Not communicating during the session

One of the biggest mistakes people make when getting a tattoo is not communicating with their artist during the session. If you’re feeling faint or like you need to take a break, don’t be afraid to tell your tattooer. If you think a certain part of the piece you’re getting could be improved, let them know. Just because you’re sitting down, doesn’t mean you have to be passive.

Wearing inappropriate clothing

No, they don’t care if you’re wearing a crop top or if you’re showing some cleavage. Actually, quite the opposite: When you go to get a tattoo, you need to make sure that whatever clothing you’re wearing won’t make contact with that area of skin. A fresh tattoo is an open wound, and you need to give it room to breathe. If you’re getting a tattoo on your foot, for instance, make sure you wear an open shoe.

Not thinking about aftercare

The biggest tattoo mistake of all is not taking proper care of your tattoo. Mess up the aftercare and you can mess up both the tattoo and possibly your health. Do not take a bath, dive into a pool, or swim in the ocean after you get a tattoo. Don’t sleep on your side if you just got your ribs tattooed. Clean it regularly, and listen to your tattoo artist’s instructions about which product to use for cleaning. Again, wear clothing that does not interfere with the healing of your tattoo.

Not tipping the tattooer

When you’re getting tattooed for the first time, you’re probably not sure what the proper etiquette is when it comes to tipping. To answer your question: Yes, you do need to tip your tattoo artist. How much you leave them is up to you, but $20 is a good minimum to live by. Obviously, if your tattoo artist has been working on your very intricate piece for five hours, you’ll want to tip them more.

Not thinking long-term

Make sure you don’t need to get a cover-up tattoo in the future. Don’t get your significant other’s name tattooed on your hand. And don’t go to such a low quality artist that you’ll be embarrassed by your body art. And please, for the love of ink, don’t let your friend tattoo you in their basement. Tattoos are lifelong investments: Make sure you think hard about what you’re getting.