How Long Should You Wait Between Tattoos?

You've likely heard that tattoos are addictive, and you're ready to prove it as you quickly book your next artist appointment while still in the chair.

Whether you're working on a full body project, or you're just excited to nail down that next design and placement, you'll need to wait until your body is ready for its next session. How soon is too soon for your next tattoo?

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Bad Choices

Yann Black, a Montreal tattoo artist, is one of the most sought after artists in the field.
Scribbled tattoos, art brut, perma-doodles, Tim-Burton-turned-tat-titan, call it what you want but Yann Black's signature style has him pegged in a league of his own as one of the most sought after avant-garde tattoo artists in the world. Photo courtesy of Yann Black

Don't be so quick to fall in love!The endorphin rush of a new tattoo can conjure up all sorts of butterflies, but remember tattoos are much like a marriage. They are (or are intended to be) a lifelong commitment.

If you aren't taking the time to consider all the other options out there, your tattoo will likely be covered up with something better (or not so much) later. And then that's a whole other ballgame.

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Risk of Infection

After your tattoo, your body is fighting hard to heal and fight any infection from your open tattoo wound. So while your body art may look pretty rad on the outside, your inner body is craving a little rest and recoup so it can repair your damaged skin. Respect your temple.

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Budget Concerns

Even if your tattoo is healing beautifully, you'll still need to fund your next tattoo design. Unless you have an expendable body art budget or professional connections within the industry, going broke for your body is clearly a vain thing to do.

Support your family, pay your bills, mortgage, rent, food and save some money for a new and meaningful design. Those traits are much more attractive than a new tat that leaves ya strapped.

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You're Sick

If you come down with the flu bug quite frequently, or if you care for lots of small children who always seem to bring home a virus of sorts, you'll want to boost your immune system before opting for another tattoo.

Infections from weakened immune systems can become quite nasty, real quick; even life-threatening if they aren't treated promptly and professionally.

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Artist Availability

If you're loyal to your tattoo artist, you'll need to be at mercy of his tattooing schedule. This means no matter how much you want to get that new design, you'll be learning that patience is a virtue. Some artists are booked out weeks ahead, while others won't accept new clients for several years.

Remember anything worth having is worth waiting for, so use this time to ensure:

  1. Your body is healthy and strong.
  2. You have the cash to pay for both your tattoo and a tip.
  3. You've selected body art that will stand the test of time.
  4. You've limited your contact with people who are prone to spreading viruses and germs.
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So How Long is That?

In my opinion, waiting several months in between tattoos is ideal. This gives you all the time you need to make a design and artist commitment while preparing your body for another session.

However, some people don't care to wait- and their ambition will get the better of them.

If you're in that boat, keep it anchored for at least several days. Once your last tattoo is in the final stages of healing, your body will be in a much better place to properly repair the skin after your next design.

Whatever you do and however long you wait, be sure you follow your artist's aftercare instructions thoroughly to ensure your skin stays healthy and well. After all, you've got some ink to show off.