When you are looking for a tattoo parlor for the first time, it can be a little nervewracking. Making the decision to get a tattoo in the first place can inspire a little bit of fear, and of course you want it done right, and you want it done well. Doing your research ahead of time is going to pay off. You will feel more comfortable with your artist and with the experience if you have done your homework to find the right tattoo parlor.
There are only a few regulations covering tattooing when it comes to the law. For starters, minors are not to be tattooed unless, in some states, parental permission is granted. You also want to ensure that your parlor is licensed, this is a minimum requirement. Licenses are granted when the artists in the studio have qualified by completing a health department course on infectious disease and transmission, and they have passed an exam. Don’t be afraid to ask if this is the case, as parlors are not inspected regularly, and as such, you may find that some are slacking here. This is your body, you have the right to ask these questions.

Here are some other things to look for in a tattoo parlor:

• A clean studio. This means the studio is clean overall, that the artist wears gloves, and that the studio or parlor has a professional appearance to it. This is your first impression, what does your gut tell you.
• Ask questions. Ask if there is an autoclave for sterilization, and if the needles are a single use. Ask about EPA approved disinfectants, and what their after care procedures are. A reputable tattoo parlor will NOT mind these questions.
• Watch the artist on another customer to ensure safety and cleanliness procedures are being followed.
• If your tattoo parlor has a membership in any tattoo professional organization, all the better for you. This is a symbol of a serious artist or parlor with your best interests at heart!

Once again, follow your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, keep walking until it does!