Top Tattoo Questions we hear at J. Hall & Co.
Am I getting the best deal?
You are not buying a pair of shoes or a watch. Tattoos are not the
same at every shop. Just because they have the same picture does not
mean the end result is the same. If you are "shopping" for a tattoo
based on price you are probably going to make a permanent mistake. The
best price does not always mean the best deal and the highest price
does not always mean the best tattoo. We have seen lots of beginning
artists charging the same price as experienced artists because they
think that's what they should charge as a tattoo artist. Price is the
last thing you should look at, this tattoo is only a lifelong
Start with the shop itself such as is it clean. Look at the artists'
tattoo portfolios. In the portfolios you should be judging the work
not looking for tattoo designs. Look for clean consistent lines, solid
colors and nice smooth fades. Any tattoo artist will say "sure I can
do that" but look at the portfolios and decide for yourself if you
think they can do the tattoo you're wanting, then ask how much it will
Are you licensed?
Yes we are licensed by the Texas Department of health.
What payment methods do you accept?
Cash or Credit
Will the tattoo fade and need to be touched up?
It really shouldn't provided you take care of it during the healing process and use sun block afterwards for the life of the tattoo and yourself. If you are in the sun a lot and don't protect the tattoo, it will fade.
Why do some look brighter than others?
There are several reasons. The inks have a part in it as well as the artist applying the tattoo. Assuming we are doing the tattoo,
Your skin tone is going to be the biggest factor. The more fare your skin is the brighter the tattoo will be, and of course the darker your skin, the less bright it will be. If you are really tan and start applying sun block, sometimes the tattoo will actually get brighter with as you lose the tan.
Is it safe and sterile?
Yes. Tattoos (at J. Hall & Co.
Gentleman Tattooers) are as safe as any visit to a reputable doctor or
dentist. We use sterile and disposable equipment and supplies. Most
people ask if we use new needles. Pre sterilized, new needles are
readily available so even "scratchers" in their kitchen can get new
needles. But, there is a lot more equipment than just needles. You must
autoclave equipment for it to be sterile. We have our autoclave spore
tested every month which lets us know the autoclave is working properly
Preventing cross-contamination is as important as new needles. This
is where your buddy in his kitchen is dangerous, even with his
"professional equipment". He will not be able to properly sterilize
his equipment, and most likely doesn't understand cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination is simply the spreading of germs from one
surface to another. To prevent this we wrap anything that will be
touched with a barrier film and do not touch anything else while
performing the tattoo. For instance if you are getting a tattoo the
artist should never answer the phone or reach into a cabinet without
changing gloves. The artist are actually at a greater risk than the
client because we are in our station's all day touching our counters
and cabinets and etc. so if we contaminate a surface or item we will
be at risk ourselves.
It's impossible to guarantee that you will not get an infection. We
practice safe tattooing but what you come into contact after you leave
is something we cannot prevent. An infection occurs from an outside
organism coming in contact with the tattoo or piercing and not from
the sterile equipment that we use.
Getting a tattoo or piercing is as safe as going to the doctor or
dentist as long as proper procedures are followed.Even a doctor can
not make that guarantee when giving you a simple shot. However there
is absolutely no risk of the spread of Hepatitis B,C, HIV or any other
bloodborne virus's or diseases as long as the proper sterile
techniques and procedures are followed. This is a very simple answer
for a very important subject. We take your health very seriously
because this not only affects you, but ours as well, and the future of
our own careers and of the art itself. If you have any questions about
this please contact us.
Additional Tattoo Questions
How old do you have to be to get tattooed? You must be 18
(and prove it) in the State of Texas to get tattooed, period.
Can my parent sign for me? No. All tattoo clients must be
over the age of 18 and have valid state or federal issued photo ID.
How do I know if the tattoo shop is clean?
We use the
highest standards of cleanliness and sterilization techniques. Our
tattooers strive to go far beyond what is dictated by the Texas Department of Health
. Cleanliness and safety
are of the utmost importance. As for other shops, take a look around.
Do you like what you see? Trust your eyes and instincts. Does it look/
smell clean? If you have any doubts, go somewhere else. Better safe
than sorry. Ask if there is an autoclave
on premises and if so, do they spore test? The answer to both questions
should be yes and they should be able to show you proof. The artist
supplies should be sterile, single-use needles, disposable, and the
artist should change their gloves frequently during the tattoo process.
