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9 Hours Before Getting Tattooed

9 Hours Before Getting Tattooed
02 Sep, 2022

9 Hours Before Getting Tattooed

Most people think that they can just walk into a tattoo parlor anytime of the day and get a tattoo. Well, while some tattoo shops allow walk-ins most parlors require their clients to make an appointment first. Getting an ink shouldn’t always be spontaneous because it’s an overwhelming process that demands planning and preparations.

Here is everything you need to know or do before getting a tattoo:

Preparing For Your Appointment:

Here are a few tips that can help you get ready for your ink.

1. Sleep well:

It is crucial that you get a good night's sleep before your tattoo appointment. Showing up to your appointment completely exhausted and sleepy isn’t ideal as it will make the process more difficult for both you and your artist. In fact, when you are tired your body becomes more sensitive to pain. Therefore, you need to be fully awake and alert during the appointment and not fall asleep. You must be able to detect the signals your body is sending, interpret them and then react accordingly.

2. Drink lots of water:

Before sitting for your tattoo, you must make sure that your body is well hydrated. You should start drinking lots of water or fluids 24 hours prior to your appointment. Drinking will make your skin more hydrated and ready for the tattooing process. Hydrated skin absorbs the ink a lot better than dry skin. It is also important to keep a water bottle with you and constantly take sips of water during the appointment.

3. Shaving:

Even though most artists would offer to shave the area of the tattoo, you might consider shaving it yourself at home before coming in for your tattoo. Shaving will make it a lot easier for the artist to work on the chosen area. You should shave gently and try to avoid getting burnt or cut or even irritating your skin.

4. Showering and moisturizing:

Get a good and long shower before your appointment. It is essential to keep your skin well clean for your appointment. Do not show up sweaty to your appointment as your artist might not be able to work properly because of your odor. You should moisturize your skin days in advance to your appointment. Start by applying once or twice a day your favorite lotion or body cream for 5 or 7 days before your tattoo session. However you shouldn’t apply any creams on the day of your tattoo to prevent any problems with the needle tattoo machine or ink from occurring.

5. Eat well:

Have a balanced and healthy meal before your appointment so your body can restock on well needed energy. Don’t show up to your appointment hungry. A good meal will help your body prepare physically and mentally for the tattooing process. Eating can prevent the risk of passing out during the session. In addition, if you deal with low blood sugar it is helpful to bring some snacks that you can eat during a 4 to 6 hours long tattooing session. Some tattoos like back tattoos might take long hours. What if you feel hungry during this period of time?

Citrus fruits, kale,, nuts, sugar-free, low fat fruit bars, lemon or lime water, natural fruit juice are some examples of snacks and food you can take with you to eat/drink because they are rich in vitamin C that is proven to help in wound healing and has important antioxidant qualities. Consuming proteins is also essential, they are building blocks for the body. Proteins are involved in body development and tissue repair. They are an essential nutrient for the repair of body parts including skin wounds, so it's highly recommended to consume proteins when getting a tattoo. Beans, nuts, and whole grain foods  are rich in zinc. Zinc can help reduce inflammation and skin swelling. Avoid unhealthy and junk food (especially oily food) and eat more foods rich in well needed nutrients.

6. Dress accordingly:

Wear the right clothing; you want to be as comfortable as possible during the session hence wearing loose and soft closing will make sure that you stay comfortable during your tattoo. It’s best if you don’t wear tight jeans or a restrictive shirt to avoid itching or getting overheated. Wear clothes that will allow the artist to access the area he needs to tattoo smoothly.

7. Take something for entertainment:

You might consider bringing something with you to entertain yourself while you’re being tattooed. However, avoid bringing any kind of entertainment that will get you to move around or that can disrupt your artist. It's recommended to bring a friend to keep you entertained or your headphones and phone to watch some Netflix or listen to some music.


What about Coffee/Smoking?

This is a common question that coffee addicts and smokers ask. Well, you should avoid drinking coffee on the day of your tattoo because caffeine can thin your blood and is a stimulant hence, it can make you feel  nervous and agitated. It can also raise your blood pressure by increasing blood flow thus making you more susceptible for bleeding.

Smoking during your tattoo appointment is unethical and smoking after it can affect the healing process as smoking reduces collagen production in the skin.


Getting a tattoo is an overwhelming process that requires a bit of planning and preparation. Start by picking a good tattoo parlor and follow all the tips given above to have a good tattoo experience!

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