Recent years have seen a real surge in the popularity for tattoos, with recent statistics showing that 30% of Americans have at least one tattoo and more people than ever before are interested in the idea of getting one.
Unfortunately, statistics also show that a lot of people who get tattoos end up experiencing ‘tattoo regret’, wishing they’d waited a little longer, though a little more carefully, or chosen a different style or location for their ink.
If you’re thinking about getting some body art of your own, it’s important to take the time to think it over. Tattoos are permanent, after all, and you’re going to live with that ink for the rest of your days, so this isn’t a decision to take lightly.
If you’re worried about experiencing tattoo regret, here are some of the key signs to watch out for before actually getting your ink in the first place:
- You’re 21 or Younger – Statistics show that over half of the people who experience tattoo regret got their tattoo when they were 21 or younger. Young people can often make rash decisions due to peer pressure or impulsive behavior, so if you’re in the same age bracket, you might want to think a little more carefully.
- You Haven’t Thought About It – Getting a tattoo on a whim might sound fun, spontaneous, and exciting in the moment, but it can be a lot less thrilling later on, and many people feel regret after getting a tattoo impulsively, without taking at least a couple of weeks to think it over and decide on a design.
- It Isn’t Something You Truly Care About – Many people end up regretting tattoos that simply seemed fun or attractive to them at the time but had no real significance to their life or personal story. Tattoos that are deep and meaningful are much less likely to be regretted, such as symbols of loved ones or images associated with the individual’s personal story.
The list above covers just a few of the signs that you might experience tattoo regret anxiety later on, and it’s not a fun thing to live with. You might find yourself wanting to cover up the tattoo to avoid answering questions about it, for example, or you might feel less confident in general about your body and appearance because of the ink. That’s why it’s so important to learn from the mistakes of others and avoid making those same errors. Think carefully about your tattoo and take the time you need to get it right.
How to Avoid Tattoo Regret
If you’re confident that you want a tattoo and don’t want to regret the decision later on, here are four top tips to help you make the right call and avoid any regret.
- Find the Right Artist – It’s vital to choose the right artist when you’re getting a tattoo. There are a lot of low-quality, inexperienced artists out there who can be tempting due to their low prices but may lead to regret if they aren’t able to truly bring your vision to life. By working with an experienced, high-quality artist, you’ll be able to feel much more confident about getting your tattoo, and you’ll be a whole lot happier with the final result, as well.
- Take Your Time and Discuss the Tattoo Before You Begin – Don’t rush into things with your new tattoo. This isn’t the kind of decision to be taken lightly; it’s best to take your time and have a consultation with your chosen artist before you begin. Your artist will be able to explain the process, answer any questions you might have, and perhaps even suggest some alterations or improvements to your initial idea to make it even better. Giving your artist some creative freedom can be a great way to get the best possible tattoo.
- Pick the Right Location and Size – Think carefully about where you’re going to get your tattoo and how big it will be. There’s no right or wrong answer here, as people can get tattoos in many different areas of the body and in all sorts of sizes, but for your first tattoo, you may want to start off small and gradually build up to something bigger once you’re more confident. You also need to think carefully about location. If you want to be able to see your tattoo and admire it regularly, don’t pick a place like your back, for example.
- Make it Meaningful – As stated earlier on, people tend to regret or get bored of tattoos that don’t have any real meaning or significance to them, but those who get tattoos with stories and value tend to love them for the rest of their lives. So, when picking your tattoo design, try to select something that you really care about or something that matters to you. Even if it’s just something beautiful, make sure you really love it and never settle for a design that doesn’t excite and inspire you.
What Do I Do if I Don’t Like My New Tattoo?
If you do experience regret after your tattoo and don’t like it, there are a few options available to you:
- Touch-ups – Tattoos that are of low quality or fading over time can be refreshed and renewed with a simple touch-up to make them look a lot better at little cost.
- Cover-ups – Tattoos can also be covered up with new tattoos, which can be useful for things like tribal prints and names of former lovers.
- Laser removal – If you just want the tattoo gone, laser tattoo removal is an option to get rid of it permanently, but this can be a costly procedure.