Your new tattoo will take about two weeks to heal . During that time, follow these instructions to best preserve your new work. Always listen to your body.

When you get home, remove the bandage from your tattoo and wash it off. You do not need to re-bandage your tattoo unless specifically instructed. Always wash your hands before cleaning or touching your tattoo. Use only mild, unscented products. I recommend Dial Soap or Dr. Bronners Castile Soap (unscented). I have also listed products that I use personally here.

Use bare, gentle hands for cleaning your tattoo - no scrubbing, exfoliating, or wash cloths. Use a paper towel to dry off or air dry. Cloth can hold in bacteria. 

Wash your tattoo 2-3 times a day, including when your tattoo becomes sweaty or produces plasma. I recommend carrying a small bottle of soap and a small amount of moisturizer with you for the whole healing process. 

Moisturize after washing and throughout the day when needed, only ever in chapstick-thin layers. Your tattoo should never be slimy. I recommend using organic coconut oil to moisturize a tattoo for the whole two weeks.

In the first 24 hours or so it is normal for a tattoo to lose some ink and plasma. This is totally normal and your tattoo is not falling out. It is also normal for the color to look uneven during healing as your skin is settling - wait at least a month before thinking about touch-ups. 

Avoid tight clothing over your new tattoo. Breathable, loose, clean cotton clothing is ideal to shield your new tattoo from the elements. If you find that your tattoo has stuck to your clothing or bedding, wet the area for removal. 

Your tattoo will peel like a sunburn after four days or so. Never pick or scratch at your new tattoo, though it may itch! You may start to moisturize with unscented lotion at this point, though coconut oil is also acceptable. For some techniques your tattoo will barely peel, and for some techniques you may experience a second round of light peeling.

Always use sunscreen if your tattoo will be in direct sunlight. This will greatly affect the brightness and clarity of your work. I recommend mineral sunscreen applied daily.

Touch ups are free for the normal wear and tear of most tattoos. I recommend seeking touch ups at least six months after getting tattooed so that you can get the most out of your touch up. 

Specialized and non-traditional techniques and placement, such as all-color tattoos, color outlining, white tattoos, sides of fingers, insides of lips, will almost always require touch ups throughout your life. For these, I charge my normal hourly rate or minimum which will be discussed before beginning this kind of work.

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