How to check if a tattoo studio is safe?

Jadon Lawson
It takes approx. 3 minutes to read this article

Most people who decide to get a new tattoo focus on the process of getting it done, but unfortunately forget to check how clean and safe the tattoo parlor is.

There are many different pathogenic bacteria that can be transmitted into the body during the procedure. Therefore, the client of the salon has every right to receive information about how the tools and workstation are sterilized and whether gloves, needles and ink containers are disposable and unused.

Tattoos and health – what are the risks?

From a medical perspective, no tattoo can be considered completely safe. Potential harm can result from:

  • infection if sterility is violated during tattoo application.
  • a reaction to the ink, which may contain mercury, cadmium, cobalt, chromium and many other natural and chemical components.

What’s more, allergies or inflammation won’t necessarily be apparent right away – your body may react days, weeks, or even later.

Checking out a tattoo parlor

Online reviews

When looking for a tattoo parlor that will meet your expectations and perform a design according to your tastes, take the time to read reviews from other customers. Especially pay attention to negative comments, which include allegations such as:

  • lack of sterility;
  • bad smell;
  • complications after the procedure;
  • sloppiness of the artist.

Of course, online reviews are worth additional verification. If you have the opportunity, contact the author of the negative review or write to the salon asking for an explanation of the situation. Perhaps there is a long-explained misunderstanding or a deliberate action of the competition.

A personal visit

Before you decide to get a tattoo, contact the salon or artist you are interested in and schedule a follow-up appointment. This is a great opportunity to get to know not only the tattoo artist himself, but also the way he works. If you happen to see another client, you can ask him about his impressions. However, remember not to disturb anyone at work and do not enter anywhere without permission.

If the salon is not open and willing to give you all the information, this should arouse your suspicions. This can also be a sign of lack of professionalism, which also does not bode well.

What to look for when choosing a salon?


The room should be as sterile as possible and somewhat resemble a doctor’s office. Additionally, the studio must be regularly aired and cleaned outside of the main workstations as well. Without this, the smell of paint, combined with the stress of the procedure, can cause dizziness and fainting.

The chair on which the client lies or sits must be covered with a special disposable paper sheet. The artist is required to prepare the tattooing area next to you. This is especially important if you are touching the chair with bare skin.


You should pay the most attention to the tools that come in direct contact with your skin. All needles, caps, and dye containers are disposable, and the package with them should be opened by the tattoo artist in front of you.  If you have any suspicions or concerns, you can check the expiration date and sterility indicator on each package.


Every salon is required to inform the client about possible complications and risks, and give them a questionnaire to fill out regarding contraindications to the procedure. The tattoo artist should also explain to you the rules of proper care. When coming in for a tattoo, make sure these procedures are followed. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

main photo: Tonn

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