Getting a Tattoo: Procedure and What to Expect

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Hobbies, Shopping


A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment. The first written reference to the word, “tattoo” (or Samoan “Tatau”) appears in the journal of Joseph Banks, the naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship the HMS Endeavour: “I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition”.


Once you have arrive at the tattoo studio, the tattooist usually presents you with a stencil that is has been created from your design. Some tattoo artists to create an instant transfer on special thermal paper. This is your last chance to change your mind.

Most tattoo shops require payment up front. This is to ensure that they are paid whether you like the end result or not. In the tattooing business, satisfaction is not guaranteed. Refunds are as difficult to obtain.

Before you are inked, most tattooists will ask for proof of your age and contact details in case of an emergency. In some places in the world, such as Canada, this is mandatory. In some countries in Asia, the tattooist has the right to reject you as a subject at his or her discretion.

How to Apply a Tattoo Stencil
Correctly applying the stencil is essential to begin the tattoo procedure. Read on to learn more about how to apply a tattoo stencil. These instructions overlap a bit with the instruction on how to create a stencil or tattoo transfer using hectograph paper.

All the information you need is available at one of the largest equipment suppliers in the UK.

1.    After making your stencil take a pair of sharp scissors and cut out the design. Cut close to the design for better handling during application.
2.    Wash your hands and put on disposable gloves. Any time you’re touching the client, you should be wearing gloves.
3.    Clean the area to be tattooed. Use green soap or other similar cleanser and clean the entire area where the stencil will be applied. Follow this general cleaning with another cleaning using rubbing alcohol to ensure the area is clean and free of body oils or residual soap.  Clean in a circular motion from the centre outward.
4.    Shave the area being tattooed…always. Clean the area once more to make sure you haven’t left any loose hair behind. Be sure the area is dry before continuing.
5.    Have the client stand up. The client’s body should be in its natural position. This is especially important on arms, legs, lower backs and abdomens. For arms and legs, never have the limb raised or bent in any way; make sure it’s straight and relaxed before applying your stencil.
6.    Apply a thin layer of the stencil applicator agent. You can go the old-fashioned way and use regular, unscented Speed Stick deodorant. This technique has been used successfully for years, but be careful about the spreading of germs.
7.    Apply the tattoo stencil to the prepared area. Be sure you’ve got the right side facing the area you applied the stencil applicator; this should be the purple side. Make sure the stencil is flat and placed in the location it needs to be and gently press it onto the skin. Be careful not to rub, smudge or smear the stencil as your applying it to the skin.
8.    Slowly peel the paper away and, if done correctly, you should now have a stencil outline to follow.

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