“People don’t realize that laser doesn’t remove all the colors, nor do they realize the expense of it. The [performance] and the economic side of Tatt2Away® are just off the charts, and that realization isn’t public understanding. Tatt2Away just outstrips laser in every single factor – price, flexibility with cover-up, number of sessions, amount of pain – laser just isn’t the same game. People think I’m crazy when I tell them what I offer is better than what they can get in a dermatologist’s office.” Ben Kelly, Owner of Red Ocean Tattoo in Savannah, GA, and Tatt2Away technician.
When is $200 more affordable than $60? When you’re comparing Tatt2Away tattoo removal to laser tattoo removal. What appears to be advantageous by price is actually more expensive in the long run. Consumers who don’t understand the factors behind price difference wind up with an expensive lesson in value. If you went cheap on the ink, don’t compound it by going cheap on the removal.
Not so ironically, two frequent candidate groups for removal are those who inked the name of their significant other and people who didn’t plan their tattoos well. They either got inked on impulse or had the work done at a $10-tattoo-Tuesday type shop prone to offering discounts, deals, and flash. Bad art or a drugged-out artist is often a silent part of the package, not evident until it’s too late.
“Price is what you pay, but value is what you get,” said billionaire Warren Buffett. Consider these factors next time you’re shopping removal options and are leaning toward believing that a lower-priced laser treatment will cost less.
PRICE OF TREATMENT
- The Tatt2Away treatment price is assessed during an in-person consultation and is based on the tattoo you want fully or partially removed. Per treatment costs are set by the individual centers and can range from $100 to $250 or more depending on individually assessed factors. While it may seem more expensive than those laser specials, don’t be fooled. Tatt2Away treatments, depending on the treatment plan, are never more than five per 4” x 3” treatment template area.
- At $50 per treatment, laser would seem the much better option, until the person has shown up for multiple sessions, paid $150 or more, and their 4” x 3” tattoo looks exactly as it did before they began. Laser removal frequently takes eight to twelve sessions, not to remove the ink, but only to lighten it. The ink is not removed from your body, but stored in the lymph nodes and liver. Tatt2Away fully removes the ink from the body.
“Some tell me they have a Groupon special and can get three laser treatments for $60 apiece. Then I’ll show them pictures of people that have been through three, four, or five sessions of laser and their tattoo looks no different than it did when they started. It even looks a little worse.” Rich Slay, Owner of Ink Therapy in Glendale, AZ, and Tatt2Away technician.
“My fifth client was someone who had had laser removal 14 times. He said he’d spent over $9,000 so far and you could still see this huge tattoo of this face on his forearm. I finished one treatment on him and it worked. The ink came out in all the spots that I treated. He’s ecstatic.” Marcy Letizia, co-owner of South Vineland Firehouse Tattoo in South Vineland, NJ, and Tatt2Away technician.
“A couple friends two or three years ago had a couple little tattoos removed and just now they’re starting to become something you could tattoo over. Yeah, they spent like $5,000.” Tomas Archuleta, Owner of True Fit Tattoo in San Diego, CA, and Tatt2Away technician
- Tatt2Away is not color-centric. The process, therefore, removes all colors equally well in the same manner. This includes inks that are composed of multiple pigments, carriers or compounds. It also includes multiple-layer coverups. The process brings the ink to the surface of the skin, encompasses it into an ink scab, which then falls off and is replaced by the normal skin. The ink is gone, as in, “no longer in the body”.
- Laser is a color-centric removal process, which is partially why it’s expensive, painful, and ineffective. Consumers, however, make assumptions about the effectiveness and credibility of laser removal, rarely educating themselves prior to undergoing the process. If a color requires a specific laser wavelength to be absorbed, even assuming a laser treatment location has multiple wavelengths for multiple colors, and if each color requires multiple treatments, how inexpensive is that $60 laser session now?
“More often than not, the laser removals I’ve seen don’t look very good. 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.” Beth Nicolaisen, Tatt2Away technician at Heart in Hand in Castle Rock, CO, and wife of owner, Jimmy Vegas
“Laser doesn’t remove anything. It just pushes the ink further into the skin. I’ve seen the colors still there on clients in my Los Angeles studio. Here I’m talking to people who have friends who have gone through 10, even 20, treatments, and it’s just pushing it further into their body.” Cort Chatagnier, Owner of Swampland Tattoo in Broussard, LA, and Tatt2Away technician
- Tatt2Away hurts about as much – or as little – as being tattooed.
- Laser has been compared to having hot bacon grease dripped on your arm, or having a rubber band snapped repeatedly on your skin – from the moon. Because of this, combined with the cost and the number of treatments for results, many people never finish their laser treatment plan.
“It hurts ten times worse than getting one. It felt like hot bacon grease on my skin. It’s fast, but the time goes by really slow, because it hurts so much.” Erin Echavarria, employee at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, CA, who endured 16 treatments before his tattoos were no longer visible. Homeboy Industries assists former gang-involved men and women with transitioning them into responsibility.
“The four tattoos I’ve had lasered were the most painful things ever. One of them was horribly scarred, and blistered two to three inches off my leg. I had one gone over seven or eight times and the blues, purples and greens were still there one hundred percent. Only the black was gone, and the reds and yellows were faded. I was really unhappy with the process considering how much it hurt and how expensive it was.” Jessica Weichers, Owner of Seed of Life Tattoo and Let Go Tattoo Removal Tatt2Away center in Festus, MO
TIME BETWEEN TREATMENTS
The two processes have similar wait times between treatments, however when Tatt2Away treatments number between two and five, and laser is usually a minimum of eight, obviously the wait time before being tattooed again is longer with laser treatment. Depending on the destruction of the dermis inherent with laser removal, a new tattoo or coverup in the same area may be more difficult or impossible.
