Tips For Your Tattoo Day

Welcome to Overground! We are excited and grateful you have chosen us for your new tattoo. Below you will find tips and tricks to ensure your tattoo experience is maximized to the fullest.

At this point you have most likely met your artist, and secured your appointment with a deposit. Here at Overground Tattoo we implement a Deposit Policy to ensure your time as well as the artists time is utilized efficiently.

Deposit Policy: We require a deposit at the time of booking in order to secure that date and time. The deposit will be applied towards the cost of your tattoo. If you need to cancel or reschedule we require a 48 hour notice in order for your deposit to be transferable. If you cancel the day of or no show your deposit will be forfeited.

1. Do not come to your appointment drunk or hungover. Alcohol will thin your blood which will result in longer tattoo times and delayed healing.

2. Do not come in with a sunburn. When your skin is sunburnt blood rushes to the surface of the affected area. Tattooing over sunburnt skin will likely cause excessive bleeding. This can also result in scarring and longer healing times.

3. Prepare your skin. It is a good idea to moisturize a few days to a week prior to your appointment. This will allow your skin to tolerate the session better, and help speed up the healing process.

4. Get a good night of rest before your appointment.

5. Eat and Hydrate beforehand. Your body needs a lot of fuel before a getting tattooed…especially for longer sessions.

6. Shower before your appointment. Avoid lotion or perfume on the area in which you are getting tattooed.

7. Dress comfortable and appropriately to allow access to the area being tattooed. We recommend bringing a sweater as well. Bacteria thrives in warm climates so we tend to keep the shop on the cooler side.

8. Bring a drink and snacks. We do take short breaks, but it’s still a good idea to have something that is easily accessible with one hand during your session. Drinks like juice, sports drinks or soda are recommended since the sugar content is high; this helps to help maintain your bodies blood sugar level during your session.

**At anytime during your tattoo you experience shakiness, sweating, headaches, lightheadedness, blurred vision, or increased heart rate please tell your artist immediately as you are most likely experiencing the effects of low blood sugar.**

9. You’re more than welcome to bring someone, but we do ask that you don’t bring a group.

10. For safety reasons we ask that you don’t bring children. We understand this can be difficult sometimes but trust us, it’s for the best. We need you to be focused on yourself and your own comfort….plus, you deserve to enjoy this experience!

11. Feel free to bring some sort of entertainment or distraction. Phone, iPad, headphones….don’t worry, we won’t think you’re rude 😉

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do tattoos cost?

The cost varies depending on size, detail and placement. Our shop minimum is $100 and goes up from there depending on size, style, and detail. Sometimes we can give you an exact quote, and sometimes the design is too large/ complex, in which case each artist has their own hourly rate (drawing time is included).

Do tattoos hurt?

The quick answer is yes, but not that bad. The process is the application of pigment deposited into the second layer of skin known as the Dermis. The pain is relative as each individual has a different tolerance for pain. If tattoos were really that terribly painful people wouldn’t continue to come back for more and more. We also offer tattoo numbing cream at the shop. This can be a controversial topic and some artists refuse to use it or tattoo anyone that may have applied it before the session. However, we have spent years testing out different creams (on our guinea pig friends) that will not affect the texture of the skin or the healed tattoo. Speak to your artist about this beforehand if you’re interested or have any questions.

Are tattoos safe/sterile?

If you go to a professional tattoo shop where the proper materials are used and state sanitation standards are met, getting a tattoo is very safe. We use only single use materials for each client and follow sanitation protocol before and after each appointment.

Should I tip my artist?

Although tipping your artist is not required, it is greatly appreciated. It shows your appreciation to the art and effort put into your design. Something is always better than nothing. Another good way to show your appreciation is through referrals. Word of mouth is always great!

Can I get tattooed while pregnant?

No. Too many unknowns.

What time of year is the best to get a tattoo?

Winter and Fall are the best times to get tattooed. The less sun exposure your skin gets, the better your tattoo with heal.

Can I tan with tattoos?

