What really is this thing people refer to as a tattoo? Is it the same drawings, writings and markings we used to make on our bodies back in kindergarten using ink pens? Well, to answer that, let us check on the definition of a tattoo.
A tattoo is a kind of deliberate alteration of the physical appearance of a human being. It involves you being injected with a pigment under the skin. This pigment is visible on the skin surface making interesting shapes or even words. This pigment is usually introduced on the dermis layer of the skin. These words or interesting shapes appear as decorations on the skin hence the term ‘deliberate’ and ‘alteration.’ It is totally out of your own will and consent that the markings are made. When you settle on a tattoo, you should be aware that some of these tattoos are permanent. Permanent in what sense? Well, some tattoos cannot be simply erased as you would in the case of pencil drawings on a piece of drawing book. It becomes part and parcel of you. On the other hand, some tattoos are temporary meaning you can as well erase it once you no longer desire it.
Are injuries also form of tattoos?
I am very much convinced that you will rarely lack a mark on your body that resulted from an injury. A scar as it is commonly referred to as. Yes. These scars also are categorized as tattoos. This is very clear right from the definition of a tattoo stated above. However, besides the scars, there are also other types of tattoos which include the following;
- Identification tattoos
This is a common practice especially among militant groups or gangs. The militants or gang members are subjected to the tattoos by force as a way to show their loyalty and dedication to their groups. I would not really call it ‘forced tattoo’ since most of these individuals opt to join the ‘dangerous association’ on their own will.
They are aware of all what the gangs entail and therefore the tattoos do not come to them as a surprise. My only exemption, who I may say undergo forced tattoos are those who are abducted and forced to join the militia.
- Cosmetic tattoos
As the word cosmetic implies, these are tattoos used majorly as a form on beauty or to make you look ‘more attractive’. These are the most common forms of tattoos especially among the youth.
Would you wish to have a tattoo? You do not necessarily need to answer that. Once you decide to get a tattoo on your skin, this type of tattoo would be more likely to server a decorative purpose. That type of tattoo would be a cosmetic tattoo. Appearance, especially on surgical scars, is usually improved using these type of tattoo. Additionally, makeup that is permanent and the hiding of areas of the skin that are decolorized is also a form of cosmetic tattooing.
- Medical tattoos
Tattoos may be used to cover a disorder of the skin pigment known as vitiligo. In instances where one has to be subjected to repeated radiotherapy, marking may be made on the body to show the exact location of instruments used during the procedure.
Medical information about the wearer of a tattoo may be conveyed using these type of tattoos.
- Traumatic tattoos
These occur when wounds are subjected to substances such as asphalt or gunpowder. When these substances are rubbed on a wound on your skin. They cause a discoloration that affects numerous layers of the skin. This discoloration is usually permanent. These tattoo type is common among quarry or mining site workers.
- Professional tattoos
These tattoo are used as an indication of either of the following;
- Rank and status
- Bravery decoration
- Spiritual and religious beliefs
- Marking outcasts
The meaning of these type of tattoos varies according to the culture of the involved people. Let us say, in my community a tattoo of a ‘vulture’s feather’ for instance, may indicate an outcast while in your community it is a mark of a respected warrior.
Am left wondering, what if the outcast from my community with the tattoo comes to your community? Does he or she attain the warrior status? That is food for thought.
How long does a tattoo last?
- Temporary tattoos
You wanted a tattoo for your skin very badly. But on deeper thinking and reasoning, you are no longer sure if this is what you really want. You are no longer sure you want it for the rest of your life. This is a very common situation that most individuals find themselves in especially among the ‘first-timers.’
My advice for you would be this; do not make tattoos when not emotionally stable. What this really means is this. Do not let you emotion, which is bound to change after a while, lead you to make a decision you will have to live with long after the emotion ‘wears out’. Do not let your frustrations lead you into the tattoo shop to have a skull tattoo on your arm. Instead, settle down and make the decision when you are calm. You might take the tattoo only to regret it later when you are emotionally okay. However, in cases where you are not fully convinced on whether you need the tattoo, a temporary tattoo comes in handy. These temporary tattoo are also ideal when you are unable to let your emotions subside before having the tattoo. These temporary tattoos do not last for a very long period. Picture yourself standing in front of a mirror all covered up in tattoo and after sometime in front of the same mirror with the skin clear. Dynamic. Is it not? The period it lasts depends on the specific tattoo type. The following tattoos may be removed very easily;
- Tattoos in form of stickers: these are put on the body as stickers and removed. On removing, a temporary tattoo is left on the skin area under the sticker which looks just like the permanent tattoos. These are common among children though adult designs are also available. This stick-on tattoo can wear off from as soon as 2 hours after application to 6 days after application.
- Henna Tattoos: ancient Indians and people of the Middle East put on this type of tattoo commonly which, I must admit, makes them look fabulous and elegant. This tattoo may cause very minimal side effects on the person who applies it on since it is majorly constituted of natural ingredients. The period for which the tattoo lasts is dependent on how often you wash the skin with the henna. Usually it lasts for almost two weeks.
- Airbrushed tattoos: this involves paint being airbrushed over the part of the body you choose. Stencils, airbrush machines or even free hand designing may be used by the artists. The colors and designs are totally up to you to choose. But of course it is only from the artist’s available choices.
Typically, these form of tattoo lasts only a couple of days say 2 – 3 days enabling you to ‘erase’ them before they bore you.
- Permanent tattoos
The human skin keeps on regenerating. But why do permanent tattoos not wear away? To answer this question, we need to realize the structure of the skin. It, the skin, is made up of an inner layer also called the dermis and the epidermis which is the outer layer. The skin layer that replenishes is the epidermis which is made up of dead cells. However, tattoos when applied are applied to the inner layer of the skin and not the epidermis. The ink drops are dropped into the dermis on cutting of the epidermis by the tattooing machine.
