You might be asking yourself…………Do Tattoos Hurt?


Does it hurt? You are sitting thinking and wondering, heard so many stories its hard to tell who telling the truth and who is not…. Welcome to the biggest question from people who are thinking of getting a new tattoo soon – it happens to everyone thinking of stepping into getting a new tattoo. Everyone wants to know, do tattoos hurt?

We hope we can be of some help, giving you some information and knowledge before you make that big step.. its really not that bad. We find more clients are more nervous BEFORE we start the procedure than actually once we are into it. I guess its like getting your flu shot, or any doctors needle – you have the anxiety, the stress and who knows what more but its a tense moment, especially just before we begin…

Most experienced tattoo artists (we are not talking about going to some friends house to someone who thinks they are a tattoo artist) but most tattoo artists that have been in the business will help you along the way, explain everything and more than you want to know and start in an area that wont be as bad until you get yourself into that ‘zone’.

Yes, its true, females always seem to do better than males… thats being very general, but its a fact, just ask any tattoo artist that is experienced they will tell you the same thing. In our personal experiences, we haven’t had a female have troubles in YEARS, and i mean years. Nervous yes, but not passing out and some of those other stories you hear about from the guys.. if you are female, your probably better asking one of your female friends what they think or thought of the procedure as you will find alot of variants in the pain levels for sure,everyone experiences it different and has different feelings, tattoo experiences and so-forth. There are alot of males that do super too, but they seem to be totally opposite, they seem to not be as nervous, stressed or otherwise, its when we actually start the tattoo that sometimes we experience troubles with males.. but not all males, and its certainly not because they “can’t take it” or they have a lower pain threshold, that may be so in cases, but we find most problems are anxiety, inner fear, and stuff like that. A female will tell their tattoo artist when it hurts a little in certain areas during the procedure, but will a male? I think we all know the answer to that, 99.9% will not say anything and just let it build up.. not good, thats when we experience problems.

So if your a male, thinking about getting your first tattoo, you should be honest with the tattoo shop that you choose to go to. Meet the artist, break the ice and any experienced tattoo artist will walk you through the process and make your experience a good one, at least we do here and hope any seasoned tattoo artist would do the same. We find that once you get used to tha pain, this is in females and males, the experience becomes easier and you can get into your ‘zone’. Its always nice to bring a buddy or friend to chat with, but sometimes its better to go alone. You can only make that decision, some tattoo artists have limits on who actually goes into the room, for many reasons ranging from distraction, movement, sterile environment, etc.. each artist has their procedure on this step. At BodyIllusions, we always ask you to bring a friend if you would feel more comfortable. Trust us, when you know in your heart you want this first tattoo, thought about it… then you are ready. Your experience will be awesome, dont let others discourage you if this is something you always wanted to do.


Do Tattoos hurt? If you continue reading on, we will do our best in showing you the basic process, which varies from tattoo artist to tattoo artist – however, the technique and basic process is basically the same.

Things to remember is the process is somewhat permanent, so be sure to think out your ideas, designs and what you are going to get. Lets not worry about what your gonna look like when your 80 as I dont think people will be judging you in this way at 80 whatsoever, and from what we seen over the past years,,, we can assure you there are gonna be ALOT of 80 year olds with alot of tattoos, this generation is surely sinking ink into their skin much more since shows like Miami Ink, LA Ink, Tattoo Highway and shows like that came about, giving you the real inside scoop of what happens in a tattoo parlor. Its not that bad is it? Some tattoo shops like ours, is super comfortable, not scary whatsoever and relaxing with “no attitude” tattoo artists. We cater to cowards, so no worries, we want to make your first experience your best ever as you will remember it forever.



All tattoos in this day and age are created by the injection of various colors into the second layer of the skin, called the dermis. However in ancient tribal times, they were created by cutting designs into the skin and putting ink into the wounds. Oddly enough, this process may sound unbearably painful but it is not extremely different from the means used to create tattoos today. The major difference between the two procedures is the fact that modern tattoos do not result in open wounds, however, both processes do involve absorbtion of color by the skin if done properly.

After the tattoo pigment is injected into the skin, phagocytes or “drinking cells” are activated in the dermis and epidermis and “swallow up” the injected colors. During this process the skin layers become damaged, but the healing of the damaged layers causes the skin to flake, which causes the ink on the surface of the skin to fade away. However, the deeper layers of skin begin to form granulation tissue (cells that allow wounds to heal) that is then converted into connective tissue, which allows the pigment to be permanantly absorbed into the skin.

