Updated date:

5 Things to Consider Before Getting a Tattoo

Having worked in the body mod industry for over a decade, this is my advice.

A memorial piece I had done in 2008

A memorial piece I had done in 2008

So, You Want a Tattoo...

Great! When done well, a tattoo can be a beautiful piece of art, and you get the honor of being the canvas! They can represent you, your family, your friends or your memories. They can be cool, funny, sad, serious, political, symbolic and creative. They can be black and grey or vibrant colors. They can be hidden—your little secret, or they can be displayed for all the world to see. Because they can be so many things (permanent being among them!), it is important to take a few things into consideration before you enter the wonderful world of body modification.

They Are Permanent

Yes, I realize you all know that. But, having worked in tattoo shops, I have learned that a lot of people don't *really* consider their permanence when they start coming up with ideas for their tattoos. You may think you'll always like your tribal armband or having Tinkerbell on your breast, but trust me, you probably won't. When choosing designs, think long and hard about the fact that it will *always* be there. Yes, there is now tattoo removal, but relying on this fact is a lousy idea. Laser removal is both more expensive and more painful than the tattoo itself, and it doesn't always leave your skin looking new and fresh. If you're going into a tattoo with the idea "well, I can always remove it later", you probably shouldn't get that tattoo.

Does It Mean Something?

I'd estimate that, at one of the shops I worked at, 50% of our business was covering up old tattoos. The #1 reason? "I got this silly tattoo when I was 18...". The problem, of course, isn't with getting a tattoo at 18, but with getting one that means nothing to you. Getting a tattoo with some friends on the spur of the moment may sound like a fun bonding experience, but if the piece itself holds no meaning for you, you will come to hate it.

Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't get something fun or outrageous (I love it when people ask for weird things!), it just means you should ask yourself why you're getting it. If you can't think of any reason besides "uh...it's cool?", don't get it! The tattoos people treasure the most are the meaningful ones—a memorial piece for a parent, a piece of art you've always loved, a symbol of your favorite memory, sport, band or childhood hero, an inside joke between you and your best friend, a piece with spiritual or intellectual significance or some other symbol that would only make sense to you.

There is no hiding Angry Bee, she's on my wrist!

There is no hiding Angry Bee, she's on my wrist!

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

I'm 30, and I'm still asking myself this question, so don't think this is reserved for the younger folk!

While I'm glad to report the world is slowly coming around to the idea of tattoos, a lot of people still frown on them. Yeah, we'd all like to say we don't care what others think of us, but if there is a career or lifestyle that you are passionate about seeking, you may have to care a little. Certain professions still forbid visible tattoos in the workplace, so you need to consider if you may end up in one of those professions. While I absolutely love the tattoo on my forearm, I've questioned the wisdom of it more than once, as I know I will likely end up in the education field.

The good news is that this doesn't mean you can't get a tattoo at all—you just may want to consider putting it somewhere that can easily be hidden. An ankle, the back of your shoulder, your upper arm or on your ribcage are all good options for the hidden tattoo.

Timing Is Everything

A tattoo shop's busiest season is in the summer. It shouldn't be.

Tattoos need a decent amount of time to heal (expect 3–4 weeks), and should not be exposed to direct sunlight or a lot of water in that time. This means no tanning and no swimming. Depending on where you get it, you may also want to do it when you have a couple of days off work (my feet swelled up so badly, I had to just sit still for a day!). It's the artist's job to give you a good tattoo, but it's your job to look after it; make sure you get it at a time when you can care for it properly.

Are You Ready?

There's a lot more to getting a good tattoo than saving up some cash and picking a design. One of the regrets I hear most often from clients is that they got their first tattoo at the first shop they saw. In my experience, a person is truly ready to get a tattoo once they've:

  • Thought long and hard about the piece they want
  • Researched the shops in their area and chosen the cleanest, most experienced shop with the best reputation
  • Looked through the artist's portfolios and chosen the one most suited to their piece
  • Had a consultation with the artist
  • Saved up enough money for at least the first session (if it takes more than one)

Tattoos are a beautiful thing. Take the time to do it right, and it will be a permanent piece of art that you can carry with you forever.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Robyn J Williams

Comments

mecheshier on December 03, 2012:

Great Hub!!!! My daughter is wanting a tattoo and has wanted one since she was a teen (she is now 23). I tell her, fads come and go but tattoos are permanent. I love your other suggestions/tips as well. Thanks you. Voted up for useful.

