Your guide to tattoos and how old you have to be to get one…
Before we talk about tattoos, it’s important to know that you must be 18 or over to get one. It’s illegal to be tattooed if you’re under this age, even if you take an adult along with you. Most reputable tattooists will ask to see proof of age if you look younger than 18.
Over 18? Let’s Talk Tattoos…
Here are a few things to consider before you decide to get a tattoo:
Do Your Research
It’s important to know exactly what you want before you sit down in the tattooist’s chair. Look online at images and think about what you want your design to look like.
Next, source a reputable tattoo studio. Make sure they have a licence and that they are certified – you can ask to see their certificates, or you may be able to spot these hanging on the wall. Visit the studio to make sure it’s clean and hygienic. You can look at the tattoo artist’s portfolio of previous work to help you decide if they are the right tattooist for you. If you’re not 100% keen on the shop or the tattooist, move on. It’s important you feel entirely comfortable with your choices before having a needle anywhere near your skin.
It’s perfectly OK to ask lots of questions of your potential tattoo artists – in fact, it’s encouraged. They want you to be as confident and comfortable with your decision as possible. Questions you can ask are:
- Can I see your portfolio?
- How long have you been tattooing?
- What are your rates/what is the cost?
- How do you sanitise your equipment?
- What kind of ink do you use?
It’s also a good idea to ask your tattoo artist for their opinion on your chosen design and whether they think your chosen placement is suitable. A good tattoo artist will give you an honest opinion whether they agree with you or not. They might suggest trying it in a different place or adjusting it to fit your body better. Remember, they’re experts in what they do so listen to their advice before making your final decision.
Prepare For Pain
There’s no getting away from it – tattoos hurt. Everyone experiences pain differently so while one of your mates might claim to have felt just a tiny scratch when they got their tattoo, that does not necessarily mean it will be the same for you. Certain places on your body might hurt more than others, especially the parts where there is less flesh and more nerve endings. These include your:
Tattoo pain can range from a hot, burning sensation, to a sharp, stabbing feeling. It might also feel sharp and scratchy, especially if you have shading on your tattoo.
It sounds obvious, but it’s also important to remember that tattoos are permanent. If, for whatever reason, you should come to dislike the tattoo you have on your body, you cannot easily erase it. Tattoo removal procedures where a laser is used to break down the tattoo into tiny fragments takes many, many sessions, which are expensive and painful. You could use body makeup to cover up unwanted tattoos or pay for a new tattoo to cover up your old one, but, again, this will cost you money. So, before you rush into getting a tattoo, make sure you’ve considered your choices carefully.