Tattoos are like potato chips, once you get one, you have to get another. Getting your first tattoo can be scary, but I promise, as long as you're not in some random guy's garage with a dirty needle that your friend recommended you to, nothing will go wrong.
1. Visit the Instagram or Facebook accounts of each tattoo studio in your area and look at all of the artists
Each artist has their own style and you want to make sure that you don't hate your tattoo. Even if you get something simple, their style will come out in your tattoo. You don't want to walk out of there with something you completely hate.
2. Go in to the tattoo parlor and actually have a conversation with the tattoo artists of your preferred store
Bring an adult with you, someone you trust and someone that has a clue about tattoos, they will know what to look for, you want to make sure that it isn't dirty, you can ask to see their needles and they will show you. Do not bring your friend who is your same age and who has never gotten a tattoo themselves, chances are you will both be nervous and not know the right questions to ask.
3. Please take the artists advice as to what to do for aftercare
Do not listen to your friend who can't even take care of an infected earring, they most likely do not know what they are doing. And do not ask someone who got a tattoo 30 years ago, everything aftercare wise is different now and if those people care about you, they will tell you to listen to the artist.
When they tell you to use a certain type of topical ointment, use it, make sure you clean it properly, and most parlors will give you a detailed list of instructions, you can usually find it on their websites also (if they have one).
4. Do not be afraid to tell them that you don't like something
This thing is going to be on your body forever, so make sure that placement is correct, size, everything. They are just the ones doing this for you because you can't do it yourself, it isn't their fault if you tell them something incorrect because they ask you about 10 times to make sure that it is correct.
5. Do not itch it or pull off any scabs
This should be self-explanatory, you do not want to pull off scabs because you could mess up the ink, let the scabs fall off naturally and the itchiness is just from the new skin forming, DON'T ITCH.
6. Eat something light and bring snacks and water with you
Especially if this is your first tattoo and especially if you are prone to fainting, you'll feel a lot better if there is something in your stomach, and definitely do this if the tattoo you are getting is going to be a long session.
7. Look up your state's tattoo guidelines and make sure that you are following the rules
A lot of states have guidelines for getting tattoos, this includes placement, some are not able to tattoo on the head, face or neck. So make sure before you decide on a place that you are able to get it there.