Getting a tattoo? Do these first.

Everyone has questions about how to best take care of their tattoo but few people realize how important the pre-tattoo steps are. We love this graphic from BuzzfeedDIY that illustrates the best steps to take before you even get in the shop.

  • Eat a Big Meal Beforehand When you get tattooed, your body expends a lot of energy. To keep your calories up and to keep you going to the finish line, it’s good to eat a healthy meal before you sit down for your tattoo.
  • Drink a Lot of Water Same idea as eating a big meal beforehand. Pretty much treat your tattoo session as the physical challenge it is and do your best to prep your body as best you can.
  • Avoid Alcohol The Day Before This one probably is self explanatory, but alcohol is a blood thinner and that can cause problems for your tattoo artist. Also, no one wants a sloppy tattoo because you had too much fun before your session and couldn’t sit up in the chair. But after your tattoo? Go for it, friend.
  • No Painkillers See ‘avoid alcohol’ comments above.
  • Pack Snacks, Water & Cash for Your Tip Even if you’ve had a feast for breakfast it’s always good to pack fuel for later to keep that energy level going. Think of it as a great excuse to treat yourself! And while many tattoo parlors have card readers these days, it’s good to know that those systems do NOT generally have a tipping option. Artists understand that this isn’t common knowledge, but still- cash is king.
  • Wear Comfortable, Dark Clothes You know that cute, fitted white tee that is your favorite part of every outfit? Now imagine it with blood on it, agitating your nice, fresh, new tattoo. Not so cute.
  • Stretch Beforehand Like the graphic says, you’ll be in the same position for at least a couple of hours. Be your body’s friend and it will thank you!
  • Stay Calm. Listen, tattoos don’t tickle (except for sometimes). But as our artist Jae says, if they hurt that bad then no body would get them. The important thing to remember is to keep breathing and find your center. It’ll be over before you know it and after you’ll have a beautiful piece of art that’s all yours.
  • Set Aside More Time Than You Think You’ll Need Whether it’s because of parking or because you want to tweak your idea or because the appointment before yours wanted to tweak their idea, tattoo scheduling isn’t an exact science. It’s good to remember that even though we’re trying our best, we aren’t perfect but we want your tattoo to be. We’re trying our best but it’s not something to rush.
  • Of course each shop and tattoo artist will have different ideas on whats best for you and your tattoo, and at the end of the day you know your body best. But these are all steps we strongly recommend that will help you get through your tattoo session like a champ!

    Original Post in Buzzfeed DIY, illustrator unknown