Unlike in tribal societies, modern tattoo artists have the advantage of using electrical equipment when performing the tattoo procedure. This evolution in the tattoo culture has allowed for quicker, more sterile and hygene and more asthetically pleasing tattoos at the end of the day. The tattoo machines used to create tattoos today consist of either a single needle or a group of needles that are anchored onto a bar that allows the needles to rapidly move up and down at speeds that are highly unattainable by hand. The ink (or tattoo pigment) inside the needles are injected in and out of the skin repeatedly until the entire tattoo is completed. It has been estimated that these needles can move at speeds between 80 and 150 times in a second. Today, with advances such as these, and steadily increasing innovation in the tattoo medium, tattoos have far surpassed the appearances of their origin. Most tattoos today require more than the use of one needle and the tattoo artist will usually have a couple or more tattoo machines going at once, but of course only using one at a time! The average tattoo needle depth can range from 1-3mm tops. Average depth into the skin is around 2mm, but everyones skin is different and depending on the style, etc of the design, different depths may be required. A new (so called) tattoo artist that tattoos out of his/her house may end up going too deep and leaving a PERMANENT scar that no tattoo artist wants to fix, so save your money and go somewhere that will do it right the first time. In our city alone, we have so many girls and guys tattooing from home, no license, no skills and bad work. It may look good or decent when you leave, but it wont when it heals. Most of these inexperienced artists are spreading diseases like HEP C, HIV and other not wanted diseases, they have no idea on cross contamination or practices. Stay away, take our advice, go to a reputable shop, not one that just opened unless you *know* from references they are sterile, do good work and love what they do. Most tattoo shops have troubles staying open for more than a year or two tops… ask yourself why.



Do Tattoos hurt? Click on the picture to the left to enlarge it and this is a very basic chart to show the average pain level for certain areas on the body – this doesnt mean that it will be the same for everyone whatsoever, its just a guideline to show you what areas hurt more than others. We have some clients, actually alot, that say it hurts about the same everywhere, or some dont feel them AT ALL really, we have some describe it as feeling like a minor bee sting, or dragging a warm/hot blade on your skin, as well as many that describe the tattoo experience like a kitten scratch or even as far as a ‘massage’… and relaxing feeling. So as you can tell, there are so many levels of pain. We each experience pain at different levels, its odd. Pain is like a switch, you can turn it off if you want.

We have also included below 3 charts which show basically the areas of pain for different areas of the body. This will surely help in your decision and give you some idea (basically) of what areas of the body are more tender, sensitive and might possibly be more painful, and let you decide the answer to the question Do Tattoos Hurt. Check out the charts below, just click the image itself and it will get larger so you can see the fine print, they are absolutely perfect references for thought:



Thanks for taking the time to read this, we hope if you are getting your first tattoo that you read this again for preparation and knowledge of the tattoo process in general. We hope we answered your question “Do Tattoos Hurt?” We cannot stress enough not to go to someones home-made tattoo shop in the basement or whereever, its not safe, not fun and you may die as a result – this is serious – dont do it. If you know of anyone tattooing out of their homes, you could save lives by just reporting them anonymously to your local health board, they are always happy to close these guys and girls down and fast. Its not safe, and with the amount of contagious people around with the high drug use these days we highly recommend you seek out a professional tattoo shop or tattoo studio that has experience, knowledge and practices safe health protcols for your area. Most reputable tattoo artists will exceed these standards of safety for your health as well as theirs, so feel safe when you know the tatto shop has been there 5 years or more in the same area.. it says something, and its worth the price in the end.

If you liked this article, please take the time to “share this below of facebook” or tweet it out to a friend or post it on facebook to educate others thinking about their first tattoo. You will be doing everyone a favor and certainly making alot of people around the world a little more knowledgable before getting their first tattoo, its permanent, so you want a good artist and a relaxing environment where you feel comfortable. Absolutely be sure you speak directly with the tattoo artist who will be tattooing you in advance, if he or she doesn’t have the time… move on. And visit a couple tattoo shops, don’t just get your tattoo at the first shop you see! Visit the tattoo studios, most are happy to answer your questions, while others are rather rude — this is why you shop around until you find the place that you want your art done. Look at the price last, check the other important stuff first – there are tattoo shops everywhere that charge way too much and others that are affordable, so again, do your shopping. See you at the studio, hopefully we will have the opportunity to create your first piece of art if you are in the Brantford, Ontario area. We always work late till we are done, and take walk-ins like most shops, time permitting.

Enjoy your experience…………. make it a good one!

BodyIllusions Tattoo Studio Staff – Brantford Tattoo Shop

Do Tattoos Hurt?”