This Is How Long You Can Expect To Sit For A Tattoo

Getting a tattoo is a lifelong commitment. For most people, choosing the perfect tattoo requires a lot of consideration. Sure, some people may just decide on a whim to get their favorite flower tattooed on their foot, but if you are more of a planner, it's likely that you've spent many hours deliberating this decision. But it's not just the style you need to think about. According to Healthline — before you sit down at the tattoo parlor — you'll also want to consider how much skin you want to cover, what colors match well with your skin tone, and of course, how much you can spend. Not to mention the important task of choosing an artist who is trustworthy and talented.

Most popular tattoo artists book out months ahead, per Insider, so once you do find one you like, it can take some time to actually get into their chair. Plus, most skilled artists will first create a mock-up of what you are looking for before etching it into your skin, which can also take a bit of time. But once all of this is figured out, the biggest time crunch may actually be the time you spend sitting in the chair. If you are heading to your tattoo artist soon, here's how long you can expect to sit while getting inked.

There are three factors that determine how long a tattoo will take

On-screen, a tattoo scene usually lasts no more than five minutes, but in real life, getting a tattoo can take much longer. According to Chronic Ink Tattoo, depending on what you are envisioning for your ink, you could plan to sit for an hour or come back for multiple visits over the course of a year to get it finished. On average, tattoo sessions take about 4-6 hours to complete, as the tattoo studio noted, but there are certain factors that can help you determine how long your specific style will take.

As Byrdie reported, the time spent in the chair is often determined by the size of the tattoo, the complexity of the design, and the location you wish to put it. If you have a quarter-sized tattoo with a simple design, you can expect to sit for about an hour. But if that design is complex (think jewelry or knotwork), even the smallest tattoo could take longer.

Other things to consider before sitting for your tattoo

While the size and complexity are the biggest factors when it comes to time spent in the chair, another thing to consider when getting a tattoo is your pain tolerance. Some tattoo artists may recommend coming back for multiple sessions to make the pain more tolerable, especially if the tattoo is large or on a sensitive body part like the ribs or close to bones (via Byrdie). Tattoo artists also recommend shorter sessions for first-timers. The folks at Chronic Ink Tattoo recommend a maximum of 3-5 hours per session for newbies to ensure they are not going over their pain threshold. After that first session, you and your tattoo artist can determine how many more sessions are needed.

Getting a tattoo can be a worrisome experience, but as long as you go in prepared and find the right artist to complete it, it can be exciting and special. Plan ahead, talk to your tattoo artist, and don't be afraid to ask questions — they want you to love it just as much as they do.