Five tattoos you should never do


“No one gets a tattoo thinking they’re going to get rid of it. If they do, they’re fools,” says tattoo removal specialist Helena Carter.

“People assume yes, yes, yes it will be fine, but it’s actually not true. It’s expensive. It’s painful.

“And it’s not without risk.”

That might be the case, but for those going under the needle, knowing which and where New Zealand’s most laser engraved tattoos are can help ink lovers make better decisions. on where and what to burn.

* Why I Got My Tattoos: Exploring the Meaning of New Zealanders Behind Their Ink
* Why Grandmothers Get Tattoos
* What the woman whose tattoos you are looking at notices your reaction


Carter, who runs her own tattoo removal business in Auckland, deINK, says the names are at the top of the list.

By names, she means names of exes: ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends: “ex-anyone”, as well as reminders of former flames in other forms.

“People go crazy over tattoos that aren’t even awful,” she says.

“Maybe they got it because XYZ’s boyfriend said, ‘Get this tattoo’ and now XYZ’s boyfriend is in a cabin with someone else with five kids, so that tattoo is a constant reminder. I get a lot of stories like that, men and women.

Nik Given's tattoo of Judith Collins from Famous Dave's Tattoo Studio.  Some tattoos you love, some you regret.


Nik Given’s tattoo of Judith Collins from Famous Dave’s Tattoo Studio. Some tattoos you love, some you regret.

tattooed wedding rings

Tattooed wedding bands top the lists of most commonly removed tattoos for Carter and Nelson Laser Clinic owner Wanda Doocey.

Tattoos on lower lower back.

Many people want tattoos removed from this area, Doocey says, because of how they’re perceived these days.

Carter said removing the so-called “tramp pad” was extremely painful because there were “a lot of nerves around the spine.”


Fingers, hands, and feet aren’t more difficult, but they just take longer, Doocey says.

One of Carter’s clients was a 60-year-old Pacific Islander woman who had “work from home” tattoos on her hands and worked in a doctor’s office.

She was so embarrassed by her tattoos that she was embarrassed when she had to take someone’s credit card at the front desk.

“The wrong tattoo can shake your confidence and leave you with lifelong scars,” Carter says.

Be careful what you wish for, it can take a long time before you can fix that bad tattoo choice.


Be careful what you wish for, it can take a long time before you can fix that bad tattoo choice.


“Blues and pale greens are probably the hardest colors to get rid of,” says Doocey.

Carter wouldn’t recommend lighter colors, such as yellow and white, because they’re invisible to the laser and therefore difficult to erase.


The pain from the laser has been compared to that of being splashed with hot oil.

However, both Carter and Doocey use a skin cooling machine, which is said to reduce pain “up to 80%”.

Doocey has had clients of all ages, from a 14-year-old whose mother brought them ‘because they would get a tattoo’ to a 70-year-old man who had the tattoo for over 50 years. . .

People don’t always want to get rid of tattoos, she says.

“Some people just want their tattoos lightened up so they can put something better or different on top of it.”

This includes tattoo artists, who lack space on their well-inked canvases, and whose work has evolved as they have gained experience as artists.

“I don’t judge what people have on their skin,” she says. “I’m just here to take them off.”

Wanda Doocey with laser equipment used for tattoo removal at the Nelson Laser Clinic.


Wanda Doocey with laser equipment used for tattoo removal at the Nelson Laser Clinic.

Carter has a favorite type of tattoo to remove: home jobs, as they normally disappear after one or two treatments, she says.

“When you’re sticking a needle in yourself, you don’t get very far. They’re definitely my favorite.

Her other favorite tasks are when the client wants a tattoo lightened up for coverage, “because the pressure is off to try and get it completely removed”, which isn’t always achievable.

Doocey is often asked if she watches reality TV shows about tattoo artists.

“I can’t watch them because I’m so annoyed with them,” she said.

“I’ll say to my husband, oh my god, look how tiny that tattoo is, did you know I could take it off in two or three treatments? And the poor person ends up having this huge big tattoo that’s really thick and bright and dark to cover a tiny name or something the size of a matchbox.

“I always say to my husband, why are they doing something so big or so dark? And that’s because they have to do this to cover up what’s there. Whereas if you have tattoo removal treatment with me to lighten it up then you can have something better put on top.

Lightening the tattoo makes the tattoo artist’s job much easier “because then they can do quality artwork that they are capable of and not try to draw picture over picture,” she says.

Some tattoos stand out for those who erase them. The image in which Carter says she is “dining out” was a photograph of a marijuana leaf, with eyes and a mouth with a joint sticking out of it.

“It was a really ugly tattoo. I mean, an incredibly ugly tattoo.

Intrigued, Carter felt compelled to ask, “Are you a bit of a drug addict, aren’t you?”

“And he said, ‘No, no, I don’t smoke dope at all.’ And I went, ‘Well why? Why? Why? Why?”.

“And he said, ‘Well, it hurt so much and I was laying on my stomach while he was doing it, I never saw him. I just let the tattoo artist do whatever he wants.

People from all walks of life have tattoos these days, and while Covid has impacted businesses, the art and ink isn't going away anytime soon.  (File photo)

Hannah Busing/Unsplash

People from all walks of life have tattoos these days, and while Covid has impacted businesses, the art and ink isn’t going away anytime soon. (File photo)

She herself has no tattoo: “It’s not because I’m afraid of ink, I’m afraid of pain.”

“I just don’t understand why you would sit there and let someone inflict pain on you for a few hours or more.

“And not to mention, my goodness, there’s no one else I would trust with the laser here in Auckland to remove my tattoo if I didn’t like it.”

Neither does Doocey.

Their stocks and trading have taken a hit on Covid-19 and vaccine mandates, but aren’t about to go away any time soon.

“I don’t think I’m going to run out of business. Because as fast as I take them off, people put them on.


Comments are closed.