How to Get a Painless Permanent Tattoo

By Ryn Gargulinski

Acquiring a tattoo, by its very nature of a needle puncturing the skin in quick succession, is going to hurt. But you can cut down on that pain with several tips that will help you get a painless, permanent tattoo. Mindset is the big one. If you go into the tattoo shop thinking you are going to be in agony, you most likely will be. You can use some tricks and tips to help you get a painless, permanent tattoo.

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Look ma, no pain!

Step 1

Pick a fleshy area. Tattoos done on the hips, thighs and buttocks are going to hurt less than those done on sensitive areas without a lot of padding. Some of the most painful spots include the lower back, inner arm and other areas without much muscle but a lot of bone.

Step 2

Choose a simple design. The larger and more elaborate your design, the longer the tattoo is going to take and the more pain you will feel. This is just common sense. Shading a tattoo is also more intense than simply lining one, so you may want to pick line art only without any shading involved.

Step 3

Get your mind ready. Once you’ve decided on a fleshy area and a simple tattoo, start preparing your mind. Tell yourself nightly, daily and even hourly, if you have to, that tattoos are beautiful and getting one is something that you can handle. The sensation is more like an annoying massage than anything else.

Step 4

Talk to the artist. Tell her that you fear the pain but your desire for a tattoo outweighs it--kind of. If that tattoo artist knows you are in a delicate state, a good one will work with you, take breaks when necessary, and do whatever she can to help you feel the most comfortable during the process.

Step 5

Meditate. Once you’re in the tattoo seat, close your eyes and breathe deeply for eight inhales and exhales before you begin. Continue the deep breathing, concentrating solely on your breath and nothing else. Try to block out everything else. Tell yourself that this process is temporary and that you can handle it. It will be over soon.

Step 6

Treat the tattoo with care afterwards. Don't bang it, bump it, get it sun-burnt or otherwise ask it to give you more pain. Watch out for dogs that like to jump on you because they will inevitably find the spot where you just go a new tattoo. Ouch.