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read after care here

"Psst...what if i want to numb my tattoo?"

It is possible! But I only tattoo skin that is safely treated with INK-EEZE to numb tattoos before, or during the tattoo.  Please use only INK-EEZE products. I have found that it works the best every time. INK-EEZE is committed to the tattoo experience and I use it with love.

UV Protection, Aftercare lotion and sprays are available here.


"Taking care of your tattoo starts before you even get the darn thing."

Some things to consider when preparing to be tattooed:

With a little preparation, you can give your tattoo's healing a head start by clearing the way of any personal filth. This means clean your room, do your laundry, and clean your bathroom. Dirty laundry, messy bathroom countertops, dirty couches and other such conditions will prolong healing time. The body's natural reaction to an open wound in a dirty environment will be to send more fluid to the irritated area, resulting in thicker, nastier scabs.

Some things to consider when healing a tattoo:

  • A tattoo is an open wound. 
  • Healing your tattoo properly is your responsibility.
  • Everyone heals differently, and each artist has their individual ways of explaining aftercare.
  • Please ask your artist if you have any questions to make sure you understand how they want you to take care of your new tattoo before you leave the studio.
  • Once you're back out into the dirty world, it is your job to make sure your tattoo stays clean, so it can heal quickly.
  • If you have any concerns or questions, come into the tattoo shop so we can see you.

The most important thing to remember above anything else:


We touch a lot of gross things with our hands and fingertips. Irritation, infection, and the spread of germs can be almost completely prevented by committing to proper hand washing. Not just when you use the bathroom, or are about to prepare some food. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm to hot water, and Dr. Bronner's soap before and after you touch your tattoo.

What is the expected healing timeline?

Before we talk about specific aftercare instructions, let's talk about the healing timeline. It takes about two weeks to one month to completely heal a fresh tattoo. There are 4 overlapping phases during healing. The First two happen very quickly; both first steps happen in the same day as being tattooed. For this illustration, and to keep things simple, we will condense the first two phases into one phase:

Phase 1: Hemostasis/ Inflammation

(Days 1 through 3)

This is when the skin has been broken and is beginning its natural reaction.The skin may be pink, sore, swollen, a little slimy, and maybe a little bit warm to the touch. It is important to keep your tattoo very clean in this phase so that other phases go smoothly.

Phase 2: Proliferative

(Days 4 through 7)

This is when the skin starts to rebuild. If all goes well, the skin should have a very thin, flexible scab texture to it that is between rough and smooth. If the tattoo is left unwashed and allowed to dry out too much during the first few days, it will be very rough. The slime coming out in the first few days will become crusty and scab heavily. This causes cracking, pain, and bleeding.

Phase 3: Remodelling

(Days 8 through 14)

This is the phase when the skin has almost completely regained control over the surface of the tattoo. The skin may be dry, shiny, and waxy to the touch. It is important to keep the tattoo clean and gently moisturized to prevent the healing timeline from starting over.

How Should I take care of my tattoo?

Always start with clean hands. Please wash your hands completely before and after touching your tattoo. Make sure you have everything you need before starting.


  • a clean bathroom
  • sink with hot and cold running water
  • clean hands (in case you haven't read this on every other section of the page)
  • clean, dry paper towels
  • a few drops of Dr.Bronner's Magic Soap


  1. WASH YOUR HANDS FIRST, then clean your tattoo using warm/ hot water and a few drops of diluted Dr. Bronner's magic soap 3-5 times daily. For the first 3 days only, you will be using a massaging motion to relieve the swelling and tension. Always massage towards your heart. Do not go too roughly, and after 3 days, just wash once per day, very gently.
  2. Rinse your tattoo clean with warm to hot water and pat dry with a clean paper towel.
  3. If after any of the first few washings the tattooed skin looks like it is "sweating", please wash it again. This is fluid released by the act of washing. This is natural and helpful. Let it come out, and clean it away from the skin so it doesn't collect and dry into a thick, nasty scab.
  4. Pat your tattoo dry with a clean paper towel.
  5. Only wear loose, clean cotton clothing during the healing of your tattoo. Nothing should be tight to the tattoo (i.e. tights/spandex etc.) If any of your clothing or hair dries to the healing tattoo, use warm water to release it.  Never pull on the tattoo to release any fused textile or fiber.
  6. Keep the tattoo completely out of the sun during healing, after healing, and forever. Sun is equivalent to free laser tattoo removal.
  7. After the 3 days of washing/ massaging is over you may start using a small amount of non-scented, water-based lotion as needed. Some examples would be Aveeno naturals, Eucerin, or Curel. A small, fresh bottle is recommended so that you may carry it with you.
  8. When your tattoo is completely healed, please come see me so that I can look at the tattoo and give you a hi-five for doing such a great job taking care of it. THANKS!

Lotion Selection and Application

  • choose a lotion without SPF for healing

  • don't use any fragrant lotions or potions (THEY BURN SO BADDDD!)

  • only apply lotion with clean hands

  • choose a high-quality lotion like INK-EEZE for best results

  • use a small bottle for easy traveling

What should I avoid while healing a tattoo?

Here are a few things that will absolutely RUIN a fresh tattoo.

Please don't do any of these things:

  • NO touching with dirty hands. This means your own hands or anyone else's. Wash up!
  • NO soaking the tattoo in standing water like the bathtub, hot tub, ocean, lake, river, or pool. Just washing in the shower.
  • NO sun exposure or sunscreen on the tattoo while healing.
  • NO scrubbing the tattoo with sponges, washcloths or using anything but your clean hands to wash it.
  • NO shaving on or near the tattoo until it's healed completely.
What can I do to heal my tattoo faster?
  • Drink lots of water, eat well, get plenty of rest.
  • Wash your tattoo 5-6 times the first few days.
  • Keep hands off your new tattoo.
  • Keep hair, dirt, animals and babies away.


NOT ME! I love my tattoos.  The sun is UV light, and tattoo removal devices (like tattoo-removing lasers) use an EUV light.  It doesn't matter that one is wide and diffused, while the other is highly condensed.  They are both on the more intense side of the light spectrum: ionizing radiation.  The damage is proportionate to the condensing of its scope.  That means, that the intense, focused light used in laser tattoo removal therapy punches the pigment into tiny pieces so that they are absorbed and processed by the body.   Meanwhile ANY amount of sunlight exposure (yes! even on cloudy days!) nibbles away at your tattoos.  Sun damage like this is accumulative, and not often noticed until several years of exposure have faded the tattoo.


"I have 9 tattoos so far... Nickhole was the artist who designed and inked my last one... the only one that is fully visible to everyone (right forearm).

My original request was for white ink. She was careful to explain the process, the pitfalls, and the likely consequences of that choice. She didn't say no (like a few tattooists I had before finding her)... instead she offered options and explained the pros and cons of each. Ultimately, I chose one of her approaches and have never regretted it. This was 15 months ago.

Her line work is clean and delicate...with perfect transitions. Her shading was subtle (as I wanted) and feminine. The seating and flow of the design fully captures the message I wanted conveyed, and is beautiful look at.

Now, I'm just trying to decide on a final desgn for a sister piece on my left arm... and I cannot imagine wanting anyone but Nickhole to do work.

She's professional, talented, visionary, empathetic, and ethical. I cannot recommend her or her work enough. ♡♡♡"

-Doni T.

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4800 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater, WA
Suite D | 98501

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