After 250,000+ tattoo removal sessions performed, we know a few things about tattoo regret. We’ve found that regret is reserved for a select few extreme cases, and most of our clientele have simply outgrown their body art and decided that the tattoo is “just not me”. Choosing tattoo removal is often prompted by many different factors which we will discuss in this article.
Is it Normal to Regret a New Tattoo?
People often change their minds after getting a tattoo. In fact, one survey showed that 75% of 600 respondents admitted to regretting at least one of their tattoos. Fortunately, you can take certain steps before and after getting a tattoo to lower your chances of regret.
The number of tattoo studios and artists is constantly increasing in response to the rising demand for body art. This increase in the tattoo industry has also brought a surge of tattoo regret. If you decide your tattoo isn’t right for you, tattoo removal or cover ups are an option.
What Are The Common Causes Of Tattoo Regret?
In a Harris Poll surveying 2,225 U.S. adults, respondents revealed the following common causes of tattoo regret:
- They were too young when they got the tattoo.
- Their personality changed, or the tattoo doesn’t fit their present lifestyle.
- They got a tattoo of a former significant other’s name.
- The tattoo was poorly done or doesn’t look professional.
- The tattoo doesn’t feel meaningful to them.
We have clients who have shared with us that they have experienced tattoo regret from the list provided. The inspiration to get a particular tattoo often does not last forever (and fortunately, the ink doesn’t have to either).
In another survey, participants were asked about the most regrettable spots on the body for a tattoo. Responses predominantly included the upper back, upper arms, hips, face, and buttocks. See our before and after gallery to see some of the most popular tattoo removal locations.
For some people, the excitement and satisfaction of getting a tattoo never wears off, and they cherish their body art forever. For others, regret can begin as soon as the next day, as some clients have told us. Of those who regretted their decision within the first few days, almost 1 in 4 had made a spontaneous decision, while just 5% of the people surveyed reported having planned their tattoo for several years. About 21% said their regret had begun around the one-year mark, and 36% reported that several years had passed before they doubted their decision.
How Can I Avoid Experiencing Tattoo Regret?
Most decisions in life carry some chance of regret. However, tattoo artists in our network have shared some advice on how to lower your chances of tattoo regret. Consider these expert tips before making a final decision about getting a new tattoo:
- Choose the location wisely. Our clients have found that tattoos placed on the hands, fingers, or other highly exposed areas do not age well. They lose their vibrance and sharpness, which can eventually lead to regret.
- Avoid tattooing the name of a significant other anywhere. Chances are, they will not always be your significant other. And even if they are, there are plenty of other ways to commemorate your relationship.
- Avoid trendy tattoos. For example, the tribal tattoo was a huge trend, and many clients have expressed that they wish they hadn’t followed it.
- Consider the tattoo for at least 6 months before you get it. If it is meaningful and you still want it in 6 months, you’ll be far less likely to regret it in the future. Do not get an impulse tattoo. Clients have overwhelmingly expressed that impulse tattoos are the most regretted kind.
Wait It Out If You Have Instant Tattoo Regret
It is not uncommon to feel immediate regret after getting a tattoo, especially since you’re used to seeing your body a certain way. To help you come to terms with any immediate anxiety or regret you may experience, permit yourself to wait it out. In other words, let the experience sink in. It may take a while for the new tattoo to grow on you, or to simply get used to seeing it on your body. If the regret doesn’t pass, your options include either covering it up or starting the removal process.
Here are 4 Reasons Why People Get Their Tattoos Removed
1. They Can’t Get a Job
This is a very common reason why people want to get their tattoos removed. More commonly, we see this with folks who were recently incarcerated. But here’s what happens:
People either try to get a new job (a job that requires more professionalism), and when going through the interview process, they keep getting denied jobs.
While they don’t know for sure, they’re pretty certain they’re not getting the job because of the visible tattoos (especially hands, neck, face, and head tattoos).
These people are qualified for the positions they’re applying for and know that they can succeed in those jobs, but their tattoos are holding them back. Because of this, they want to remove their visible tattoos so that they can get a better job.
2. They Went Through a Breakup
This reason is probably just as common as the reason above.
A lot of people (more than you’d think), get their significant other’s name tattoo somewhere on their body. Either it’s that person’s name (like “Hannah” or “Ronnie”), it’s an image associated with that person (like a sailboat or meaningful quote), or it’s a matching tattoo that they got with that person.
Whatever the type of tattoo, they want it removed. And they especially want it removed if they’re dating, engaged, or married to someone else.
3. The Tattoos are Gang-Related, Racist, or Beliefs That the People No Longer Value
Most gang members get lots of tattoos of symbols or imagery associated with their gang.
Some just have one or two while others are covered in gang-associated ink or prison tattoos. And, once those individuals decide to leave the gang, they want to rid their bodies of the gang-related ink.
They do this for mental reasons (to prove that they’ve moved on), safety reasons (to not let anyone know that they’re in the gang, anymore), and familial reasons (they have children and they don’t want the children to see the gang-related tattoos).
Racist tattoos are relatively common (more common than you’d think).
White supremacists are known for getting swastikas and other racially inappropriate tattoos. Once these people move on and disassociate themselves from their racial beliefs and groups, they very quickly want to get their tattoos removed.
Religious tattoos are no longer valued.
We’re sure that you’ve seen religious symbolism in tattoos – crosses, the image of Jesus, a Buddha or Buddhist symbol… The list can go on and on. When people’s religious beliefs fade, and they have a tattoo associated with that religion, then they often want it removed.
4. Mental and Emotional Freedom
Many people want to get specific tattoos removed because it reminds them of something in their past that they’re not proud of, don’t want to remember because it’s painful, or it was a period in their life where they weren’t happy.
For example, many people get tattoos under the influence. Maybe that person unfortunately became an alcoholic. Thankfully, they were able to overcome their alcoholism, but that one tattoo they have, the one that they got while they weren’t sober, reminds them of their dark past.
And by physically getting rid of that tattoo, they’re able to almost literally wipe away the sad, dark, and unhappy memories associated with their past. Tattoo removal is a clean start for them.
Laser Tattoo Removal With Removery
Do you regret your tattoo? You’re in good company. Our clients have found that laser tattoo removal serves as a highly effective means of dealing with an unwanted tattoo. Whether they were seeking a cover up or complete removal of the tattoo, laser removal has allowed them to move beyond tattoo regret. Removery, offers free consultations with our experienced specialists who are able to answer any of your questions about the removal process. Book a free consultation today, and see our top 10 before and after tattoo removal results.