Visiting our BC locations and looking for a nose or oral piercing? We require you to be double vaccinated for a minimum of 14 days before receiving this service. You won’t be able to book these piercings online, but you may call our Granville or Kitsilano locations to book, or chance a walk-in (time permitting).

Can You Tattoo Yourself

No, it doesn’t feel like this (well, maybe the thorns)

After a year of being in lockdown we’re sure that you’ve found you can pretty much do anything to yourself. In some cases, it’s a good thing. In others, maybe not so much. But after trying and/or considering it all you’ve arrived at one particular query – can you tattoo yourself? If you fancy oneself an artist with a knack for drawing (a skill you may have perfected over the last year) you may assume that all you need to do it hop on Amazon to order a tattoo gun, some ink, and go to town after a watching a few YouTube tutorials. Are you headed down the right path, or will this rabbit hole lead to a very dark place? Allow us to answer that for you.

5 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Tattooing Yourself and Seek Professional “Help” Instead

It Will Hurt Much More

You may think it won’t hurt as much because you will know exactly where/when the needle incites the most pain or discomfort, but this simply isn’t the case. A professional tattooist has years of experience and has developed an expert understanding of how much needle pressure should be applied to certain parts of the human epidermis. This is necessary to mitigate pain while at the same time ensuring that the ink is properly applied for permanency.

You’ll End Up With a Surface Tattoo

If you’re looking for a temporary tattoo stick to henna and lick ’em stick ’em options. If you do your own tattoo you’ll most likely only scratch the surface. The proper tattooing process penetrates 1/16th of an inch into your skin. That may not sound like much, but it’s actually five whole layers of the epidermis. When doing the tattoo on your own, a lack of experience not to mention your own pain receptors will keep you from going as deep as you need to. A DIY tattoo will fade much earlier that one done by a professional.

You’ll End Up With an Uneven and Off-Color Tattoo

They say the mullet was invented when one someone first shaved their own sideburns and kept trying to correct the unevenness until it was too late.

This is analogous to doing your own tattoo.

Even if tattooing your upper-front thigh, which the easiest place to tattoo yourself, you won’t have the same perspective as a tattooist. A design may look even when it’s not. Tone and shading will appear a certain way when in reality they are not. And also, only a trained tattooist understands exactly how a certain shade of black and grey or a tone of color on a certain type of skin will look once the tattoo has healed (after peeling). Only they will understand how shades and colors need to be applied to distinctive skin types. The coloring and shading they do today impacts how the tattoo will look tomorrow. You have no inherent understanding this.

You’ll End Up in the ER

This risk of injury and infection skyrockets for anyone attempting to tattoo themselves. For one, you won’t have access to the same sanitary environment (as a studio) to work in. Do you know that your home abides by and exceeds the municipal, provincial, and federal health and safety regulations that our studios do? We can answer that – they don’t – no matter how many Lysol wipes you use to clean a given space. The risk of bacteria entering your punctured skin is too high. Then there is the fact that you’re untrained in using a tattoo machine, and are sticking yourself of a vibrating needle over and over again, injecting foreign materials (ink) without the expert hand, eye, and knowledge of a professional. The result, will more often than not be infection and a trip to the ER.

You’ll Spend a Lot More for Laser Removal and Cover Up

Prison aside (but even then not so much) the motivation behind a DIY tattoo is most often financial. Trust us, you won’t be saving a penny when going that route. DIY tattoos of any consequence (complexity and/or size) will end up becoming a disappointment. You’ll be left with a faded, poorly designed, and unwanted tattoo. Assuming that you’ve learned your lesson you won’t even think about performing a medieval surgical excision, you will need to have the bad tattoo lasered-off, or at least faded for cover-up. While extremely effective, laser sessions and a subsequent cover up will cost significantly more than if you just went to a professional studio in the first place. Save yourself some money by making the right decision from the beginning.


Stop what you’re doing, put down the tattoo gun, and walk into an Adrenaline Studios near you (Vancouver or Toronto) to get inked by a pro.