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What should I do before I get a tattoo or piercing?

It is important to eat a light meal an hour before your procedure. It is important that your blood sugar is up. Also, come with a positive mental attitude. It is incredibly important that you come optimistic. Remember, mind over matter. Also, it is a good idea to bring a sugary snack and a drink. (Mountain Dew, Sprite or Orange Juice) Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 24 hours before your procedure and drink plenty of water to hydrate your body.

I am not 18; can I get a tattoo or piercing with my parents' permission?

Yes and no. We can not tattoo any minor with or without permission. It is a NC state law that any individual getting tattooed must be 18 years of age. So, in other words, under no circumstances can a minor be tattooed.

Yes, we can pierce a minor under age of 18. Proper ID on both the minor and the adult must be present. A Proper ID is a state issued picture ID. We must have this in order to prove guardianship. (last names and addresses must match) Please call in advance to be sure you have everything needed for us to pierce you!

My friend is a tattoo artist; he has a professional kit and works out of his house. Why shouldn't I get tattooed by him?

First of all there are no "professional tattoo kits". Those kits in the back of magazines are the furthest from professional. Any real licensed professional artist won't be working out of their house using a kit. A professional artist has spent thousands of dollars on tattoo equipment, supplies and sterilization tools. Not to even mention the time involved in learning proper techniques. A home artist does not have the skill or sterile technique knowledge. It is unsafe and unsanitary to get tattooed or even pierced in that environment. It is a good way to get a disease, such as Hepatitis, not to mention, bad art. Remember that not only bad art is forever, so are some blood borne diseases!

I want to be a tattoo artist. Are you guys hiring?

This is a question that we get at least a dozen times a week. Please know that we do not hire. Tattooing and piercing are learned by apprenticeships, which are paid for. In some way, it is like attending college. A tattoo/piercing apprenticeship lasts months, if not years and costs thousands of dollars.

We very rarely will take on an apprentice. It is a huge commitment on both parties.

Can I drink alcohol, smoke (weed), or take pills before a tattoo or piercing? Will it help the pain?

No and No! First of all, we will not tattoo or pierce you if you are under any influence. Alcohol makes your tolerance for sitting still for a long period of time poor, not to mention is a blood thinner. Weed will make you light headed and sick, not to mention it will make you more sensitive. Pills will cause the blood to thin too much and can also make you sick to the stomach. Come sober and optimistic!

Do you tattoo men?

With the name Man's Ruin and being an all female staff, we get this question all the time. Yes, of course we tattoo men! More than half of our clients are men. The term Man's Ruin came from back in the sailor days. Women, booze, gambling, tattoos, etc. were considered man's ruin and the icon is depicted as a woman in a martini glass. So that is the story of Man's Ruin.

Does it hurt?

Yes! It does hurt! Some people do better than others and some parts of the body hurt less than others. If pain is your main fear, then you are not ready! A tattoo is a lifelong commitment. Think before you ink and be prepared!

Can I buy cheaper jewelry and put it in my piercing?

Yes, you can buy cheaper jewelry. NO, you should not put it in your body. With the popularity of piercing, many places sell body jewelry. This DOESN'T mean it is safe for you to put in your body. There are different grades of metal (some containing metals unsafe to use in wounds). We only carry safe jewelry made specifically for the industry of body piercing. Keep in mind.... CHEAP IS CHEAP!

Also,please keep in mind that it's an important courtesy to support local business. We strive to provide the best quality products to you. We research and work hard to provide a high quality stock of jewelry in all sizes and materials at a fair price.Please do your part to support us and keep your business local.

Why won't you tattoo or pierce some areas of the body?

We consider ourselves professionals, with that title comes responsibility. We do not pierce certain piercings on minors. We do not tattoo certain areas of the body as first tattoos. Its just isn't ethical. We truly believe in ethics within our industry and work accordingly.

Can I bring my children with me to the studio?

