faq & aftercare
Q. I'm new to tattooing, where do I start?
At Classic 13 Tattoo we do take walk-ins but it's best to plan ahead. Have a few concrete ideas about what you want done and how you want your tattoo to look on your body. Then, we invite you to come into the shop and cruise our many references, examples, and photo books of each artists work for inspiration or clarification of your ideas. Choose an artist whose work or energy you like. Now you are ready to come in or call and set up a consultation with the artist you choose, and she will be glad to help realize your vision.
Q. Once I've decided I want a tattoo, how does the process work?
After your initial consultation, the Classic 13 Tattoo artists will take a deposit and draw a design for your tattoo. When you approve the drawing, you will set up an appointment to begin your new (or first!) piece. If you change your mind, be sure to call and give us at least 2-3 days’ notice so your artists can book the time she held open for you. Since many of us book weeks in advance, the sooner you are able to cancel your tattoo the better. If you cancel without sufficient notice, your artists will keep your deposit.
Q. How do I prepare for my appointment?
On the day you come in to be tattooed, it is important that you not consume alcohol or take any aspirin. Please be clear-headed, healthy, and have a full belly! These conditions will ensure the best possible start for your tattoo, and help make the experience positive. How well your tattoo heals has everything to do with how well you take care of it afterwards, so be prepared to follow the aftercare instructions your artists provides. Your Classic 13 Tattoo artist will touch up your skin art after it is healed (usually for free). We want you to be absolutely happy with your new tattoo.
Q. How safe is tattooing?
Many people have concerns about the safety of being tattooed. At at Classic 13 Tattoo, we are serious about our cleanliness and sterilization procedures. Our autoclaves are spore-tested by a third party laboratory every week, needles are never reused, and we use only the highest quality inks and pigments. Our artists will be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have about tattoo safety. It is important to us that you are, and feel, safe in our shop.
Q. What inks do you use?
Eternal is our main ink brand.
Q. Does it hurt?
Yes, as a general rule, it hurts. However, people experience the pain in different ways, and some places on the body hurt more than others. Most people find that the fear of being tattooed is far worse than the pain they actually experience. All kinds of people get tattooed, and almost everyone is able to tolerate the sensation. Some people even find that they really like being tattooed!
Q. Do customers ever have to stop partway through a tattoo due to pain?
Although tolerances for pain are different from person to person, we haven't yet had a client who asked us to stop due to excessive pain.
Q. How much does it cost?
Please check with us for rates. You will find that we offer incredible rates given the high quality of our work, a reputation we have long earned in the Birmingham tattoo community. We recognize that tattooing is not cheap, but we are sure that your positive experience and your satisfaction with your permanent ink is worth the expense. The artist will give you an estimate, but how much your tattoo ends up costing depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the design, how long it takes to place it on your body, and how well your particular skin takes the ink.
Q. How do I pay for the tattoo?
Your deposit will go toward your last session, and you pay for each session when it's finished. We accept major credit cards and (preferably) cash.
Q. What about tipping?
It's common practice to tip your tattoo artist if you are happy with your tattoo, or felt you got extra attention. If you can afford it, a good tip is 15-20%, just like a restaurant, but any token of appreciation is welcome.
Q. How should I care for my new tattoo?
Please take a look at our Aftercare information, and read the instructions.
Q. What are some of the possible complications of tattooing?
Many people are worried about the possibility of getting an infection from being tattooed. It is very, very rare for a person in good health who takes good care of their tattoo to get an infection. However, some people do have a reaction to the inks, or (more often) to the ointment or lotion used during the healing process. When this happens, the tattooed are may become itchy, or a pimply rash may develop. These reactions are not serious, but they can affect the way the tattoo looks when it heals, and they are sometimes uncomfortable. People most commonly react to red inks.
Q. Can I bring a friend with me for support?
We will try to include any support person you bring along, and we are mostly able to. Sometimes our space is limited and we are not able to fit another person in the tattooing room, but they will always be comfortable in our studio.
All the products we recommend may be purchased at our shop
Days 1 – 2:
Classic 13 Tattoo recommends keeping the bandage on for 3 to 5 hours. Wash the tattoo first thing in the morning and 2 to 3 more times per day for the first two days.
You should use Cetaphil cleanser or another unscented cleanser or soap.
After you have cleaned your tattoo, apply a light coat of Pegasus Pro Tattoo Ointment. Alternatively, you may use Bacitracin, A&D Ointment or Herbal Savvy.
Avoid Aaloe Vera; it dries out the skin and will make your tattoo heal poorly. Also avoid scented lotions, cleansers, etc.
Days 3 – 4:
Apply PegaPanthenol Creme, or continue using Herbal Savvy or unscented lotion liberally throughout the day. Short showers are OK!
Days 5 – 15:
Apply lotion as needed. Does not peel, scratch, or rub. If it feels itchy, you can slap your tattoo, this will relieve you somewhat. Remember tattoos take approximately 1 – 3 weeks to heal completely. Be kind to your tattoo, and it will be kind to you!