Beth Nicolaisen, Tatt2Away® technician in Castle Rock, CO, and wife of Heart in Hand shop owner, Jimmy Vegas, takes her responsibility very seriously. She looks for the same commitment from potential removal clients. “To fully remove a tattoo you’re looking at generally three or four treatments, which is at least a year. It’s a bit of a commitment to the process, and you have to follow the aftercare and protocols correctly,” she said. She answers basic questions on the phone, and then like all Tatt2Away centers, requires a consultation to fully explain the process and interview the removal client. She also mandates a waiting time before the treatment. “No one can ever walk in and get a tattoo removal from me the same day,” she said.
Clients read the protocol sheet and fill out a health questionnaire, similar to a physician’s office. “Basically pre-screening questions about high-blood pressure, medications, diseases, are you a hemophiliac, are you pregnant, are you nursing, because all those factors determine eligibility,” said Beth. She’s screened several people out. One person was in a bad car accident and had resulting blood clot problems. Another was a person who’d been in prison long ago and had tattoos on his eyelids. Yet another was postponed because of upcoming surgery. She’s also screened out based on the person’s behavior. “Wishy washy, all over the place,” said Beth. She suggests they go home and think about it, do more research. “If the person doesn’t seem that committed, they won’t take care of it, and they might do something irresponsible.”
If she’s not seeing any red flags, she assesses their skin and the tattoo. How big is it? How many colors? How many times has it been tattooed? Is their skin thick or thin, how sensitive? She also asks to see previous scars. “Then I let the client know how many laser sessions it will require to remove it and how many it will take with Tatt2Away,” she said. “Typically most tattoos removed with laser are going to be upwards of ten, twelve, fifteen sessions. Most of mine, if they fit into the area I can work on at one time, can be done in three or four sessions spaced three months apart.”
Next she takes pictures of the tattoo to be removed, and then they’re out the door with homework. Read. Research. Think about it. Call her with questions. “Caring for it afterwards is extremely simple. It’s the opposite of a tattoo. You just have to keep it dry, and let those scabs form,” she said. “When you’ve got all these little open wounds, you can’t go swimming, you can’t get in rivers, you can’t get in lake water or pools. It’s not terribly difficult, but sometimes people are irresponsible.”
Beth knows the sacrifices. Jimmy’s removing a two-and-a-half inch tattoo on her ankle that she calls her “big, black nightmare,” a coverup on a coverup on a tattoo. As other Tatt2Away center technicians have discovered showing their own removals, it’s an illustrative tool. “It’s great to be able to pull up my pant leg and say, ‘This is three layers of black, so you can see that it actually works, ‘” she said. “It’s kind of nice to be my own walking portfolio.”
In addition to the full removals she’s done for multiple military recruits, she does partial removals for Jimmy’s DEScoverups. “Because he’s going to tattoo right over it, I can do a partial removal. They can get the tattoo they really wanted, and it doesn’t look like a coverup,” said Beth. “And every tattoo artist I know has misspelled something or left a letter out. It’s so much more flexible than laser. “ One client has Jimmy beginning a sleeve at the bottom, while Beth breaks up the pattern of an old tattoo on his shoulder. “It’s almost just a black blob,” said Beth. “We’ll probably do two sessions just to break up those solid black areas.”
She hasn’t experienced laser, but as a professional makeup artist, she knows the drawbacks. Predictably, she knows a considerable number of aestheticians, all of whom will be referring clients to Tatt2Away. “They totally get it. They understand the ingredients; they understand the process,” said Beth. “Most aestheticians are not fans of laser tattoo removal. You’re basically just forcing the ink into the body, changing the chemical composition, then forcing the body to deal with it.”
While she admits she’s seen a couple laser removals that looked “pretty good,” she said more often than not, they haven’t. “It either hasn’t completely removed the tattoo, or the client looks like a melted Barbie. That’s the great thing about Tatt2Away: it’s colorblind.” Laser removal depends on specific wavelengths to absorb the color, requiring multiple passes for the absorption to effectively lighten the one color that particular wavelength is able to fragment.
Jimmy underwent laser, ironically to free up space for his sleeve theme. “It didn’t work. I have a scar from it,” he said. “I had four treatments, and they were excruciatingly painful. Now I have a giant, black keloid that mildly resembles what the tattoo used to be. I can’t put anything there.” And they show that to people. “We’re giving people a safe alternative that actually works,” said Jimmy.
Tatt2Away is a specific patented method for non-laser, all-natural tattoo removal. The patent and registered trademark cover unique elements – including the template – that contribute to its success. If you visit a location claiming to be a certified Tatt2Away center and they fail to use the template in your procedure, leave (and please let us know).
Heart in Hand Tattoo of Castle Rock, Colorado is scheduling Tatt2Away consultations in their studio. New art, coverups, and non-laser tattoo removal all under one roof!
Fill out the form to schedule your consultation: