There’s no denying that getting a tattoo is a big, long-term commitment.
Having a tattoo that you love can be a meaningful way of adorning your body that affirms your identity, connects you to your values, and allows you to express yourself.
But when you don’t like your tattoo — well, that’s a whole different story. Maybe it didn’t turn out the way you anticipated, or maybe you’ve simply outgrown it. Whatever the reason, it can be a painful reminder that floods you with regret or makes you feel uncomfortable in your own shell.
That’s why we caught up with veteran tattoo artist and Studio Kiku owner Billy DeCola for advice on how to navigate the minefield of tattoo regret with some actionable solutions — because everyone deserves to feel good in their skin.
Challenge your mindset
One in five people report regretting their tattoo, so don’t for a moment think you’re alone in your post-tattoo remorse.
Before deciding if you’re open to undergoing procedures that involve altering or completely removing your ink, consider whether you could learn to love it. By taking a laissez-faire approach to your situation, you might actually find some levity in it all.
Yes, tattoos can be an important part of how you perceive yourself and are viewed by others, but it also doesn’t need to define you in any way. By shifting your mentality, you can transform your tattoo into a funny story or something symbolic of your younger self.
Who knows, you might be surprised to find your tattoo unexpectedly morphs into something endearing and nostalgic.
Cover it up
If you’re still fond of the tattoo aesthetic overall and just not particularly happy with the one currently on your body, it’s worth considering having it covered up with something you’ll appreciate more.
Think of it as a tattoo makeover — a second chance at your dream tattoo, if you will.
Pop by a local tattoo shop to chat with an artist about getting a tattoo cover-up that will obscure your existing tattoo. Something to keep in mind is that the new tattoo should be at least three times bigger than the original and often will have to be darker in order to successfully conceal it.
This option makes most sense if you have a small tattoo that you’re open to transforming into a bigger piece of art. It can be a powerful way to, both literally and figuratively, shed your old skin and start fresh.
Have it removed
Did you go and get your ex’s name tattooed on your arm? Then it might be time to retire your tattoo altogether, and for this, there’s only one real option: laser removal.
In all seriousness, if your tattoo is an unpleasant reminder, having it removed can be a very liberating and restorative experience. But not all laser removals are created equal. Older lasers can damage your skin due to thermal heating.
Studio Kiku’s PicoWay laser tattoo removal process uses photoacoustic pulses that shatter the pigment into tiny particles, making your tattoo disappear while preserving the integrity of your skin. It’s safe for all skin types and minimizes the risk of side effects, like scarring and loss of skin pigmentation.
If you’d like to learn more about lightening or completely removing your tattoo, you can visit studiokiku.com for more information.
Address: 3787 Canada Way, Burnaby