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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Hey there!
We’re here to make sure you are happy and well informed!
As a group with a few tattoos, I can assure you we ALL feel a little anxious before getting a tattoo—and that’s okay! We’ll be here to help guide you through your whole experience from concept to after-care.
Below are some of the most common questions we get. If you have any that aren’t covered here, send ‘em over using the form below. We’re looking forward to seeing you here at the studio!

DOES IT HURT?

This is number one in our Frequently Asked Questions simply because it is surprisingly just that. The simple answer is, yes it does. However, not as much as some people might like you to believe, as after a short period of time your body’s natural pain-killers (endorphins), kick in and make things much more manageable. How long these endorphins last usually defines your natural ‘limit’ as to how long a tattoo session you can handle (usually between 2-3 hours), after this time you will tend to become very uncomfortable.


The pain of a tattoo is often likened to a mild burning sensation or a cat scratch. However, the real factor as to how much a tattoo hurts is really down to where you intend to get it. Any area directly over bone will be particularly sensitive; this includes ribs, feet, hands, head, and pelvis to name a few. Add to this the number of nerve endings in an area and this defines the most painful places. If you are looking for a less painful spot, then you should consider a less sensitive area protected by a large muscle; such as the fore-arm, upper-arm, shoulder, calf and thigh. That being said, everyone’s pain threshold varies, so there are no hard and fast answers to this question. 

DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT?

Yes. We take the time to get to know you and your tattoo ideas. Having an appointment gives us the time to relax and give you a great experience.


DOES IT COST MONEY TO HAVE A CONSULTATION?

There is no charge for a consultation. Our artists set aside time in their schedules to meet and talk about your tattoo ideas, which is a great way to begin the experience and refine your tattoo concepts.


After the consultation if you are ready to set up your appointment we can take your deposit.

DO I PAY A DEPOSIT TO SET AN APPOINTMENT?

Yes. We always require a deposit to hold your tattoo appointment. Deposits are non-refundable, so be sure you are 100% committed before you make your appointment.

HOW LONG DOES A TATTOO TAKE?

Tattooing is not a quick process, nor should it be rushed as you will be living with the results permanently. An averagely complex piece of work about the size of the back of your hand, usually takes about two to three  hours to complete. Larger or more complex pieces can take tens of hours, and will require several sittings to complete. Usually appointments are made in multiples of hours, but some smaller pieces may only require a thirty minute appointment. A full sleeve (done by any decent artist), could take anything from ten to fifty hours work to complete depending on complexity.
How many sessions it will take to complete your tattoo will depend on the design, the placement, and your pain tolerance.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

When it comes to tattooing, you get what you pay for. Do not expect a good artist to come cheap, and if that’s the way you go, you could end up spending a great deal more further down the line, when you have to pay for a large cover-up or laser tattoo removal. Save your money until you can afford what you really want! Don’t settle, just because you are impatient to get some ink, this decision will be with you for a long time.

 At HAI TATTOO we are happy to do a payment plan with you where you can pay for the tattoo you really want gradually.

HOW CAN I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?

Schedule a consultation with an artist, pay a deposit, and schedule the needed appointments depending on the size of your tattoo.
Once you have had the initial conversation with your tattoo artist, you will usually then want to book in for some time at the studio. Your tattoo artist will usually have a good idea at this point as to how long your tattoo is going to take, and will be able to advise you on cost. Booking your appointment usually requires a deposit ($100), which is to discourage time wasters and to offset against the artwork the tattoo artist will produce for you, should you not turn up. When you do turn up however, your design work will be free and your deposit will be then offset against the price of your tattoo. A few days before your appointment, we will usually email your design to you (unless other arrangements have been made), so that you can approve the design or make any changes that need to be made to the design. We are not precious over designs, we understand that it is your tattoo, so don't worry about offending our artists if you don't like your design, it will be redrawn as many times as needed to make sure it is perfect for you.