James Halpin from York, Pennsylvania on September 23, 2011:

Very good hub. You brought up a lot of great points that everyone should follow. I found the person who did my tattoo from looking at porfolios online. Very happy with both of my tattoos.

Tess45 from South Carolina on September 06, 2011:

I got my first tattoo at the ripe old age of 45. Takes up my entire right forearm representing my love of sewing and I love it. My second tattoo I got in the beginning of August with my cousin on my right chest to honor my Uncle and my dad. It's a seahorse. My uncle had one on each side. Soon, I will get a monster of a memorial tattoo left arm for my son, who shuffled off this mortal coil on June 6. It will also honor my daughter, his sister. Her boyfriend, a very talent artist has already drawn it. I can hardly wait. Excellent post. Very insightful.

Erin LeFey from Maryland on September 06, 2011:

Great hub with some great advice! Luckily I did exactly these things with my first tattoo (and 2nd, 3rd, 4th) they're so addictive - but it is great common sense for the first timer! You are so right about getting something you are going to live with permanently (my first was at age 34, so I did think long and hard about it) and about it having meaning. There are so many beautiful tattoos out there...

and then the horror stories...I'd hate to be a horror story. Thanks so much for the excellent advice.

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on September 05, 2011:

Great article! MOre people should go through these steps of careful analysis first. I have a friend who has an absolutely gorgeous tat of a family of wolves all across her back and shoulders. It is huge, and I know it cost some serious buck and time.

For her 40th birthday, my daughter treated herself to a full-color tat of a leopard on her calf. It is about 6" and was all done in a single sitting. It is an amazing "coming-at-you" 3-D effect.

For me, personally, it's a "no, never-ever" thing. First, I am a huge wuss and I hate needles...I nearly pass out just getting a simple blood test...so subjecting myself to repeated stabbings, no matter how superficial is not going to happen. Secondly, as much as I've appreciated the art on a few other folks, I have yet to see any design I want on myself on a permanent basis.

But I agree with the other commenter--the folks who have so many tattoos that they could go nude without anyone being aware they are undressed is just unappealing.

Great job on the article, and congratulations on Hub of the Day! Voted up, useful and interesting.

Barbara Turpin from N. California on September 02, 2011:

Great Hub, good info, best advice!! I know there are many people that don't like tattoo's ~ "never say never" I got my first at 40yrs old, don't regret that one or any others I've gotten. They're a great way to symbolize, memorialize or to "show off"

Timing is important....in this and ALL big decisions.

Great Hub and congratulations on your win!

Heather McMillan from Hampton, VA on September 02, 2011:

I would like her too, an I may have to mention. I do agree with snorky though in that a lot of young people don't think about what forever means. I have seen some things done 10 years ago that I would not want now, and I am glad its not on me. At least I have spent over a year thinking about what I want and the meaning behind it, not just some fad but a way to remember. To think of having this one and the reason for it brings up all the love I had for my friend but also for all my mom and I went through. Its not just for a wow factor or dare thing. I can't wait to do it really!

f on September 02, 2011:

(re-sent; error in name, above; sorry)

Ty; v. interesting. Yes, your mom seems to have changed her mind completely and even seems keen to broadcast your plans to others now! Would you like her to join you in going under the needle, one day, too? and if so, have you gently suggested it to her?

Heather McMillan on September 02, 2011:

Ty; v. interesting. Yes, your mom seems to have changed her mind completely and even seems keen to broadcast your plans to others now! Would you like her to join you in going under the needle, one day, too? and if so, have you gently suggested it to her?

snorky on September 02, 2011:

You are so right in what u say. I'm now 70yrs. old, I got a tattoo in '70 when rarely did a woman tattoo themselves. I got a lot of responses. All I got was a pinky fingernail sized anchor right where a vaccination may have left a small scar. I (surprisingly) did think ahead but I was 31yrs.old as well. I said: maybe when I'm old and fat I'll have it removed. It's still there, I'm old but not fat.

