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Chances are, whether it’s a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or even a general acquaintance, you probably know someone who has a tattoo. As common as they are now, you may have an even harder time finding someone who doesn’t have one. What’s more, your curiosity has nearly gotten the better of you, and while you secretly wish you could ask a few questions about the tattoo experience, you’ve chickened out.

It’s okay. It might be a bit strange to ask someone about something on their body, but rest assured, you’re not the only one curious about the entire tattoo process. Not only has this form of body art gained popularity, but for a while, tattoo-based TV shows were all the rage. You got an insight into the world of body art, but were given more insight into reality TV drama than actual tattoo work.

If it makes you feel any better, tattoo artists are aware of your questions and will be more than happy to answer them. So don’t be shy. Given the areas of the body that can serve as canvases, it will take more than a simple question to make a tattoo artist blush.

Going through a series of FAQ lists from various tattoo parlors, here are the five things most people wanted to know about getting a tattoo:

It is safe? – The best salons in the business are thorough in maintaining cleanliness and sanitation. Authorities are paying more and more attention to making sure salons keep things safe for customers. In a word, yes, getting a tattoo is safe, but check the protocol of a potential salon.

Is the price set in stone? – Rooms usually have a minimum price, but the price can usually vary depending on the amount of customization and work involved. The same goes for the size and length of time to complete a piece.

Where does it hurt the most? – Areas of sensitive skin (ie inside the elbow) and near the bones or cartilage (ie on the tops of the feet and knuckles) tend to hurt more. Everyone is different.

Is the pain as bad as it seems? – Honestly no. Everyone responds differently to the needle, but for the most part, it’s not that bad.

Are tattoos really addictive? – While many people are happy with a small tattoo, many others are eager to start adorning their body with more ink. ‘Addictive’ is probably the wrong word, but there’s something about being emotionally moved by the fact that your body becomes a work of art.

Bonus: Are artists available for aftercare questions? Your artist is the person you want to ask questions about when it comes to aftercare. A tattoo artist should not only provide detailed information on how to care for her tattoo, but also be open to providing information afterward because her tattoo is an extension of them. This is a great question to ask yourself before getting a tattoo.

A tattoo can represent something different for each person who decides to get one. Some may be commemorating a special event, while others may be celebrating the life of someone who has recently passed away. There is such a wide range of reasons for getting a tattoo that it makes sense that someone would be very curious about what is going on in the mind of the client, as well as what is going on in the mind of the artist. If you’re thinking about getting your first tattoo and have questions about the process, the best thing to do is ask the artists for their opinion. This way, you will be able to make an informed decision about getting a tattoo.

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