4 Things to Keep In Mind for Your First Tattoo or Piercing

So you wanna get a body modification...
Publish date:

Tattoos and piercings have been around since the dawn of time, but recently they have been making a resurgence as the hottest accessories on campus. Due to evolving social attitudes towards body modification, more people are finding tattoos and piercings acceptable, and that means more people are getting them.

Everyone knows that most every popular actress, recording artist, or model has some sort of ink or piercing, but nowadays it is even becoming normal to see Average Joes rocking them. Your TA, your nerdy coworker, even your future boss could all have a secret (or not-so-secret) piercing or tattoo!

Totally normal to see your TA rocking one of these in lecture VIA Elle.com

Totally normal to see your TA rocking one of these in lecture VIA Elle.com

That being said, many people choose to get their first body modification (other than an ear piercing) in college. There's probably at least one tattoo parlor around your campus and maybe you've stared longingly at the storefront once or twice. Well, I'm here to tell you to go for it! But not before you check out the following tips:

1. Know Your Pain Tolerance

This may sound obvious, but many people don't take the time to properly assess their own pain tolerance before they decide to get a tattoo or piercing. Make sure you do research on reported pain locations, as well. Typically, ribcage tattoos and facial piercings are pretty painful, and might not make the best first location.

2. Don't Go While Intoxicated

Even though everyone loves a good drunk tattoo story, please don't visit the tattoo shop inebriated. 

While you may think alcohol will numb the pain, it'll actually thin your blood and make you bleed even more. Also, it's illegal for any tattoo artist to do work on you while you are visibly intoxicated, FYI.

3. Avoid Cheap Work

There's a saying that goes, "Good tattoos ain't cheap and cheap tattoos ain't good." Now I'm not saying that you should drop $300 on a septum piercing or a dainty peace sign tattoo, but definitely be wary of shops and artists that charge way lower prices than usual

Cheap work, though tempting for students on a budget, comes with major risks. Namely, you can never be 100% sure of the sanitation or quality of the tools they are using. While they might be fabulous artists, if they aren't clean and careful, you might end up with keloids or an infection.

Look at these piercings! So clean! Elle.com

Look at these piercings! So clean! Elle.com

4. Take Care of Your Art

While a new tattoo or piercing may look fully healed after 2-3 weeks, you should continue to clean and moisturize it for the entire duration of time your tattoo artist or piercing person recommends

For the first few weeks, for example, a piercing should be cleaned twice a day with a sea salt solution. Tattoos often have specific aftercare regimens that will be explained by your artist. Don't skip these, even if you're feeling lazy. When you slack on upkeep, you run the risk of prolonged or infected healing. Remember, your new body modification is now a part of you and you should treat it with due care.


Do you guys have any tattoos or piercings? Were they painful? Not that bad? What was our first time like? Let us know in the comments!

Related Stories