What to Do If You Don’t Like Your New Tattoo

man with tattoo

Although options exist for tattoo removal, in most cases your new ink is a permanent part of your body. So what do you do when you’re unhappy with your brand new tattoo? Whether it’s an artist error or the piece just didn’t come out like you expected, here are the steps to take if you’re experiencing post-tattoo remorse.

Give it a Bit of Time

Instant tattoo regret is more common than you’d expect, especially since it’s such a big decision. Assuming the design is well-done and true to your original request, wait a week or two to allow yourself to get used to this big change before making any other big decisions (like laser removal). In addition, many tattoos don’t look exactly like they are meant to look until the healing process is complete. To facilitate this process, make sure to follow the shop’s instructions to avoid infection, damage, or fading. In some cases, you’ll start to love the new ink once it ceases to be such a surprise each time you look in the mirror.

When to Say Something Right Away

In most cases, a tattoo artist will welcome the chance to fix a tattoo that didn’t come out quite like you expected. If you don’t feel comfortable going to the same artist, however, let the owner of the tattoo shop know. He or she wants you to be happy with your completed work of art, and will likely assign another artist to ensure that you are satisfied with the finished ink. After all, your body art is a direct advertisement for their shop.

Be Polite

When approaching your tattoo artist with negative feedback, be courteous and respectful while clearly communicating the aspects of the tattoo that you’re unhappy with. In most cases, customers must OK the tattoo art before it goes onto their arm, so if something went awry during the inking process the artist definitely wants to know about it.

Considering a Cover Up

If you’ve already talked to the shop and they are unable to satisfy your requests to change the tattoo to your liking, you have a few options to consider. Depending on the type of tattoo and the location on your body, an artist who specializes in covering up tattoos may be able to render your unwanted ink into a truly gorgeous design.

Removal Options

If you are soured on the idea of tattoos completely, getting it removed might be your best bet. Bear in mind, though, that removal can be painful, is often expensive, and doesn’t always completely remove the ink. It can also result in scarring. Laser removal, the most popular kind, uses intense bursts of heat to lighten the dye, often rendering the tattoo invisible after a number of sessions.

The best course of action? Develop an open dialogue with your tattoo artist before you go for permanent ink, and make sure that you’re happy with everything about the proposed design (size, placement, and colors) before moving forward with the permanent inking process.