Tattoos are simply ink pushed under the skin with a needle, so ink and a needle are the only supplies you really need. Home tattoos can be very painful and cumbersome without a tattoo gun, but they are now available from most online retailers.
Home tattoo kits come with a tattoo gun, needles, ink and even practice skin samples. A tattoo given at any body art shop is considered safe, because such shops must be kept clean and all artists must have a license. In a shop, a consumer can be sure only clean needles and safe ink are used. At home, the consumer does not have any of these assurances. Many teens give themselves and their friends tattoos using these kits and put themselves at high risk for Hepatitis C and other dangerous blood diseases.
Body art shops are often expensive and have age limits on customers. Many teens use home tattoo kits as a way around these obstacles, and they make the mistake of using the kit several times on different people, which can be very dangerous.
It is also possible to give a tattoo without a gun. Using an ink-dipped needle to pierce the skin slowly creates a lasting tattoo, but this method is often tiresome and difficult for those with no experience.