Alas, you’re probably reading this with an eye roll, tapping your tattooed fingers on the table wondering when you’re going to hear the end of this debate. Answer: never. Because equal chances are that you’ve seen some really, really cute pictures of perfect finger tattoos on Pinterest or Instagram and are looking to get one yourself (see header). Whether it’s your first tattoo and you just like the look or you’re working on a full body suit, the do’s and don’ts of finger tattoos are always a good topic.
The truth of the matter is that finger tattoos are a gamble, at best. Take a moment to think about your hands. How much you touch with your hands each day, how little muscle and/or fat you have on each finger, how much work they endure in an afternoon. Though tattoos are permanent, your hands don’t have the thick layer of skin needed to hold the ink in, resulting in a tattoo that “falls out”- i.e. a fresh tattoo that can look sloppy, unfinished, or look years older than it is. Another common downfall of a finger tattoo is a tattoo that is “blown out”, or where the ink doesn’t hold in the spot and expands under the skin, turning your nice clean line into an ink blot.
This does NOT mean you shouldn’t get what you want. Many people decide on this tattoo and love the result. We tell you this because with the rise of social media and with celebrities popularizing the finger tattoo trend, many aren’t aware of the risks that come with this sort of tattoo. You should always go with what you want, it’s your body, just don’t be surprised if you come across an artist or shop that don’t do this or try and talk you out of it. As much as it’s your piece it is also the artist’s reputation, and no one wants you leaving the shop with a bad tattoo!
Last week we talked about the all important, yet often neglected, pre-tattoo care. This week we’ll be addressing its twin, the after process.
We appreciate that every artist has different suggestions for aftercare. And that’s to be expected! Each artist has a technique comfortable for them, and every body is different and thus has different needs. That being said there are a few well known moves that will greatly help you in your healing process:
Keep the dressing on your tattoo given to you by the tattooist for at least 2 hours Your tattoo is, frankly, an open wound when finished. Like any cuts you want to put a bandage on it at first to protect it until you get home.
Remove the dressing and wash down the area with warm soapy water. Do NOT scrub or soak the tattoo & pat the tattoo dry with a towel and leave uncovered The reason you don’t keep your fresh piece covered for very long is because you want it to scab as soon as possible. The scab helps lock in the color, so any damage to the scabbing will affect how well the tattoo looks when it’s healed.
*Apply a lotion to the tattoo up to 3 times a day & wear loose clothing to avoid irritating the tattoo So here is where we start to verge from our helpful info graphic. Here at Witch City Ink we recommend a light, scent free lotion (our artists are also big fans of Hustle Butter) whenever your tattoo is feeling tight. For those with sensitive skin, a small amount of A&D can also be helpful. But extended use of either product will affect the scab forming and thus potentially harm your tattoo. If you are using A&D you should only use it for a couple of days, and for lotion you should use sparingly for as long as needed.
DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH at the scab of your tattoo. This will make the healing process longer, disfigure the tattoo, remove the ink and even cause infection. Seriously, just google what an infected tattoo or a poorly healed tattoo looks like when you feel the urge to itch and you will stop itching real quick.
Avoid swimming and being in the sun during the healing process At the end of the day the healing process is all about taking care of the delicate scab that is covering your new tattoo. Keeping a scab submerged in water or baking in the sun will only cause serious harm to the scab and thus to your piece.
It will take around 7-10 days for your tattoo to heal, sometimes longer depending on where the tattoo is. Personal anecdote to explain this one- when I got a small tattoo on my wrist, it formed a scab within a day and was all healed up within the week. My thigh piece though, which is much larger and has color, took almost a week and a half to heal and was still tender after that. Every body is different.
After the tattoo has healed continue to keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight. This will prevent it from fading. This last after care instruction is a universal truth! Sunlight is death to tattoos, new or old. All tattoos fade to a degree over time, but give your piece the fighting chance it deserves with sunblock and coverage during those sunny days.
Everyone has questions about how to best take care of their tattoo but few people realize how important the pre-tattoo steps are. We love this graphic from BuzzfeedDIY that illustrates the best steps to take before you even get in the shop.
Eat a Big Meal Beforehand When you get tattooed, your body expends a lot of energy. To keep your calories up and to keep you going to the finish line, it’s good to eat a healthy meal before you sit down for your tattoo.
Drink a Lot of Water Same idea as eating a big meal beforehand. Pretty much treat your tattoo session as the physical challenge it is and do your best to prep your body as best you can.
Avoid Alcohol The Day Before This one probably is self explanatory, but alcohol is a blood thinner and that can cause problems for your tattoo artist. Also, no one wants a sloppy tattoo because you had too much fun before your session and couldn’t sit up in the chair. But after your tattoo? Go for it, friend.
No Painkillers See ‘avoid alcohol’ comments above.
Pack Snacks, Water & Cash for Your Tip Even if you’ve had a feast for breakfast it’s always good to pack fuel for later to keep that energy level going. Think of it as a great excuse to treat yourself! And while many tattoo parlors have card readers these days, it’s good to know that those systems do NOT generally have a tipping option. Artists understand that this isn’t common knowledge, but still- cash is king.
Wear Comfortable, Dark Clothes You know that cute, fitted white tee that is your favorite part of every outfit? Now imagine it with blood on it, agitating your nice, fresh, new tattoo. Not so cute.
