Lifehack logo

8 signs you are not ready for a tattoo

by Dani Hendrix 8 months ago in how to

Even if you think you are.

8 signs you are not ready for a tattoo

These days it seems like everyone is getting a tattoo. Whether it is your friend, sibling or co-worker, we all know someone who has a tattoo. I have a tattoo, and I absolutely love it, but only because I put a lot of thought and preparation into getting mine. With all the tattoo hype that we see, it is easy to find yourself wanting a tattoo as well. But are you really ready for one? Here are seven signs that you may not be ready for a tattoo quite yet.

1. You are cheap or on a tight budget

Tattoos are not cheap. If someone offers you a cheap or free tattoo, you might want to run the other way. Reputable and well-practiced artists know their worth, and they are not going to give you great work for little pay. Most shops charge a minimum or an hourly rate that can range from $60-$120, not including tip. Some of the more well known artists can charge even more than this, but it also depends on if you are getting shading, color, etc. If this sounds like too much money for right now, then you might want to hold off on getting a tattoo. Of course, it isn't hard to find less professional artists or friends with tattoo guns to give you a tattoo, but is it worth it? Most would say no. This will be on your body forever, and you don't want to sacrifice quality for a few extra bucks.

2. You're impatient

You just decided you want to get a tattoo and you just cannot wait to go. Your friends are pressuring you or you feel a need to get a tattoo right this second.


Planning and researching your tattoo takes time. This is not something you want to rush into. When I was growing up, one of my friends believed that you should draw a tattoo on yourself for a year before you got it. That way you could really make sure you liked it. Obviously, not everyone can draw the tattoos they want for artistic or placement reasons, but my friend had the right idea. As humans, what we want changes frequently. Before you put something permanent on your body, you need to take the time to make sure this is what you really want.

3. You change your mind often.

You want a cross tattoo... Wait... now you want a tattoo with a quote in a cute font... Or do you want a arrow now? Like I previously mentioned, we change our minds, A LOT. Thats okay, and that is part of being human. However, it is important that as first time tattoo getters we are aware of this. Just because you saw a tattoo on Pinterest today does not mean you will want that same tattoo tomorrow. There are a slew of beautiful tattoos all over the internet and they can make anyone want to race to the nearest tattoo shop, but think it through. Ask yourself this. "Is this something I will want on my body for awhile, or forever?"

4. You haven't done your research

Before getting a tattoo you need to research what you want, the style of the tattoo, where you want it, how much to expect to pay, the shop you want to go to and the artist you want to tattoo you. There are many things to consider before getting a tattoo and this is not an area you want to skimp out on. You also need to research or at least have a good idea of how to take care of your tattoo after you get it, and it would be beneficial to know how much to tip and proper tattoo shop etiquette. Researching and having a better understanding of the tattoo process can help you feel more prepared, less anxious, and can get you better tattooed results.

5. You're not good with pain.

In case you have missed the memo, tatting is done by pushing ink into the skin via needle. Imagine a needle gun shooting in and out of your skin hundreds of times over the span of several minutes or hours. No, it isn't the best feeling in the world. Things like the size and placement of a tattoo will greatly determine how much it will hurt, but anyone who tells you that you won't feel a thing is lying. Tattoos on the hips, chest, ribs or feet are going to hurt a lore more than arms or legs but don't let the fear of pain stop you from getting a tattoo either. Just be aware that it is going to hurt, but the pain is only temporary and usually well worth it.

6. You are too worried about what others will think

Not everyone is going to like your tattoos. Even if they don't, most people will be kind enough to say they do or keep their mouth shut. However, you will come across people who don't know how to be respectful. No matter what the tattoo is or how small, if it can be seen, someone can judge it. You should never let the opinions of others stop you for doing something that makes you happy, but make sure that you can handle the criticism if it should come your way.

7. You aren't prepared for the aftercare.

Healing a tattoo can take anywhere from two weeks to a month depending on the size and placement. A larger tattoo is a larger wound and therefore takes longer to heal. The same can be said for tattoos on places of the body that are constantly moving. When healing a tattoo, there are many precautions you need to take. You need to make sure that your tattoo is not exposed to sun, heat, lots of sweat and soaked in water. Most artists will recommend that you wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day and it some will say it needs to be moisturized just as much. The healing process is one of the most important steps when getting a tattoo because when you heal your tattoo properly, you are ensuring that the quality of your tattoo is lasting.

Do these sound like you? Don't worry, just because you aren't ready for a tattoo right now doesn't mean you won't be soon. Do you research, take your time and keep in mind that tattoos can be beautiful and full of self expression, but they are permanent.

how to
Dani Hendrix
Dani Hendrix
Read next: 10 Remarkable Facts Of The 18th Century That Will Surprise You
Dani Hendrix

Born and raised in the Sonoran desert// I love to explore new places, write stories, and drink good coffee.

Support this broke traveler by reading posts! Every view counts.

See all posts by Dani Hendrix