Treason+Gallery_HOLLYWOODNT_Cheyenne+Randall_prints-94Tomorrow is my first tattoo removal appointment. I am terrified. I’ve done my research and apparently the process is highly painful, more so than getting the tattoo. I currently have four tattoos and am working my way down to having just one—the little bird on my foot is the only one that I still like after all of these years, plus I got it with my best friend, so there are good memories and meaning there. A good life lesson that I am trying to preach to my kids, from my own experience is …maybe don’t get tattoos? Or, if you must, wait.

Of course, some people love their tattoos and are very sure of what they want to have placed on their bodies permanently, but I got my tattoos when I was fairly young (first and second tattoo at 18, third at 24, and fourth at 27) and I definitely look back and regret those very permanent decisions. And, I am thankful that I didn’t get some of the tattoos that I thought about getting buzzed into my skin over the years. At one time I wanted a robot, with a red heart on it’s chest, holding a bottle of mustard—the good ol’ MySpace days. Remember those? No disrespect to anyone who loves their tattoos or to those who are covered. I like tattoos. I think many of them are beautiful. Just sharing my experience of regret, especially now that I am about to sit in a chair and have one of them burned off.

Off my soapbox. I just wish I would have thought a lot more about my tattoo choices. People evolve over the years, styles and interests change, and tattoos, even though they can be removed with lasers, are pretty damn permanent. I’ve told my kids that if they wait until they’re 30, I’ll take them to get their first tattoo, and I’ll pay for it. I’ll let you know if that works out in my favor, and I’ll let you know how my removal goes.

The amazing artwork above is by Cheyenne Randall. He Photoshops tattoos onto iconic photographs. Here are a few more of my favorites, below.

Treason+Gallery_HOLLYWOODNT_Cheyenne+Randall_prints-13 Treason+Gallery_HOLLYWOODNT_Cheyenne+Randall_prints-41 6cb5a0fbfd8c6b94e06a971fda58a2f8 Cheyenne Randall _ Brando 886b0c2b27f9a1c1b9c249b2907f23d7 10000-2-1024x1024 12019a26e3726059e0ab22d69b8bc284


  • Beckie

    Best of luck with it. The robot idea haha I certainly do remember myspace days though I was more of a bebo kind of gal.

    Beckie xo // The Pale Tails

  • Anne

    I am really curious how the process goes for you. I have one on my shoulder that I got at 18 and would love to make disappear! I love well done tattoos, but mine is sadly not so great.

  • Lexie Frensley

    That’s a bummer you don’t like your tattoos! I got my first (and only) tattoo at age 24, and then I had it filled in a year later at 25. I don’t have any regrets about it — I thought about it a lot, what I got has significant meaning to me, and it’s in place that’s easily covered. I’m 28 now and I am actually thinking about getting my second!

    I dated a tattoo artist for a while and he said that people tend to not regret good tattoos and that tattoos are an art form. He recommended finding a tattoo artist you like, really delving into their work, and then collaborating with that person about creating a custom piece, no matter the size or location. I would perhaps share that perspective with your children as well if they are talking to you about tattoos. :-)

    • Kel Tait

      And that’s the way it should be. Long gone are the days of picking g some generic piece out of a book :-)

  • Victoria / Justice Pirate

    I have thought about getting mine removed, but it is fairly large and covers the entire muscle of the inside of my arm and is black (a jolly roger flag). I got it when I was 21 and am really glad I never got any others, but I haven’t wanted it since about 4 years after I got it and can’t go backwards. Oh well. Good for you in wanting to endure getting that done! I figure I will just have to deal with the choices of my past. I have seen that robot tattoo you talked about back on myspace days too on someone!!!! hahahaha. so funny!!!!

  • Tanner

    i’m kind of sad reading this because i have always loved the red heart tattoo on your arm! but i personally only like black/greyscale tattoos for myself so i would probably also get tired of that tat. while i’m still young (just turned 23) i really don’t think i’ll want to get any of my tattoos removed — one of them i already regret, but not because of the content of the tattoo. it’s a stick-n-poke and i’m now on bad terms with the people who gave it to me, so there was a while where i really hated looking at it and wanted it gone, but now i’m at a point where i still like the story of it and i still think it’s fun and unique to me, and i can always get it covered up later.

    i think one of the best parts of tattoos is that they are reminders of who you once were, so even if you wouldn’t get that tattoo now, i still think it’s important to remember why you got it and why you loved it at that time.

  • Louise Pearson

    Good luck and good on you for making the decision! I’d appreciate it if you could keep us posted on the process and what the process involves. I too have a couple I’d like to have removed but I’m so wary.

    • Kel Tait

      Don’t be wary. As long as you go to a place with a good reputation for results you will be fine. The process is painful, but it’s over quickly. You shouldn’t be left with scarring or any adverse affects. I’ve removed five medium to large tattoos ( well I’ve lightened them) with one of the best technicians in the county I live in. Just go for it! :-)

  • Carlota

    Well, I think you are right.

    I want a tattoo. I always did. But for very long time I didn’t know what and where.
    Now I do know what and where. But somehow the moment never really arrive. It is like: everything else is more important.
    I am 24 years old. Now I can’t do it because I am breastfeeding. So I still have to wait like one year more. And then I don’t know if I will still want it so much. So I am thinking something like what you said: if I am 30 years old, and I still want it would mean that I really want it.


