6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Tattoo

So you've decided to get a tattoo. Whether this is your first time getting inked or just another piece of body art you're adding to your collection, getting tattooed requires a little bit of thought, and trust us, deciding on a design is only half the battle.

There's a lot to consider when doing something permanent to your body, and it's not something you should ever do on a whim unless you're sure you'll be comfortable looking at whatever design you're getting for the rest of your life. Before you head to a tattoo parlor, read ahead to check out a few questions you should ask yourself before getting a tattoo.

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1. Why Are You Getting This Particular Design?

We agree that not every tattoo has to have a deep story behind it, but if you're getting something permanently drawn onto your body, there should at least be a good reason. Ask yourself if this tattoo is something you've been thinking about for a while or if it's an impulsive decision. You should also make sure you're getting a tattoo because you want it, not because someone else might be pressuring you to.

2. Will You Regret This Design Years Down the Line?

Sometimes people get tattoos that they regret getting a few years later; others get tattoos that they end up regretting immediately after. Experts recommend you give yourself at least six months to sit with a design before you make an appointment. If you still want it after that period of time, chances are higher you'll be comfortable looking at it on your body for the rest of your life.

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3. Are You Getting It in an Appropriate Area?

Sure, deciding on your tattoo design is the first step, but choosing where to get it is just as important. Do you want to be able to easily hide it, or do you want something that most people will be able to see without you showing it to them? Are you going to be comfortable with certain employers and colleagues being able to see it? These are all good factors to consider.

Additionally, some areas might require a little extra maintenance once it's all said and done. The hands and fingers, soles of your feet, and inner lip, for example, are just a few areas where tattoos are known to fade a lot faster, so there's a chance you may have to get them touched up every year.

These things matter, and since you have a lot of places on your body to choose from, make sure you're putting some extra thought into this decision.

4. What Is Your Pain Threshold?

Getting a tattoo isn't exactly a painless process. You're essentially asking someone to repeatedly poke your skin with a needle, so you might want to consider your pain tolerance beforehand. Additionally, you should know that some areas of the body are a bit more sensitive than others. Some of the most painful places to get tattoos are areas like the feet, hands, and spine and generally any area of the body that doesn't have a lot of fat. If you think you can handle this, then you should be OK.

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5. Are You Prepared For the Aftercare Process?

Tattoo aftercare isn't complicated, but it should still be taken seriously to avoid getting an infection. Be prepared to listen to special instructions from your tattoo artist about how to clean and properly care for your tattoo in the days following your appointment, and also pay attention to the things you can't do immediately after getting your tattoo.

6. Can You Trust This Tattoo Artist?

This tattoo is something you'll have to look at for the rest of your life, so once you've decided on a design and area that you think works best, make sure you've done your research on who to go to. Make sure you're going to a reputable tattoo artist to carry out your vision instead of blindly walking into a parlor and putting your fate in the hands of someone you're unfamiliar with. If you can, use social media to your advantage and check out your tattoo artist's work beforehand to get a sense of their style. You can also take a look at their portfolio ahead of your appointment.