Why Are Tattoo Shops So Cold?

Going to the tattoo parlor or studio can turn into a winter sport that requires you to overdress and look like a snowman in summer. Just the thought of it is giving me goosebumps, so why are tattoo shops so cold?

Tattoo shops are cold because the artist spends a lot of time close to the client, and it is unclean and uncomfortable to work if they are both sweating. Clean, dry skin is crucial for the tattoo to be done properly. A colder environment also means the tattoo surface will bleed less.

Imagine trying to sit relatively still for 2 to 8 hours in searing heat while several needles are assaulting your skin. The tattoo artist must concentrate and apply their skill without messing up. Not a scenario I would want to have a tattoo done in, so let’s find out more.

Top Reasons Tattoo Shops Are So Cold

After establishing that tattoo artists don’t deliberately make their studios so cold because they are insensitive, let’s look at the other valid reasons why tattoo shops should be cold –

Reason #1 – Comfort

The main reason for a colder than normal tattoo parlor or studio is that the client and the artist remain comfortable and motivated, and the skin stays dry. Considering you may sit for at least 2 hours, it’s no fun if you start sweating and sliding off the chair.

In turn, the artist needs to stay dry and comfortable as well, they work inches away from your skin, and it will become unpleasant if both are sweating and constantly wiping. The colder tattoo shop is especially welcoming in summer when it’s hot.

Reason #2 – Less Bleeding

It is well-known that any wound bleeds more when the temperature is high and the body is exposed to heat. Although a tattoo will not bleed as much as a laceration, there is still significant bleeding, especially since the needles will traumatize the skin during shading.

In rare situations, a client may have a bleeding disorder that causes them to bleed more than usual or be on medication that causes the blood to thin. If they are medically fit to have a tattoo, a cold tattoo shop will assist in keeping bleeding to a minimum.

Reason #3 – Better Hygiene

If you’ve ever been for surgery, you might recall that the theatre is exceptionally cold for a good reason. Similar to the tattoo studio, a theatre is cold, so most common bacteria and germs do not have a chance to grow or multiply.

Because there are many people and instruments, the theatre must remain cold, keeping the surgeon in top form to operate. Many people mean a lot of respiration, so the colder, the better. Tattoo studios also work better with fewer people in and out for hygiene reasons.

Reason #4 – Faster Healing

If you start with a clean and hygienically applied tattoo, your tattoo aftercare regimen will be much easier. In a cold tattoo studio, the lower temperature prevents sweating and less bleeding, preventing the tattoo ink from bleeding or sweating out.

This crucial step makes all the difference in how the tattoo ink stays in the skin, how the scabs form, and what the finished product looks like. When the body temperature is up, the pores open, but when they are cold, they close, and the skin is taut – perfect for tattooing.

Why Does Your Body Get Cold During A Tattoo?

During your tattoo session, the body’s immune system raises its defenses, and blood starts rushing to the injury site. If you get a small tattoo, your body will not react as much as when you’re getting a larger, shaded tattoo.

You might start experiencing goosebumps or chills due to the stress the body is under, and your skin will emanate heat from the tattooed areas. The chills you might experience differ from exposure to the studio’s temperature. If the chills persist days after, you may have an infection and need to see a doctor.

On rare occasions, your body may experience a drop in its defenses, and you may get a cold a few days after getting your tattoo. A good idea would be to increase your Vit C and Zinc intake a few days before and after.

Is It Good To Get Tattoos In Winter?

Because a tattoo heals better in colder and less sweaty environments, it would make sense to get tattooed in winter. Hot and clammy conditions are a breeding ground for bacteria and infections.

Unless you’re going out, most homes have central heating, and you can walk around with shorts and a T-Shirt without discomfort or heat rashes, giving your tattoo a better chance to heal and stay dry.

Three Good Reasons To Get Tattooed When Its Cold

Besides winter being cold and tattoos loving colder temperatures, there are other great reasons you should consider spending a couple of hours in the tattoo chair.

No direct sun – During winter, you won’t be exposing your tattoo to the sun because if you go outside, you will be covered up to stay warm, so this will help your new tattoo to heal under optimal conditions.

More appointments available – Well, this is a sensible reason to tattoo when it’s winter. Most people don’t want to subject themselves to more cold and pain, but this means your favorite artist may have some premium appointments available in the quiet winter months. Take advantage.

No swimming or watersports – At least for a few months, your new tattoo can heal, the ink can settle before you hit the beach or lake looking fabulous, and your new, beautifully healed ink turns heads.

To escape the summer heat – In contrast to the other great reasons to get tattooed when it’s cold, you should plan to get a large tattoo in summer. You can escape the hottest days and hide in the air-conditioned studio of your favorite tattoo artist.

Helpful tip – Do take care not to soak your tattoo in a warm bath or shower too long, even in winter. Follow the recommended aftercare routine to the letter.

What Is The Optimal Temperature In A Tattoo Shop?

A lesser-known reason tattoo shops are so cold is that each county sets its guidelines for tattoo shops. They govern the rules and regulations very closely guided by the OSHA act, and one of these guidelines states the ideal temperature for a tattoo shop.

The optimal temperature for a tattoo parlor is between 68 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Other guidelines need to be followed for AC units, such as –

  • All AC units must be serviced regularly, and the filters washed and sterilized. AC units are known to spread Legionnaires disease if not serviced and sanitized correctly.  
  • Any carbon filters should be replaced within the specified time
  • AC vents should be positioned facing the ceiling and not directly blow air onto a client.
  • All tattoo studios should also have an extractor that needs to be serviced weekly.


Planning for a tattoo would not be half as fun if you knew it would be done in the sweltering heat, leaving you feeling sticky and irritated. After a few hours of intense shading, imagine the tattoo artist making a mistake because their hand slipped.

For this reason alone, I prefer tattoo shops that are cold, sterile, friendly, and ready to chop my skin for the next amazing piece of artwork no sweat.

Some of my favorite designs, tattoo books, and aftercare products, selected for you

working on tattoo at my studio
Working at the studio on one of my projects

Thank you for reading my article, I hope that you have found it helpful. If you would have trouble finding ideas for your tattoo, wonder what is meaning of design that you have found or what to buy for aftercare, to make sure that your tattoo will be healing quickly and easily, here are some of my favorite products in one place, hope that this will also help.

Design and tattoo ideas

For some ideas you can have a look at those 3 books with hundreds of designs that I use with my clients, they are available on Amazon for Kindle or in classic, paper version (links below):

Tattoo meaning

If you would like to read more about the meaning of different tattoo styles and designs before you will decide what you would like to have, I can recommend a book that was really useful for me when I was starting my tattoo adventure – it’s “Conscious Ink: The Hidden Meaning of Tattoos” by Lisa Barretta (through the link you can find it on Amazon for around $10).

Tattoo aftercare

The skin at the tattoo site often dries out. To prevent it and speed up healing for my clients, I usually recommend one of those tattoo aftercare balms (you can find them on Amazon):


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