6 things to remember for a less painful tattoo! 

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An attractive young girl with tattoo drinking street coffee
Want a painless tattoo? Go for a temporary one! That is the one and only solution.
A permanent tattoo is a perpetual mark on your body. I can’t insist on this enough. Eventually,  to make it permanent, it needs to penetrate the skin and get pushed in the dermis of the skin. Without needles, this is impossible. Isn’t it? Involving needles are painful at various levels depending on the design and skin sensitivity which in turn lets the artist decide which size and type of needles to use for an efficient tattoo and with less damage to the skin.
We have put up this famous quote on one of our tattoo studios’ doors-
“Tattoo hurts! 
Do not whine or ask to stop,
We will laugh at you “
This is no mockery but a preparatory step for your tattoo session.
How to avoid pain while tattooing? 
Hands drawing with tattoo pen on arm
‘Diversion’ is the magic word.
Soak the below mantras in your mind to experience a less painful session.
Do your homework, 
Trust your artist, 
Divert your attention. 
1 ) Do your homework about the artist and the studio, which in turn will allow you to trust your artist a hundred percent and relieve you from the dilemma of doubting her/him to ink you.
Once you trust the artist, you will never need to peek into the area worked upon every second, which allows your to wear your headphones and listen to your playlist without the hassle and get diverted from the pain.
2 ) The area to be tattooed is also an important factor for pain quotient. In general, the more the muscle, the less the pain. In other words, if you feel your bone in the area to be tattooed, the more the pain to be endured. For instance, calf muscles, side forearm, inside forearm hurt less whereas side ankle, ear portion, or behind it hurt more as there is no cushioning effect to absorb the vibrations while tattooing.
Moreover, the more sensitive the area, the more the pain. Inside biceps, side neck, feet, palm are good examples.
Vintage vector wing
3 ) Request for numb spray or gel if pain escalates. As we, tattoo artists are not allowed to inject anesthesia, we have access to superficial numb sprays or gels which will ease out your pain.
4 ) Bring a friend or one family member along! I would suggest only one! Divert yourself by indulging in conversation. Who knows,  you might unearth topics you never knew. And I promise, your secrets are safe with us!
5 ) Don’t take very long breaks during long tattoo sessions. Avoid breaks to the maximum. A 10 minute to half an hour break can be taken once in every 2-3 hours, for a 6-8 hour tattoo. Your artist will decide this. Once you take a long break, the body assumes the puncturing is done and starts relaxing. At this point when the session resumes, the body is not ready for the pain which magnifies even the smallest prick.
On an average, breaks are not required for 1 or 2-hour tattoos.
6 ) DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL!! Alcohol consumption thins the blood. The thinner the blood, the more the bleeding. The more the bleeding the more the pain as it hinders the artist’s visibility, resulting in excess puncturing and longer timings than usual
Avoid drinking 48 hours before and 72 hours after a tattoo.
In short,  pain whilst tattooing cannot be avoided but can be reduced by following the above methods.
Watch out for this space to know about what to expect from a tattoo artist and what is expected from you, the client.
Preethi Prabhuram
Femina featured  tattoo artist
Owner Fihankra Tattoos, Alwarpet