Why Do Tattoo Artists Shave You Before Tattooing? (FAQs More)

tattoo artists shave you before tattooing


When you are all booked in for the tattoo, you are full of excitement, but the wait to see your dream design on your body permanently can often make you a little anxious.


However, what adds to the anxiety is the many questions that come into your head, especially if you are a tattoo virgin. The first and the most crucial question that needs to be addressed is – should I shave before getting a tattoo.


Well, the problem is a lot of people tend to make a booking with the tattoo parlor on a whim. Hence, only after the booking is made are hit by all the doubts and questions. Many even feel self-conscious to ask the parlor owners, ‘should I shave before tattooing?’


In all honesty, it is not the tattoo virgins alone who are perplexed about shaving before the tattoo. Many people who have been inked multiple times in the past might still be uncertain of the answer.


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Why? They may have just woken up one day, decided to get a tattoo, and then when they arrived at the parlor, the tattoo artist might have pulled out the razor to get rid of the hair on the tattoo area. Alternatively, some people like to naturally keep it clean and do not have any hair in the region. So, if you ask them, ‘do tattoo artists shave you’ they would not know.


Such a predicament often leaves you wondering if there is a certain tattoo parlor etiquette that you ought to be aware of. We will try to address all the questions related to shaving before getting a tattoo through this guide.


Should you shave before a tattoo?

One can get a tattoo in literally any part of the body, and naturally, in almost every part of our body, we have some hair. The density of your hair may vary from one person to another, and shaving the area before getting a tattoo surely makes the process more seamless.


But, should I shave before tattoo by myself beforehand? Well, the straight answer to the question is not necessarily. So, can tattoo artists do that for me? Absolutely! Worldwide is a noted practice that the tattoo artists shave you before starting the inking process.


The tattoo artist would want to ensure that there is no visible or even invisible hair between your upper skin layer and the needle. So, once the shaving is done, it is easier for the tattoo artist to move the needle effortlessly and create precise tattoos.


In addition, when your skin is appropriately shaved, the pigment utilized tends to last longer. We hope that clarifies your doubt on – ‘should I shave before getting a tattoo?’


But why do tattoo artists shave before tattoing?

People often ponder, ‘do tattoo artists shave you if you do not shave before a tattoo,’ and the answer is yes. But why is that so? Well, the reason is simple. The hair tends to obstruct the movement of the needle, regardless of how big or small, thick or dense, it may be. So, to get a fresh canvas, the tattoo artist prefers to shave the area before starting.


Should I shave my arm before a tattoo?

Yes, you must, but even if you do not shave before getting the tattoo, fret not, as the tattoo artist will do the same for you.


How soon should you shave before getting a tattoo?

As discussed, there are two kinds of people – One, who would shave before coming for the tattoo, and two, who would let the tattoo artist shave for them.


So, ideally, if you prefer shaving, you must do it a day before your appointment. It will ensure that the area will be neat and smooth for the tattoo artists when you go for the tattoo. Also, when you shave just a day prior, the hair would not have grown back.


Now, there is another dimension to the question, ‘should I shave before tattooing on my hairless areas like ribs or bum?’ Well, if you think you are almost hairless or if the area is inaccessible to you, you can leave it unshaven.


So, do tattoo artists shave you in this case? If the tattoo artist finds hair big enough to obstruct the needle, he will do a quick shave before getting started.


For sensitive skin, you can choose these shavers for sensitive skin.


What happens if you don’t shave before a tattoo?

If you don’t shave by yourself, the tattoo artist will anyhow do it for you. There is also no hygiene concern as a professional tattoo artist will always pick a brand-new razor to shave the area.


Here are some of the best razors for first time shavers.


Is it better to wax or shave before a tattoo?

When people ask us, ‘should I shave my arm before a tattoo or should I get it waxed,’ our response is simple – You Do You!


Shaving or waxing is purely a matter of personal choice. Broadly, the choice is determined by your sensitivity. While some people are sensitive to waxing, others may be more susceptible to redness and irritation when they shave.


So, whatever works best for you, you can make your call. The bottom line is to ensure that the area where you get the tattoo done is hairless.


Is laser an option before getting a tattoo?

Should I shave before getting a tattoo, or will the laser also work? Honestly, experts do not recommend laser as the go-to method before getting a tattoo. It is because skin that has undergone laser treatment is more susceptible to needles.


However, if you are already undergoing treatment, you must plan your laser sessions so that they do not fall too close to your tattoo appointment. A minimum of the two-week gap can be a good idea. You may also consider some laser hair removal kits for home use.


What about using hair removal creams before a tattoo?

