Earlier at the beginning of the year, you know, when making mental resolutions, I decided to get some tattoos. No, it wasn’t an ‘’on a whim’’ decision, cause I had been thinking about it since like 3 years ago; but it was never really a priority. I always felt that when the time comes I’ll know. Sometimes you just know, as they say! And so, by February I was tattooed. I know it’s a permanent decision (laser removal too pricey to be part of the conversation) but it was a happy decision: before, during and till now; every time I look down at them, I feel happy!!
I went to Mothaland Arts here in Kigali, after googling the place, reading the reviews and stalking their ig page.
It is sort of a tattoo parlor with a small art gallery. Before you get to the tattooing room, you get to admire some awesome artworks. I guess it plays a part in relieving some of the stress that first clients might have. (For the record, I was soo super excited that I really got to observe the artworks after it was done). Jean Claude, the founder and tattoo artist is super nice, and will explain everything you need to know before hands and he is always reachable and helpful through the whole process of healing.
Honestly, I only felt the pain when the needle hit the skin, at the first contact. Afterwards, I got used to it and was chatting through the process. On a scale of 10, I’ll give it a 2.
But apparently, it all depends on skin sensitivity. Apparently some people do cry and some don’t. However the skin still turned red despite feeling very little pain.
It took me around 2 weeks for the tattoos to completely heal. Before that, direct sunlight is a big no no, as well as tight clothing and swimming pools. The first night, I slept on my back to avoid the pressure on the tattoos as well as staining my sleeping gown, but it was a lost cause; I woke up with it printed on my gown. Apparently, happens to everyone 🙂 .
I showered normally with a mild soap and made sure not to let water soak in for a long time. I had a special towel for the tattoos as it still was an open wound, to minimize the germs getting inside. Lotions containing alcohol are a big no no too! Unscented and hypoallergenic lotions like Aveeno are those recommended. I couldn’t find any Aveeno around me, so I used the liquid Vaseline lotion. I know some folks don’t recommend using Vaseline, but that’s what I used, and applied it very gently and lightly. Try to avoid the jelly one though as it is heavy and can suffocate the skin pores and delay the healing. Also, a very big important note, do not scratch it when it gets itchy to avoid pulling some ink. That’s what determines how the final tattoo is going to look. Every time you feel the need, it is probably because the skin is dry, just apply the lotion very lightly and the need will go away. Every time with clean hands!! Also pray to God that you don’t scratch yourself unconsciously while sleeping. I did! It worked!!
THE FINAL LOOK AND REACTIONS
The healed tattoo looks less vibrant than the fresh one. This is normal as now the ink has penetrated the skin and this one created a newer skin layer on top of the tattoo.
I personally love my tats, I feel a little bit like a badgal chrichri and can’t wait to get more. I will always go for the minimal ones though as I don’t think I could sit for hours for a big one. Around me, everyone loves it (though many still prefer their untouched skin), even my conservative dad who don’t understand why I seriously need to have a ‘’drawing’’ on my skin…