HOW DO I DECIDE ON A DESIGN?

At HAI TATTOO,  our tattoo artist are very good at "FREEHAND". All our tattoos are generated bespoke for the customer to ensure you only get the best in custom designs, unique to you. Because of this, we suggest that you begin with an initial free consultation with your artist to discuss your design. If you can bring your tattoo artist any reference material that you think is relevant, it will help both of you understand each other much easier. You don’t have to have exact images, even if your examples simply have the same ‘feel’ as what you are trying to convey it will help your tattoo artist understand your needs. Your tattoo artist should also give you lots of good advice regarding the limitations of the art (don’t forget, we are talking needles, ink and skin here, not pen and paper). They should advise you as to placement, and how the tattoo is likely to be viewed, for example; a small piece that would work well on the wrist, might not work as well placed on the thigh. The choice is always the customer’s, but it should always be an informed choice.

CAN I BE ALLERGIC TO THE INK?

Rarely we see slight allergies to particular colors. Usually this is just a prolonged healing of that color. Our inks are mostly organic and you can request vegan-safe ink if you are concerned or have a known allergy. It’s important to ask your doctor before you get a tattoo if you have any allergy concerns.

CAN I USE NUMBING CREAM OR PAIN KILLERS?

This is a less frequently asked question than you might expect. You can use numbing cream, but very few tattoo studios will recommend it for several reasons. Firstly, it needs to be applied several hours before you sit for your tattoo and can only last for around thirty to forty-five minutes. Tattooing being an art-form and therefore not an exact science, means that sometimes there could be a period of waiting past your appointment time, while the tattooist finishes off a piece of work that took longer than expected. This makes it very difficult to time the application of the cream. Secondly, even if you manage to time its application correctly, the potential short working period of the cream makes it a very limiting to anything but the simplest and smallest of tattoos. Lastly, if your tattoo is not finished before the cream wears off, then the pain will come back with a vengeance! Your body has been fooled and will not be producing those handy pain-killing endorphins, so will be hit with the force of the returning pain with no protection.


From the tattooist's perspective, the creams can cause the skin to become a little puffy in some customers. This means that the tattooist needs to work harder to get the ink into the skin, which can cause additional trauma. This will obviously have some repercussions during the healing process and can create an undesirable amount of scabbing during that time.


Some tablet pain killers can also cause a problem. Aspirin is the biggest problem as it thins the blood and reduces clotting, this will cause excessive bleeding during your tattoo, which will affect the quality of the finished tattoo. Aspirin will also extend the healing time that your tattoo needs so it is best avoided. Paracetamol will have little effect (positive or negative), other than a placebo. Ibuprofen based painkillers can give minor pain relief during the process, by reducing localised swelling, and will not hinder the tattoo in any way.

CAN I GO IN THE SUN AND/OR SWIM AFTER?

Direct sunlight will absolutely damage a fresh tattoo. It takes up to 2 months for your skin to fully regenerate. If you tan or burn your tattoo, the ink can scar and brown out in color.


We recommend a spf 45 sunblock by H2Ocean called Sea Life. This can be applied after one month of healing. Until that time, you should keep it protected with clothing or Ink Armor protective sleeves.

As far as swimming goes we recommend no swimming for two weeks. Showers are definitely good and recommended but no baths. It’s the prolonged soaking that can affect your ink.

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR MY TATTOO DAY?

Please bring your driver’s license, state ID, passport or military ID. Paper ID’s are not a valid form of identification. No exceptions.


We prefer cash but do accept credit or debit. No personal checks or American Express. We also recommend bringing a book, iPod, iPad, or any other device to keep you entertained or distracted. Snacks are good to have as well as lunch if it’s a full day session. There are plenty of local restaurants that deliver as well, but it’s good to have something quick too. Click here to get 5 tips for your tattoo day

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT AFTERCARE?

FAQ: FAQ
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