Smoking, eating and pets should be restricted on the premises.
What can I do to prepare for my tattoo? Please
bathe/shower and pop a breath mint. (Our tattooers will do you the same
courtesy.) Eat a good meal within 2 hours of your tattoo appt. No
alcohol 8 hours before your tattoo. Avoid caffeine and energy drinks
the day of your tattoo. Happy, healthy people heal better. Getting
tattooed when you are sick, post or pre-surgery or extraordinarily
stressed out is not ideal. Furthermore, people with compromised immune
systems (e.g. diabetes, Hepatitis, HIV) typically take longer to heal
and are taken on a case by case basis.
Should I eat before I get tattooed? YES. It is ideal to
eat within two hours of being tattooed. Having stable blood sugar
bolsters your immune system and helps the body deal with the
fluctuation of endorphins, which are emitted during the tattoo process.
Do you have to make an appointment to get a tattoo? No,
you do not. You can stop in any time to talk about a tattoo or get one.
If one of our tattooers are available they will be glad to tattoo you
on the spot as long as their schedule permits. An appointment
guarantees you a set time and day.
Can I make an appointment over the phone?
Yes. Tattoo appointments
require a $100
, depending on the scope
of the artwork, and can be made in person or via Paypal
, depending on the individual
situation. The deposit shows our tattooists that you are as commited to
getting your tattoo as we are to doing it. Deposits are absolutely
nonrefundable and are applied towards the cost of the tattoo. Do not
make an appointment unless you are sure. Deposits are good for up to 6
months. 48 hours notice is required for cancellations or reschedules.
We do not give reminder calls, and ultimately you are responsible for
showing up to your appointment. *at the consultation appointment:
PLEASE BE PREPARED WITH PRINTOUTS OF IDEAS OF STYLES YOU LIKE. A
printout is a physical piece of paper with an image on it. Not your
computer, not your iphone.
Is my deposit refundable? No. If you choose not to get
tattooed your deposit pays for the artists time in drawing up your
design. Failure to call or no showing on an appointment results in a
loss of your deposit. For tattoos that take multiple sittings, the
deposit will be applied to the last sitting.
Can I bring my child to my tattoo appointment? We strongly recommend against it. Think, baby in a bar. It's just not a good idea.
Can I bring in my own drawing? YES. We encourage you to
bring in your own artwork or references and ideas to use, to draw you a
custom tattoo! The more the better. Your tattooer may need to rework
personal drawings based on the drawing's "tattooability". Artwork is
"unveiled" on the day of the appointment, based on information,
examples, and tracings gathered at the time of the consultation. If
your tattooer feels a preliminary showing is necessary, They will call
you to come in earlier. Artwork is usually shown at time of your tattoo
appointment and can be modified at that time if needed. We take pride
in producing tattoos that meet both the client's needs as well as
addressing design issues that are necessary for a tattoo to last, and
look good, over the course of a lifetime. Simplicity is key. Any minor
requested changes to the design, will be done on the day of the
appointment. Extensive reworks may require a reschedule. Artwork is
done in the days leading up to, if not the day before the appointment.
Your deposit will be applied to the cost of the tattoo. If you choose
not to be tattooed, the deposit is considered a drawing fee/appointment
retainer fee, and is nonrefundable.
How does your pricing work? We set prices based on the
size of the tattoo, the amount of detail and how long the artist will
be working. The shop minimum is $100.
Is your ink Vegan friendly? Yes.
Do you do cover-ups? Yes but not every tattoo can be
covered. We will need to see the tattoo you want to cover. Size, color
saturation and location all factor in to whether your tattoo can be
covered well. Often times people need to have a few laser treatments
prior to getting their tattoo covered or reworked.
Can you fix/cover-up a bad tattoo I have? Probably. A
consult is typically required to determine what imagery is necessary to
adequately cover the old work. Be prepared to go at least 50-70% larger
than the tattoo you want to cover. Our artists can give tattoos new
life without covering them up. FYI: The most frequently covered up
tattoos are lovers names.
