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WHAT TO EXPECT

You may be a veteran of the tattoo world, but if this is your first time then this page tells you what you need to know and what to expect on the day.

HOW IS A TATTOO DONE?

Your skin is made up of several layers, each with a different cell structure. The thin outermost layer is called the Epidermis, and this layer acts as a protective barrier. The thicker layer below is called the Dermis. This is the 'meat' of the skin where the hair is attached. Below this is the Subcutaneous layer, which contains fat cells and is the transfer to the bloodstream.

The Epidermis is constantly renewing itself, and therefore would be no good for a tattoo. Tattooists use a motorised needle to push ink into the skin up to 3000 punctures per minute. This pushes the ink into the Dermis and the little ink dots left in your skin are what make up the tattoo picture. The needle doesn't need to go very deep. The Dermis usually remains the same for your whole life, which is why a tattoo is permanent.

CHOOSING YOUR DESIGN

There are many genres of tattoo art spanning many cultures. In the studio we have a resource library of thousands of designs including celtic, tribal, japanese, polynesian, old school, portrait, and black and grey shaded designs. You can choose a design from our library, or if you prefer we can can draw something unique to you. Do your research and make sure you are happy with your idea and style before you start.

ABOUT YOUR APPOINTMENT

When you arrive at the studio you first need to fill out a medical form. This is to ensure that we are aware of any potential health problems and means we can provide the very best service for you. It is advisable that you have a good nights sleep, and a small meal approximately 2 hours before coming for your tattoo.

Your artist will allow some time at the beginning of your appointment to complete any drawings required for your tattoo and check that you are happy with the design. They will also discuss, colour, positioning and any other design elements so that you are completely happy with your design before they begin the tattoo process. They will then trace the drawing onto carbon paper, which they then print onto the skin, allowing you to see the design in position. Finally, when the design is printed in place they begin tattooing over the printed design.

In some cases, were the design needs to follow the contours of the body (such as tribal styles), or if your design has no outlines, your artist may prefer to draw the design drectly onto the skin with a felt pen and skip the carboning process, as it is not necessary here.

DOES IT HURT?

We would be lying if we said you couldn't feel anything! However, pain is not a problem for most people as the skin naturally numbs during the tattoo process. In fact, we have known many customers to fall asleep during a tattoo as the sound of the tattoo gun can be hypnotic! If you are really worried about the pain, you can buy numbing cream from certain chemists, although we don't stock this in the studio.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO HEAL?

The healing time for a tattoo will vary person to person depending on factors such as the health of the individual, and the detail and location of tattoo. We recommend applying an aftercare product for two weeks after getting your tattoo to speed up the healing process. Download our aftercare advice sheet here>