I at 31 think made the difference from the kids of today who "think" they know what forever means. They are so cock certain about that, so much so that that makes getting a tattoo all the more daring, all the more "grown", etc. It's not like a haircut/coloring which will grow out or an article of clothing which can be discarded once the fad is finished. Matter of fact:"out of date is very uncool. And that day will come. I fear that those who thought they knew "forever" will then regretfully realize what rash overly secure youth means. Too late. I wish I was able to find a formula which would be an easily removal. In about 10-20yrs. from now, maybe sooner.

Heather McMillan from Hampton, VA on September 02, 2011:

I am not sure my mom would get one, but I will say she has certainly come around to the idea of my getting one. Years ago she would say it was not lady like. But since I want one to memoralize my friend who changed my life an to represent her and I, she has given her full support. She may at least come while I get mine! An she is anxious for others to see it as well, so she is coming around.

f on September 01, 2011:

Heather McMillan:

Ty; interesting. So your mom; since she came through the same experience as you, would she possibly be considering getting one too, maybe? Like, the daughter-mother bonding thing.

Yes, more and more women are prepared to consider an arm placement (getting away from the for some exclusively ankle/shoulder/lower back options), many women being prepared to get half- or full-sleeves inked.

Heather McMillan from Hampton, VA on September 01, 2011:

I am excited and anxious at the same time! Worried a bit about the pain, but it will be so worth it! I want a hummingbird to represent my close friend who died of breast cancer two years ago and I want a pink ribbon to be coming out of the beak to represent my mom and I who are survivors. I have decided to have it on my right arm where everyone can see it. Just looking to find the right place and make sure I have the money. I actually can't wait :)

f on September 01, 2011:

Heather McMillan:

So it'll be your first one? are you getting a bit excited/anxious? and I guess you've thought about the placement, too.

(Sorry to read about your illness. There are various hubbers around here who find trust in God at difficult times.)

Heather McMillan from Hampton, VA on September 01, 2011:

Wonderful advice! I have wanted a tattoo for 11 years now and have decided that I am going to get one in the next few months. It will have special meaning, which is why I am willing to take the plunge. But I appreciate your information so I am not going in not knowing things like keeping it out of the sun, etc...

Great on September 01, 2011:

Great hub, great advice! Very useful. I'm still thinking of getting a small one,

http://www.weddinglenox.com/wedding_vendors/califo...

Dustin Thompson on September 01, 2011:

Interesting article. I would love to read a post on the history of tattooing.

Paul Sarver on September 01, 2011:

Very nice article and so true. I have one tattoo that I got off Burbon Street 40 years ago and I simply hate it. You brought up some interesting points that I have not thought of. I'll keep them in mind since I am thinking of another tattoo after I cover this one up with something.

Scarlett Black from New York on September 01, 2011:

Great hub. I wrote a tattoo one also. I have 5 tattoos and all have been doen in later life. I, also, have a memorial piece. All of my tattos mean something very specific to me and I have no regrets. However, if I have any small regret is that I did not find an artist who did small work and some are bigger then I would like although well done. I am thinking about a few others that follow the same theme as the ones I have. My last one was done by an artist that is great at small work. They do NOT leave so one must be really careful on all fronts.

f on August 31, 2011:

robikan:

I see! Ty. So you pierce ears? and maybe one or two other placements, maybe?

leahmia09 on August 31, 2011:

Amazing hub! I have 3 tattoos 2 of which are easily hidden but I did get one on my forearm. I do question it a lot from time to time but it is also my favorite tattoo. All three hold meaning for me and I refuse t oget another one until I find a design or song lyric or something that will forever mean something to me. I'm thinking a breast cancer ribbon for my aunt! I think a lot more people need to listen to this hub and people like you who tell them...GET SOMETHING MEANINGFUL. What's cool at 18 won't be at 45

Robyn J Williams (author) from Canada on August 31, 2011:

Wow! I'm blown away by all the comments -- thanks, everyone!

f - I only dabbled in piercing, so I just know the basics. I learned a lot about every piercing, but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing most of them myself.

