The Most Common Tattoo Mistakes People Get Covered Up

Getting a tattoo is exciting for those who love to cover their body in artwork and flare. Many people love getting tattoos because it's a way to express themselves and showcase their likes, interests, and artistic style. And, while tattoos showcase freedom, originality, and sometimes some spontaneity, getting one should never be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Tattoos take thought, savings, and planning — after all, they'll be a part of you for the rest of your life. 

Plenty of people who get tattoos and don't think things through end up regretting them down the road. One 2016 study showcased that 11% of Americans surveyed wanted to have them removed or covered up (via Fresh Laser Clinic). Whether you change your mind due to extenuating circumstances (covering up an ex's name, anyone?) or you just don't love the art anymore, regretting your tattoo is more common than you might think, even if the majority of people are happy with their body art.

Getting a tattoo is a process, not a split decision. And, you want to make sure you understand the entire process before sitting down in the chair.

Things to consider before getting tattooed

Knowing what you want, as in the design of the tattoo itself, is only one step. You also need to know where you want the tattoo. 

Long-term, the place you get the tattoo put matters because you may want to get it a place that you can cover up with clothing, or even a place that you can add to (per Alt Press). For example, if you're getting tattoos on your arm and you later want to build it into a sleeve, placement and pieces matter so the sleeve can be a cohesive piece later down the road. Many people end up getting tattoos removed when they don't fit with their process later, or if they're working in a career where they don't want to be tattooed visibly. 

Another thing to consider is where you go for your tattoo. Not all tattoo artists are the same, and many specialize in specific styles. Some are better with traditional tattoos, while others are better with more modern ones. Some do great color work, others specialize in black and white looks. If you want a specific kind of tattoo or style, or even if you want font and words, do your research before booking. You also want to make sure you are going to a studio that is clean and well-reviewed (per Bustle).

Mistakes people make with their tattoos

Many people who hate confrontation aren't good at speaking up. This can backfire when it comes to getting a tattoo. If you're getting a tattoo, it's permanent and on your body for life — if not, you'll have to pay to get it covered up and/or removed. So, if you're in a session and see your artist made a mistake or even just did something you don't love, you should speak up (per Alt Press). 

Speaking up to your artist can feel kind of awkward, as it's a work of art they are doing, but not doing so can lead to some big regrets and more money spent down the road. Even if it's just moving the stencil placement before the tattoo artist gets the ink out, you need to make sure it's exactly what and where you want.

Another reason people end up getting their tattoos covered up is that they heal poorly. This can be because you play it fast and loose with aftercare and sun exposure. Many people will use the proper care and treatment for the first week after getting new ink, but many artists and professionals say you should continue to clean it, use an ointment, and keep it covered for at least two weeks or until it's fully healed. In addition, using sunblock on tattoos shouldn't stop just because it's not a "fresh piece" anymore. Wearing SPF on tattoos prevents fading and peeling for years to come (per Bustle).

Things to never get tattooed

Some people who end up getting tattoos covered also do so because they regret them down the road. There are some common mistakes and rules you might want to follow when you're getting inked. 

The first is to never get a tattoo of a person's name if they're not your children — like, your boyfriend or your girlfriend. While it seems romantic to get someone's name tattooed on you, the relationship might not last forever. Getting a significant other's name tattooed on you may be something that backfires. If you break up, you're now stuck with their name on your body (per Alt Press).

You also want to make sure you can grow into your tattoo. That means not getting something that is juvenile or embarrassing as an adult. In our teenage years and early 20s, we may be a bit wild and want to do things to be carefree, but tattoos aren't things that are temporary. We grow up with them on our bodies forever, so having something regrettable like profanity or nudity may not be something you want to be wearing on your arm if you end up being a teacher or even a lawyer down the road.