Even though the numbers don’t always bring optimism, the world is officially gearing up for the new normal. It does not mean that we are letting our guard down, but it’s about time we accept the new normal as a part of our life and learn how to adapt to it. And while it might still be a while before you can set foot inside a club, the beauty and fashion community has taken charge to showcase how to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic world.
Virtual runways are presenting fresh collections, salons are opening up and yes, even tattoo studios are experiencing major walk-ins yet again. Something about surviving a global pandemic makes you want to celebrate that, no?
For Pradeep Junior, lead artist and owner of Astron Tattoos, Bengaluru, the post-pandemic tattoo trend is certainly a sight for sore eyes! “The tattooing trend definitely saw a downfall, with demand falling one-third of the clients we used to see pre-lockdown. This happened mostly due to the panic about getting tattooed or not having enough information about the tattoo process during the pandemic. But now, we do have a positive response from the people who understand basic hygiene and follow social distancing,” elaborated Pradeep.
But how exactly do you ensure safety while getting inked now? According to Pradeep, the solution is just plain logic. He confessed, “Let’s be honest, exposure is inevitable and the only thing we can do is to maintain social distance and be smart about the choices we make when it comes to tattoo studios. Do not panic, we as trained professionals have a good grasp on taking care of your safety. Just follow the proper tattooing etiquette during this pandemic and no harm would come to you.”
Along with his encouragement (and might we dare say soothing words?) he also elaborated on how to be safe during your post-pandemic tattoo appointment.
- How to ensure that your choice of tattoo studio is safe
- What tattoo artists expect you to do before coming in for an appointment
- Expert tips on post-procedure care of tattoos
How to ensure that your choice of tattoo studio is safe
First things first, you need to do your research before you settle on a tattoo studio. Combined with the vision and work of their tattoo artists, and going through client testimonials is an easy way to gauge which option suits you best. But this was pre-pandemic — now you have to take these pointers into consideration before settling on one:
- Studios should work on educating their prospective clients about the tattoo process in advance during this pandemic.
- It is totally safe to get a tattoo during the pandemic as long as studios use necessary PPE, like masks and gloves.
- They should allow only one appointment at a time (this gives the tattooing staff enough time to disinfect everything and avoid any chances of cross-contamination).
- For any reference material, suggest the customers go to google images or Pinterest to find reference material instead. This way the customer can do their homework in advance and also makes it easy on the tattoo artist to create a custom design as per their requirement.
What tattoo artists expect you to do before coming in for an appointment
It isn’t just the studios that hold liability for your safety, you need to chip in as well:
- Prepare yourself for the tattoo appointment properly. Remember to shower thoroughly and make no stops between the tattoo studio and your home. It would be preferable to take your own reliable/safe mode of transportation.
- Carry a few basic hygiene products for your own safety — the tattoo studios may or may not provide you with a mask. So bring your own and a small pocket-sized hand sanitizer just in case you feel you touched something suspicious.
- You might want to consider losing that tattoo buddy who accompanies you during tattoos! This is just to avoid putting more stress on people at the tattoo studio who are concerned about their own safety too. Plus, overcrowding can be an issue for studios that aren’t too big.
- Do not touch anything while getting inked. Tattoo studios are filled with props, books and several things that you might get distracted by. Peeps at Astron Tattoos have already removed everything that gets into customers hands — like flashy and artsy books that people usually love flipping through.
- Cancel your appointment if you feel even slightly unwell or have symptoms of being unwell. Avoid risking your own life and others around you, especially if you are living with elderly family members at home.
FYI, avoid layering up in jackets or coats that the studio will have to find a place to stash!
Expert tips on post-procedure care of tattoos
Post-procedure care in the post-pandemic world has to be updated and Pradeep has the following recommendations:
- Keep your tattoo covered outdoors and wash the tattoo at least 3-5 times a day using a mild antibacterial soap. Make sure to rub the soap gently. Your first wash should be done extremely well to remove any excess dried blood, etc!
- Use gloves if possible or wash your hands before touching the tattooed area. Don’t apply anything on the tattoo at least for the first three days. During this period, avoid taking shower directly on the tattoo.
- Do not get the tattoo wet; it is not good to have contact with water in early stages. Apply your lotion in a small quantity (just the thinnest layer), after the first three days are completed. Avoid any physical exercises for 15 days.
- Tattoos usually take two weeks to heal (use a gauze to cover the tattoo outdoors). Also, different tattoos have different healing times. It can vary from 2-4 weeks.
- Do not prick or scratch, and most importantly, stay indoors and don’t let anyone close to your tattoo since your tattoo is like an open wound.
Images courtesy: @el_chelso7