Everybody makes mistakes, but if your mistake involved a tattoo with your ex's name, you have a constant reminder. While tattoos are permanent, the good news is that a tattoo artist can usually obliterate the name and turn it into something less regrettable. With the advances in tattoo ink and technology, you have more options than ever to help you forget that relationship and come away with a great looking tattoo. Here are some of the techniques that can make your ex's name nearly invisible.
The whiteout technique involves going over dark areas with white ink to lighten them. While you can't cover black ink with white, you can turn very dark, solid areas a lighter shade of grey so that they'll be less distracting under a new design. It's a gradual process that involves applying a bit of white and letting it heal before applying another layer. Because it requires so much scabbing and healing, it's not recommended for large areas. However, it can be used on fine lines like the tail of a "y" or very small dark areas.
2. Flesh-colored ink
Flesh-colored ink is used primarily for correcting skin conditions such as scars and discolorations. However, it can also be used like white ink to lighten solid blocks of color. Since it's difficult to match skin colors exactly, flesh-colored ink is best for creating a shadow effect. It won't make a name completely invisible, but it can turn it into a darker blurred area that can form the basis of a new design.
3. Laser removal
Many tattoo shops also offer laser tattoo removal, and this is the only way to actually remove the ink from the skin. Sometimes the scarring from the original tattoo remains, so you might still be left with a faint outline of the person's name. Laser removal also requires a series of treatments, but if the name is long or poorly placed, it's possible to remove part of the name and use flesh tones or bright colors to camouflage the rest.
4. Blackout tattoos
Cover-ups are the most popular method of dealing with an ex's name. As long as the new design is larger and darker than the name, a good tattoo artist can not only make the name virtually invisible but turn it into a work of art. Blackout tattoos – large blocks of solid color with no detail or shadowing– are one of the latest trends and are simple and effective.
Getting rid of an ex's name is not always just a matter of covering it up with darker ink and a new design. The best tattoo artists want the name to be invisible and the finished product to look professional, and they may use several techniques to get the best results. A lot depends on the age of the tattoo, how much it has faded, the thickness of the lines, the color of the existing ink and the new colors you want. If you want to get rid of your ex's name for good, discuss these techniques with your tattoo artist, like one at The Ink Lab, – he or she will recommend the best way to obliterate it and create a tattoo you'll be happy to show off.