Seizure Disorders, Diabetes (Type I & II), Skin Disorders, &/or Blood Disorders.

*If you show up on the day of your appointment and any of the aforementioned apply (or you aren't in possession of a doctor's note as indicated), we will be unable to tattoo you for reasons of safety and liability, and your deposit with be forfeit.

What to Wear and Bring to Your Appointment

Wear comfortable clothing with easy access to the body part to be tattooed. There's

always a chance that your clothing may see some ink, therefore it’s best to wear something

that you won’t mind throwing out.

Take an extra pair of clean socks to change into as needed and bring an extra jacket or sweater for when you start to feel the cold. In some instances (especially when you’re in for a long session), your body will begin to shiver. This is an indication that your body is experiencing a natural stress response. Keeping warm will help minimize your discomfort.

Bring a valid, government-issued piece of photo identification (required), as well as your method of payment (cash or gift certificates).

Some other items to consider adding to your bag (without cluttering up the limited space

in most studios) include;

  • Headphones

  • Gum or breath mints

  • Deodorant

  • Water bottle

  • Your own Epipen (if you have one)

  • 1-2 small snacks for diabetic clients. The body’s stress response that occurs as a result of getting a tattoo can cause massive fluctuations in blood sugar. It's also important to remember any rapid-acting anti-hyperglycemics and a glucometer as necessary. Make sure that your artist knows the location of your glucometer (including test strips), your insulin, and/or Epipen in the event that you are unable to retrieve them for yourself.

  • Change of clothes for afterwards in case of excessive sweating or ink contamination

  • Tattoo aftercare product (can be purchased from the studio before/after your appointment)

  • Phone and/or camera

***Recent changes in light of COVID-19 may affect what you are allowed to bring to your appointment. Please review our COVID policy for up-to-date information!

Please make every effort to be a considerate and hygienic client

During your session, you and your artist are going to be spending a lot of time (often

quite a few hours) in each others’ personal space. This involves breathing each others’ air,

and may or may not include exposing areas of the body that are usually kept covered.

Before you leave home for your tattoo appointment, please make sure that you;

  • Brush your teeth.

  • Shower using soap (this is also important as you want your skin to be as clean and free from dirt/bacteria as possible to limit the possibility of introducing bacteria into the fresh open tissue)

  • Wear fresh, clean clothes.

  • Don't overdo deodorants, perfumes or colognes.

  • Tie long hair up in a bun or ponytail to keep it out of the way and prevent loose hairs from drifting onto clean work surfaces.


If you need to reschedule your appointment, your deposit may be transferred to a new date one time if we're given two full operational business days notice. We're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so keep this in mind if booking in on a Wednesday or Thursday as we'd need notice the weekend prior. This is to ensure that we have adequate

time to fill the spot.

You must actually speak to a member of staff when rescheduling your appointment in order for your deposit to be retained. Emails/texts/DMs are not acceptable methods of communication when cancelling or rescheduling your appointment (as emails may not be read far enough in advance for us to fill the appointment time, artists are not in charge of managing their own bookings, and social inboxes are not monitored by our booking team).

***Please remember: All Deposits are non-refundable

We also do not hold onto deposits for clients who are unable to provide an alternate date for the appointment when rescheduling (as deposits need to be attached to a current booking).


No shows, last-minute cancellations, or multiple requests to reschedule an appointment will result in forfeiture of your entire deposit to help cover the artist's time spent designing and/or loss of income for the day.

Because this can be an incredibly frustrating experience for an artist (as often many hours are spent outside the studio on custom design work), we support their right to either refuse new booking requests or require advance payment in full from clients who no show or repeatedly reschedule/cancel appointments.

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