Expertise.com

2024

Last updated:

Best Tattoo Shops in Raleigh

Our Recommended Top 7

We did the research for you!

  • Licensing
  • User Reviews
  • Mystery Shopping Calls

Our goal is to connect people with the best local professionals. We scored Raleigh Tattoo Shops on more than 25 variables across five categories, and analyzed the results to give you a hand-picked list of the best.

87Reviewed

55Curated

7Top Picks

Learn about our selection process.

Providers

featured provider = Featured Provider

Fuquay Varina, NC 27526

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Google
4.7 (114)
Yelp
3.5 (41)

Why choose this provider?

401 Tattoo Fuquay serves the Varina community with tattoo designs and brings over 45 years of art experience to clients. The licensed shop aims to create unique, custom designs as well as cover-ups and typically works by appointment-only, although walk-ins are welcome. Clients appreciate the feeling of privacy when being tattooed and can choose from two permanent artists as well as a rotating guest tattooer. Piercing services and jewelry are not available.

  • Traditional Tattoos

937 North Harrison Avenue, Cary, NC 27513

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (12)

Why choose this provider?

Double Deuce Tattoo & Art Gallery is a studio located in Cary that has been providing tattoo services to individuals in the metro, from Raleigh, and from the surrounding areas for 10 years. The studio creates customized designs for clients and provides them with consultation and aftercare products. It also offers piercing services. The owner, Scott Russell, is a tattoo artist and a resident of Raleigh whose passion for art began at a young age. He has since replaced his crayons with the tattoo needle.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

711 North Person Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Facebook
4.8 (791)
Google
4.8 (511)
Yelp
4.5 (60)

Why choose this provider?

Mad Ethel’s Tattoo started in 2012 and has continuously served clients from Raleigh and surrounding areas since then. The tattoo artists have more than 50 years of combined experience, allowing clients of different body steps and skin types to get their desired tattoo. The studio specializes in custom-only work and also provides piercing services. Mad Ethel’s Tattoo was featured in WRAL News and received the Best of The Triangle Award in 2014 from Triangle Downtowner Magazine.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

3114 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (30)
Facebook
4.7 (2)

Why choose this provider?

Oak City Tattoo in Raleigh is a tattoo studio composed of artists tattooing in freehand, full color, black and white, grey, tribal, and traditional American styles. The team believes in working closely with customers to deliver end results that please them. The studio strives to provide clients with an environment that fosters expressiveness and artistry. The artists and founders established the studio as their outlet for creativity and relaxation. They maintain an atmosphere that encourages limitlessness and enjoyment.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

8450 Chapel Hill Road, Cary, NC 27513

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (12)

Why choose this provider?

Located in Cary, Red Leaf Tattoo Studio offers tattoo work in the Raleigh area. It offers custom tattoos, permanent make-up, and scalp micropigmentation. It has three resident artists who specialize in different styles and techniques. These include black and grey portraiture, full-colored Japanese, and traditional Americana. The portfolios of previous tattoo works and designs done by the studio can be viewed via the website. Red Leaf is open every day of the week except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

  • Piercings
  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

5535 Western Boulevard, Raleigh, NC 27606

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
3.5 (62)

Why choose this provider?

With over 10,000 tattoos made, Warlock's Tattoo is the oldest tattoo parlor in Raleigh. The ink studio has won numerous recognitions in different conventions and expos since 1991. They've also archived more than 5,000 tattoo design sheets to help clients choose. Its team crafts colorful masterpieces, black and gray designs, and cover-up tattoos. Facial and body piercings are also offered in the shop. The tattoo artists of Warlock's Tattoo have over 100 years of combined experience.

  • Body Art
  • Traditional Tattoos

1215 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27603

Expertise.com Rating

Review Sources

Yelp
4.5 (21)

Why choose this provider?

Phoenix Tattoo Studio is a Raleigh-based tattoo shop that's been operating for 10 years. Owner Lacie Frain has been in the tattooing industry for more than 17 years. The shop's artists specialize in a wide range of styles including portraits, black and gray realism, and Victorian art deco. They also accommodate custom-quality designs. The shop conducts fundraisers for different organizations every month, such as Beyond Fences and SAFEchild. It also offers artwork created by its own artists.

  • Watercolor Tattoos
  • Traditional Tattoos
  • Neotraditional Tattoos

FAQs

  • Introduction

    A tattoo is body art that leaves permanent designs or pictures on the skin. They're applied via needle by depositing ink onto the second layer of skin. While the first tattoos were applied manually with a single needle that was first saturated in ink, today's tattoos are done by a machine. These machines feature multiple needles that pierce the skin simultaneously, speeding up the process and creating tattoos that are more visually appealing.

    Tattoos are usually done in licensed tattoo shops. These shops adhere to health and cleaning standards and are typically regulated by state and municipal governments. While tattoos are generally safe, there are associated risks, including skin infections. Any person getting a tattoo is legally required to be at least 18 years of age. It's also inadvisable for anyone who isn't in good health to get a tattoo, as the body requires time and energy to heal and prevent infection.

  • What should you know before getting your first tattoo?

    Before getting tattooed, it's important to think about design and placement. A tattoo is a permanent fixture on the body, and it's important not to rush into things. You should also consider the artist's background and take time to look into their portfolio to ensure their style best suits the tattoo you want.

  • What are some examples of tattoo styles?

    There are many types of tattoo styles, and it's important for a person to familiarize themselves with them before they select a design. Styles include:

    • Americana: Bold lines, vivid colors
    • Japanese: Large images that cover the back, arms, and legs
    • Black and Grey: Colorless grayscale designs
    • Stick-n-Poke: Thick, bold, black lines and small designs
    • Blackwork: Bold black lines and larger geometric shapes

  • Is tipping expected & how much to tip on your tattoo?

    While most tattoo artists don't expect tips, it's often appreciated. If you're happy with the work your tattoo artist has done, consider tipping between 15% and 25%. If the tattoo requires multiple sessions, a flat amount per session is appropriate.

  • What are some basic tattoo aftercare tips?

    It's important to follow all aftercare directions provided by the tattoo artist. Usually, artists will advise clients to ensure that tattoos are kept clean and dry. After showering, the tattoo should be gently patted dry and treated with Vaseline or another tattoo aftercare product.

  • What are the best practices for healing a tattoo?

    After removing the dressing, it's important to keep the tattoo clean, dry, and uncovered. Applying Vaseline or another recommended ointment can help to speed up the healing process. As they heal, tattoos can sometimes itch, but it's vital that you don't scratch or pick at it.

  • What are the most and least painful places to get a tattoo?

    Parts of the body that have the most nerve endings are generally the most painful to have tattooed. That includes the head, ears, and face. Places that don't have a lot of fat, such as the fingers, shoulder blades, and feet, are typically more painful. The least painful parts of the body to get tattooed include the outer arm, buttocks, and thighs.