5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting a Tattoo

By Tamiera Vandegrift on June 20, 2019

I’ve always dreamed of getting a tattoo, even since I was a little kid. I finally got my first tattoo when I was 22 years old. I was going through a turbulent period in my life and chose a design that had been meaningful to me for over three years. As most people with tattoos will tell you, once you get your first tattoo, you won’t want to stop getting them. Boy, they were right.

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As soon as my first tattoo was finished, I was itching to get another one… and another one… and another one. However, I planned on getting more tattoos for reasons other than disappointing my parents. Each idea had some sort of emotional significance for me, whether it was to commemorate a memory or cover up old scars. There are the right reasons to get a tattoo and the wrong reasons to get a tattoo. Often it can be hard to decipher between the two. So, keep reading for five questions to ask yourself before you decide on getting a tattoo.

1. What sort of career path are you following?

I’m sure your family gave you the same lecture, but it’s important to consider nonetheless. Not all workplaces are accepting of tattoos and piercings. Before you get your hopes up about getting a tattoo, speak with your boss or supervisor about job apparel requirements. Most are fine with tattoos as long as they aren’t visible or if they can be covered by makeup. Still, it’s a conversation worth having before walking into work with a quarter sleeve and losing your job.

2. Are you going through a difficult time in life?

Let’s be real. If you’re going through a hard time in life, do not get a tattoo. I nearly made this mistake myself the other day and guess what? I’m happy I didn’t go through with it because I know for a fact I would have regretted it. Once that ink pen touches your skin, there’s no going back. If you’re going through a hard time, like a breakup or several hours of listening to Mazzy Star, getting a tattoo is the last thing you need. Instead, treat yourself to your favorite meal or spend a night doing self-care. Either way, don’t get a tattoo as a coping mechanism.

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3. Can you actually afford it?

As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Getting a tattoo is no different. While a $50 tattoo done by some guy in the back room of a dive bar might seem like a good idea at the time, you won’t be happy in the morning when you find a sloppy sketch of a butterfly on your ankle. Good tattoos cost serious money. A small flower on your collar bone can cost upward of $150 to $200. If you aren’t willing or able to shell out some serious cash, it might be time to invest in a piggy bank until you’re ready to make a serious investment.

4. Do you know a trustworthy, reputable artist?

Getting a tattoo from a talented, reputable tattoo artist is just as important as making sure you have the cash for a quality design. Read all reviews about tattoo parlors before choosing one. Ideally, you should meet with your tattoo artist prior to getting the tattoo to see what their particular talents have to offer. This isn’t to say that some tattoo artists are absolutely the worst, but styles tend to differ between each artist. For instance, some tattoo artists specialize in creating pop art, while others are great with portraits. Do your homework when it comes to tattoo artists to ensure that you’re getting the design of your dreams and not a nightmare you’ll come to regret in a few years.

5. Will you still love your tattoo in five years?

You may absolutely love a lyric from Taylor Swift now, but in five years you might find yourself cringing every time you look at it. A good rule of thumb is to wait for approximately six months to a year before getting a tattoo you want. By doing so, you won’t end up with regrets or some embarrassing tattoo of a slice of pie when you’re 50. Remember that tattoos are permanent and the removal process is both extremely expensive and extremely painful, so don’t get a tattoo on a whim.

If you can answer all five of these questions, congratulations. You are ready to get a tattoo! Remember to stay hydrated, avoid alcohol before getting a tattoo, and make sure you’re ready to make this permanent decision. Good luck!

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