For the next two or so months after you have your tattoo done, the skin repairing process begins and some ink may be lost during this healing process. However, the loss is not that much significant in that most of the ink is trapped in the boundary region between epidermis and the dermis. In this area, the ink can remain for the rest of your life provided no serious damages is experienced to the dermis region where the tattoo is.
Can you get a tattoo removed?
The answer is yes. You can actually get a tattoo removed from your body. At least a quarter of people with tattoos are not comfortable with them and would like them removed. A technique known as Laser tattoo removal may be used to remove the tattoo in question with minimal side effects.
How removal of a tattoo is done
The laser removes the tattoo by means of breaking up the pigment colors using a light beam of high intensity. The laser to be used is selected according to the pigment color. The ease of removal however varies according to the color of the tattoo. Tattoos that are black in color are the easiest to remove since its pigment absorbs all laser wavelengths.
A consultation with an expert is advice before starting tattoo removal process. This expert examines your tattoo and advises you on how to go about the entire process. A number of treatments may be necessary to remove the tattoo depending on:
- How long you had the tattoo
- Color of the tattoo
- Size of the tattoo
The process of removing a tattoo using laser is rather uncomfortable but anesthesia is not very necessary. It is important to find a reputable doctor to ensure you get proper treatment and care. Advisably, you may opt to visit a cosmetic surgery center.
How much does getting a tattoo cost?
As with many services or commodities over the world, the tattoo prices are not constant. These prices vary according to the following:
- Geographical position. That is, the exact part of the world the tattoo shop is; tattoo shops that are located in major or big cities have a considerably higher tattoo price when compared to shops in minor cities.
- Size of the tattoo; this is pretty much obvious without even having to state. Tattoo prices increase in accordance to the size of the tattoo. To have a small tattoo, you only have to part with a small amount of money when you compare your expenditure with that of someone having a large tattoo. This price reflects the much work that is done when it comes to the large tattoo, that is, much details.
- Body part to be tattooed; a human body is made in such a way that there are some parts of the body that have more nerves than others. Areas with more nerves are consequently more sensitive and tattoos to these areas will cost considerably a higher price.
- Expert level of the artist you visit for the tattoo; as in many professions, you pay higher for a service when you are receiving it from a person who is highly skilled. Many professional tattoo artists charge their clients on hourly basis hence the more time he or she spends on your tattoo the expensive it will be. The costs may be as high as $300 per hour.
- How complicated the tattoo drawing is; tattoo that are less complicated such as those of a single color cost less compared to more colorful and detailed tattoos. Basically, most professional tattoo artists’ prices range between $100 and $300 per hour.
Recommended Tattoo Size
When it comes to beginners in the field of tattoos, a lot of time is spent choosing the design of the tattoo while still trying to ensure the price is within your financial ability. Most people are left puzzled up when the artist pops up the question, ‘how big do you want the tattoo to be?’ The size of the tattoo should be majorly based on the desired design and the opinion of the person being tattooed. Size comes in play in the following instances:
- Small tattoo: most people have tattoo for the decorative purpose. As such, these people get to showing off their tattoo as soon they heal. This person would obviously wish that the tattoo is bigger so that is easily seen by most people. This is contrary to the person’s initially preference for a small tattoo that could be easily hidden if inconvenient.
- Large tattoo: when the sole motivation you have to get a tattoo is to show off, this may work very well against your wish. Some people exaggerate sizes of tattoos such as tribal or flowers destroying the beauty of the initial design. This is majorly because the design is stretched thereby making it look less beautiful or attractive. When making the decision regarding size of the tattoo, I would advise you to have the following in mind:
- Is the design of the tattoo better looking when large?
- Will a small tattoo satisfy you?
10 Of The Coolest Tattoos We Found
When we dived deep to search on the coolest tattoos ever come across, the following tattoos were undisputedly the coolest:
- 3D tattoos
- Anchor tattoos
- Aztec tattoos
- Back tattoos
- Butterfly tattoos
- Celtic tattoos
- Angel tattoos
- Ambigram tattoos
- Crown tattoos
- Eagle tattoos
5 Tattoo Ideas For You
Most people go for tattoo ideas that are easy to understand and require no background knowledge. The choices made are more often than not inspired by some events that took place in their lives. Do not make rush decision when it comes to selecting a tattoo design. The following ideas may help you make up your mind on just the perfect tattoo for you;
- A tattoo quote that talks about love.
- To symbolize stability and reliability, an anchor tattoo is meaningful
- Hummingbird tattoo. This tattoo has an exemplary awesome look on the finger
- Arm band tattoo. This is not only symbolic but also fashionable
- A bird tattoo behind the ear
Where Is The Best place To Get a Tattoo?
Most people would prefer a tattoo that is located on a part of the body that is visible to almost all people. Would you want a tattoo that nobody else could see? Personally, I would not go for such a tattoo. Here are some awesome ideas on best location to that that tattoo that you dream of.
- The outer forearm
- The collar bone
- Lower back
- The foot
- The inner forearm
- Around the thigh
- The rib region
- Side of the neck
- Around the wrist
If you are looking to go for a tattoo, I would advise that you place it on a skin part that has minimal movement. The collar bone is ideal for this whereas the stomach skin which has a lot of movement should be avoided. Tattoo on skin areas that move a lot do not look very attractive as ones in less moving areas
How To Use Tattoos To Show Your Personality
When you have a meaningful tattoo tattooed on your body, it reflects your very own personality. Introverts are already happy with tattoos that though small are creative and sometimes even have sad quotes.