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questions & answers

We want to ensure you love, and will always love, the work you get at our tattoo shop. So here’s some help! If you are thinking about getting your first tattoo, you might have a lot of questions. Here are some frequently asked questions that we have compiled that will hopefully answer all your tattoo questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, feel free to contact us and we'll gladly help you!

Do I need to make an appointment, or do you accept walk-ins?

While we do accept walk-ins, we can't guarantee that one of our artists will be available when you come in, so appointments are highly encouraged. 

How do I set up an appointment?

First, you need to choose which of our artists you'd like to see. From there, our front desk staff and/or the artist themselves can figure out a day/time that works for you, and take a deposit to book your appointment.

Do you require a deposit?

Unless your artist decides to wave it, a deposit is required to book all appointments. Deposits are generally 20% of the cost of the tattoo, and they are applied to the cost of the tattoo at the time of service. So for example, if your artist quotes your tattoo at $100, you'd need to put down a $20 deposit. Then when you come to get your tattoo, you'll have to pay the remaining $80. While it's at the artist's discretion, in most cases if you are unable to make it to your appointment and give them enough notice, our artists will allow you to reschedule and have your deposit carried over to the new appointment.

How much does it hurt to get a tattoo?

Getting tattooed is not too painful because modern tattoo machines move the needles through your skin fast. Depending on the tattoo design, location and size, the amount of pain may vary to some extent. Usually tattooing over a bone where there is less flesh or meat hurts a little more than fleshy areas. Tattooing the outlines makes a different feeling from shading or tattooing areas of color. Most people describe the pain of a tattoo to that of an ‘electric cat scratch’ or a bad sunburn.

Are tattoos safe to get?

At Red Dragon Tattoo & Piercing, we use sterilized tattoo equipment, and we are very safe. Our artists will set your mind at ease by opening the sterile package of needles & tubes they will be using in front of you, before they start tattooing, and following all the required standards, and even some standards not required that we have set higher, to ensure you and your artist’s safety.

How much does a tattoo cost?

All tattoo prices will vary based on the size and work needed. A large and more intricate tattoo will cost more than a smaller one or simpler one. To give you a good idea, small or simple tattoos, such as infinity symbols or semi-colons, will usually cost about $75.  Whereas a larger tattoo can run into the hundreds of dollars range. Prices can vary however, so the best bet is to ask first. Bring a design or describe one and most tattoo artists will be able to quote you an estimated price right away.

What kind of tattoos does Red Dragon do?

As a premier Cincinnati tattoo shop, we have several artists and can do all types of tattoos! Whether you want small or big, girly and feminine or masculine, black and white, or color - we do it all! We are experienced in all styles of tattooing - Asian, traditional, minimalist, realistic, neo-traditional, portraits, custom pieces, cover-up work, tattoo sleeves, and much more!

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) and Paypal. Our Paypal is

How old do you have to be to get tattooed?

Eighteen, without consent. At Red Dragon Tattoo & Piercing we will tattoo at 16 & 17 years [we will NOT tattoo ANYONE 15yrs or younger!] with PARENTAL CONSENT. You MUST have a State Issued I.D. for BOTH child and parent {drivers license, permit, state ID or passport} and a copy of child’s birth certificate.

Can I bring someone with me to my tattoo appointment?

Here are Red Dragon we understand that for some people, getting a tattoo can be scary. We welcome you to bring a friend or two with you, whether it is to hold your hand, or just serve as a distraction. But keep in mind that no one under 16 is allowed in the shop, even if they aren't the ones getting tattooed.

Is there a time that I should not get a tattoo?

You should not get a tattoo if you are drunk or stoned. Red Dragon has a strict policy about this, and we will refuse to tattoo anybody whom appears drunk or high.

Is it true you can’t have an epidural once you get a tattoo on your lower back?

A recent study concluded that there is no evidence to support this theory. Even though there is no scientific proof that you cannot have an epidural with a lower back tattoo, some anesthesiologist have been known to refuse attempting the procedure just because of the belief.

Can I donate blood after getting a tattoo?

If you live in a state that regulates tattoo studios, you can donate blood right away after getting a tattoo. However, most states do not regulate tattoo facilities. In this case, you must wait 1 year after getting the tattoo to donate blood. This requirement is due to concerns about hepatitis.

Is it OK to go tanning or use tanning beds with a tattoo?

You will do no more harm to your body than without the tattoo, but UV rays are really bad for the tattoo itself. UV rays cause the colors of a tattoo to quickly fade. If you are going to be in the sun or a tanning bed, cover the tattoo or use a very strong SPF lotion over the tattooed area.

Can I go swimming with a new tattoo?

While getting your tattoo wet while cleaning/showering is fine, it is recommended that you wait at least two weeks before swimming or submerging your tattoo in water. The chemicals in pools and bacteria in natural bodies of water can be harmful to your healing tattoo.

Can I tattoo over a mole?

This is not recommended. You can tattoo around the mole or incorporate the mole into your tattoo. Or talk to your doctor about having the mole removed. You will then have to wait for the area to heal before getting it inked.

Can I use numbing cream before getting a tattoo to reduce the pain?

Although pain is a part of the process of getting a tattoo, we do have a ‘Pain-Free’ Package available at Red Dragon Tattoo & Piercing.

Should I tip my tattoo artist?

Just like at a restaurant or hair salon, if you are happy with the tattoo service you received, you should tip your tattoo artist.

Is it OK to get tattooed when sick?

You need to have your body’s immune system at full strength to fight off any infections and heal the tattoo. That is why it is not advisable to get inked while you are sick.

Will getting a tattoo prevent me from getting a job?

This is a real possibility. Although a lot of employers are a lot more lenient with tattoos than they were even just 10 years ago, some employers still are strict. If you think this is going to be a problem, choose a location that can be covered up easily with clothing. And if any of the tattoo might be exposed, make sure you are not choosing a design that would be inappropriate in the workplace.

How do I choose the right tattoo artist and studio?

Getting a good tattoo depends on how good your tattoo artist is. Spend time in their shop and talk to repeat customers and look at the work being done. Make sure the studio is clean and well lit. Stop into Red Dragon Tattoo & Piercing and check us out, meet our artists, and see which artist the best fit is for what you are looking for! 

How is a tattoo done?

Tattoos are applied to the skin using a tattoo machine that remains relatively unchanged since Samuel O’Reilly invented it in the late 1800’s. Ink is inserted into the skin cells of the epidermis.

Can I get HIV or AIDS by getting a tattoo?

HIV does not survive long when outside the human body. It is typically only transmitted when HIV infected blood enters another body. If you choose a reputable tattoo artist, like at the ones at Red Dragon Tattoo, they will use new needles for every tattoo. According to the CDC, there has never been a case of a person getting HIV from a tattoo.

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