Can you recolor my old tattoo? Yes. However each tattoo is
different and this is decided on a case by case basis. If your tattoo
is very blurred or small we may recomend covering it.
Do you do free touch-ups?
Yes, on the artistis own work, if
needed. One free touch-up is included within 6 months of the tattoo
appt. Fingers, feet, palmer surfaces, lips and white tattoos are an
exception to this rule. Another exception would be blatant disregard of
the rules of common sense and tattoo aftercare
The final exception to free touch-ups is if you blow off your artist.
Future appointments may require higher deposits, gifts or cost you more
money. It all depends on how badly you offend me. If there is an actual
infection, a physician will help you get healthy, hopefully without
allowing personal prejudice against tattoos or tattoo artists to cloud
their professional responsibility.touch-up appointment, thereby
disregarding the importance of my time and efforts.
Can you tattoo over a scar? It depends on the severity and
maturity of the scar. This is judged on a case-by-case basis. In
general, a scar should be at least one year old.
How do I take care of my new tattoo?
Review our extensive
Tattoo Aftercare Guide for all the
information you need to heal up right.
My new tattoo is peeling or there was bruising, is this normal?
Yes. Some peeling or flaking is totaly normal. Also, depending on how
sensitive your skin is you could experience bruising following the
tattoo. In any case, if you are concerned, please call the tattoo shop
or stop in for the artist to look at it.
How long can I expect my tattoo to take to heal? Tattoos
take between 7-10 days for the initial healing process. What do I do if
I think it's infected? More often than not, what people perceive as an
infection, is actually an irritation. Allergic reactions or infections
are extremely rare. If you think there is an issue, please come speak
with your artist.
Do tattoos hurt? Yes. No. Maybe. It all hurts to a degree.
Pain varies from person to person. They are an annoying pain that is
more than tolerable. Most people compare getting a tattoo to the
discomfort of a cat-scratch on a sunburn. Relax, don't fight it and it
will all be over soon or in 3-4 hours, depending upon the size of the
tattoo. If tattoos were terribly painful no one would have them and if
they were easy everyone would have one.
What is the most painful place to be tattooed? It all
hurts to a degree. Pain varies from person to person. General consensus
is stomach, sternum, ribs, back of the knee and palms of the hands are
up there with the most painful. Don't choose an area or a size based on
the pain factor. The tattoos beauty will last for decades longer than
the minimal difference in sensation.
What area of the body is hardest to heal? Blood flow is an
integral part of the healing process so the closer to the heart the
better the healing. Healing of the calves can take longer based on that
fact. The other significant factor affecting healing is the friction.
Tattoos of the torso where pants can constrict and where pivotal
movement is constant can also take longer to heal. Areas of the body
with natural seams, like elbows and knees can also heal rough.
Can I have a drink before I get tattooed? No. It is
illegal and ill-advised to get tattooed while you are under the
influence. It will not make your experience any better. It actually
makes the process more difficult for you and the artist and raises the
risk of complications.
Can I get tattooed while pregnant or breast -feeding? No.
Getting tattooed while pregnant or breast-feeding can negatively impact
both your health and that of your baby.
What if I'm allergic to latex? Inform your tattooer of any
and all allergic tendencies. I can use latex alternatives.
Is it normal for my new tattoo to scab? Scabbing, flaking,
peeling, dryness are all natural parts of the healing process. Severe
scabs that are deep and thick may indicate a need to change your
aftercare routine and should be addressed with your tattoo artist.
Can I tan? Any form of tanning can and will damage and
fade a tattoo. If you are a sun worshiper, we recommend a SPF 80+ sun
block. In general it is best to stay out of the sun and tanning booths,
especially during the healing process.
Is there anything you won't tattoo? Our artists reserve
the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. Especially mean,
nasty, rude people, or people with bad attitudes. Feel free to take
your attitude elsewhere.
What if I don't like it?
Our artists will always give you
the absolute best tattoo they are capable of. It is best to circumvent
the need for tattoo removal by choosing your artist and your design
wisely. Check our artists recent work.
, Pappy McCall
, Michael Gehrt
Remember that you are
getting a tattoo that you want to be able to live with for the rest of
your life. Tattoo removal is still a painful and time consuming process.