Guest - there are certainly some not-so-meaningful tattoos out there that people like, but that tends to be the exception, not the rule. And the fact that you thought about it for so long makes all the difference. Most non-meaningful tattoos are done on the spur of the moment, which makes them all the more regrettable.

Guest on August 31, 2011:

I would like to comment on the idea that a tattoo should be meaningful. I have a tattoo which wraps around my wrist and it has no special meaning to me. Therefore, it will never be tainted by a bad experience. Of course, I waited five years between when I first got the idea for the tattoo and when I actually got it. I figure, if after five years I am still set on getting a tattoo then I'll be less likely to regret it later because it was not a spur of the moment idea.

rikabothra on August 30, 2011:

Congratulations!! I have been wanting to get a tattoo for as long as I can remember, but somehow have never actually gotten down to doing it. The points you mention make a lot of sense and I will keep them in mind when I get mine!

willythuan from Phuket, Thailand on August 30, 2011:

I live in Phuket Thailand, where there is a Tattoo shop at every corner of the street... and sometimes in the street! Most shops look clean, but I saw some pretty horrible jobs done! Thanks for the good advices.

Catherine Simmons from Mission BC Canada on August 30, 2011:

Great hub, great advice! Very useful. I'm still thinking of getting a small one, but until I decide on the perfect design I'll wait!

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on August 30, 2011:

Awesome. Great points. People really should think long and hard before getting a tattoo. Voted up, useful, awesome!

Danette Watt from Illinois on August 30, 2011:

You bring up good points here on what people should be thinking about when they consider getting a tattoo (if it isn't on the spur of the moment). If I ever get one it would be small-ish and in a discreet spot. Voted up

Sammy from Australia on August 30, 2011:

Fantastic and informative. My boyfriends brother is covered in them.. and he ended up covering up his tribal arm band with a massive colourful floral fish thing. Some things you should simply think about!

Steph0596 from Ontario on August 30, 2011:

Great info!

jean2011 from Canada on August 30, 2011:

This is a well written hub. I do not know much about tattoos, but you have provided me with a great deal of information about this art. Thank you for sharing!

xkamronx from Utah, USA on August 30, 2011:

Tattoos are amazing; don't let someone's opinion change your mindset on what you want.

In fact, my friend has a tattoo that describes it perfect... "Live life with no regrets, because at one point in time, what you got was exactly what you wanted."

Megan Coxe from somewhere between here and there on August 30, 2011:

Great advice. I´ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for a while, but don´t feel sure enough to take the plunge. I´m glad that your advice is to wait!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on August 30, 2011:

Congratulation for the hub of the day! Great article. Voted Up! Thanks for sharing.

kaynelson on August 30, 2011:

i like this alot i only have one tatto and i love it but it took years to get it!

the pink umbrella from the darkened forest deep within me. on August 30, 2011:

people ask me all of the time why i got mine. my favorite was "can i asked you what possesed you to get that on your face" said corner store clerk. i have a little star on my cheek under my right eye. the meaning of it is personal and i do not and never will regret getting it. it forces me to look at it in the mirror every day and reminds me that i am still me. but i agree, you better make it count when getting inked.

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on August 30, 2011:

Congratulations on being selected for the Hub of the Day!

This is very useful for those trying to decide on whether or not to get ink done. I always wanted tattoos but waited until I was 20 so that I was sure. I have some original tribal work on my back and I only let one artist tattoo me (he's 4 hours away!). Great Hub! Voting and Sharing!

JSMatthew~

Arizona! on August 30, 2011:

Great Hub!! I agree with what all you wrote. The comment from tshively, they are/can be addictive is true , I am a girl and I have 5 tattoos however , I have chosen to hide them and show them only when I want to show them. For me tattoos are a very private thing between individuals. I design my own tattoos, with the help of my artist we touch up a few things here and there before it becomes permanent

Hound Cat from Los Angeles area of Southern California USA on August 30, 2011:

Very interesting facts in this hub. Thought about getting tattoos in the past. At this point, am glad that I never followed thru with my desire. I realize now that I would have had deep regrets now that I am older.

