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Walk In Tattoo: Can I Get One And What Do I Need To Know?

If you don’t know what a walk-in tattoo is, here’s a rough explanation. A walk-in tattoo means you go to a tattoo studio, without an appointment, and get a tattoo the same day. It seems pretty self-explanatory and trivial, so many people wonder what’s so special about a walk-in tattoo.

Well, things are not always as simple as they seem. To get a walk-in tattoo, you need to know what you want, how you want it, and whether you are ready for such an experience.

So, if you’re thinking about getting a tattoo without an appointment, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you know, all the pros and cons of walk-in tattoos, and how to get one. So, without further ado, let’s get started!

Walk-in tattoos: 9 things you need to know

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Credit: Instagram

1. What are walk-in tattoos?

As we mentioned in the introduction, walk-in tattoos mean you just walk into a tattoo studio and get inked. The process, however, is not that simple. You need to find out if tattoo artists are available to get you tattooed, and you can’t really expect huge, complicated tattoo designs. Walk-in tattoos are usually smaller, simpler designs that can be done on the same day.

2. So you don’t need an appointment for walk-in tattoos?

No appointment is required for walk-in tattoosof course, but we recommend that you call the tattoo studio before entering. This way you can check if someone is currently available.

But hurry, because if someone comes before you, they will go first. Walk-in tattoos are on a first-come, first-served basis, and you don’t want to wait for something that should be done quickly.

3. Aren’t walk-in tattoos really expensive?

Now it depends on the tattoo shop. Each tattoo studio has a tattoo minimum, which is usually between $100 and $150 (+ tax and tip). This is an estimated price for a small tattoo design.

Keep in mind that you will discuss the tattoo design before tattooing and the tattoo artist will give you an estimated price which will not change once the tattoo is complete (regardless of how long it took the tattoo artist to complete it ).

4. What tattoo should I do for a walk-in session?

Generally speaking, tattoo artists only do small to medium sized tattoos for walk-in sessions. The design they make is also simple. This is because larger, more intricate tattoos require more than one session to complete; it would cost much more and also require more time from you. So, when you come to a tattoo studio, try to have a design in mind and discuss it with the tattoo artist.

5. What should I know before going to the tattoo studio?

  • Always choose a high quality, reliable and professional tattoo studio to get a tattoo, whether it’s a walk-in tattoo or a regular tattoo. This will minimize the potential side effects of tattooing and help you have the best possible experience getting inked.
  • Keep in mind that you can always talk to a tattoo artist, ask questions about anything and discuss the design you want until you find it perfect. The tattoo artist won’t be offended, because they want to give you the best experience possible.
  • Try to provide your tattoo artist with valuable feedback. Don’t just sit there and let them make all the decisions on your behalf. Speak up and provide appropriate feedback before you get permanently inked.
  • Make sure you discuss the potential price of the tattoo once you are happy with the design idea. Ask where the final price is and if the price changes after the tattoo is finished.
  • Talk to your tattoo artist about the aftercare routine for your tattoo. The aftercare routine is generally the same for all tattoos, but may vary depending on the location of the tattoo and other factors.

6. Are there any cases where tattoo artists refuse to do walk-in tattoos?

No tattoo artist will make appointments or tattoo sessions if you are intoxicated (alcohol or drug addiction). In many states, it is illegal to provide tattoo services to intoxicated personsand the tattoo artist could lose their license and studio otherwise.

Otherwise, tattoo artists will not do any facial tattoos during walk-in sessions. Such tattoos require further discussion and thought. Additionally, they also take longer to do and carry higher risks of tattoo side effects. No tattoo artist wants to take on such a responsibility.

And, finally, no tattoo artist will do hateful, racist, or culturally appropriate tattoos, whether you’re going for a date or a regular tattoo session. Before you arrive at the tattoo studio, consider the potential tattoo design and whether it has a hateful, offensive, and insulting background. Otherwise, you won’t get a tattoo.

We must mention the obvious case of a tattoo artist already booked and unable to provide walk-in tattoo service. In this case, you can come back another time, and contact the tattoo artist beforehand to see if he is booked for the day.

7. What are the pros and cons of walk-in tattoos?

The benefits of walk-in tattoos are as follows;

  • You get a spontaneous walk-in experience
  • You can get a unique tattoo on a whim
  • You can improve your overall appearance and feel happier
  • You don’t have to spend as much money as you would for a bigger, more complicated tattoo
  • You can consider a walk-in tattoo as part of your own adventure

The disadvantages of walk-in tattoos, on the other hand, are;

  • Your favorite tattoo artist could be booked
  • The tattoo studio you have chosen might not do appointments
  • You may regret the walk-in tattoo if you are not completely ready or committed
  • You may have to wait for hours if someone arrived at the studio before you
  • You may not be able to choose the tattoo artist for your walk-in tattoo

8. Do all tattoo studios offer walk-in tattoo services?

No, not all studios offer walk-in tattoos. This is one of the downsides of deciding to get a walk-in tattoo; you may come across a studio that does not offer such services. So how do you know if a studio doesn’t have a walk-in? If a tattoo studio holds the title of being a ‘private workshop’ chances are you won’t get your tattoo without an appointment there.

9. Are there any rules for getting a tattoo without an appointment?

Yes, there are a number of rules you are supposed to follow to get a walk-in tattoo and make sure you don’t cause any problems for the tattoo artist. For instance;

  • You can’t come in for a tattoo without an appointment and expect your tattoo artist to complete a large or complicated design in one day. If that’s what you want, then you should make an appointment.
  • Before heading to a tattoo studio, try to come up with a potential design idea that you might like. This will save your tattoo artist time and make it easier for them to perfect the design.
  • If your pain tolerance is low, be sure to let your tattoo artist know. This will help them find a perfect tattoo placement if you are unsure, for obvious reasons.
  • Don’t walk into a tattoo studio thinking you’ll pay less for a walk-in tattoo. You will have to pay full price for a walk-in tattoo, just like you would for a regular tattoo. Pricing is determined based on the design, size and placement of the tattoo or the hourly rate provided by the tattoo artist.
  • Don’t forget to tip your tattoo artist. It’s rude not to tip, especially if the artist went out of their way to rush you for a walk-in tattoo. Many artists find it incredibly rude to allow someone to get a tattoo without an appointment, and they don’t tip.
  • Do not come to a tattoo studio under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You will be fired, that’s for sure. No tattoo artist will tattoo an intoxicated person; it’s no fun, they might hurt you and they might even lose their license because it’s illegal to tattoo while intoxicated in some states.
  • Make sure to take a shower before going for a tattoo. It’s important to be fresh and clean, and not gross out the tattoo artist with strange body odors. Also, try to eat a good meal and hydrate before showing up.

Final Thoughts

Walk-in tattoos are a super fun and spontaneous experience. It’s quite adventurous to just walk into a tattoo studio and get a tattoo on the same day. However, before going for a walk-in tattoo, please consider all possible negative aspects of such an experience.

If you’re not ready for a tattoo, aren’t quite sure what to buy, or have a low pain tolerance, you may not have a good time. So be sure to prepare ahead of time and come to the salon ready to get inked. Good luck and have fun getting a new tattoo!

Also read: Why do tattoo shops only accept cash (but NOT credit cards)?

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