Many of us have had this feeling of being over-the-moon with this amazing new art on our skin when the tattoo artist finally put his gun down. It had its story to tell, it made you stand out and feel special.

People say that getting tattooed becomes an addiction over time – well, only those who have been exposed to looks of admiration caused by their extraordinary inks can understand this. Even if it hurt, it heals, it settles and it becomes a part of you. What it represents matters to you and it seems that the significance of the marked event will never fade.

The first time you face judgement or disapproval, you usually react by rebelling. Heck, no one should tell you if your tattoo looks too big, colorful, kitschy or whatever else! How many crushes have you turned down because of the same old questions “Umm – what does this represent? I mean, why did you have it?” How many times have you covered yourself up over family lunch just because you were sick of the same nagging from your grandmother, who can’t get over the idea that you can still look romantic in a wedding dress, even with the ink peaking from underneath it?

Being judged by people who know you – or worse, by those who haven’t even met you yet, can be overwhelming.

“With all the passion I had for my tattoo, justifying its significance and my need to get it in every single black-tie dinner I attended became just dead exhausting” – said Anne, a 35-yr old HR executive. “And the funny thing is – I didn’t get mine while young and clueless; I got a tattoo to celebrate the birth of my niece at the time I was well into my career. As I myself never judged people by their appearance, it shocked me to realize what a minority I was in. Suddenly I find myself covering my tattoo as there was not a single senior manager who hadn’t somehow reacted to it, as if I’ve done a drastic change in my appearance and to their mind it seemed something’s changing in my character as well. I was faced with candid concern from friends, asking if all was well with my marriage and if I’m going through some sort of early mid-life crisis; even my own sister asked me how I’ll honor her next daughter and if it’s going to be with a belly button piercing! I loved the appearance of the tattoo, but talking about it became my everyday life and subconsciously I started hiding it.”

How do I know it’s time for my tat to go?

To start, ask yourself frankly:

  • Do you like your tattoo every time you take a glance at it or there are times when you think you were too hasty to get it? Which one of these outweighs the other?
  • Is your tattoo a part of you that you forget it’s there? Has it ever happen that you take a glimpse of it and for a split second you ask yourself whose ink is that?
  • Has the meaning behind it been lost or changed? Does it still represent something grand and important as it used to?
  • Does it make you feel less attractive or self-confident?
  • How often do you find yourself googling the words “tattoo removal options”, “want my tattoo off quickly” or “comfort me I hate my ink”?

If you’re still not certain where you stand with your feelings towards your ink, here are some guidelines we drafted from having talked to many people who have had a change of heart.

6 signs your tattoo has stayed too long

  • You have it covered most of the time… even in less conservative environments (i.e. a night out with friends, a movie date with beau, at home when reading a book on your couch – on your own);
  • You feel like you’ve been working extra hard to prove that you are worthy of a promotion, yet it seems you are simply not being taken seriously – boss cringes whenever your tattoo peaks from underneath your suit;
  • You get teased about your tattoo… in the beginning you laughed as well – while at some point, it stops being funny and you just wish everyone would shut up about it;
  • You subconsciously rub extra shower gel over your tattoo when having a bath;
  • You’re not comfy taking your clothes off in front of your partner; or even at a pool;
  • You realized you’ve been explaining the meaning behind your tattoo to this girl you just met for a bit too long.

How long have you known your tattoo should be gone?

If you think your tattoo should be made invisible, you’re definitely not alone – according to the results of The Harris Poll from 2012, – 17% of tattooed adults in the U.S. have some sort of regret related to their tattoo.

Judging from our clients, 60% have started having mixed feelings about their ink already in the first year of getting it, while 20 % have had a change in heart in the first five years.

It might happen that you like your tattoo for a year or two, become indifferent to it a few years later and eventually decide it is a little too Prison Break-appearance for you, and that eventually it’s no longer representing who you are.

Burden to your opportunities

In the beginning, you just couldn’t get enough of it – flaunting your skin wherever you have the opportunity to do so! But somewhere after the 321st time you hear the question “Is that exactly what you wanted it to look like, or…?” the pride sort of wears off. And besides finding yourself picking out outfits that would make it less visible, you have stored a ready-made answers in your head already:

  • It wasn’t a dare. I myself wanted to get it, OK?
  • It IS meant to be this big.
  • It says “freedom forever” in Ancient Greek. No, it doesn’t mean “defrost first”. I don’t care that you’re Greek (you’re not Ancient Greek).
  • You can’t touch it.
  • Can’t remember if it hurt.
  • No, I wasn’t drunk when I got it.
  • I don’t own a badass looking dog with a spiky collar.
  • I was never in prison, what makes you ask?

If you have to explain your character, life ambitions or relationship status to the most random people you meet, it’s a sign that your ink started talking before you did. And more so – if you rather choose to hide it so you can make it quiet, obviously what it says is not in your best interest. How many times has someone else been picked for the job you were certain best suited you? Have you had your ID checked by police patrol a bit more often than you’re comfortable with? Or has your crush ever asked you if your mom’s full name is Stacey Forever? Think about the situations your ink has made you feel uncomfortable and the missed opportunities it cost you.

Cost to your self-esteem

In average, most people who decide to have their tattoo removed can do so, depending on its size and other factors, for as little as $780. So what’s stopping you from making it invisible? If you are worried about your budget, just think about how much it is actually costing you to keep the appearance you dislike so much. Will you always want to be considered a rough guy not to be messed with? Will you think it’s fair that you alone don’t get invited to a black tie dinner with the shareholders, even though you are doing the best job in your team? And will you not regret not making a pass on that charming girl after she said tattoos are a major turn-off for her?

It has run your life long enough

In the phase when you realized you’d like something about your tattoo altered – be it a change in shape, size, color, whether you want just parts of it removed or fully off your skin – we are here to help.

Stop repeating to yourself that you wish your skin was “virgin”. Ways to get you back where you need to be are easier than you think.

Give us a call for a free consultation and we’ll provide you with the best advice based on your feelings, plan and sentiment. If it’s the cost of removal that’s putting you off, give us a call still. We are open to different payment plans with you and can tailor one that would suit you the most.

Ready to get started?