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My first tattoo

My First Tattoo

I first started thinking about having my first tattoo about 5 years ago and looked at a few places that were around. What put me off was the thought of the pain, the price and the tattoo parlours. I had a significant birthday in January 2017 so I thought now is the time to look into having one. I did some research on the internet and I found a place in Baldock, Hertfordshire called Slack Alice’s Tattoo Shack. I checked out their Facebook page and looked at the artwork. My next step on my journey to get my first tattoo was to visit the shop.

My First Tattoo

I went into the shack and I was very nervous but I was put at my ease by the tattoo artist Jaye van Veen as we had a discussion about the first tattoo I was thinking about. I told Jaye that I wanted a tattoo that was meaningful and art and we chatted about my ideas. I told her I wanted a design that represented my children being my world so I suggested that I wanted a tattoo of the world with my children’s names above it. I also said I wanted the tattoo to be done in a watercolour style rather than just a circle with names above it.

Jaye was very thorough when she asked me a question that I had not thought of and that was “What countries do you want to be seen in the tattoo?” A very good question and I thought that I live in the UK and I am European (controversial!) so I wanted those countries to be the focus too. A week later Jaye sent me an email with a template of the design.

During that visit, we discussed what I can expect! should I use numbing cream? how long will it take? Jaye also gave me some practical tips about what to wear (I found out that some people have tattoo T-Shirts), she suggested that I should take something to eat and a drink in case have a sugar drop after the experience. Jaye gave me the confidence to have it done and we booked the appointment there and then. 

Tattoo design

Prior to having my tattoo done Jaye sent me an email with the design of the transfer attached and ask if that is what I wanted. It was exactly what I wanted.

Tattoo design

came to the conclusion that many people who have never had a tattoo before probably have the same questions I had such as ‘Does it hurt?’ or ‘What does it feel like” So I have tried to make a little diary of the first few hours, days and weeks of having my first tattoo.

What does it feel like to have a tattoo?

I have asked people what it feels like to have a baby and I am told that after the baby is born the mother forgets what the pain was like. That is how I liken the discomfort that you get when having a tattoo. Before I had the tattoo I used numbing cream and so I didn’t have pain, it was more of a discomfort which included a burning feeling, the pain went as soon as the needle was removed from the skin.

I found that the discomfort wasn’t constant and I liked the fact that between inking Jaye rubbed my skin with cocoa butter which I am sure helped as my skin was not dry and there was no friction for the needles. The whole process from start to end was three hours, the time went quickly and if anyone wanted to they could take music to listen, or read a book or magazine. I decided I wanted to chat and I found Jaye was chatty back answering any questions I asked about the tattoo process.

What did the tattoo look like immediately after it was done?

Initially, the tattoo appeared to be much darker than I expected, but I quickly realised that the skin under that tattoo was irritated and probably quite red which would cause the colours to be darker

My first tattoo
First hour

Day one

What I want to do here is to give my readers the heads up on the first twenty-four hours after my tattoo experience.

After the first four hours, I was conscious of some discomfort but no real pain yet as I had expected

for the first six hours I had my tattoo covered by cling film and at 9 pm washed ink and blood off. It was quite gooey from plasma and the ink had spread to my sides and arm which could be washed off. I patted the tattoo dry with a towel that I only used for the tattoo. I then put on a T-shirt and left it without any moisturiser. I washed my tattoo and moisturised it the next morning.

At 6 am the next morning, I woke up to find my t-shirt stuck to my tattoo so I gently prised it off so as not to damage the skin. I went back to sleep without a top on.

At 10.00 am I showered in lukewarm water to clean what I would describe as gunk off my skin. There was some soreness but not it was not painful or intolerable. I put some moisturiser on my tattoo that was recommended on the Internet called ‘Fade the Itch‘ I have to say that it is an excellent product. I used it every day for 7 days and I didn’t really have any itch with my tattoo which I was expecting during the healing stage.

Day Three

On day three there was some soreness and a little bit of pain it was intermittent. It felt sore washing and moisturising. The colours are looking brighter and had more clarity. The Redness around the tattoo has gone.

On day four the skin on the tattoo is a lot drier today. I am washing it twice a day with shower gel and putting Fade the Itch tattoo moisturiser twice a day

Day five and the skin started to peel. Fade the Itch seems to be doing the trick, no real pain or itch so far.

Week one

Day 7 not much change from day 5. I was using fade the itch 2 or 3 times a day and the itching wasn’t too bad really. If it did I get a little itching it only lasted a few minutes. One tip when you get your tattoo and you get an itch and are tempted to scratch it don’t! Instead, tap it lightly with a clean hand until the itch goes away. My tattooed skin is still dry and small patches come off when washing the tattoo. I was looking forward to when the old skin peeled off and I can see the new skin.

Week two

By now I was expecting an uncontrollable urge to scratch my shoulder because of an itch but so far no itch or discomfort. The tattoo is healing well and has no complications. I am still washing it on a daily basis and moisturising it. I had run out of the moisturiser Fade the Itch as was expecting dry skin and itch so I have started using Tattoo Goo in place of Fade the Itch. This moisturiser isn’t as easy to put on and you have to do smaller portions of the tattoo at a time and apply in a circular motion rather than in dabs as I did with Fade the Itch.

How do I rate my experience?

I found Jaye very friendly, approachable and easy to ask questions and talk to. The Shack was immaculate, clean and tidy.

On the whole, I enjoyed my tattoo experience and I would do it again ( I am thinking about my next one even as I write this blog). There was discomfort during the tattoo but as I have said it wasn’t intolerable. I would give my experience  6 out of 6 ratings and I am glad I overcame my fear and nervousness and did it anyway.

Here is a link to Jaye Tattoo Shack, have a look and see her artwork on the site Slack Alice’s Tattoo Shack

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