Tattoos.

A brief overview.

A tattoo is a form of body modification made by inserting tattoo ink underneath the skin via a tiny needle or multiple tiny needles.

A Tattoo needle penetrates 5 layers of the epidermis. That may sound like a lot of skin, but it’s only about 1-2mm. 

A brief history.

The earliest evidence of tattoos comes from clay figurines that had their faces painted or engraved to represent tattoo marks. The oldest figures of this kind have been recovered from tombs in Japan dating to 5000 BC or older.

So in terms of actual tattoos, the oldest known human to have tattoos was a preserved mummy from around 3300 BC. Found in a glacier of the Otztal Alps, near the border between Austria and Italy, Otzi the Iceman had 57 tattoos.

Many cultures still use tattoos as rites of passage, marks of status and rank, symbols of religious and spiritual devotion, decorations or medals for bravery, marks of fertility, pledges of love, talismans, protection, and as punishment, like the marks of outcasts, slaves and convicts.

For example, the Vikings would use the Aegishjalmur (Helm of Awe), also known as Aegir’s Helmet, as a symbol of protection and power. They would paint this symbol between their brows before going into battle. It’s the form of a circle with eight tridents emanating from its centre.

Methods of tattooing.

Piercing is most common among modern tattoo artists. Piercing uses an object, such as a needle, to push ink into the skin whether it be via a tattoo machine or by hand.

Hand Poke

Hand poking is the oldest technique of tattooing. A single needle is used to pierce ink into the skin dot by dot. It is a slow method which is typically minimal in pain. Artists who perform hand poke tattoos are preserving traditions of tattooing.

Kakau, or hand-tapping.

Kakau is the name of the traditional tattoo art of the Hawaiian Islands.

Two handles are used, one with a needle attached and a second one for tapping it to insert the needle softly into the skin. Jason Mamoa recently got his head and hand tattooed using this method. It took a while but he look awesome.

Reason for getting a tattoo.

The reason I wanted to get a tattoo at first was rebellion, it was a “No one can tell me what to do” type of attitude. I was 19 so what did you expect?

After I had calmed down I decided that I wanted to get a tattoo not to rebel but because I liked it. Getting a tattoo out of spite or as a rebellious statement isn’t going to be cool. I can guarantee that you will regret it later because you grow out of that phase and then you’re stuck with a tramp stamp that you’re ashamed of.

I am a creative person and I have a great appreciation for art and tattoos being among that, I have always liked and wanted tattoos. 

Conditions for getting tattoos.

Before you get a tattoo there are a few things that have to be done first:

  • Do research.

Learn what a tattoo is, read the Masculine Collective blog on tattoos and watch YouTube videos. Learn as much as you can about styles, healing, aftercare and placement.

  • Find a reputable tattoo artist.

There are many “tattoo artists” out there but few that really know what they are doing. This is almost the most important step because it doesn’t matter how well your tattoo is designed; if your artist is bad, the tattoo will be ruined.

Use social media to find the best artist you possibly can, Instagram and Facebook are amazing research tools.

Find an artist that is proficient in the style you want and whose work is damn near perfect, because tattoos are permanent you have to be picky about the artist you chose. Be very picky.

After you have found the artist you want you can book a consultation with them and discuss your tattoo. A good artist will guide you to make the right decisions based on your body.

Choosing the tattoo subject.

There are 2 ways of approaching this matter:

A tattoo should mean something to you.

That is a surefire way of getting a tattoo that you know you will like forever.

And you must think it is the coolest thing in the world. This is relative seen we all have different tastes but this is where class comes in, make sure your tattoo is classy gents.

Tattoo aftercare.

After and during the healing process (which takes about 2-4 weeks) you have to keep your tattoo as healthy as possible. 

Keeping your tattoo clean will ensure that it doesn’t get infected. An infected tattoo can be serious. The area around your tattoo may be painful, swollen, red, and hot. You may see red streaks or pus at the tattooed area. You may even get a fever or swollen and tender lymph nodes.

Tattoo aftercare isn’t a tedious thing, it’s very simple:

Moisturizer and sunscreen.

Moisturizers hydrate the surface layers of the skin. Dry skin can make a tattoo look blurred or faded. Keeping your skin moisturized is the best way to keep your tattoo looking fresh.  

UV rays from the sun will fade your tattoos if exposed to a lot of direct sunlight. When you leave your ink out in the sun, those UV rays are absorbed and essentially break up the pigment in your design thus making the tattoo look a lot older a lot quicker. 

First thing in the morning I apply moisturizer on my tattoo and then later sunscreen if I know I’ll be in the sun. 

This also depends on the placement of your tattoo. If you have a tattoo on your ribs for example then only daily moisturizing is necessary because that area only gets sun at the beach, in which case the sunscreen is required.

Conclusion.

Tattoos are really awesome. It is an artwork and a form of self-expression articulated through ink and skin. 

But with this self-expression comes responsibility. 

As we know tattoos are permanent and are difficult and expensive to remove. That is why you have to be absolutely sure about what you’re getting and where you are getting it. 

Not all workspaces allow exposed tattoos so you have to take that into consideration when choosing the placement of your tattoo.

No drunk tattoos. They never end up well and it is a definite regret. 

Be wise in this process, don’t make impulsive decisions and make it classy. As good-looking, well-groomed men our tattoos need to be stylish. Spend a bit more time and money and make sure it elevates your look and adds to your personal style.

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