Never expose an unhealed tattoo to natural or artificial UV light. The sun is a tattoos worst enemy.

*Spray tanning is fine as long as the tattoo is FULLY healed.

At what age can I get tattoo?

It is ILLEGAL in California to tattoo a minor. You must be 18 years of age.

How long does it take?

This is best discussed with your artist beforehand as there are too many different variables…size, style, detail, placement, skin type, medications that might thin your blood, etc.

How long does a tattoo take to heal?

On average, a tattoo will look completely healed within 4-6 weeks. The skin below however, can take anywhere from 2-4 months to completely heal. Following a proper aftercare routine from the start will help speed up the healing process.

When should I NOT get tattooed?

  • Drunk
  • High
  • Pregnant
  • Pre-Surgery
  • Post-Surgery
  • Health Issues
  • You are under 18
  • You don’t know what you want
  • You don’t have enough money
  • You are sunburned
  • You haven’t showered
  • You have your kids with you
  • You don’t have an ID or passport
  • You are being pressured into it

Are children allowed?

There is no rule or law stating you can not bring them, but we do not recommend it.

How should I prepare for my appointment?

*Please refer to our ‘How To Prepare’ page.

What should I wear for my tattoo session?

It’s important to be comfortable during your tattoo session, looser is better than tighter. Your artist will need easy access to the area being tattooed so if you’re unsure please ask us beforehand. Also, just a heads up that the shop is usually very cold. Bacteria thrives in warm environments so we keep it pretty chilly to be on the safe side.

Can you tattoo over a scar?

Yes, you can tattoo over a scar. Consult with your tattoo artist beforehand so a good game plan can be discussed and put into action.

Tattoo Aftercare

Suggested Aftercare For Tattoos
1. Remove bandage in a CLEAN bathroom 3-6 hours after the tattoo is completed. Bandage may be left on overnight if your session was finished late and the bandage is secure. Wash your bedding before and throughout the healing process (about 7-10 days until there is no broken skin).
2. After removing bandage, wash the tattoo with warm water and soap. We recommend Dr. Bronner’s unscented baby soap, or plain orange Dial soap antimicrobial…out of a pump bottle, no soap with fragrance and no bar soap.
•Carefully remove bandage and tape (we will sometimes use a breathable bandage called Derm Shield….please read above for Saniderm instructions).
•Make a lather in your hand with soap and warm water
•Gently clean your tattoo using a circular motion until all ointment, blood, and plasma is removed.
•Rinse the tattoo until the skin is clean and not slimy.
•Dry your tattoo using a hair dryer on the cool setting, or a clean paper towel/ wash cloth.
3. Only use CLEAN HANDS to wash your tattoo. NO dirty washcloths, dirty bath towels, bath sponges or loofahs on a fresh tattoo.
4. We recommend something called the 3 and 3 method. Three days using ointment and three days using unscented lotion. Apply when the tattoo feels tight and dry (a few times a day). Remember thin coats are the key here…LESS IS MORE.
5. Fresh tattoos sometimes “weep” during the first couple of days, meaning that plasma forms a thin coating on the skin. This can be DABBED with a clean paper towel. Press the paper towel to the skin and remove. Do not wipe your tattoo or be rough with it. Do not panic when you see the colors of the tattoo on the paper towel, or on your hands as you clean it. This is simply excess ink being sloughed from the surface or the skin.
6. Wash once a day in the shower (with your recommenced soap), or after any activity that may have caused the area to get dirty or sweaty. Consult your artist if you plan to do any strenuous activity within the first ten days after your tattoo.
7. Wear loose, preferably cotton clothing over the fresh tattoo. The tattoo does not need to be rebandaged except in certain rare instances. A bra strap, tight waistband, sweaty gym shoe, or itchy wool clothing can potentially cause healing problems. Consult your tattoo artist for advice on what clothing to wear/avoid. If you choose to rebandage your tattoo after washing be sure that only sterile bandages are used and be sure to consult with your artist first because airflow is extremely important for your tattoo to heal properly.
8. DO NOT PICK OR SCRATCH AT YOUR TATTOO. It can take a tattoo months to fully heal as each thin layer of skin forms over your tattoo little by little; This is good to know incase any parts of your tattoo appear shiny, it is completely normal and the shine will dull out as your skin continues to build over your tattoo. If you have ANY questions about your healing please contact one of our artists. Please do not consult with your friends about healing issues as everyone’s experience is unique. Our artists are more than happy to help with any concerns you might have.

