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Aftercare & FAQ

Aftercare Tattoo FAQ

There is a lot that goes into tattooing – the prep work, the appointments, the healing; you have questions, and we have answers.
Every tattoo shop is a little different so there is no such thing as a stupid question.

What To Know  |   Booking   | Aftercare

This page contains a ton of information, so feel free to use the links above to jump to the section you’re looking for, or simply scroll down.

+ What To Know Before Getting Tattooed +

We are cash only, and we do not have an ATM in house.
Our shop minimum is $130.
Artist rates range from $130/hr – $200/hr.
We do not usually have the availability for walk-ins; please call first.
If we do have last minute openings, we will post about it on our FaceBook and Instagram pages.
We book out at least 1-2 weeks in advance. Some artists book out 10-12 months in advance (yes, really).
Availability varies from artist to artist; please submit an inquiry with the artist of your choice after reviewing portfolios.

The first step to getting tattooed is to know what you want (or at least have a pretty good idea along with reference/inspiration images). We will not book an appointment if someone says, ‘I want a tattoo, but I’m not sure what I want.’ Come back when you know what you want to get tattooed; all of our artists specialize in different styles and one artist may be better suited to your piece than another, but if you don’t even know what you want we don’t have any kind of starting point. Once you find something you like (or similar), live with it. Print it out and stick it on your fridge or bathroom mirror – somewhere you’ll see it everyday. If after a month or two you still love it enough to have it on your body forever, then continue to the next step.

Once you have a pretty good idea of what you’re looking for, look at artist portfolios. Look at linework/outlines, saturation/shading, and overall subject matter; if an artist only has larger-scale images in their portfolio, they may not accept your inquiry for two small letters/initials. (You can always still try, though!) If you are not sure which artist would be best suited to your project, please email us directly and we will match you with the best artist for the tattoo. When emailing with an inquiry, you must include: a size estimate in inches, desired placement on your body, color VS black and gray, subject matter, style, and if you want text/lettering, we want to know the EXACT text/numbers/etc, spelled out properly. ***We also need to see your inspiration/reference image(s).*** Do not forget to send those; we are visual people and if you do not provide reference/inspiration images, we will ask for them and not move forward with booking until you send us the reference photos! 🙂

+ Booking A Consultation Or Appointment +

Once your inquiry has been accepted by one of our artists, we will either want to book a consultation* with you, or skip and schedule the actual tattoo session(s). A consultation is just a time for you to come in and speak with the artist face-to-face about all the specific details; for larger-scale projects like full-sleeves, a consultation is always a good idea to make sure you’re both on the same page. More often than not, ALL of our artists require consultations for all inquiries just to be safe!

*If you change your mind about what you want between scheduling the consultation and coming in for your consultation, PLEASE reach out to let us know and reschedule; your new project may not be best suited to your current artist or we may be able to skip the consultation. DO NOT show up to your consultation and say, “I changed my idea. This is what I want now.” Communication is key.

At the end of the consultation, once the artist knows the full scope and scale of your project we’ll move forward with booking the necessary tattoo sessions(s) after we’ve received your deposit. All deposits are 100% non-refundable, but do get credited toward the overall price of the tattoo as long as you don’t no call/no show or cancel/reschedule within 48-business hours of your scheduled appointment. If that happens, your deposit is considered forfeit and a new deposit is required to reschedule. Deposits are always a minimum of $50, but may be more depending on how many appointments you book (if your project needs x4 appointments, we’ll ask for a $200 deposit – $50 per each session that goes into the artist’s schedule). Once we have your deposit and your appointments are booked, you, your artist, and that tattoo idea are locked in! (Obviously life happens and we can reschedule-with notice-if need be, but if your idea changes, your deposit is forfeit, your appointments are cancelled, and you need to start with a new consultation because it’s a new project. Deposits cover the drawings/designs the artists make for each individual project, so that is why deposits are non-transferrable project-to-project.

+ Aftercare: How To Properly Heal Your Tattoo +

Every artist’s aftercare instructions are a little different; for Sean’s aftercare keep reading below, or click for Nastia’s and Isaac’s instructions.

At the end of your session, Sean will bandage the area with wrap. Leave this wrap on for an additional 2-3 hours after you leave the shop. Once 2-3 hours have passed, wash your hands with the provided antibacterial soap and then remove and discard the wrap (you will not be re-wrapping the tattoo with this or any other wrap), and follow the steps below.

Step 1: With clean hands, gently rinse the tattoo with room temp/warm water; you need running water for healing a tattoo (sink or shower); no baths or soaking! It is normal for a freshly tattooed area to be more temperature sensitive, so be prepared to adjust the water temperature if necessary for your comfort (‘warm’ to your hands might feel ‘hot’ to your fresh tattoo). Wash with the antibacterial soap and just your clean hands; do NOT use a washcloth, loofa, etc – just your hands, running water, and the provided soap!

Step 2: After washing the tattoo thoroughly, rinse all soap residue off and then rinse the tattoo with water as cold as you can stand for an additional 5-10 seconds (this will help to close your pores).

Step 3: Gently pat your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel to remove excess moisture. We do not recommend regular bath towels or napkins (loose fibers and bits can shed and get stuck in the tattoo), ONLY use clean paper towels.

