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Getting Your First Tattoo? Here’s What You Need to Know

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A beginner’s guide to getting inked.

Contemplating your first tattoo? Considering it’s going to be with you for life, your decision is certainly not one to take lightly. If you have your heart set on permanently marking your body with meaning art, you are in good company. Tattoos are mainstream now and they are a fantastic form of self-expression.

What do you need to consider before making your first tattoo appointment?  We asked content creator and tattoo model Dakota Alexandra for her expert advice.

Think Before Your Ink

“My number one advice would be to make sure you are absolutely sure you want the tattoo before you get it. That is so important as over time you may change and grow and think differently about the tattoo choice (I know I have!) so if there’s any doubt, don’t get it”

Time it Right

“Fall is a great time to get a tattoo since people are starting to wear warmer clothing and spend less time in the sun it will allow the tattoo a better healing environment. You should never go swimming with a fresh tattoo or expose a fresh tattoo to the sun! You will put yourself at risk for infection and could ruin the tattoo. It is possible to get a tattoo at any time of the year so long as you take all necessary steps to protect it and heal it properly.”

Numb the Pain

“If you are squeamish, don’t be afraid to use numbing cream. My artist recommends Tac Sciences tattoo numbing cream as it doesn’t leave the skin tacky which is easier for the artist. Another choice is Hush Anesthetic. There are many numbing creams on the market, please always ask your artist before using one!”


Disregard Trends

“I think someone looking to get a first tattoo should absolutely not focus on trends, as this is something that will be on your body forever and trends change. Instead, focus on your likes and interests and what YOU really want to have on your body for the rest of your life.“


Arrive Prepared

“You should eat before your appointment, wear comfortable clothes, bring headphones in case you want to listen to music or watch a movie on your phone or tablet during the session, make sure you don’t have any scheduling conflicts that day, and always tip your artist! “

 Avoid Regrets

“I think it’s also important to talk to your artist if you have any concerns and make sure to speak up if you are unsure or you want to change something! This is something I regret not doing when I was younger.”


Dakota Alexandra is a content creator, tattoo model and makeup artist. She is a part of a Snapchat show called Art Ink, that showcases tattoos galore and all things body art.

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Janene Mascarella