  • Cortney

    Do you mind sharing who is doing the tattoo removal? I am currently trying to get some of mine removed as well. I live in Atlanta, and I’m having a hard time finding a good tattoo removal place. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! I hope all goes well for you today <3

    • Katy

      I’m in Atlanta too and I went to WIFH. They are great. See my below comment for more info on my experience. And the great thing about them is that you pay per tattoo, not per session. So however long it takes to be removed, you never pay more.

  • LL Georgian

    I had a large tattoo removed from my back between my shoulder blades. I didn’t opt for pre-numbing cream offered because I didn’t think I’d need it and I really didn’t. The process is very fast; much faster than getting tattooed but you have to go back a few/several times. It only took 4 sessions to remove my tattoo – though it was only blackwork and not of great quality. They used a blast of super cooled air while they were using the laser so it didn’t feel that bad while it was happening and the person operating the laser told me how much was left as they did it: 10%, 30%, 50% etc so I knew when they would be done. Afterwards it felt like a bad sunburn in the area of removal – the pain went away after 24 hours though. I chose to remove my tattoo because I never liked the quality, the subject or location – it was an impulse tattoo that I always regretted. Good luck, you’ll be fine!

  • fefe

    I don’t have any tattoos and I’m so thankful I never went through with one. I had some horrible ideas for some that I’m glad aren’t on my body!


  • Katy

    I have had two tattoos removed. One took about three years to finally disappear and the other one….well, in going on year 5 but I think just one more session will do it. It depends how much ink is packed in there. The one that disappeared the quickest was mostly gray with just a little bit of black. But the one that I’m still working on was super super black. The place I go to (WIFH in Atlanta) has the best laser in the city but they also blast the spot with very cold air to help with pain. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without that cold air. I had two sessions done somewhere else where they didn’t use it and I almost lost my mind because it hurt so bad. I hope your doctor uses the cold air!!

    One other thing to mention – I haven’t been going every 8 weeks for all these years. The longer you go between treatments, the more results you get out of a treatment. And one year I was pregnant so I didn’t go at all that year.

    But what you told your kids – to wait until they’re 30 and you’ll pay for it – brilliant. Totally stealing that for my kids. It’s so true.

    Anyway. Good for you. Hope you have a great experience!

  • Tiffany

    I have a sleeve, and I love my tattoos, but I can understand how someone may come to regret those very permanent decisions. I hate to be “that person”, but Cheyenne Randall is actually a male (you referred to him as “she” in your post). He’s an incredible artist, and I’m a big fan.

  • nicole

    I’ve always told myself I’ll Winona Forever / Wino Forever them. ;)


  • Jessica Sawyer

    HE. Cheyenne is male.

  • Deirdre

    I got two tattoos at age16 on Geary street in San Francisco. No iD needed. Ikurumba. I got them to cover up two scars and the tattoos end up bringing more attention to an area I was very self conscious of. Oh the heart and mind of a 16 year old. At 24 (nearly 18 years ago) I got the tattoos removed. It hurt like hell but it was so satisfying to see the tattoos wilt away. I saved for years to do it, I hope it’s less expensive now :-). I recommend the numbing cream. I was very happy with my decision to do it, no regrets at all.

    In regards to kids and tats during my career as a high school counselor I talked to many a kid who wanted tattoos. I used this approach with them. Is there any picture you could put up in your room that you would never want to move ever?? Like you put Tupac up there in the right left quadrant of your room till your 80? What if they knock the building down next to you and the sun starts to melt him? Somehow not questioning their choice of artwork seem to get through to them (though i’m sure many of those kids got tatted up). But that was my line and they didn’t close up when I took it with them.

    Last thought on the matter – my dad always told us tattoos were stupid. His reasoning? If you’re ever running from the law those tattoos will out you. You can never be the chameleon you may need to be.

    Good luck!

  • Kel Tait

    Im a tattooist and i got addicted to laser removal in 2013. If you go to a good removalist you will be happy. Numbing cream 2hrs before, applied thickly and wrapped plastic Is a must, or as fast as it is, the pain is pretty damn shitty. I’ve had rib pieces, foot tattoos, half sleeves and more lightened, all to make room for new and better things. Good luck!

  • Leigh Ann

    I tried to inform my 18 year old about tattoos but as soon as she could she went and got one. We all think we are so grown at that age— we live and we learn.

    I’m glad I just got the one. I thought about getting many more but waited and with the wait came reluctance. Now I am totally fine with the Daisy on my ankle.

    My sister in law is getting her “tramp stamp” removed. It’s been a process and has cost more than the tattoo itself. She’s very happy with the results.

    Good Luck!

  • Yeeling

    Thanks for sharing such a personal story. I hope the process goes well for you. It’s perfectly fine to not want them anymore (even though your tattooes look amazing) since people want different things at different stages of their lives. Regardless, it’s brave that you’re making this decision! All the best!

    Love from Singapore,



    […] include sleeping in and staying in my bed for as long as I possibly can. Quick update on the tattoo removal… session one is behind me. It’s going to take approximately 10 sessions to completely […]

  • Paula Swaney

    Had my first removal treatment 2 weeks ago today. I didn’t find it to be painful at all. Hope yours goes as well.

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