10 Golden Rules Of Getting Tattooed (To Avoid A Lifetime Of Regret)

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what to know before getting a tattoo

Tattoos are as sacred as they come. Tattoos are special. They are a window into the soul. They are art for your body. Your body is your temple and it is yours to decorate however you please.

People get tattoos for a number of reasons, each one personal and meaningful to them. It can be for a deep purpose or for a fun reminder. Whatever the reason is, it's strictly for them. They do not have to explain their decisions to anyone. That's the beauty of tattoos!

But even the most sacred of things have rules. So whether this is your first time getting ink or your tenth, here's what to know before getting a tattoo to avoid regret for the rest of your life.

1. Thou shalt remember that tattoos are FOR LIFE.

People tell you this all the time and it can get really annoying, but if you listen beyond the thinly veiled disapproval, there is a bit of truth. Tattoos are forever. Even if you get them removed, they will leave a scar. Let that be the first thing you remember.

RELATED: Why A TATTOO Is Exactly What You Need To Survive Depression

2. Thou shalt not get tattooed while inebriated.

Most tattoo artists won’t even look at you twice if they so much as suspect you’re drunk or high. But if they do agree to tattoo you, remember that alcohol thins your blood, so you’ll probably end up bleeding a lot more than you would’ve expected.

3. Thou shalt attempt to get tattooed in a legitimate tattoo parlor.

That is to say, at least TRY to get tattooed in a place that isn’t at the back of a perpetually going out of business electronics store on Jamaica Avenue.

4. Thou shalt take into account that tattoo artists use needles.

Most people who have tattoos will tell you that it's not the same, and they're right. However, if you are extremely phobic of needles, you might want to either psyche yourself up or reconsider. Freaking out in the middle of the actual tattooing is not ideal.

5. Thou shalt take good care of thine skin.

You paid good money for a good tattoo. Moisturize that thing. Don’t let it get sunburned. DON'T PICK AT IT. Treat it like you’re in an art museum. Look, don’t touch.

6. There shall be no other names besides thee.

Please, please, PLEASE reconsider getting your significant other’s name tattooed on you. Reconsider it hard. Because tattoos are forever. And most relationships are not.

RELATED: The 14 Best Tattoos For Badass Couples Who’ll Be Together FOREVER

7. Thou shalt show off at all opportunities.

Listen. That sh*t is probably beautiful. Be proud. Flaunt it everywhere.

8. Thou shalt never judge another’s ink.

Even if it is the literal ugliest thing you have ever seen, they’re probably in love with their tat and it isn’t your place to say anything negative about it. Even if it’s actually super-fugly.

9. Thou shalt learn the best method of cover up.

Unfortunately, employers still seem to think that your tattoo is somehow indicative of a terrible work ethic. If you’re going into a field where your tattoos might be a problem, invest in some decent cover up. Sometimes, you just gotta take one for the team (even if that team if just you).

10. Thou shalt ignore thy haters.

Your body. Your art. Your rules. Go wild.

RELATED: 12 Amazing Zodiac Tattoos You'll Want To Copy IMMEDIATELY

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Amanda Isabel Ramirez is a New Yorker, novelist, screenwriter, and professional complainer. She’s also a grad student in an MFA program for creative writing. Amanda has articles published at The Celebrity Cafe and Puckermob and is the assistant online editor of The Literary Review. 

This article was originally published at PuckerMob. Reprinted with permission from the author.