You are right that some employers frown on visible tatoos. A good friend had one removed for that very reason.

Through My Lens from MA on August 30, 2011:

Great hub!! Things that everyone getting a tattoo needs to consider.

Victor Mavedzenge from Oakland, California on August 30, 2011:

Thanks for sharing. Good to hear from the experienced mind and hand.

Sehnonimo from San Bruno, CA on August 30, 2011:

I think there is something else you should mention - your skin may twitch, almost uncontrollably, while getting a tattoo. So if you are going to get something that requires minute detail, make sure you are ready for that fact! My tattoo didn't minute detail, but my tattoo artist was getting upset with me because I couldn't keep my skin from twitching!

I only have one tattoo so far. I had wanted tattoos for a long time, but I told myself I should earn them before I get them so I know that I really wanted them and they have significance. However, my first tattoo I got when I was trying to find a way out of a burgeoning depression. Don't get me wrong, I love my tattoo, and I had thought about getting said tattoo before under different circumstances, but this kind of beat me to it. I have four wolf paws on my right foot. I chose that location so I could cover it up without a problem. And it always reminds me to keep moving forward. My point of this being - think about your tattoo and think carefully about placement. I'm not the type to want to stand out too often, but I can if I want to thanks to my tattoo!

Regand on August 30, 2011:

Very good advice! It is very important to consider how forever tattoos really are. I look at the one I got 20 years ago and still smile at the memory. It is very important to research the artist and shop. Now that tats are so popular it can be hard to find good artists these days. They are like hairstylists, once you get one they are golden. I will follow my guy anywhere and won't let anyone else put a needle to my skin. Good job!

serenityh from Morgantown, WV on August 30, 2011:

This is definitely great advice. I want to get a tattoo and I have thought about the tattoo I want to get which is a skull (symbology). I have always the symbology of the skull. Anyway, great information.

Carrie Smith from Dallas, Texas on August 30, 2011:

Congratulations on being the Hub of the Day! This is excellent advice, and it's important to consider everything when/if you're getting a tattoo. Thanks for sharing - voted up

s.wilson on August 30, 2011:

One of the rules my parents always told me was to never get the name of a girlfriend. Children, grandchildren, parents, all those people are ok. But even if you get married, there are never 100% assurances that any relationship will work out. Nothing is worse than having to explain why an old lover's name is tattooed on your butt.

David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on August 30, 2011:

Great hub! I love my tattoos...You have done a great job explaining about tattoos and the consequences of getting them. They are permanent and the process is very personal. Choosing an artist is very important too. I get a tattoo or two every year and I look forward to doing so. Great job!

Luis Bivar Ramos from Porto, Portugal on August 30, 2011:

Great Hub! I have only a tattoo and I choosed November to do it, because of the healing part. Your advice there is really important! And also the part of meaning something, in my opinion it has to be something "strong" for you not to regret it a few years later!

Capgunsonline on August 30, 2011:

Great article. I think a lot of people who get tattoos don't follow through most of these steps. Congrats on hub of the day too.

oh...I'm not surprised most people get tattoos during summer. Make sense, since people want to show them off.

ThePelton from Martinsburg, WV USA on August 30, 2011:

I was attending a class on how to behave in an interview for a job, and the subject of tatoos came up. The common view on them was to hide them if at all possible. If you want a job in the library, it's not going to help you to have "Born to raise Hell" on your forearm.

danielleantosz from Florida on August 30, 2011:

Thinking about permanence is particularly important for women who want children. Thanks for sharing, and congratulations on hub of the day!

FloraBreenRobison on August 30, 2011:

Congratulations on hub of the day. Tattoooing is an art. I won't be getting a tattoo-too painful and there is simply nothing I want on my body for all time.

The Rising Glory from California on August 30, 2011:

I'm one of those people who frown on tattoos, but I have to say your HUB is very good with a lot of common sense involved for those who do want to mark their bodies up. I personally know a girl who is 18 and got a tattoo to represent the heart break of a recent break up from a guy she dated for about 6 months. Talk about short sightedness. Anyway, in not being a "tattoo" person - good job!

