Do You Have To Shave Before Getting A Tattoo?

So you're all booked in for your tattoo and you're super excited, but there are a few questions floating around your brain box. Something you might be contemplating, especially if it's your first time, is whether or not you need to shave before getting a tattoo. You might have swooped into your local tattoo parlor on a whim and booked your appointment without asking all the need-to-know stuff, a packed salon could have led to a very speedy booking, or you may have just been too darned excited to remember to ask if you need to shave before your appointment.

But, it's not just tattoo virgins who are confused about de-fuzzing – you might be covered in ink and still not know the answer. In the past, your tattoo artist may have pulled out a razor and gotten rid of any pesky hairs for you, but you may have friends who normally shave themselves before they get tattooed. A predicament such as this may have you wondering if there's some kind of tattoo parlour etiquette you were oblivious to. Maybe your tattoo artist is secretly throwing daggers at you in their mind? Are you unknowingly being an ink diva? Here's what the experts have to say.


Adal Ray of Majestic Tattoo NYC says in an email to Bustle, "If you're very hairy, it's considerate to come in at least partially shave. But regardless, the artist will probably run his/her razor over you before starting." So if you can, it's basically good manners to shave the area you're getting tattooed, especially if you're rather a hairy person.

Moyo Studio/E+/Getty Images

When asked if clients should shave before getting a tattoo, Brooklyn based tattoo artist Josh Egnew of Electric Anvil Tattoo, says, "You can if you want to, but it is our job to take care of that. If a client has shaven the area beforehand, we typically still shave it to ensure it is completely free of hair before the procedure."

Gwengoat/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Ray and Egnew both agree that a tattoo artist will likely still shave the spot you're going to get inked, even if you've already given it a once over with your razor. If the area you're going to get tattooed is particularly hairy, it's courteous to get the ball rolling and turn up to your appointment with a partially or fully shaven patch. IMO, it seems polite to turn up with your canvas as prepped as possible, which includes shaving hairy areas, but your tattoo artist will likely shave you anyway, so don't worry if you forget!

Images: Getty Images (4)