Can You Drink Before Getting A Tattoo?

We appreciate your concern about the relationship between being tattooed and consuming alcohol. You must know about things you can and can’t do before a tattoo session. So, if the question is, can you drink before getting a tattoo?

The answer is, ‘you shouldn’t’. Drinking alcohol thins your blood which causes excessive bleeding while getting a tattoo. Also, it affects the tattoo healing process negatively. Having too many drinks will lead to worn-out and less vibrant tattoos. If the case is worse, you may face early fading of the tattoo. Also, drinking alcohol makes you more tired, and you’ll become easily distracted and restless throughout the session.

So, it’s best to avoid drinking before you get a brand new tattoo on your skin. But still, things are dependent on how many drinks you take.

Keep reading the article to know why it’s not okay to get drunk before a tattoo session, when it’s okay to start drinking again, and information related to the topic.

Can You Drink Before Getting A Tattoo?

Is It Okay to Drink Before Getting a Tattoo?

Is It Okay to Drink Before Getting a Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies

Drinking before getting a tattoo is never a good idea. It harms your skin. Drinking makes your blood thinner, making the ink harder to get into the skin. Moreover, the healing period may be longer.

As we said before, consequences vary from how many drinks you get. According to Dave C. Wallin, an expert tattoo artist and owner of Eight of Swords parlor, a single shot or a beer don’t affect your blood’s thinness. Still, it varies from person to person.

Getting drunk before a tattoo session may impair judgment. Many tattoo artists reject drunk people and don’t want to help them get the tattoo.

So, it’s best not to take even one shot before 24 hours of getting a tattoo. Instead, you should get a good night’s rest and bring surgery snacks if your blood sugar level drops.

5 Compelling Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drink Before Getting Tattoos

5 Compelling Reasons Why You Shouldnt Drink Before Getting Tattoos - Tattoo Strategies

Honestly, there are countless reasons you should be sober before and after getting a tattoo (for some days, at least). Here are five of the unavoidable reasons. Let’s check them out.

1. Alcohol Makes Your Blood Thinned

Researches show that consuming alcohol thins your blood. However, how the magnitude of the thinning effect will depend on how many shots you take. The more drinks you take, the thinner the blood will be. And how does the thinned blood affect your tattoo session?

Thinned blood means less ability of the blood to clot. And this small effect can lead to worse consequences. Here are some of them:

  • The ink may dilute: When an area of your body is affected or treated, your body pumps more blood to the specific area. And, there’s no doubt that your tattooed skin is affected. 

    Since alcohol thins your blood, there will be a flow of excess blood in the tattoed skin. If the extra blood gets mixed with the ink, it can make a mess resulting in heavy bleeding. Also, you might get a faded, patchy, and entirely disturbing tattoo.
  • Excessive bleeding affects visibility: A leaking or excessive bleeding is a common blood thinning effect. This situation makes it harder for an artist to correctly measure and operate the skin. Thus, excess bleeding affects visibility, and you may end up having a trashed tattoo.

2. Alcohol Before Tattoo Impairs Judgement

Don’t forget that a tattoo is permanent. You must make decisions with a clear mind. You must communicate with your tattoo artist and respond to his questions carefully. He may ask you to approve the tattoo design, the size and placement, and things related to the session.

So, it’s a must for you to stay in a clear mind. The hangover situation won’t let you get a good tattoo experience.

3. Chance of The Session Cancellation By Your Tattoo Artist

Yes, you’re hearing it right. There’s a chance that your tattoo artist might reject the session if you’re drunk and almost out of control. A tattoo session requires a high concentration of both the artist and the tattoo owner.

If your artist is one of those who don’t enjoy the smell of alcohol, the chances of getting rejected are high. Sometimes, drunk people can’t legally sign the consent form that all tattoo shops require.

4. Alcohol Affects Your Mood and Behavior

Imagine getting a tattoo while fighting a hangover; you hate it, right?

A tattoo session is, most of the time, a matter of long hours. Consuming alcohol before the session can make you feel sick. You might experience some less-than-optimal side effects like tiredness or headaches.

If you can’t control your behavior and be restless throughout the session, it will make your tattoo artist work harder. Here’s a list of unwanted situations you might face because of the situation.

  • Tattoo blowout (spread ink beneath the skin surface)
  • Tattoo misplacement
  • Lack of refinement and accuracy of the tattoo
  • Messed-up tattoo design

Moreover, staying drunk indicates a lack of respect for the tattoo artist. You will not like it when your tattoo artist work drunk, right? So, try not to be an unwanted person.

5. Alcohol Affects The healing process Negatively

Alcohol weakens your body’s ability to heal a wound. Drinking before a tattoo session means you compromise your immune system. It prolongs the overall healing process.