Jonesy0311 on August 30, 2011:

I started getting ink when I was 18 and, luckily, don't regret any of my pieces yet. However, had I thought about it more, i probably would have done a few differently. The part of your hub that got me was when people pick out the first parlor they see. I was guilty of this for my first 2 tats. The first guy ended up butchering my skin and I had to pay someone else years later to fix it. The second artist turned out to be a meth addict, which I didn't know until it was too late. It's always fun getting an HIV test because you think you might have been exposed to a dirty needle. I think that the artist is the most important piece of the puzzle. If they had just listened to exactly what I wanted, all of my work would suck. Instead, they gave recommendations and put their own creative flair on the piece. Oh, and if you decide to go crazy like I did, make sure you can at least cover everything with a long-sleeve shirt, unless you're in a career field that truly doesn't care.

Vinay Heart on August 30, 2011:

This article is really great! I have 7 tattoos which are all near and dear to my heart for various reasons, but sometimes i'll see one on a passerby and think "what was going through their head?!" I feel like there should be a waiting period from the time your artist draws your tattoo to the time you get it, just so you can be forced to sleep on it a little lol. Great Hub, voted up and useful!

f on August 30, 2011:

Robikan:

So you're a piercer, too?

Do you specialize in particular piercings for the parlor, or do you do the whole range of them?

thechronicler on August 30, 2011:

Excellent advice about what should be thought out before getting a tattoo. I have one small one on my back that I got at 19, but I had wanted one since I was 15 and spent those four years really thinking hard about the kind of symbol that would be meaningful to me and represent my journey through this life. At 30, it still holds significance to me and I am planning to eventually get another tat design added to it. I guess it is a bit addictive for some of us, but I'm sticking to getting them where they can be covered up.

SillyRedd on August 30, 2011:

Very good advice. I personally have two tattoos and they hold a lot of meaning and I thought them out for a few years before getting them. You're advice is definitely good for people interested in tattoos.

delmer47 from Nebraska on August 30, 2011:

I have thought long and hard about getting a tattoo that honors my dad. He passed away 6 years ago, and I miss him so much, that I thought having something to honor his memory. This hub was great....voted up and useful.

AlienWednesday on August 30, 2011:

Great hub and could not agree more. I love tattoos, but only get ones I can hide.

Robyn J Williams (author) from Canada on August 30, 2011:

Thanks again, everyone.

homesteadbound, I appreciate the comment, but should clarify that I'm not a tattoo artist; I work the front desk and dabble in some piercing. It's the front desk ladies that tend to hear the regrets, as we are the ones that book the cover-ups. ;)

NyokaKi from Perdido Bay on August 30, 2011:

I have two tats and they both mean something TO ME!Your right!You have to think about it, and KNOW it's what you want, cause you're gonna have it for life! Never get a tat just to say you have ink! I am an accountant and I knew before getting mine that not everyone would like it. So I have mine on the back of my shoulders and only people I want to know, know I have them. It is funny to listen to people talk about tats with me not knowing I have them. And yes a lot of the talk is still very negative!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on August 30, 2011:

Very nicely done! You brought up a lot of things that I had never considered were important to think about when getting a tattoo. The hub is even more compelling because you, a tattoo artist, are not trying to sell on how great it would be to have a tattoo. Instead you have provided a very balanced picture of what to expect and what not to expect. Again, very nicely done.

Mamelody on August 30, 2011:

I will never understand why anybody in their right minds would want a tattoo.. Good hub though.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on August 30, 2011:

Great hub with a lot of practical facts and suggestions about choosing and getting a tattoo.

Most people are aware that getting a tattoo carries some risk of infection at the time it is drawn onto the skin, but many are not aware of potential long term effects. I recently attended a nursing conference that addressed the medical issues of tattoos, mostly related to those tattoos which were placed in warm dark parts of the body such as the navel and skin fold areas. Also, people need to remember how gravity and the natural effects of aging may one day distort a tattoo.

