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FAQ

Tattoos are applied using a small electric device which operates similar to a sewing machine. One to fourteen needles are grouped together and attached to the end of a metal rod called a needle bar. The other end of the needle bar is attached to the tattoo machine. The needle bar moves up and down through a tube or barrel which serves two purposes--to keep the needle bar from moving side to side and as a handle for the tattooist to grip the machine. The needles stick out only a few millimeters from the end of the tube, so they don't go very deep into the skin. Rubber bands are also used to mimimize the side to side movement of the needle bar.

After preparing the skin with a germicidal soap, the artist dips the needles into a small amount of pigment or ink. As the machine is guided over the skin, the needle bar moves up and down allowing the needles to puncture the skin, depositing the ink. A tattoo machine can puncture the skin 50 to 3,000 times per minute. Once the tattoo is completed, the tattooist applies an antibiotic cream or ointment and covers the area with a sterile bandage. The artist is required to provide you with oral and written instructions on how to care for your newly applied tattoo.



  1. How much do tattoos cost?
  2. How long can I expect the colors to last?
  3. What are the different styles of tattoos?
  4. How can I tell if a shop is clean?
  5. What's an autoclave? How is it used in tattooing?
  6. How can I tell that the needles being used are new and clean?
  7. Can I request a custom design?
  8. I have an idea in my head. How do I get the idea tattooed on me?
  9. How long does a tattoo take?
  10. What if I don't like my tattoo after it's done?
  11. Will a tattooist work with me on a design?
  12. How can I spot a good tattoo artist?
  13. How can I see examples of a tattooist's work?
  14. Do they let anyone in tattoo parlors?
  15. My new tattoo itches. What should I do?
  16. Should I pick the colors or should I leave that up to the artist?
  17. Will you tattoo people's faces? How about hands?
  18. Do those tattoo kits you can order in the magazines really work?
  19. Should I get drunk before getting tattooed?
  20. What can I do to keep my tattoo from fading?
  21. What if my tattoo fades over the years?
  22. I have an old discolored tattoo. What can I do to make it look better?
  23. Do you do cover-up work on old tattoos?
  24. How can I get started in tattooing?
  25. Why do you have tattoos?
  26. How to take care of a tattoo

  1. How much do tattoos cost?

    This varies on a number of factors, like size, placement on the body, and a variety of other things.

  2. How long can I expect the colors to last?

    A long time depending on who tattoos you, as well as if you follow our aftercare instructions and protect it from the sun.

  3. What are the different styles of tattoos?

    Tribal, Fineline, Portrait, Traditional, New school, etc. Don't feel restricted by styles. Do what you want and go to a tattooist who can do what you want, regardless.

  4. How can I tell if a shop is clean?

    Ask to see sterilization equipment. Make sure autoclave indicators on all bags have changed color to show sterilization. Never let an artist tattoo you with equipment they don't open in front of you. Ask questions.

  5. What's an autoclave? How is it used in tattooing?

    An autoclave is a sterilizer which uses heat and pressure to kill any microbes and/or pathogens on equipment. If a tattoo shop doesn't have one, leave.

  6. How can I tell that the needles being used are new and clean?

    Ask your tattooist to show you sterilization equipment. Watch them take your needles and tubes out of sterilization pouches with indicators on them. Watch them put together their machines. Don't assume anything when your health is on the line.

  7. Can I request a custom design?

    Absolutely, mostly anything can be done.

  8. I have an idea in my head. How do I get the idea tattooed on me?

    Find a tattooist whose style you like, talk to them about your idea and let them draw it for you (or draw it yourself), and let the tattoo begin.

  9. How long does a tattoo take?

    Anywhere from 30 seconds to hours.

  10. What if I don't like my tattoo after it's done?

    You're shit out of luck. Make sure everything is satisfactory BEFORE you begin. And keep an open mind -- tattoos are a handmade product, so a little artistic influence from your tattooist is a good thing. Best to let her/him do their stuff.

  11. Will a tattooist work with me on a design?

    If you want them too. Don't be afraid to voice your ideas.

  12. How can I spot a good tattoo artist?

    Good tattoos should have clean, even lines and smooth, solid colors. Always look at photographs of a tattooists work before getting tattooed.

  13. How can I see examples of a tattooist's work?

    Ask.

  14. Do they let anyone in tattoo parlors?

    No drunks or druggies, and we prefer that people bathe regularly.

  15. My new tattoo itches. What should I do?

    Leave it alone, or pat at it. Don't scratch it. It'll be fine after a few days.

  16. Should I pick the colors or should I leave that up to the artist?

    Let them decide which colors would be best for your tattoo.

  17. Will you tattoo people's faces? How about hands?

    Only in extreme circumstances, such as to cover up a gang insignia, etc. We never tattoo faces.

  18. Do those tattoo kits you can order in the magazines really work?

    No. Don't even think about tattooing. Leave it up to the professionals.

  19. Should I get drunk before getting tattooed?

    No. Drinking thins the blood, making you bleed more, and drunks rarely sit still.

  20. What can I do to keep my tattoo from fading?

    Use a strong sunblock whenever you are exposed to the sun, and generally take good care of your skin.

  21. What if my tattoo fades over the years?

    Get it redone, and then take really good care of it.

  22. I have an old discolored tattoo. What can I do to make it look better?

    Come by, let us take a look, and the chances are we will be able to fix it up and make it look brand new again.

  23. Do you do cover-up work on old tattoos?

    Yes, all the time. People are always coming in with a poor tattoo that they want fixed up.

  24. How can I get started in tattooing?

    Don't. There are better things for you to do. These aren't the droids your looking for.

  25. Why do you have tattoos?

    The same reason as everyone else... so I can look tough.




Tattoo Care Instructions
Now that you've gotten tattooed you have to take care of it.
Follow these easy steps to promote a healthy tattoo.

  1. Remove the bandage in 4 to 12 hours. Do not re-bandage.
  2. Wash your tattoo with warm water and an antibacterial soap. Gently pat dry with a clean towel.
  3. Apply a thin layer of triple antibiotic ointment.
  4. Use the ointment during the first two days, 3 or 4 times a day, after cleansing your tattoo. Make sure your hands are clean before touching your tattoo.
  5. After the first two days, apply a thin layer of fragrence free moisturizing lotion 3 to 4 times daily for the next 2 to 3 weeks. We recommend Lubriderm or some other chemical free, natural lotion.
  6. The normal healing time is 2 to 4 weeks.
  7. Don't pick or scratch your tattoo. Flaking or peeling is a natural part of the healing process.
  8. Don't soak your tattoo during healing. That means no baths, hot tubs, pools, etc.
  9. Keep your tattoo out of direct sunlight while it's healing.
  10. After your tattoo is healed, always use sunblock while in the sun, preferably 30 to 45 SPF. And moisturize your skin with lotion. It'll help keep your colors fresh.
Tattoo aftercare is vital to the longevity of your tattoo.
How your tattoo looks 3-months or 3-years from now depends on how you treat it.


217A El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066 - Tel: (650) 952-3132 - Fax: (650) 952-3120 - email: waynestat2 AT sbcglobal.net
Copyright © 2005 Wayne's Tattoo Studio. All Rights Reserved.