Getting a tattoo isn’t an external matter only. The process includes taking care of the biggest organ (skin!) of your body, both internally and externally.

When Can You Drink After Getting a Tattoo?

When Can You Drink After Getting a Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies

So, you’ve passed the tattoo session as a sober successfully. Now, you wonder when you can grab a glass of wine. Well, it’s best to wait a minimum of one week to have a drink.

It’s because your tattoo will bleed and ooze for around 48 hours. Also, the healing process isn’t one of the best periods of your life. The days may seem quite hard as you’ll have to be careful about the maintenance of your tattoo.

After one week of getting tattooed, your tattoo will start forming scabs and dry skin. What it means is; that the healing process is successful, and there’s zero risk of excessive bleeding or blood thinning. So, you’re good to go.

What’s Best to Drink and Eat Before Getting a Tattoo?

Whats Best to Drink and Eat Before Getting a Tattoo - Tattoo Strategies

Take care of your body before and after you get a tattoo. You won’t regret it. Here are some drinks and foods that are best to eat before and after being tattooed.

  • Plenty of water: Staying hydrated is a must before and after getting a tattoo. Keeping your body’s fluid level high will keep the skin hydrated. And it will keep things easier for your tattoo artist because the needle will effortlessly penetrate a firm skin.
  • Healthy carbs: Keeping the body well-fed and energized is a big thing you can do for your body before and after a tattoo session. Healthy carbs, such as sweet potatoes, oats, bananas, buckwheat, quinoa, etc., will provide the optimal calorie intake your body needs throughout the healing process.
  • Protein: Protein is one of the best body-building nutrients that let your body repair skin tissues. It also helps increase your energy level. Moreover, protein allows your skin to recover more quickly from stressful tattoo sessions. For this, it’s a good idea to eat protein-rich foods such as chicken, beef, or seafood before you get a tattoo.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C works like a boss in promoting our skin’s brightness and radiance. This is one of the reasons why most skincare products come with such vitamins. It also aids in wound healing. The antioxidant qualities of vitamin C help enhance the firmness of your skin.

    So, try to load up your meals with vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruits, kale, and broccoli, or you can simply go for vitamin C pills.
  • Zinc: Eat a whole-grain breakfast, including nuts and beans, as they’re a great source of Zinc. Zinc helps prevent inflammation and skin swelling. You can opt to take Zinc supplements instead of finding foods rich in this component.

What Foods Should You Avoid Before a Tattoo Session?

What Foods Should You Avoid Before a Tattoo Session - Tattoo Strategies

Any kind of unhealthy meals like the ones that are high in sugar and fat content are discouraged from taking before a tattoo session. These foods might cause bleeding, scarring, or skin irritation.

Let’s see what we’re talking about.

  • Alcohol, energy drinks, and caffeine: All these can thin your blood. It’s best if you skip the morning coffee on the day you’ll get the tattoo session. And try not to drink alcohol the night before your appointment. These drinks are also responsible for making you nervous and uncomfortable. They may increase your blood flow, raise your heart rate, and eventually, make the bleeding worse.
  • Dairy foods: These foods are responsible for bloating. Also, dairy foods can make your skin look plumper. When the bloating goes away, you may not like the outcome of your tattoo as it can be distorted.
  • Ready-to-drink juices, processed foods, and soda: Soda and ready-made fruit juices are incredibly high in sugar. Instant noodles, canned goods, fried meat, smoked sausage, and other processed foods are packed with fats and salt.

Excessive oil, salt, and sugar are responsible for skin inflammations and the extended healing process of the skin.


Is it okay to drink after getting a tattoo?

No. Wait until your tattoo is completely healed. Let your skin’s regeneration process become easy. As you already know that alcohol is more or less harmful to the damaged skin of your body, it’s best to avoid alcohol for at least one week after being tattooed.

What if I drink 12 hours before a tattoo session?

It’s a bad idea indeed. You should avoid drinking alcohol 24 before getting a tattoo; it’s a must. If you seek our recommendation, we suggest you go 2-3 days without alcohol and keep things safer.

Will alcohol make me bleed more while getting a tattoo?

Yes, the chance is high. Since alcohol makes your blood thinner, you may experience excess bleeding while having a tattoo session. It also creates visibility issues for the artist if you bleed more than usual.


Big love from my screen to yours if you’re still with us! Hopefully, the content helped you discover what you were here for. Consuming alcohol is not an issue if you take it in moderation. But when it’s about getting tattooed and drinking alcohol, you need to hold up. You neither want to get a bad experience during the tattoo session nor a prolonged healing period, do you?

So, stay sober for a while; the effort will be worth it. Good luck, mate!

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