What is the reason people get tattoos removed?
Over 38% of young people have at least one tattoo, according to a recent study.
The article also argues that more people have tattoos today than ever before.
With that being said, people are human. People make mistakes. Sometimes, people make rash decisions (or decisions under the influence).
And tattoo decisions aren’t immune to human nature. Sometimes, people make mistakes with tattoos.
In our practice, we’ve seen all of the reasons why people want to get their tattoos removed.
In this article, we’ll lay out the top 5 reasons why people get their tattoos removed.
Tattoo remorse psychology is the reason people get their tattoos removed
Before we get into the specific reasons why people get their tattoos removed, we’ll explain the overarching reason of why psychologists say that tattoo regret is a real thing.
People regret tattoos just like they do shopping decisions.
We’re sure that you’ve heard of buyer’s remorse.
It’s where, in the minutes, days, or weeks after buying a product or service, you begin to regret the purchase, feel guilty about the purchase, or wish you spent longer deciding on the purchase.
It’s the exact same with getting tattoos:
The excitement, the rush, the adrenaline of getting a tattoo is a real thing. Especially when somebody is getting their first tattoo.
They’re not thinking about what having that tattoo will be like in 5 years down the line, let alone 15 or 20 years from that moment.
Their brain is releasing endorphins and dopamine – they’re getting a rush from the experience.
When the adrenaline and endorphins wear off, the regret sinks in.
At some point, people will start to question their tattoo decision(s). It starts with either 1) not liking the tattoo, 2) being embarrassed to have people know that they have this particular tattoo, or 3) having the tattoo be an impediment to something they want to achieve (aka get a job).
From there, they’ll begin to do research into tattoo removal. At that point, the research phase, people have mentally made up their mind about their tattoo. They want it gone. It’s just a matter of taking action, now.
But, while this is the tattoo regret process, why do people actually get their tattoos removed? What are the specific reasons behind it?
Here are the 5 reasons why people get their tattoos removed
1. They can’t get a job
This is a very common reason why people want to get their tattoos removed.
More commonly, we see this with folks who were recently incarcerated.
But here’s what happens:
People either try to get a new job (a job that requires more professionalism), and when going through the interview process, they keep getting denied jobs.
While they don’t know for sure, they’re pretty certain they’re not getting the job because of the visible tattoos (especially hands, neck, face, and head tattoos).
These people are qualified for the positions they’re applying for and know that they can succeed in those jobs, but their tattoos are holding them back.
Because of this, they want to remove their visible tattoos so that they can get a better job.
2. They went through a breakup
This reason is probably just as common as the reason above.
A lot of people (more than you’d think), get their significant other’s name tattoo somewhere on their body. Either it’s that person’s name (like “Hannah” or “Ronnie”), it’s an image associated with that person (like a sailboat or meaningful quote), or it’s a matching tattoo that they got with that person.
Whatever the type of tattoo, they want it removed. And they especially want it removed if they’re dating, engaged, or married to someone else.
3. The tattoos are gang-related, racist, or beliefs that the people no longer value
Most gang members get lots of tattoos of symbols or imagery associated with their gang.
Some just have one or two while others are covered in gang-associated ink.
And, once those individuals decide to leave the gang, they want to rid their body of the gang-related ink.
They do this for mental reasons (to prove that they’ve moved on), safety reasons (to not let anyone know that they’re in the gang, anymore), and familial reasons (they have children and they don’t want the children to see the gang-related tattoos).
Racist tattoos are relatively common (more common than you’d think).
White supremacists are known for getting swastikas and other racially inappropriate tattoos.
Once these people move on and disassociate themselves with their racial beliefs and groups, they very quickly want to get their tattoos removed.
Religious tattoos are no longer valued.
We’re sure that you’ve seen religious symbolism in tattoos – crosses, the image of Jesus, a Buddha or Buddhist symbol… The list can go on and on.
When people’s religious beliefs fade, and they have a tattoo associated with that religion, then they often want it removed.
4. Mental and emotional freedom
Many people want to get specific tattoos removed because it reminds them of something in their past that they’re not proud of, don’t want to remember because it’s painful, or it was a period in their life where they weren’t happy.
For example, many people get tattoos under the influence. Maybe that person unfortunately became an alcoholic. Thankfully, they were able to overcome their alcoholism, but that one tattoo they have, the one that they got while they weren’t sober, reminds them of their dark past.
And by physically getting rid of that tattoo, they’re able to almost literally wipe away the sad, dark, and unhappy memories associated with their past.
It’s a clean start for them.
5. They simply don’t like the way the tattoo looks
For some people, their taste just changed.
They have nothing against tattoos. They’re planning on getting more tattoos, even. But they just don’t like the tattoo that they got.
Maybe the coloring on the tattoo doesn’t look good. Or the tattoo they got didn’t turn out as cool as they thought it would.
And because of those reasons, they want to get it removed.
Tattoo removal statistics
We’ve gotten our data from this source, and here’s what we’ve found:
23% of people regret their tattoo(s).
That’s nearly one in four people…
Over 75% of people think that by having visible tattoos or piercings, they are being penalized during job interviews.
People want jobs, and if they think that their tattoos are holding them back, they will get them removed.
7 out of 10 tattoo removal patients is a man.
Fewer women get tattoos removed than men do.
Are you interested in getting your tattoo removed?
To learn more about how much it would cost to get your tattoo removed, as well as how many sessions it will take, then you can schedule a free consultation by giving us a phone call.