Given that you have just searched “how to choose a tattoo shop” you are likely on the verge of getting your very first tattoo – so congratulations! Exciting times aside, it can be a bit daunting deciding how to choose the best studio in a city (from Phoenix to Casa Grande). We get that, which is why we have put together a short but succinct guide on how to pick a parlor that won’t leave you scarred from the experience, literally and figuratively.

4 Things to Look for When Choosing a Tattoo Studio Near You

1. Diverse Tattooist Portfolio

The first thing you need to look at, is the artist portfolio section on the candidate shop’s website. You want to see some serious diversity folks, a shop with tattooists that deliver designs in various styles and disciplines so that you can get what you want, even if you don’t quite know what that is yet. And yes, there are a lot of unique styles out there, including (but not exclusive to) traditional, neo-traditional, realism, tribal, new school, Japanese, celtic, blackwork, bio-mechanical, color, cartoon, and oh-so much more.

2. A Suite of Full (Related) Services

There’s something comforting in knowing that a tattoo shop offers a diverse array of services. It tells you that a studio knows its stuff. What are those complementary (to tattoo) services? For one, body piercing, but there’s also cosmetic tattooing (aka permanent make-up) and even more importable, laser tattoo removal. The latter is especially relevant. Not only does it show that a given shop knows the pains of living with a bad tattoo that may have come from making a less-educated choice back in the day, it understands the nuances of the epidermis.

3. Professionalism Without Attitude

One of the biggest fears that first-time tattoo recipients have is that they’ll be treated with  a lack of respect by a given shop, via reception staff and the artist themselves. This is an unfortunate but real concern that has been allowed to cultivate in the cultures of some tattoo parlors around the country. Some shops simply treat newcomer walk-ins like cash grabs and show no patience when it comes to helping an individual decide upon a design style. While practically all studio website’s will claim to welcome all with open arms, be sure to call or literally walk in and gauge the vibe for yourself – you’ll soon see if the proof is in the pudding from that first consultation or conversation. Another way to investigate this, is to look to Google and Facebook Reviews, which are addressed in item #5 below.

At Ranger, our entire staff absolutely understands the nervous anticipation of getting that very first tattoo. You will be afforded the professional courtesy, patience, and friendliness that you need so that you will feel comfortable in taking the next step.

4. A Proven Track Record

One of the easiest ways to learn about the client experience is to reference verifiable testimonials on the matter. Have a look at the Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews for a specific studio and see if the stars align (literally) to your expectations.