NO! We do pierce minors under the age of 18 with parental consent. It is ok for them to be in the studio at that time. Any other time we ask to leave the children at home. Babies and small children we do not allow in the studio. There are many things that are inappropriate for children to see in a tattoo/piercing studio. Please respect our policy.

Do I need an appointment? Do you take walk-ins?

We take walk-ins on a first come, first serve basis for tattoos. We also accept and recommend appointments. Tattoo appointments require at least a 50% non-refundable cash deposit based on the cost of the tattoo. Piercings are mostly walk-ins, as most piercings are very quick. Appointments can be made, if you desire a certain time and day.

Are tattoos expensive?

That is a yes and no answer. A good tattoo by an experienced,well trained,well known artist can cost a fair amount of money. Keep in mind,you are paying for the skill of an artist that is trained not only in art,but trained in health and safety. Remember,a good tattoo lasts long after the price is forgotten. "Cheap work is not good and good work is not cheap".--Sailor Jerry Collins

I want a custom tattoo. What do I do?

Please call ahead to schedule a consult. You can also try to walk in,but if we are busy we may not have time to talk with you in depth about your design. Also bring all artwork needed with you PRINTED OUT! We cant get artwork off of your 2 inch phone screen,nor will we google search artwork for you. So please come prepared with all material needed in order for us to convey your ideas onto paper to achieve a  great custom tattoo for you.

Consults are between 12:00-1:00pm every available day. The rest of the day is reserved for concentrating on each individual tattoo session in privacy. Consults are free,but artwork preparation requires a deposit of $50-$100 (pending size of artwork) This deposit ensures that you are serious about a tattoo before hours are spent designing artwork. The deposit is applied to the cost of the tattoo. If you already have artwork prepared and ready to tattoo,you don't need a consult. Please just bring the artwork by ON PAPER and we can give you a price and proceed to set your tattoo appointment with a 50% cash deposit.

Why do prices for piercings and tattoos vary between studios?

 This is a question we get asked often by many "newbies" to body art. There are many ways to answer this question and many reasons. Lets start with piercings. Piercing cost varies per studio based on the qualifications of the studio,the cleanliness of the studio and the quality of the jewely used in the piercing. Body jewelry is NOT all the same. Many times it LOOKS the same but is not. The materials used to make the jewelry varies greatly. We only use the highest grade of jewelry. Our jewelry contains no lead or other contaminating metal which can be found in many studios using poor quality material. Cleanliness is another HUGE factor. It costs money to be clean. Everything we use is autoclaved in a spore tested autoclave. (which means it tested monthly by an independent lab)All tools come out of the autoclave in sterile packages. We use nitrile gloves to prevent latex allergies. We are also skilled in aseptic technique. This means we know how to handle blood and other body fluids properly without contaminating the client with diseases. We do all of this on our own account as THERE ARE NO PIERCING LAWS IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. This means NO ONE from the state or county inspects or regulates what is done. It is totally BUYER BEWARE. So be sure of the studio you choose. A good red flag is a cheap piercing,cheap,means unprofessional and unclean!

 Tattoo prices vary per studio and per artist due to many factors as well. The first being cleanliness and the second being skill. There are artists out there that can do pretty tattoos but have NO SKILL on cleanliness. When dealing with blood,being clean is the first thing to learn.Everything that touches your skin or the gloved hands of the artists should be disposable.(covered in plastic) So again,cleanliness costs money. Pricing varies per artist with the skill of the artist. An artist that has been published and has many years of skill will charge more than a newer artist with less skill. A good studio will charge more than a poor quality studio. A poor quality studio will have artists that work cheap and have little to no knowledge of standards. Our studio is clean,drug free,smoke free and uses the best quality inks. We are very skilled on aseptic technique and rise above regular city health standards. Just because someone has a paid for tattoo license DOES NOT mean they know what they are doing. Do your research,a bad decision lasts a lifetime!