Getting your first tattoo is both exciting and nerve-wracking. You want it to look good but you know it’s probably going to hurt a little. The stick and poke method has a slightly different sensation than that of a machine tattoo. Some say it is less painful. Others say the fact that it takes longer makes the process more grueling. All of these factors will depend entirely on the design and location of your tattoo as well as the person tattooing you.

The best part about getting a stick and poke tattoo from the comforts of home is that you’ll most likely feel more relaxed and comfortable. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t some things you can do to prepare yourself both mentally and physically. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your first stick and poke tattoo:

Know the Risks

Tattoos come with their own set of risks. From infections to bloodborne pathogens, it’s important that you stay safe during your experience. While different in style, stick and poke tattoos also involve the puncturing of the skin, the exposure to blood, and of course, the potential spread of disease. Read up on the risks of getting a tattoo so that you can know what to look out for. You should make sure all of the equipment is new and sterile and that the surfaces around you are clean. Also, the person tattooing you should wear protective equipment.

Read Up About the Stick and Poke Style

The stick and poke style is very different from that of a machine. It has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. With this in mind, you should read up about it in depth so that you make the right decision. The stick and poke style has a more authentic unique and feel but takes considerably longer. It is better suited to people wanting line and dot work.

Choose a Design That’s Right for You

Before you get in for your first stick and poke tattoo, choose a design that’s right for you. Some people spend years looking at a design before they get it tattooed and for good reason. A tattoo is permanent so make sure you go for a design that you’re not going to regret or get bored of later. Most importantly, check with the person tattooing you that they’re happy and confident to tattoo this style of design. If your friend is tattooing you, they may not feel confident with the style you have chosen so double-check.

Don’t Drink Alcohol or Take Any Drugs

When you go to a professional tattoo studio, they often check that you haven’t taken any drugs or drunk any alcohol. They may also ask you if you are on any medication, specifically, blood-thinning medications. The same rules should apply when getting your first stick and poke tattoo.

Alcohol thins your blood meaning that when you’re getting your tattoo there will be more blood than if you avoid having a drink. This causes serious visibility issues for the person tattooing you and may lead to a bad looking tattoo. Excess bleeding from drugs or alcohol can also thin the ink so aside from ending up with lines that aren’t straight, you may find that your design is patchy.

Clear Your Schedule

As mentioned above, stick and poke tattoos take considerably longer so make sure to clear your schedule the day of your tattoo. A tattoo session should never be rushed so make sure you don’t have any plans after. More importantly, you may experience a little discomfort after your tattoo depending on the design, location, and person tattooing you so make sure you have plenty of time to rest. In some cases, if you want a bigger or more complex design, it may be worth splitting your tattoo into multiple sessions.

Eat and Hydrate Before Your Session

When getting a tattoo, your body activates its flight or fight response - after all, you’re literally puncturing holes in your skin so it’s normal for your body to assume you're in harm’s way. As soon as your body feels under threat, it’ll increase your glucose levels and slow down your metabolism. So, to put it simply, eating before a tattoo is what will give your body the fuel it needs to sit there for a couple of hours or more. Not eating before a tattoo can lead to more pain and even increase your chances of fainting.

Don’t Go at It Alone

If you’re feeling nervous about your first stick and poke tattoo, why not bring a friend for support? Aside from the fact that having a friend there may relieve any anxiety you might be feeling, you may find that talking to them during the process is a welcome distraction from the pain. Only bring one person with you as having too many people around could be distracting for the person tattooing you.

If you’re thinking of getting your first stick and poke tattoo, why not do it from the comforts of home? We offer a selection of different stick and poke tattoo kits, all of which come with professional and sterilized needles, inks, safety materials, and more!

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