Giving the gift of laser tattoo removal may not seem like the most romantic Christmas present, but if your partner has a regrettable inking from their youth that they hate the sight of, this Christmas you could be giving them a body & life changing experience.
I have many tattoos that I love, but I've always disliked the look of the tiny star on my ring finger I had done ten years ago. Not only is it wonky, but I just don't like hand tattoos on myself, and am embarrassed by having it sometimes.
Now even though I can recommend you the best tattoo parlours in Belfast City (White Dragon, Skullduggery) and even though I once had a monthly column in a national Tattoo magazine, Things & Ink, when it came to tattoo removal, I actually had no idea who to go to, or how it really goes down.
So, I just Googled laser tattoo removal and found a Lisburn beauty salon Indulgence by Susan, offering the treatment.
Susan's salon is based at her home, but stepping inside it doesn't feel like that. There are several rooms in the large, suburban home dedicated to Susan's beauty craft. She has ten years experience in the industry, with teeth whitening, slimming treatments, waxing, makeup and the whole works available and performed with expertise.
Over the coming while I'll share more of Susan's treatments with you, but today I'm concentrating on the laser tattoo removal specifically.
The purple machine on the left is the laser, you can see the little gun in a holster, and it really is as straightforward a process as that- shooting the tattoo all over with little blasts of red light that help break down the ink and let it absorb into the body.
Susan tipped me off to buy some skin numbing cream, over the counter at a chemist and apply that to the area about an hour before my appointment. It costs just under £5 in Boots.
Having the laser treatment does involve some pain, but not as bad as waxing pain, and certainly not as sore as it was GETTING my finger tattooed. The healing process was painless, but that might be as my tattoo is so small.
This is a before shot of my star.
This is thirty seconds after the treatment.
As you can see, that's a pretty big difference. However the treatment will require return visits, as tattoos ARE supposed to be for life, and the ink is terribly stubborn and doesn't just break down after one attempt. The age of the tattoo also is a factor in how easily it can be removed.
Here is the star now after two weeks.
You can see the top, right lines have faded a lot, but as Susan had told me, it will take a couple more sessions to fade the entire tattoo. She recommends leaving three months between sessions, which feels like a lifetime, but it limits the scarring and Susan has been doing this treatment for years, so I'm taking her advice and holding off, rather than rushing back up after a month for more blasting.
So, are you tempted? Rid yourself of that regrettable dolphin ankle tattoo from that crazy fortnight in Ibiza in 2001? Why not contact Susan herself via her website, and she can advise a treatment plan for you.