The Best Time to Get a Tattoo: Winter!

While we’d like to say that the best time to get a tattoo is any time, the true answer is actually very layered. Work schedules, travel plans, financial considerations–these factors and more must be weighed, especially for large-scale tattoos.

Winter is the best time to get a tattoo from Owen Juarez at Paper Crane in Long Beach!

(Owen Juarez)

But at Paper Crane, we understand that sometimes the urge for a new tattoo can’t be denied. The good news: We’re currently in the perfect season for impulsive ink. Read on to find out why winter is the best time to get a tattoo!

No Beach Days = the Best Time to Get a Tattoo

You might visit the beach even on a cloudy day in December, but we’re guessing that you’ve got on a lot more clothing than if you were planning a summer swim. This means you’ve got less chance of getting a sunburn on a new tattoo. During the aftercare window, it’s especially important to protect healing skin from the sun’s rays, as a bad sunburn can lead to peeling. This in turn can cause ink to fall out, leaving you with a tattoo that is faded or patchy.

Unless you’re into polar bearing, we’re also guessing you won’t be diving into the ocean during the colder months. Oceans, lakes, and other waterways can be home to all kinds of bacteria and pollution, so it’s imperative that you don’t take a dip during the ten-day aftercare period.

No Pool Parties

The ocean isn’t the only water you need to avoid while your tattoo is healing! Pools are also out, which makes winter the best time to get a tattoo if you spend most of the summer in a unicorn floaty. Harsh chlorine can damage a tattoo that hasn’t fully healed yet, as can the bacteria potentially present in a pool.

Please note that you also need to avoid the spa. Although it’s a great way to warm up this winter, it’s not such a hot idea if your tattoo is still fresh.

Less Exposure = the Best Time to Get a Tattoo

We’ve already visited the potential dangers of getting a sunburn on your new tattoo–but did you know that your clothes protect you from more than just the sun? If you’re bundling up in the winter, you’re giving your healing tattoo extra protection with every layer you add. This includes exposure to sunlight as well as germs, dirt, physical contact with other people, and the general grime we encounter on a daily basis.

That said, clothing can’t protect you from everything. You still need to steer clear of working out at the gym, digging in the garden, and other activities that would put your tattoo at risk of infection. You can read more about what to avoid on our aftercare guidelines.

Less Crowds

Winter typically is the slowest season for tattoo studios. People are busy with holiday plans–and they’re spending their extra cash on presents, outings, etc.

While we don’t encourage you to get a tattoo if you’re broke from holiday spending or right before you travel, we do suggest coming to see us now if you’ve been thinking of getting tattooed. Our artists typically have shorter wait times than usual–and some even have immediate availability to tattoo you.

Once the holiday rush has full ended, we tend to get busier and busier until summer comes to an end, at which point the crowds thin out to a degree. So if you’re thinking of coming to see us and don’t want to be on a long waiting list, winter is the best time to get a tattoo.

The Best Time to Get a Tattoo You Can Show Off This Summer

Especially if you’re planning on a large project like a sleeve, you want to ensure that your new art has plenty of time to heal before you expose it to the elements. If you get started in the winter, you will have a chance to complete multiple sessions (if necessary) well before summer dawns.

Aftercare aside, getting tattooed in the winter means your tattoo will have plenty of time to settle. This is true even for small pieces: After the initial healing phase, a tattoo can take several weeks to a few months to actually look the way it is supposed to. Reds that look milky or sections that seem darker than intended often even out after a period of time (during which we encourage proper moisturization and suncare). If you get tattooed in the next month or two, your piece will look beautiful by the time you’re ready to hit the beach.