Think Before You Make a Big Change

If you’re booking your appointment online, Mr. Ericsson recommends alerting the salon to your plans. If there’s space to add a note, he suggests writing that you want a dramatic change. Including this information, he said, “is really going to help to make sure that your first time with a drastic change is going to have a better outcome.”

Colored hair may require specialized shampoos, tinted conditioners or hair masks to maintain the color and nourish the hair. Shorter cuts might require more frequent trips to the salon for touch-ups. Budget accordingly.

Sophie C’est la Vie, a tattoo artist in Brooklyn and co-owner of the tattoo studio This Time Tmrw, recommends thinking through how your new body art will influence how you are perceived at work. If the tattoo or piercing is highly visible, be prepared for stares and questions, even when you may not feel like dealing with the attention.

There are also financial considerations to large-scale tattoo projects. Some studios require a deposit and may charge you by the hour, the day or the session, Ms. C’est la Vie said. The time it takes to complete a tattoo varies depending on the size and detail of the piece. “A very tiny, minimal outline tattoo could take less than five minutes, where a sleeve could take more than a year, depending on how often a client books for,” she said. You also need to factor in costs like tipping.

“Getting tattooed is such a personal, and I would say, intimate experience,” Ms. C’est la Vie said, so clients should feel welcome, safe and respected.

Consult online portfolios when looking for a reputable salon, piercing studio or tattoo parlor. Approach friends who are happy with their salon experience or have body art you admire and seek recommendations.

Ms. C’est la Vie recommends familiarizing yourself with tattoo design styles. Knowing the proper terminology will help you identify artists who can best produce the particular style you want. For instance, she said, if you want a geometric black-and-gray tattoo, an artist who is an expert at full-color photo realism may not be “able to produce something for you that is more in line with your vision,” she said.

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