Five Tattoo Mistakes To Avoid

Categories Lifestyle

Dodge these tatt traps if you want to have “no regerts” about your ink in the future.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a tattoo is a relatively permanent style decision, so it’s worth mulling over. What design do you have your heart set on? And what artist do you trust to execute it? Visit parlours and chat to the artists, and find one you’re comfortable with and who specialises in the style you’re after — preferably something that stands the test of time better than the wishy-washy watercolour and colour realism craze of recent years.


We all roll our eyes at tribal bands and Asian characters for being so 1990s — so don’t give onlookers in 2037 the ammunition to say the same about your ink. Hummingbirds, feathers, dreamcatchers, anchors, infinite symbols are more recent cliches, while the themes dominating Pinterest — world maps, compasses, pocket watches, arrows, Roman numerals to name a few — are also quickly becoming passé. A unique design is less likely to weather poorly.

Going too small

The urge to start small — a modest first tat on the bicep or the shoulder blade, for example — is understandable, but a mistake, because it ruins a blank canvas for something more significant down the track. If you’re planning on a bigger design — a full sleeve or back or thigh — then it’s worth saving up and committing to that rather than collecting a hodge podge of tats with no cohesive theme.

Or going too big

Society’s come a long way with its attitude toward tattoos . . . but the stigma can’t be scrubbed off entirely. You’re more likely to see baristas and sports stars and even white-collar workers rocking ink today more than ever before, but you’ll be looking a bit harder to spot a manager or CEO with a snake tat on their neck or knuckle ink poking out from beneath a business shirt. That said, you’re not getting a tat to impress your mum or some prospective boss, so get as much ink as you’re comfortable with.

Not taking care of your tattoos

Listen to your artist, who’ll clean and cover the area with a bandage (which you should keep on for at least two hours to ward off airborne bacteria), then clean it gently and treat with an anti-bacterial ointment and moisturiser until the ink has stopped scabbing. The worst thing you can do for your fresh ink? Picking at the itchy scab or soaking it in water before it’s fully healed, or getting it sunburned or irritated by tight-fitting clothing for the first month or so.