Getting Inked: 101

 Hey guys! As many of you may know, I have a tattoo behind my neck and got it done when I was in college a couple of years ago. I have always wanted a tattoo {at least as long as I can remember} but I must admit that I wasn’t always too sure as to what I really want inked on me, permanently. I decided to get my nani’s name tattooed and absolutely love it! I plan on getting my second tattoo {hopefully} and couldn’t think of a better time to do this post! For all those of you who are confused, scared or simply inquisitive as to how to go ahead with this decision, I really hope this post helps you!

PS: In NO way am I a tattoo expert and know everything about getting inked. This post is simply all my research that really helped me before getting inked.

tattoo2The Guide

  • The Design: Be SURE of what you’re getting done. Now, I know some things are just instinctual and you may want to live in the moment #YOLO but not when it cost of having to stick with it till you’re 80. {We’ll come to the tattoo removal bit in a bit }. It’s important that you really think of what you want by your own. Sometimes, taking advice from family and friends may help, but YOU are the one getting inked, so it’s important that you love what you get. Though browsing the internet may get you inspired, my personal opinion would still be: Stick to your own gut! 
  • Proof read: If you’re more into letter tattoos or want a phrase tattoo which is not in a language you can read/write/understand, make sure you proofread the stencil before the session begins.  You surely wouldn’t wanna get a phrase that translates to “douche”, the joke would be on you. 
  • Where: Tattoos age just like us so will that flower around the navel look the same 30 years down the line?  Also keep in mind that the sun accelerates the aging process of tattoos just like it does for skin, so delicate, colored tattoos should be placed somewhere covered by clothing to prevent rapid fading.
  • Know your body: If you have a medical problem such as heart disease, allergies, diabetes, skin disorders, a condition that affects your immune system, or infections — or if you are pregnant — ask your doctor if there are any special concerns you should have or precautions you should take beforehand. 
  • When: Most of us keep waiting for the ‘right time’ but sometimes that may but worth waiting for, however, if you’re ready and you know what you want, just go with it! The longer you delay, the more confused you may get. While talking specifically about Delhi, I’d recommend getting a tattoo between the months October- December. The less exposure your skin gets to the elements, the better off your tattoo will be to heal. Sweat can aggravate a new tattoo and so can the sun. During the winter, your body isn’t exposed to these things as much and tattoos can heal much more quickly without as much chance for infection.
  • Expense: Tattoos are definitely not cheap and the price range may differ from place to place. Approximately however, it will cost you at least Rs.1500 as a base price and Rs.500/Rs.750 per square inch. Make sure you have the money saved up while being mentally prepared to shell out that amount.
  • The Tattoo Parlour: This is extremely important. Getting a tattoo is almost like a small medical procedure and you really want to make sure that you get it done from a safe, hygienic and reliable tattoo parlor. I got mine done from Funky Monkey in highly recommend it. Keep in mind that it’s not only the art that must be of good quality, but the safety precautions need to be high too. After all, we are talking about needles here. 

Funky Monkey:  
Gurgaon and Delhi; 0124-4015194, 011-41042860

Devil’z tattooz:
GK 1 and Vasant Vihar, New Delhi 110057; 09810364801

Before getting a tattoo

  • Don’t drink Alcohol: Drinking a little bit to take the edge off might sound like a good idea, but don’t do it. Alcohol thins the blood, making you bleed more during the tattoo process. This blood pushing out makes it more difficult to push the ink in.
  • Don’t take Painkillers: Just don’t. Yes, it’s not rocket science that the easiest way to relieve your self from pain is to take painkillers, but not when it comes to getting a tattoo, painkillers like  aspirin, ibuprofen and anesthetics may possibly cause cause problems like increased bleeding, which are just not worth the risk. 
  • Don’t get a tattoo if you’re feeling Unwell: Don’t get a tattoo if you’re sick. You need your immune system to be strong to heal the tattoo. It’s also important that you don’t go in for a tattoo if you’re feeling down and out and haven’t eaten all day. Make sure your’re well fed and hydrated before the procedure. 
  • Wear comfy clothes. You might need to sit down or lay in the same spot for a couple hours. You may need to partially undress to expose the area you are getting worked on so wear clothes that make this easy for you and the artist. 
  • Time Flexibility: Make sure your schedule is flexible so you don’t end up reaching the tattoo parlour and tell the artist ” Oh, can you hurry up! I need to go for a meeting in an hour!”. Tattoos regularly take longer than originally estimated, so don’t be surprised if your appointment gets a little delayed. The artist is doing his/her best and the last thing they would want is you annoying them!
  • Take a friend + headphones + magazine/book along: This helps to divert your attention from the pain. You can take to the friend during the procedure which really helps. Listening to music is also a good idea since the sound of the tattoo machine may get exhausting to hear after a point. 

The pain

This has got to be one of the most asked questions by all those who really want to get the tattoo but aren’t sure about the pain. So let’s not beat around the bush: TATTOO’S HURT and there are no ways around it. Yes, what may differ is the intensity of pain. So for you, it may be a case of uncomfortable itching, but for someone else it may be unbearable pain. Hence, each individual’s pain endurance does really matter! Just to break it down for you- there may be three broad stages: The initial shock when the tattoo begins (it will hurt), the stage where you’re used to it (you’ve gotten used to the pain and are now just waiting for it to end), impatience ( the tattoo process is now annoying. The sound of the machine is messing with your brain cells and you really need this to end. This is also probably the part where the colouring bit is happening which was more painful for me than the outline itself). So, if you’re really worried about the pain, ask your tattoo artist about locations where the tattoo will hurt the least and make sure its a tiny one to start with!

After getting a tattoo

  • Aftercare: Needless to say, follow all of the instructions the studio gives you for caring for your tattoo to make sure it heals properly. Also, keep in mind that it’s very important to call your doctor right away if you see or feel any signs of infection such as pain, spreading redness, swelling, or drainage of pus. 
  • Tattoo Removal: Most dermatologic surgeons caution that complete tattoo removal is not possible. Tattoos are meant to be permanent, so removing them is difficult and hence only few surgeons guarantee complete removal. Having said that, there are several methods of tattoo removal which have proven effective. Although there are procedures like Dermabrasion, Cryosurgery and Excision, Lasers (Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation) have become the standard treatment for tattoo removal because they offer a bloodless, low risk, effective alternative with minimal side effects. Something to think about BEFORE you get that tattoo is the fact that having a tattoo removed is much more expensive than having one put on. Laser tattoo removal can get expensive depending upon the size, type and location of the tattoo and the number of visits required.


Mélange of Musings is a blog by Sara Suri. She's currently pursuing a Masters in Sociology but through this blog that shares her gastronomic adventures, travel tales, Delhi diaries and fashion & beauty takes.


  • Joshika Saraf

    I agree. I got mine like a couple of months back and the things that you mentioned are to be kept in mind. Like ALWAYS. Great post 😀

  • Pallak

    Great post. However one of the most imp thing after you tatoo is healed is to always put sunscreen on. Tattoos fade much faster with sun exposure. I have two and I never leave te house without sunscreen on them!

    • melangeofmusings

      Thanks Pallak! That’s a really good tip! To be truthful, I have my tattoo behind the neck and there have been times where I forget that it even exists and hence forget to apply sunscreen there, specifically! But yeah, it’s a must 🙂

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