Hiii. Could you pleaseee tell me more about tattoo removal? I did one tattoo when I was really young and now I regret it and want to do a cover up but I was thinking of having it removed first, but I am a bit afraid that I’ll make a mess. Thank you

Tattoo removal can be very expensive. A lot of times it’s more expensive than getting the tattoo in the first place. Tattoo removal is also more painful than getting the tattoo. You’ll need at least 3 sessions, but most of the time it’s more like 5-7 sessions to remove a tattoo no matter what size, especially if there’s blue or purple in it.

I’ve never had it done on me, so I can’t give you first-hand experience, but I know plenty of people who did and I know several people who do the tattoo removal service themselves.

Be careful that the place is reputable because an inexperienced person with a laser can do a lot of damage very quickly. Ask for their credentials and make sure they either have a license or proof of schooling. In some places they need to be state licensed. It might be a good idea to ask local tattoo shops if they know of anyone who does it, but don’t just take their word for it. Make sure you check the person out.

If you decide to do a cover-up, which I’d suggest over tattoo removal, talk with several tattoo artists about it. Not all artists can do cover-ups (one of my guys is terrible at it so we don’t give him cover-ups), and some just want to black it out, which is a shitty thing to do to someone. No one ever needs to black it out unless they want to.

You’d be surprised what can be done with a cover-up, but the artist has to be very experienced and good at figuring out what would look good.

Tell the artist some of the things you like (are you a flower person? an animal person? a space person?) and they’ll come up with elements that would cover the tattoo well – so make sure you’re open to things you weren’t planning on. A good artist will come up with things you never imagined!

Blue and purple are great colors for cover-ups. If your artist suggests using those colors in the tattoo (even if you hadn’t planned on it) you might want to at least listen and see what they suggest. Yellow, red, and orange are terrible for covering over something unless the artist can use the original tattoo somehow to create the new piece.

If you’re still worried that the cover-up won’t work, maybe you could get 1 or 2 laser removal sessions, let it heal, then get a cover-up tattoo. This works well for tattoos that have a lot of black, purple, and blue in them.

If you’re comfortable with it, you could send me a pic of the tattoo you want covered/removed, and I could make some suggestions.

Whatever you decide, please don’t worry that you have to walk around the rest of your life with a bad tattoo. There’s lots of options.