top reasons for tattoo regret

Tattoo Regret: 10 Reasons Why People Remove Tattoos

Tattoos are more mainstream now than they ever used to be. There are now 1 in 7 Australians with a tattoo, and 40% of Americans between the age of 18-29 have one. At the same time “tattoo regret” is also on the increase. For many, it can be an empowering form of self-expression but some tattoos can outlive their relevance and maybe they just don’t connect to who you are anymore. Possibly your design wasn’t well thought out in the first place, it was impulsively done or maybe you have simply decided on a complete redesign.

Our clients at Renude Laser have shared some of their history and experiences with us.  There are many reasons people want to remove or fade a tattoo for a new design, so we thought we would compile a list of the more popular reasons for tattoo regret.

1. Spelling Mistakes Tattoo Regret

Sheldon: “Why do you have the Chinese character for “soup” tattooed on your right buttock?”
Penny: “It’s not “soup,” it’s “courage.”
Sheldon: “No it isn’t. But I suppose it does take courage to demonstrate that kind of commitment to soup.”
From the TV show The Big Bang Theory

tattoo spelling mistakes in chinese

Spelling mistakes are one of the most embarrassing causes of tattoo regret. Maybe your tattoo doesn’t say soup but maybe it’s not what you thought it was either? Most of the time we have no idea of what the words of another language are inscribed on us, but they can look so pretty.

As we are now a multi-cultural society, the truth is more likely to come out and so unfortunately can the shock. The Hanzi Smatter blog is a fun place to view some “interesting” tattoo translations including ‘toilet demon’.

It is always best to do a lot of research before you go ahead with a foreign language tattoo. Our advice would be to check it numerous times first with translators or Chinese language educators.



2. The Former Lover Tattoo Regret

man covered in tattoos depicting past girlfriends“I was told by the tattooist not to do it”. 

Love. It’s a part of being human.

We can sometimes fall very hard and wish to have our love permanently etched on our bodies. Most of us have had a past but it isn’t always the best to get what could potentially be in the past inked on our skin. It can be disheartening for your new lover to be reminded of your ex all the time.

Children are forever, sometimes the spouse is not. Advanced laser tattoo removal is now easy so all is not lost.



3. Employment Requirements Tattoo Regret

“The boss told me I have to remove it”.

Unfortunately prejudice still exists and sometimes you might want to make a good impression on that job interview. Your tattoo might not “fit” into the cultural image that business wishes to portray and many professional women can’t cover their arms as well as a man. A business suit lends itself to hiding a lot.

If you are keen on a “Job stopper” tattoo, maybe wait until you get the job first and read this article about how tattoo’s might affect your job prospects. Considering a defence force job? You might want to learn more about the Australian army tattoo policy.

4. Amateur Artist Tattoo Regret

poorly executed tatto of an angry dog“The ink is way too dark and the outline is rough”.

In this case, sometimes a fade is required so an experienced artist can re-work the shoddily done work. In other cases, the tattoo artist wants to work on a completely blank canvas. This is when a full removal is required.




5. I’m Now A Parent Tattoo Regret

Having children changes the way we see the world and sometimes we don’t want our children seeing the way we use to see the world. Whether the image you wish to portray to your child is now different, or the tattoo you have really doesn’t represent who you have now become, thankfully it’s a relatively simple process to remove or modify your tattoos.

6. My partner doesn’t like it Tattoo Regret

Always be true to yourself, but if you are indifferent to your tattoo and your partner isn’t, then maybe consider having it removed.

7.  I’ve Changed My Mind Tattoo Regret

Your taste in music, fashion or even hair style has changed, so too can the tattoo you got when you were a teenager. It seemed like a good idea then but not anymore.  Maybe it no longer reflects your lifestyle or who you are anymore.

It could even be a memory of someone you have lost. The past will always shape you but time continues to move forward and it is important to move with it. Love leaves a memory no one can steal. It no longer needs to be on your arm as it is forever in your heart.

8.  What Have I Done Tattoo Regret

image of kelly osborne with tattoosA night of alcohol induced idiocy or maybe a dare from a friend, or maybe both!

How about just to annoy your parents like Kelly Osborne did? “I got a piano – I don’t even play piano.”







9. Consider Pop Culture Tattoos With Caution

girl with gangnam style tattooed on her forearmAs popularity is not necessary long lived, it might be best to wait for 5 years after the first thought of getting that tattoo of your favourite artist to see whether it still seems like a good idea.

The Spice Girls, Gangnam style and Pokémon have all moved on. Breaking Bad will probably too.

Bowie however will always be acceptable.



10. It’s Just Time For A Change

You’ve enjoyed what you had, but now you are ready for something completely new. You want to morph your Polynesian design to a Japanese work of art for example. Some artists wish to work on a completely blank canvas whilst others can incorporate a design over the top.

Just be aware that a second tattoo placed on top of another is much harder to move if you change your mind.

Tattoo Regret Quotes From Some Very Wise People

A client’s mother: “If in three years, you haven’t changed your mind on the tattoo or exactly where you want it to be, then get it.”

Sam de Brito, a newspaper journalist who has sadly passed away, wrote a book of quotes called “No tattoos before you’re thirty”.

If you didn’t quite listen to your mother, fear not, as we will help you relove the skin you’re in. Tattoo regret doesn’t have to be permanent anymore.

Renude Laser Clinic has implemented the latest advances in science. As well as using the best tattoo removal machines, we incorporate a Low Level Laser for skin healing and repair, pain reduction, and better ink movement.

You can read more about the amazing laser tattoo removal technology we use in this article: The Truth About Laser Tattoo Removal Machines.

Faster, Safer and Healthier to Relove The Skin You’re In.