The Statistics Surrounding Tattoo Regret and How to Avoid It
If you’re planning to get a tattoo, sleep on it. And not just for a night—at least a few months. That’s what we found when we surveyed 600 people with tattoo regret. The big takeaway: 3 out of 4 people who suffer from “tattoo regret” didn’t plan for the tattoo beyond a few weeks. Yikes! Read on.
Still itching to get inked? Keep in mind: Of the people we talked to (the majority being teenagers to twentysomethings), a whopping 78 percent regret at least one of their tattoos. And 19 percent of participants with two tattoos regret both.
Planning ahead is the best way you can make sure you don’t suffer from tattoo regret. In fact, 1 in 4 people who made a spontaneous decision to get a tattoo, regretted it within a few days. That said, there was still a small fraction of people (5 percent) who spent years thinking about getting a tattoo and regretted it within days.
If you still decide that getting a tattoo is right for you, remember: location, location, location. Participants told us they regret getting tattoos on these spots: upper back, upper arms, hips, face and butt.
Size matters. Apparently, the smaller your tattoo, the more likely you are to regret it. We found that 63 percent of people with a tattoo smaller than the palm of their hand regret it. However, only 2 percent of people with full-sleeves or longer, regret their tattoo. Perhaps that’s because people with full-sleeves or longer spent more time thinking about it. Plus, it’s easier, and faster, to get a star on your shoulder, than it is to go full-on Travis Barker.
Some symbols cause more regret than others. You might want to think twice before you go for something tribal, a heart or roses. People were less likely to regret inking the moon, Celtic symbols or Roman numerals, but these were still in the top twenty of most regrettable tattoo content.
Your emotional state before getting the tattoo could also affect your regret level. Here are the most common reasons why people regret their tattoos: impulsive decision (35 percent), significant meaning (29 percent), or the idea that it would make them look cool (18 percent).
The more thoughtful and careful you are about your tattoo, the less likely you are to regret it. And if you do, you can always get it removed!