Voted up, useful and interesting. Also, congratulations on earning The Hub of the Day badge.

the-real-deal? from united kingdom on August 30, 2011:

Very good points throughout here Robikan, as an avid artist and tattoo fan I think you have hit the nail on the head on this Hub....

I also created a Hub on this subject and would love to hear your views on my piece...

https://hubpages.com/style/How-To-Choose-Your-Firs...

Robyn J Williams (author) from Canada on August 30, 2011:

Thanks, all! It's true that tattoos aren't for everyone, but if you are going to get one, make sure you're well prepared. :)

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on August 30, 2011:

Great Hub and excellent advice. I have three tatoos, all on my arms, all done when I was in my late teens. I very much regret all of them, not so much because of what the specific tatoos are, I simply regret the decision to be self-branded. Whenever I hear someone talking about getting their first tattoo I always give them the same piece of advice: don't do it...

Saint Lawrence from Canada on August 30, 2011:

Very well put together hub. I think you covered everything with good basic info. I agree that people really don't think this through and just jump in the river before testing the water. Peer pressure within the younger generation hasn't changed, only the dynamics of what is cool and the trend of today are tattoos. But how long will the trend last? Something you didn't cover is the actuality of serious infection, not only by the shop, but by poor hygiene. We have had a number of shops closed in our city due to unhealthy practices and causing many problems with their patrons. An infection such as chronic skin infections are a new breed of virus. Hepatitis is probably the most common. I'm including a link with lots of great info for your readers.

https://www.msu.edu/~krcmari1/individual/get_healt...

Thanks for caring, St.L

tiniewinne from world on August 30, 2011:

very interesting well chose topic

chamilj from Sri Lanka on August 30, 2011:

Actually I thought tattoos are not Permanent. Thanks for the information.

Jill Spencer from United States on August 30, 2011:

Congrats on making Hub of the Day! Great article.

Christin Sander from Midwest on August 30, 2011:

awesome information :) I love tattoos, but they definitely require more forethought than I think many people give them due to their permanence and need for maintenance (eventually they fade). I also think they can be overdone. I'd rather see one or two really awesome ones than someone with their whole arms covered etc. Too much seems to take away from the beauty of them as well.

tshivley from Durham, NC on August 30, 2011:

Thank you for this hub, it is quite informative and should be used for when someone decides to get a tattoo. I will also add something that should definitely be taken into consideration. You can ask anyone who has a tattoo, especially those that have more: once you get one, they become slightly addictive. I don't mean the addictive in the sense of your going to hurt someone if you don't get it, but the kind of addictive where you look at your first one and you think: "Oooh, a tattoo of _____ would look really good right here!" Or maybe expand on the one you have, or, like me, I feel the need to get one on the top of my other foot just for a sense of symmetry; or maybe that one really cool design on my spine, cause that would look really awesome, painful, but cool!

So, when you sit down and plan out your tattoo (and planning is very important to ensure you get exactly what you want and not what that tattoo artist would like to do), think about how you can get one and remain strong and not get your second, third, fourth and fifth, with more on the way.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on August 30, 2011:

You have written a very interesting hub. I have never gotten a tattoo and I never will. When I was growing up, I was told that only "drunken sailors" got tattoos. My God, have times changed! It's understandable that so many young people are into tattoos when you consider that so many of their role models like professional athletes have them. A woman with any kind of visible tattoo really turns me off. If guys want them fine. But why do so many young people cover their body from head to toe with tattoos? To me, that is really gross!

f on August 30, 2011:

Useful information.

Voted up.

esemchoy from Abu Dhabi, UAE on August 30, 2011:

Great article for tattoos... These things should be thought over and over....

SY on August 30, 2011:

Thanks for sharing your ideas, you make a lot of sense. Congrats for nomination as hub of the day. http://www.micocrane.com

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on August 24, 2011:

This is superb advice, Robikan, and you've brought up some factors that I had never before considered- like seasons/timing! I'll be sharing this with any friends who decide they want to get a tattoo.

Carlon Michelle from USA on August 19, 2011:

I learned a thing or two about tattoo, especially best time to get one an how long the healing process is. I don't think I'll ever get one but I have appreciated a few of them from time to time. You know the small and modest ones. Smile!