Read my tips on how to prepare for your tattoo below!

how to prepare for your tattoo

Since I started getting my full sleeve tattoo, I’ve done quite a bit of research on properly preparing for the process and as such, I’ve compiled this post with tips on how to prepare for your tattoo. I hope you find it helpful! I’ve also learned from many of my mistakes that I wrote about in my post What is it Like Getting a Full Sleeve Tattoo? Session #1.

Here are my tips to help prepare for your tattoo

  • Drink plenty of water
    It’s important to stay hydrated during the process and you should drink plenty of water beforehand. Being well hydrated is always a good idea but in this particular case, it helps you last longer and heal quicker afterwards.
  • Keep your skin moisturized
    Obviously don’t slather yourself in moisturizer right before your tattoo but it’s definitely a good idea to moisturize your skin leading up to the day before you go. According to what I’ve read, it also helps the ink take a bit better.
  • Shave the area!
    I put an exclamation mark here because I showed up looking like a hairy monster as usual and it took two razors to get the hair off (it also wasted time and slowed down the tattoo process. Be careful not to cut yourself though as this could mean a cancellation of your appointment!
  • Sleep well the night before
    Don’t pull a Mike and go out for a concert and drinks the night before! Learn from my mistakes and get a good solid sleep the night before. Being well rested will make you less twitchy and you’ll end up with cleaner (and straighter!) lines.
  • Eat Well
    Make sure you eat a good hearty meal before your appointment. Your body is going to need the energy, especially when your instinct is going to be to tense up during the painful parts of the tattoo.
  • Wear the Right Clothing
    If you are getting a sleeve or full sleeve, wear a tshirt that you wouldn’t mind getting ruined before going. It may not necessarily happen but ink from the stencil can definitely end up on your tshirt and if you have to have it rolled up for the shoulder part of the tattoo… it can get stretched quite badly. Ideally, wear a muscle shirt for the session and bring along a sweater or something for overtop beforehand.
  • Take something to entertain yourself
    In my case, I spent most of the time talking to my tattoo artist but some prefer to remain focused and prefer if you bring entertainment. Thank goodness we all have mobile phones nowadays.. bring your phone and a charger loaded up with Netflix or something to watch during the session to distract yourself.

If you haven’t read it yet, check out my post on my first tattoo experience: What it’s Like Getting a Full Sleeve Tattoo – Session #1


I don't cook or bake but I do write. I'm the one who gets stuck with the cleaning. I ALSO love my kids, chocolate, my wife and bourbon. The order depends on when you ask. Read his latest tech article on his other website, CMS Critic: How to start a food blog. You can find me on Instagram@MrKitchenMagpie

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