Alcohol and Getting Tattooed

Published on December 12, 2012 by Gregory

Everyone has heard a story about a friend of a friend who went out for a drink one night and woke up the next day to discover that they’d done something they would rather forget. Shaving off an eyebrow or kissing your boss is one thing, but finding a permanent reminder inked onto your body makes it much more difficult to pretend the whole thing never happened. Tattoo regrets can be all too common when alcohol is involved.

Luckily there are, for the most part, obstacles in place to deter the inebriated inkhead. The first important thing to remember is that most respectable tattoo artists won’t even agree to work on a client who is obviously under the influence of alcohol. If you’re clearly wasted, any respectable artist will refuse to put ink on you. If, however, the artist is willing to work on someone in this state, then it’s time to call into question the quality of their work ethic and practice.

But let’s give you…I mean Your Friend, the benefit of the doubt. Assuming you can hold your booze, not appear to be obliterated, and have already put the due time and consideration into your tattoo idea, there are still other things to remember: Alcohol consumption thins the blood and can impair the healing of a tattoo! It can also result in uneven coverage of color in the design as the skin heals. Any artist who cares about their reputation wants to be associated with work that is of the highest quality. Getting ink done with a lot of alcohol in your system can ruin things both for you and the artist.

If you do find yourself contemplating a tattoo after a few too many drinks and happen to find someone prepared to work on you, do yourself a favor and head home.

But maybe you just want a few drinks to take the edge off and ease the pain. Well, perhaps you’re not ready to get a tattoo. Pain is a fundamental part of the tattoo process. Being connected to the experience is something that many body art lovers believe to be an integral part of the commitment necessary for a tattoo. Dealing with that associated pain is very much a part of the allure of getting a tattoo.

The design you choose, along with having a tattoo in the first place, is a statement that you are making to the rest of the world, especially if it’s on a visible part of your body. It’s not something to get on a whim or when your judgment is impaired. Laser treatment for tattoo removal can be painful and may require multiple treatments to completely remove an unwanted tattoo. It is much better to choose a design and an artist you are happy with at a time that is right for you (i.e before happy hour).


Allen Steinway's picture

this toootttaly happened to my friend. he got wasted and woke up the next morning with Master Shake on the back of his neck. doesn't remember anything! good stuff

Paloma Kehalani's picture

alcohol impairs healing you say. good to know.

Anonymous's picture

I actually did this and woke up to a half done tattoo..... Sucked!!! Great article!! Very True!!!!

Ethan Hunt's picture

This actually happened to me personally. I was drunk and my blood was super thin and I bled a lot so only got a half done tattoo, but later got it fixed.

diggler's picture

Saw a dude with a tramp stamp that said "baby boy". Definitely an alcohol infused idea, at least i hope so.

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