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Tattoo FAQs


Whilst we’ve been closed we have been busy making changes to the studio to ensure you have the safest possible visit. However there are a few things that we need to ask of you;


Firstly please only come to the studio if you have an appointment. We have had an intercom entry system fitted and you will need to press the buzzer to be admitted. If you do not have an appointment unfortunately we will be unable to let you in.

If you are awaiting Covid-19 test results, have been within 2 metres of an individual with Covid-19 symptoms or yourself have experienced symptoms within the past 14 days please get in touch to rearrange your appointment. Anyone visibly ill will be asked to go home

Any enquiries/bookings/deposits etc can be dealt with via email or over the phone. 

We would also ask that you try not to arrive too early for your appointment or there may be no-one available to let you in.

Also please come to the appointment alone, friends and relatives will be unable to come with you to your appointment. Minors getting pierced may bring with them 1 appropriate adult.

Upon entry you will see a dispenser, please sanitize your hands before heading upstairs.

Once upstairs please head to reception using the markings provided.

We will then ask you to take a seat and fill out a consent form, whilst doing so please use the wipes provided to sanitize your mobile phone. 

We would also suggest that you bring any food need with you so that we can try and limit comings and goings within the studio.


We want your appointment to be as pleasant as possible so we would appreciate your cooperation and understanding during these times. We always operate within a high level of hygiene but given the current circumstances we feel it necessary to implement these additional measures. If you have any questions beforehand please feel free to get in touch.

We can’t wait to see you all again!



How old do I have to be to get a tattoo? 

18. This is the law, photographic ID will need to be seen. We can accept (current & in date); Passports or Driving Licences.

I’m pregnant and/or nursing, can I get tattooed?

Unfortunately it is not advisable to undergo any body art procedure during this period so we wouldn't be able to accommodate any tattoos. It is best to let your body concentrate on the complex task at hand. If you are however having any issues with existing tattoos during this period please do get in touch for advice.

Does it hurt?

The simplest answer is, yes it does. However not nearly as much as some might like you to believe. After a short period of time your body’s natural pain killers (endorphins) kick in and make things much more manageable. Some areas may hurt more than others, but everyone's threshold varies so there is no definite answer to this question. Don't forget we’ve been through this ourselves and wont suggest anything that isn't manageable.

How long will it take?

Again no simple answer to this question I’m afraid. Tattooing is not a quick process, nor should it be rushed as you will be living with the results for the rest of your life! Each artist works differently and the subject matter, placement, design, amongst many other things will impact how long your tattoo will take. Your artist will give you an estimated quote before you book in, we will endeavour to stick to this as much as possible but please understand that varying factors may impact how long the overall tattoo takes. Also understand if you change things part way through, make the design bigger etc this will also impact the overall time.

How much will it cost?

All artists charge varying rates. We offer hourly rates as well as reduced rates for full day or consecutive day sittings. Artists may also have portfolio designs that they are offering out a discounted rate. The cost will be discussed with you when making a booking request.

Do you need a deposit?

Deposits are needed in order to secure an appointment - we take a minimum of £20ph or £150 for a full day sitting. This comes off your total on the day. Deposits are non refundable and should you need to move an appointment we can only do so once provided we receive a minimum of 72 hours notice.

Can I bring my own design.

You’re welcome to show us your own design and reference images however please bear in mind that we want you to have the best design possible. So we may need to resign/redraw your idea. We will not copy a design that is by another artist but we can use it as inspiration.

Can you do me a design before I book in?

No design work is done until you are booked in with a deposit - generally this is done a day or two before the appointment but please check with your artist.

Can you cover this?

We can do cover ups, however this all varies depending on what you already have and what you’re looking to get. An in person consultation is generally advisable to answer this question.

Can you tattoo over scarring.

Yes & No. Again this question is best answered after an in person consultation but generally the answer is yes. Scarring that is usually at least a year old isn't normally a problem however this can vary depending on the type of scarring and how it has healed.

Can I use numbing cream or pain killers?

We are personally unable to recommend that you apply or take anything prior to your tattoo, however there are a few things to take into consideration. Numbing cream does not last all day, & once the cream wears off the pain can hit with a vengeance as your body has not had time to become used to the tattooing. Some creams can also affect the skin, meaning your artist has to work the skin harder than if you were not wearing it. This can lead to a harder heal. In regards to tablet painkillers, please do not take aspirin before coming for your tattoo. This can cause extra bleeding, reduce clotting, which will impact the quality of your tattoo once healed.

Can tattoos be removed?

They can (maybe) but not easily! You have a couple of options if you have a tattoo that you’re unhappy with. You can get it covered up, please bare in mind that you do not have as much control over design when getting a cover up compared to getting tattooed on fresh skin.Unfortunately some tattoos are not suitable to be covered, or can't be covered with a design you desire. In this case you can think about laser removal, we do currently offer laser removal at Dark Horse Collective. Laser removal results are very specific to the individual so please fill out our laser booking form & Emma will get back to you with more information.

Do I need to shave?

Let us worry about shaving you on the day of the tattoo. You can always give the area a quick trim if needed but shaving beforehand can irritate the skin.

Can I get a tattoo in white ink?

We strongly advise against getting a tattoo with just white ink. Firstly, it's highly unlikely to heal the way you envisioned and will most likely heal to non-existence or an awful creamy colour! White ink is best used within a tattoo, not as a stand alone.

Will you tattoo the side of my fingers/soles of my feet/palms of hand/inside of mouth etc

The short answer is no. These tattoos will never heal well and won’t last, they may also be difficult/painful to remove.

How should I prepare for my tattoo?

Make sure you are well rested, have had a good meal and are hydrated. Apart from that, charge your phone up, bring a good book, take a shower, don't get sunburnt and try to limit bringing a friend to just 1 person. Wear comfy clothes (that you don't mind getting ink on), don’t get sunburnt & maybe book a day or two off work if you’re in for a long sitting.

Can I bring my child/ren with me?

Unfortunately the only time we can allow children in the studio is when they are getting pierced.

No children are allowed in the tattoo areas and cannot be left in reception so please make childcare arrangements.

How should I look after my tattoo?

Aftercare can vary depending on the location or style of tattoo, and also due to any personal traits. You will be emailed a copy of our studio aftercare but please listen to any personal advise from your artist.

Are your inks vegan friendly?

Our inks are all vegan friendly however not all aspects of the procedure may be. If this is something you require please let us know in advance.

I’m going on holiday, can I still get tattooed?

We recommend waiting a bare minimum of 4 weeks before going away to allow your tattoo timeto heal. You will still want to wear sun protection on the tattoo to prevent it from fading.

I have an allergy, can I still get tattooed?

Yes, however please let us know beforehand.

I have an illness and/or am taking medication, can I still get tattooed?

99% of the time yes! However there are a few exceptions, in these small instances we may need you to seek clarification from your GP.

If you have a rash, sunburn etc in the area you are looking to get tattooed you will need to allow the area to fully heal before continuing.