The thing is, people usually get tattoos for personal reasons. Maybe they want to prove to themselves that they’re brave or different. Perhaps they want to remember a person they love. Maybe they want to feel spontaneous.

Getting your first tattoo is terrifying and exciting, and you probably have a million questions already. How bad will it hurt? How do you know if a parlor is safe? How much will it cost? So before you get anything permanently placed on your body, you should make sure your pressing questions are answered.

So read on for everything you need to know before getting your first tattoo from the best tattoo shop in the UK.

Prices vary depending on size.

Tattoo parlors adjust prices based on the size and style of the tattoo you want. So it’s good to call and ask for an estimate before you go in, although that number may change slightly once the design is drawn. Bring someone who has gotten inked before to help you negotiate or research pricing beforehand to make sure you don’t get much charged.

You have to be 18 to get one.

You have to be 18 to get inked, like voting or watching scary movies. Some states will allow you to get a tattoo earlier with a parent’s permission while you’re still underaged, though. So, it’s better to get a tattoo when you turn 18 as mentioned by the best tattoo shop in the UK.

Look into the parlor beforehand.

Just because the tattoo parlor is within walking distance from where you live doesn’t mean it’s a quality shop. Visit the parlor, ask about their artists’ licenses, and check out reviews online – it will help you know about the tattoo parlor more. Tattooing laws differ by state, so you should research the guidelines in your state and make sure anywhere you’re considering has the proper licensing and adheres to those guidelines.

The parlor should be spotless.

Getting a tattoo isn’t a minor change, like coloring your hair. Another human being creates an open wound that can get infected if the shop isn’t taking proper precautions, says the best tattoo shop UK. Though it’s much more important how the surfaces and tools are being sanitized, the shop should look and smell as clean as a hospital.

Ensure the artist uses a new, disposable needle and ink cup and wears clean gloves.

Reusing needles can spread infection or cause you to contract a severe illness, like HIV or Hepatitis B. So your artist should use a brand new, single-use needle and use all new cups, napkins, and gloves. Watch to make sure they open the needle package in front of you to ensure it’s clean.

If you don’t end up liking your tattoo, you can get it covered up.

It’s pretty easy to get a tattoo covered up, especially if it’s small. However, a good artist can put a new design over it, covering the original tattoo entirely — the best tattoo shop UK even specializes in cover-ups. So even if you do change your mind one day, you won’t be stuck with a tattoo that you hate.

Most tattoos have a story. For example, your artist can create a touching tribute to a loved one or illustrate an inside joke you have with your friends — but the underlying meaning is never a requirement to getting inked.

What’s important is that you walk away from your session happy with the art that’s permanently etched into your skin. And whether it’s your first or fifth time, this feeling is never guaranteed when you’re considering a new tattoo.

Having that part of yourself printed on your body forever is wonderful.