Yes, it is true. You can make tattooing less painful. Not painless, but manageable. In fact, we have the perfect list of ten ways for you to do just that.

But, before we get to the list, let us ask you some questions? Are you ready to stop being in excruciating pain every time you get some new ink? Are you ready to make the tattooing process less painful?

If you answered yes to both of these, then, read on. This list is for you.

1. Choose A Good Spot

First of all, don’t just go to the “guy a guy knows” or the nearest tattoo parlor around the block to get a tat. That’s called asking for an infection and a horrible tattoo.

Before you lie down on the table, you’ll want to make sure you find a good, clean spot, with great tattoo artists. Believe us, this will not only lower the pain during the tattooing process but avoiding infections will save you some ache in the long run.

2. Start Small

Sure, sleeves and backpieces might look bitchin’, but let’s face it – you’re going to be there for hours. If you’re still a newbie to the whole inked game, you’ll probably want to start small, otherwise, you might blackout from pain.

Choose something minimal so you can get an idea of what it’s like to get tattooed, and if you feel like you can handle it, schedule another appointment and get crazy for all we care.

3. Prepare For Pain

Don’t be mistaken – this will hurt. It’ll feel like someone’s scratching your skin off, repeatedly, for hours – especially when it comes to shading and colouring. But, if you prepare yourself for suffering you probably won’t have a hard time dealing with it.

The worst thing you can do is go in thinking you won’t feel a thing. If you, this pain is going to catch you by surprise and you’re not going to have a good time.

4. Avoid Sensitive Body Parts


If you’re going in for your first tattoo, it would be wise if you didn’t choose to get your ribs or the top of your foot inked out. Those areas hurt like a mother-hugger!

Instead, choose some of the spots that are less prone to pain like the upper arm or upper back and get familiar with the pain. You’ll handle those areas like a pro.

5. Eat a Good Meal

We’re not saying you should stuff your face before getting a tattoo but make sure you have a good meal in your system. This will help you deal with the pain better because you’ll keep your blood sugar in check.

A light meal that’s not too greasy is perfect so you don’t get sick while getting tattooed and you should be more than fine.

6. Stay Hydrated

You need to keep yourself hydrated before getting a tattoo. This will help your skin heal better and faster after the tattooing process.

Plus, if you’re properly hydrated, you’ll be able to deal with the pain a lot better than if you were dehydrated. So drink up, moisturize for a few days, and get your skin glowing before you let that wireless tattoo machine from touch your skin.

7. Avoid Drinking Beforehand

We all think that drinking numbs the pain but that’s not really the case unless you’re drinking to forget about a breakup for an hour or two. Also, being drunk will only lead to getting tattoos you’ll regret later on. So, it’s not really worth it.

Contrary to popular belief, when you drink, your blood vessels dilate, you bleed more, your body’s dehydrated and you become more sensitive to pain. So, yeah, don’t drink and ink.

8. Choose a Good Tattoo Artist


This is probably one of the most important things on this list. If you go to a good tattoo artist, they’ll make sure your skin is properly prepared for the tattooing process, which will, in turn, make it hurt less.

A good tattoo artist will also be able to work quickly and efficiently so you won’t be in pain for hours on end. Shop around and find an artist whose style you like and who comes highly recommended and the pain will be worth it.

9. Ask For a Numbing Cream

If the pain is really getting to you, most tattoo artists will be more than happy to apply a numbing cream to your skin before they start tattooing. This will help take the edge off and make the process a lot less painful.

Just remember that numbing creams don’t completely eliminate the pain, they just take the edge off, so remember our tip number three – prepare for the pain.

10. Forget About Pain Meds

We know, we know, pain meds would make this whole process a lot less painful but you really shouldn’t take them before getting a tattoo.

First of all, pain meds like ibuprofen thin your blood and make you bleed more, which is not ideal when getting a tattoo. Basically, you’ll sit in that chair or lie on that table way longer than you should so you really won’t do anything about the pain.

Secondly, the more you bleed, the greater the chance of an error, and no amount of ibuprofen will take away the pain of a horrible tat. So, go in straight!

11. Bring Some Distractions

Headphones, magazines, phones, conversations with a tattoo artist or a friend, anything that will help you get through the session.

Tattooing is pretty tedious so it can be quite boring if you’re not used to it. If you bring some distractions with you, it’ll help take your mind off the pain and make the time fly by faster.

12. Be Open About Your Pain And Don’t Be a Wuss


Some people have a lower pain tolerance than others. If you’re one of those people, don’t be afraid to tell your tattoo artist that you’re in pain. They’ll understand and they” know how to work with you and will even take a break as many times as you need.

On the other hand – don’t be a wuss. If you can’t handle the pain, don’t get a tattoo – it’s that simple.


So, there you have it – 12 ways to make the tattooing process less painful. We hope at least one of these tips will help you make your next ink session a breeze (or at least more bearable). And if all else fails, just remember: pain is temporary – tattoos are forever!