Derm Shield Aftercare

*Derm Shield minimizes the risk of infection by protecting your tattoo so it can heal through its own natural methods.

*When applying ointment to the tattoo you create a tacky surface that bacteria is more likely to stick to; This heightens the risk of infection. For this reason, many people turn to Derm Shield and other similar products to help cover the skin and limit the risk of infection.

*By design, Derm Shields tattoo bandage is permeable enough for oxygen and water vapor to pass through. This is important, as it allows the wounded area to maintain optimal levels of breathability. If shower/ bath water gets under the bandage take it off, wash it, and contact your artist.

*Regardless of how much fluid build up you experience, you should always make your best effort to change the initial film at the 24-hour mark to clean the area and replace the bandage. After you apply the first bandage, the second bandage can be worn for 3 to 5 days.

*The best way to remove Derm Shield is to find an edge and peel it back over itself in the direction of hair growth.

*Try removing the Derm Shield in a warm shower. The warmth will loosen the adhesive, and make it easier to remove.

*My Tattoo Is Weeping Fluid Out Of The Bandage
Some tattoos weep more than others. Your body is excreting plasma and “weeping” is a completely normal beginning to the tattoo healing process. However, excessive weeping may negatively affect the adhesion of the bandage. If you are experiencing excessive weeping please contact your artist for further instructions.

Tips for cleaning and reapplication of Derm Shield

1. Remove the bandage. The best way to remove Derm Shield is to find an edge of the bandage and then to pull it back over itself in the direction of hair growth. Pulling upward can be painful.

2. Wash the tattoo with clean hands and recommended soap. Do not use a washcloth, loofah, or sponge to clean your tattoo. These can be painful and may harbor bacteria. If your new tattoo is covering a large area of skin, it may be easiest to wash the tattoo in the shower. If shower/ bath water gets under the bandage take it off, wash it, and contact your artist.

3. Once you have thoroughly washed the tattoo, gently pat it dry with a paper towel. Do not rub the tattoo as this may cause irritation. Leave the tattoo uncovered for 15-20 minutes before reapplying another tattoo bandage; This will allow any excess moisture in the tattoo to evaporate.

4. OPTIONAL STEP: Apply an extremely thin layer of an aftercare ointment to the tattooed area before reapplying your Derm Shield.

6. Make sure that you properly apply the bandage and leave at least 1 inch of buffer area around the tattoo. Doing this will play a large role in preventing shower water from entering, and from fluids spilling out.

*Can I use Derm Shield more than 24 hours after getting a tattoo?  The answer is YES, as long as you are within the first 48 hours of your tattoo you can still apply the bandage. We recommend using a thin layer of ointment before applying the bandage.

*Air Bubbles

A: Air pockets won’t affect the healing process, but if it’s driving you crazy you can make a small cut, let the air bubble out, and apply an additional small piece of Derm Shield over the newly exposed area. This is the option we generally recommend, just because it’s fast and easy. Be cautious when making the incision, however, as you don’t want to harm the tattoo below. Don’t apply too much pressure and try to make the smallest slit possible, just enough to release the air trapped inside.

*Avoid excessive exercise while wearing Derm Shield. We haven’t run into many problems but built up sweat under the bandage isn’t ideal.

*Derm Shield is latex free, so allergic reactions are very rare. However, some individuals have extremely sensitive skin or allergies to adhesives. If you do experience a rash, abnormal skin irritation, or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, discontinue use, wash with mild soap, and contact your artist.