Step 4: Let the tattoo air dry for 5-10 minutes in a clean environment away from dust, dander, bacteria, etc. When healing a fresh tattoo, the goal is for it to be dry – you do not want moisture to get stuck in the skin as that can lead to scabbing. Excess moisture is your enemy when healing a tattoo! Salves and topical ointments often create a barrier on the skin, trapping excess moisture inside and causing scabbing – this is why we do not recommend any topical creams/ointments/salves/etc at this point in the aftercare of a fresh tattoo.

Step 5: Once the tattoo has thoroughly dried, you may wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing over the tattoo. Do not let any fabric, straps, bands, etc press against or rob on the tattoo – treat the healing tattoo as an open wound; keep it clean and let it ‘breathe’ when you’re in a clean environment (no dust, pet hair, etc).

Repeat steps 1 – 5 two to three times a day for 10 days after your session.

One last thing: At around one week post-session, your tattoo may begin to feel tight, dry, itchy and might start peeling like a sunburn – this is totally normal; you are right on track! Once the peeling begins, you may apply a super light/thin layer of unscented lotion to help combat the itchiness. *Lotion will not help heal the tattoo – it is only so you don’t absentmindedly scratch or it the tattoo.* Do not scratch, itch, or pick at your tattoo. If/when it flakes, leave the flakes alone to fall off on their own as picking them off can result in pulling out pigment that hasn’t fully healed and leave your tattoo looking spotty.

If you have any additional questions about aftercare, read the DO’s and DONT’S below!

+ AFTERCARE DO’S +

-DO read both lists. Twice.
-DO treat your fresh tattoo as an open wound for the entire healing process.
-DO wash your hands well with antibacterial soap EVERY TIME before touching/cleaning your tattoo.
-DO leave initial protective wrapping on for 2-3 hours after your session ends.
-DO use running water ONLY (sink or shower) for tattoo cleaning. NO BATHS/SOAKING WHILE HEALING.
-DO wash your fresh tattoo using only clean hands, antibacterial soap, and warm water.
-DO rinse your tattoo thoroughly. After rinsing thoroughly, rinse again with water as cold as you can stand.
-DO pat tattoo dry with a clean paper towel.
-DO allow tattoo to air dry for 5-10 minutes before covering with loose fitting clothing.
-DO repeat these instructions 2-3 times a day for the first 10 days after your tattoo session.
-DO read this entire list again.
-DO use common sense. If you have a fresh foot tattoo, shoving that bad larry into a thick sock, lacin’ the ole boots up tight, and suffocating that fresh tat in sweaty trench-foot hell is a bad idea. If you can’t safely expose your tattoo to clean air, wear light, breathable, and loose-fitting clothing over your fresh tattoo whenever possible.
-DO read what not to do if you have any aftercare/healing questions.
-DO email/text us with additional questions if you have them after reading this entire sheet, and include relevant/zoomed in photos of your fresh tattoo.

*Improper aftercare can result in loss of ink, infection, scarring, or need for touch ups – and touch ups are not free!  Tattoos take up to a month to fully heal and until they are healed, they should be treated as an open wound; keep them as sterile and dry as possible. To reduce risks, always follow your specific artist’s aftercare instructions.*

+ AFTERCARE DONT’S +

-DON’T ask your friends/other tattooers/anyone other than the artist that did this tattoo how to heal it.
-DON’T re-wrap your tattoo with anything after you remove the bandage applied by the artist.
-DON’T touch your tattoo excessively while it’s healing – it’s an open wound. Don’t be gross.
-DON’T let people or animals touch/sniff/lick your fresh tattoos. Those people are weird and you should probably stay away from them. We know you love your pets, but don’t let them near your fresh tattoos either.
-DON’T wash your fresh tattoo with a loofa, washcloth, or anything other than your clean hands, antibacterial soap, and running water.
-DON’T use your fancy, expensive, super fragrant soap while healing. Use only antibacterial soap.
-DON’T pat dry with a terry-cloth bath towel, a napkin, a tissue, or toilet paper. Use clean paper towels only.
-DON’T apply lotion, ointment, tiger balm, or ANYTHING at all to your freshly washed and patted-dry tattoo. (You do NOT want the tattoo to be moist! You want the skin to be as dry as possible!)
-DON’T itch or scratch your tattoo when it begins to flake. Once the flaking begins, you may apply an ultra thin, light layer of unscented lotion if the feeling is very uncomfortable, but keep in mind that lotion does NOT help heal your tattoo; it is only recommended as a deterrent to keep you from itching/scratching.
-DON’T lay on your pet’s bed or let your fresh tattoo come into contact with pet saliva, hair, or dander; vacuum your couch if you have to.
-DON’T sunbathe, take a bath, go to a sauna, or swim in a pool/ocean/lake/pond/puddle/hot-tub/etc for TWO WEEKS after your tattoo session. Remember: fresh tattoo = open wound. Bacteria is *everywhere.* Be smart.
-DON’T exercise for at least 48 hours after getting tattooed.
-DON’T shave or exfoliate your fresh tattoo until it is completely healed, which usually takes about 3-4 weeks after the date of your last session.

If you still have questions, text or email us directly with photos – never consult the internet or your friends for advice.
(603) 988-6067   |   ArrowsAndEmbers@Gmail.com

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