Stretch Beforehand Like the graphic says, you’ll be in the same position for at least a couple of hours. Be your body’s friend and it will thank you!
Stay Calm. Listen, tattoos don’t tickle (except for sometimes). But as our artist Jae says, if they hurt that bad then no body would get them. The important thing to remember is to keep breathing and find your center. It’ll be over before you know it and after you’ll have a beautiful piece of art that’s all yours.
Set Aside More Time Than You Think You’ll Need Whether it’s because of parking or because you want to tweak your idea or because the appointment before yours wanted to tweak their idea, tattoo scheduling isn’t an exact science. It’s good to remember that even though we’re trying our best, we aren’t perfect but we want your tattoo to be. We’re trying our best but it’s not something to rush.
Of course each shop and tattoo artist will have different ideas on whats best for you and your tattoo, and at the end of the day you know your body best. But these are all steps we strongly recommend that will help you get through your tattoo session like a champ!
Original Post in Buzzfeed DIY, illustrator unknown
Well, 2016 has been a fun one but I think we’re all grateful for the holidays and the start of a new year. We are definitely grateful for everyone who has supported us this past year and are eager to give back! We want to show how much we appreciate your business and also your trust in creating beautiful pieces of art by having a very special sale this week: All of our Gift Certificates will be 20% off!!
We hope you will take advantage of this once-a-year special, to give the gift of beautiful body art to your friends, family, and of course yourself. Gift Certificates can be purchased online, in the studio and over the phone: 978.744.9393.
We are truly grateful for you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!!
We hope that you will join us December 3rd anytime between 10am – 11pm! For each tattoo that we do, the wearer will be able to choose from the following list of charities:
American Civil Liberties Union
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Human Rights Campaign
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
NARAL Pro-Choice America
National Immigration Law Center
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Southern Poverty Law Center
For more information on all of these charities, go here
For more information on what wearing a safety pin means, check out this great article.
For more information on the Solidarity Pins Event at Witch City Ink you can check our Facebook or call the shop at 978-366-4924
No, not THAT season… its finally Fall and the Halloween season officially kicks off next weekend! One of the reasons we love being in Salem, MA is this amazing time of year, filled with witches and bats and so much more. We love to see our yearly halloween clientele, and love to meet new halloween-loving folks visiting the Witch City!
We do, however, want to remind everyone that, if you have an appointment with one of our artists, please be sure to give yourself PLENTY of extra time to get into the city and find parking. It can be a real nightmare this time of year, especially on the weekends. We hate when clients lose time on their appointment because they are running late due to traffic problems, so be sure to plan in advance for the delay, especially the closer we get to Halloween weekend.
If you are visiting the Witch CIty this season and will only be here for a few days, we definitely recommend you call or contact us through the website to prebook your tattoo appointmentt, even for something really small, because we book up quickly on the weekends especially, and if you want to come in for a walk-in, come in early in the day to grab a spot. We also have a lot more availability for walk-ins during weekdays.
Please don’t hesitate to call the studio at
978-744-9393 if you have any questions about getting tattooed at Witch City Ink!
Witch City is proud to be part of the 1st Annual Massachusetts Tattoo Convention, this Labor Day weekend, September 2nd-5th in Worcester, MA. Both Jaesun Duggan and Steve Gillespie will be tattooing at the convention, call the shop for availability!
If you are not looking to get tattooed, there is still so much to see and do each day of the convention – live painting, performances, contests and more! Just check the schedule for each days line up.
For more information on the Massachusetts Tattoo Convention, check out their website www.masstattooconvention.com
The late winter and early spring will be a busy time for us here, and we’ve got a bunch of important tidbits to share!
FIrst, Natan and Steve will be attending the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention over Valentines Day weekend. The convention starts Friday February 12th and goes through Sunday!
To book either Natan or Steve for the convention, give us a call at the studio: 978-744-9393 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling.
When Natan is done with the Philly Convention, he will be traveling to Maryland to do a guest spot at Time Bomb Tattoos and Curiosities. He’ll be there from Feb 16th through the 20th.
If you would like to book an appointment with him while he is there,
you can call the studio at: 978-744-9393.
And finally, we will, as always be at the Boston Tattoo Convention, which is April 8th through 10th this year. Steve and Jaesun will be taking appointments all weekend. Call the studio to book. 978-744-9393 or email us to get a conversation started. We will also be joined by visiting artist Amanda Marie, who will then be doing a guest spot here from April 11th through 17th.
Amanda got her start tattooing in New York about 6 years ago. She loves to put her all into every tattoo she does, no matter how big or small. Amanda values making an inviting atmosphere for her clients and loves to create unique, custom tattoos.
She currently works at Evermore Tattoo Company, Los Angeles, California.
To book an appointment with Amanda contact her directly.
Natan will be attending the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention February 12-14th in Pennsylvania. If you’re in the Philly area and want to get work done by Natan while he is at the convention, call the studio: 978-744-9393 or email us at email@example.com to book your appointment!
Natan will also be doing a guest spot at Timebomb Tattoos & Curiosities in Maryland the week after the convention. He still has availability in his schedule, so if you’re interested in getting a piece while he’s there, get in touch with us at here and we’ll get you set up.