We’ve listed our most frequently asked questions here so you’ll hopefully find the answer you’re looking for somewhere amongst them. If not, just give us a buzz and we’ll be happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have 🙂
Does it hurt?
In a word – yes. A tattoo is technically a medical procedure involving a single or multiple needles puncturing the skin between 50-3000 times per second…unsurprisingly this doesn’t feel particularly pleasant!
Pain is relative however – so it all depends on your personal pain threshold, the size or detail of the piece, and the placement on your body (we’ll come back to this later). Generally tattoos will hurt to begin with but thanks to your body’s instinct to protect itself, they become far more manageable to cope with once your adrenaline and natural endorphins kick in. Each person has a limit of how much they can handle at once – some people can last for 6+ hours, others can last only minutes.
I’m under 18 but have parental consent – when can I get tattooed?
When you’re 18. It is illegal in the UK to tattoo minors under the age of 18, even with parental consent.
Do you use vegan ink?
Yes. We use ‘Fusion’ and ‘Dynamic’ brand inks, which are both completely vegan. Its always worth checking with your artist that all inks they plan to use are vegan beforehand.
What does a tattoo feel like?
Some liken it to a constant cat scratch, others feel a burning sensation. Some lucky people find it tickly or even relaxing in certain areas!
How long do they take?
It all depends on the size, placement and complexity of the design. Small, simple tattoos can take less than 30 minutes whereas full arm sleeves can take anything from 8-50 hours to complete in multiple sessions – so this is something to think about when planning large scale pieces.
How much does it cost?
Again this all depends on the size, placement and complexity of the design. Our minimum charge is £40, this is for anything that will take less than 1 hour to complete – initials, single words, star signs, infinity symbols and the like. For anything larger, we generally require a consultation so that the artist can discuss a rough price with you.
Regardless of the piece you’re getting, its well worth researching a good quality artist rather than settling for the cheapest. ‘A cheap tattoo ain’t good, and a good tattoo ain’t cheap’…in the tattoo world, you definitely get what you pay for. The key point to remember is that you are commissioning a piece of artwork, which is going to be displayed on your body for the rest of your life. If you settle for cheap, or are in a rush to have it done right now without a care for who completes it, you’re setting yourself up for further costs in the future whether it be through cover ups, or laser removal. If you can’t afford the price of a quality tattooist, save up and wait! Trust me – your body will thank you.
How can I prepare myself for my tattoo appointment?
Rest well the night before, eat, and drink plenty of water! A decent, healthy meal is advised at least an hour before your appointment – especially important for longer sessions – as this gives your body the fuel it needs to get through the ‘trauma’ of having a tattoo. You’d be amazed at how many ‘big, burly’ men tap out quickly, all because they haven’t eaten beforehand! It helps to bring some snacks with you if you’re in for a longer session, so that you can keep your blood sugar levels up and avoid lightheadedness, fainting and possible shock.
Wear comfortable, breathable clothes that you don’t mind getting ink stains on. Your artist will be happy to have a conversation with you while tattooing, but you’re welcome to bring distractions such as music (with headphones) or a book. Please bare in mind that if your tattoo is on your arms or upper body, you may not be able to move very much so be smart with your choices!
Can I use numbing cream?
You can, but at your own risk and you must check that this is okay with your artist beforehand. Some artists straight up refuse to tattoo with numbing cream as it can alter the tattooing process, and therefore may turn you away if you’ve used one without letting them know first.
You should feel no pain for the first 20 minutes – 1 hour. This is fine for smaller tattoos that don’t take much time, but for larger pieces that require a good 2 hour+ session the pain can return with a vengeance! Some people say the returning pain is far worse than had they not used cream – this is likely due to the fact that you’ve ‘tricked’ your body into feeling no pain, and therefore it has not prepared itself for ongoing trauma by kickstarting the release of adrenaline or natural endorphins.
If you are using a numbing cream, we advise to do a patch test a few days before your appointment to ensure that you have no adverse effects to the cream. You will need to follow the instructions from the manufacturer – but in general numbing creams need to be applied with gloves to clean, unbroken skin, and then covered with clingfilm for up to 1 hour before the tattoo process begins. This can make it tricky to time the cream application accurately as previous appointments may not always run smoothly!
There are two types of numbing cream – one which is applied as above, the other is applied by your artist during the tattoo once the skin has been broken. Either method you use – you must tell your tattooist that you plan to use a numbing cream, and let them know which brand you’re using.
What about painkillers?
If you wish to use painkillers to aid the process or healing of your tattoo, Ibuprofen is the best option. This is anti-inflammatory and will give a little pain relief without affecting the tattoo in any way. Please do not use aspirin – this thins the blood causing excessive bleeding during the tattoo (meaning there is a chance the ink will not stay put) and it reduces blood clotting meaning it will take far longer to heal. Paracetamol is not advised for similar reasons, the only difference being is does not reduce clotting.
Do you do temporary tattoos?
No. Temporary tattoos come in the form of decals, or henna. Decals are images that are printed onto paper covered with a thin transfer film, the image slides off the paper and onto skin with the aid of moisture – these are very popular with children. Henna comes from the dried, powdered leaves of the Henna tree, its turned into a paste which then dyes the skin – this is the most popular option for adults who are wanting something temporary. If an artist tells you that the tattoo ink will fade after so many months, do not listen to them – there is no such thing! If you’re thinking of removal techniques or how long a tattoo will last before the needle touches your skin – its probably better to wait until your sure.
Can tattoos be removed?
Yes – either permanently through a cover up tattoo or laser removal, or temporarily using specialist make up.