There are few questions that people who have yet to be tattooed will often ask. Things like; how much did it cost?, why did you get that one?, but the question that seems to always come up is – Did it hurt? Ya, I know what you’re thinking but really, it is a question that has burrowed itself so deep that I’m pretty sure most people think it’s a required to ask that question if they want to keep talking.
So in order to kill a few birds with one stone let’s explain exactly the process when someone gets tattooed.
A tattoo, in it’s most basic form, is an injury to the skin and ink is placed into that injury. Sounds like fun huh? Tattooing has been practiced for thousands of years and until the invention of the motorized tattoo machine it was done by by wood tools, and in some cultures it still is. Since most people are, at least, familiar with the modern tattoo machine we will use that and its accessories as our example.
There are two basic kinds of needles used when tattooing; lining and shading. The size and type used depends on the artist and art however, most of the time when an artist is putting the outline on a tattoo he/she is using a minimum of three needles that are grouped together and when the shading and color is being put in there’s usually a minimum of five needles being used. All of these needles are going into the skin at the same time, each poking a hole into a layer of skin. Next we move to the machine.
The needle is attached to the machine, the machine is set by the artist at a certain speed and power. Meaning they set how fast and how hard the machine will cause the needle to go into to the skin.
Now we know that the tattoo machine makes a certain number of needles go into our skin, ok so what from there? Well the ink goes in about one and one half layers of skin, once inside the skin the ink bonds with the cells and becomes part of the body.
Ok, what have we learned – you have a guy or gal taking a machine with a bunch of needles poking your skin thousands of times while injecting ink in a specific design, while wiping your blood off(some people bleed less than others) and then doing it again, it seems to me that the question answers itself every single time. Though it doesn’t hurt as bad in some places as it does in others and almost not at all in some places…almost.
So if the question ever crosses your mind as to whether or not getting a tattoo will hurt, think back to this article and smile because you’re so smart you already know the answer.