As long as you thoroughly follow the instructions mentioned on the depilatory cream, it is perfectly okay for you to use these creams before getting a tattoo. It is because your tattoo goes deep below the epidermis, but these creams will dissolve the hair right at the uppermost skin layer.


However, a section of people is sensitive to these creams. So, before using any depilatory cream, do a patch test at least 24 hours before actually using it to get rid of the hair.


How many days before a tattoo should I wax or use the laser method?

Should I shave before tattoo appointment like an hour in advance? As suggested, the idea is to provide a clean canvas to the tattoo artist. So, you can alternatively wax or use the laser method, too, before getting a tattoo.


Now, there is a difference in the timeline here. While in shaving, we advise to go the next day itself for a tattoo; there is more gap needed in waxing and laser method.


However, the gap between your waxing or laser session should not be so long that your hair starts returning before the appointment. You understand your hair re-growth patterns better, so you can schedule your tattoo appointment when you know that the skin is healed well (from the prior treatment – laser or waxing).


Typically, this timeline may vary from a few days to a week or two.


Does hair grow over tattoos?

Of course, you will get your hair back after the tattoo. However, the speed and density may see some change. If the area was earlier, too hairy, the hair thickness and the hairiness might not be what you once had.


Where’s the least painful place for a tattoo?

The degree of pain inflicted when getting a tattoo depends on your sex, age, and, of course, the pain threshold. Typically, the least painful areas for getting a tattoo are the outer thighs, stomach, back, and forearms.


Try out these back shavers for removing hair from your back before getting a tattoo.


What’s the most painful place to get a tattoo?

The maximum hurt experienced in getting a tattoo is usually on your shins, fingers, spine, and more private areas.


Can I shower after getting a tattoo?

The timeline for showering after a tattoo is variable. Hence, it is best to consult your tattoo artist about the same. It depends on the seal used by them after the tattoo.


For instance, if your tattoo artist has used Tegiderm or Saniderm to seal the tattoo, you can shower immediately as it is a waterproof covering.


On the other hand, if a traditional bandage is used, then you must hold a shower for somewhere between two to twelve hours, as recommended by your artist.


So, naturally, once the bandage is taken off, you can shower anytime. However, it would be best always to use a fragrance-free and mild soap when showering with new ink.


Can shaving after getting a tattoo ruin it afterward?

After the tattoo has healed entirely, you can shave as many times, as much as you want, and it will not cause any damage to your tattoo.


However, the healing time for your tattoo is usually variable and depends on how deep or long the tattoo is. Your tattoo artist can tell you the maximum time it would take for your tattoo to heal completely.


What not to do before you get a tattoo?

There are many things that one must not do before getting a tattoo. Below, we will list a few of them:

  1. A day at the beach or sun exposure and tattooing don’t go well together – Excessive sun exposure tends to burn the skin, resulting in peeling and excessive drying. Not only a tattoo on such skin will look bad, but it will also hurt more when the artist is working with the needle. More so, burned or damaged skin can also slow down the healing process or cause a tattoo infection. So, before and after getting the tattoo, you must shield your skin against sun damage.
  2. Don’t go empty stomach – Never go for your appointment on an empty stomach. Neither do we suggest a heavy meal. Eat up something light and healthy.
  3. Drinking & tattooing is a strict NO! – Under the laws, it is not allowed for a tattoo artist to be inebriated when drawing a tattoo. It is also prohibited for them to serve an intoxicated customer. There are both medical and psychological reasons behind this.
  4. Stay clean & maintain your personal hygiene – Your tattoo artist wants your skin to be oil-free before you go for a tattoo. So, it is quintessential to take a shower before your appointment.
  5. Drinking enough water – Make sure you have an optimum hydration level. The appointment could take a few hours. Also, it will aid in quick healing.
  6. Make sure the skin is healthy free of nicks & cuts – You should be careful when working with the razor for hair removal. If shaving has caused razor burns, it will irritate the skin further during the tattooing process.
  7. Comfortable clothing – Tattoo designing can be a time-consuming process. So, you must be comfortable through the whole thing. Hence, you must avoid tightly fitted clothing that restricts your movement. This will also hamper the seamless blood flow. Also, you should keep in mind the area where you are going to get a tattoo.
  8. Some medications & food items – One should avoid consuming food items that may delay the healing process of a tattoo or cause bloating. Blood-thinning pills and caffeine should also be skipped before you get a tattoo.


Final Word

Here, we have tried to address the most important question “do tattoo artists shave you” and clear all your doubts associated with the care & precautions before and after the tattoo.


So, we hope you find this guide helpful. However, if you have any further doubts or concerns, you must immediately reach out to your tattoo artist and get them clarified. It is best to have their phone number handy to avoid grave concerns.