Tattoos are a cool way of self-expression, even when they don’t mean anything. They’re sometimes an art form, a cultural expression or a way to preserve memories. Here are a few important things to know before getting a tattoo

1. Your tattoo doesn’t need to mean anything

You can get the tattoo of a penis if you like, but the only tattoo that’s out of bounds is the name of the person playing with your heart. Don’t be forced to interpret your tattoos to strangers because they expect them to have a meaning. 

2. Itching is part of the healing process

Don’t scratch your tattoos. Itching is part of the healing process. There are balms recommended to soothe the itching, but don’t scratch as doing so can cause blisters.

3. If your parents are Nigerian, they can disown you

Nigerian parents can be so dramatic over little things. Even the smallest tattoo can have them threatening to send you out of their house. If you’re lucky enough not to be disowned by your parents, they’ll complain about the tattoo every chance they get. 

RELATED: 5 Nigerians Share What Their Parents Think About Their Tattoos

4. People are going to ask how your parents/partners reacted to your tattoo

You can be a grown adult, living on your own and paying your own bills, and some people would still ask what your parents said when they saw your tattoo. If you’re married, they shift the responsibility of complaining from your parents to your partner. “So, what did your partner say when they saw it?” Amebo United! 

5. Different parts of your body have different levels of pain

This goes without saying. Gauge your body parts and know your pain threshold before you pay to get a tattoo, so you don’t fly up when the tattoo needle touches your skin. Don’t go and draw a tattoo on your head when you already know you can’t bear the pain. 

6. Aftercare isn’t a suggestion; take it serious

Follow every instruction your tattoo artist gives you and treat tattoo aftercare like your life depends on it (it does). Getting a tattoo is similar to getting a wound that has to be treated carefully. 

CONTINUE READING: The 10 Stages Of Getting Your First Tattoo


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.