“Based on your tattoo, I could remove this entire tattoo and you could be getting tattooed again in year time, whereas with laser it could take several years to remove this tattoo, and then have to wait longer for it to be tattooed again. I know that from experience – it took nine years for my tattoos to be removed. Then I waited another five years before I had them tattooed again.” Alan Record, Owner of Doc Holliday Tattooing in Salt Lake City, UT, and Tatt2Away technician
- Tatt2Away technicians are trained in consistent methodology under an exacting proprietary program. This is key to repeatable and optimal results. In addition to the Corporate Training Coordinator, a full time trainer herself, there are three additional regional trainers: one in Austin, TX, an RN who owns a medspa; Bree Solomon in Los Angeles and owner of Black Diamond Tattoo; and Katrina Williams, wife of Halo Jankowski, Ink Master candidate, winner of over 150 tattooing awards and owner of Black Lotus in Baltimore, MD. All regional trainers have been providing Tatt2Away treatments for several years.
- Laser training varies considerably, as do its operators. Companies who sell the equipment, new and used, generally offer training. There are training schools, some thorough and expensive, some less so. Used laser machines are available on e-bay for less than $1,000. Laser treatment and outcomes differ substantially between each medical specialist and even more substantially from pop-up laser centers, or people who seized upon the have-laser-will-travel business opportunity, going from tattoo shop to tattoo shop providing removal.
“Laser turned the whole tattoo into a big keloid. I had four treatments and they were excruciatingly painful. They did not work. I just have a giant black keloid that mildly resembles what the tattoo used to be. Now I can’t put anything there. It’s pretty much a done deal. There’s nothing going to happen there.” Jimmy Vegas, Owner of Heart in Hand Tattoo Co. in Castle Rock, CO, and Tatt2Away technician
“If your laser removal only cost you $500, then there’s probably a lot of scar tissue, skin discoloration, and probably some texture issues because of burn marks, because they did it too fast. They had it set up high to bump that apart as quick as possible, but that in turn did a lot of damage to your body.” Gypsy, Co-Owner of Prestige Body Arts in Indianapolis, IN, and Tatt2Away technician.
WHAT’S IN THAT INK?
Toxic inks: There are no regulations mandating what can and can’t be in tattoo ink. Even some good shops are not as selective as they could be, and many cheap shops use cheap products containing heavy metals for vibrant colors, toxins, plastics, and other unknown substances. Reputable shops not only have better artists who prefer custom work, but these shops also care about the their clients and that includes the ink they put into them. It’s normal for a quality shop to know the contents of the ink they use, often so clean it’s vegan-compliant.
“I do a lot of studying before I put something into my clients. Some people react to inks because of the crushed plastics or metals in them. A laser disperses it below the layer where the tattoo is and makes the body absorb whatever that pigment was created with. And that’s going to cause problems.” Gypsy, Co-Owner of Prestige Body Arts in Indianapolis, IN, and Tatt2Away technician. Gypsy uses only World Famous Ink, which has the MSDS sheet attached to each bottle.
The horror stories of people getting lasered and their skin blistering beyond the normal laser blistering, or peeling, or causing a hospital visit aren’t what you’ll hear from your friendly laser technician. We hear them. We hear them straight from the tattoo artists that learn them directly from clients.
PARTIAL REMOVAL THROUGH PRECISION
Tatt2Away typically maxes at five treatments for full removal, except in the cases such as very large tattoos. A DEScoverup, which is a coverup after partial, selective and precise removal, is usually only two to three treatments, and provides you and your artist with more coverup options. Artists frequently comment on how people who don’t want laser, are willing to submit to any cover up. A black rose. A black box. The night sky with stars and a dinosaur. If that’s satisfactory, why are so many artists asked to coverup a coverup over a coverup? Each traditional coverup must be darker than the one before. Each coverup must be bigger than the one before. Each coverup layers yet more ink into the skin until finally, you have what tattoo artists call a “black blob.”
Or the other extreme: a coverup completely unrealistic given the the existing tattoo. Artists tell us that people often fail to realize their coverup is determined by what they have, not what they want. You simply can’t put a yellow rose over the banner with your ex’s name. At least not until Tatt2Away. Because Tatt2Away isn’t color-centric, because Tatt2Away requires few treatments, and because Tatt2Away is precise and can selectively remove very specific areas of an existing tattoo, you can now put any tattoo you want over any tattoo you have.
“I had a tattoo I hated. I got a coverup, but I always knew it was still there. When we got Tatt2Away, I did that. It worked and my tattoo was tattooed over many times. That’s pretty amazing to me. When Joey first showed it to me, I was skeptical. I said there was no way something like this can exist. How come I’ve been walking around with a couple of bad coverups for years?” Marcy Letizia, co-owner with her husband Joey of South Vineland Firehouse Tattoo in South Vineland, NJ, and Tatt2Away technician.
“We have about forty clients in various stages of removal, many waiting for a third and final treatment prior to their DEScoverup. They are really happy with the little amount of pain it causes. A few people said the removal hurt less than the tattoo itself.” Daniel Wilson, Co-owner of Cloud N9ne Tattoo in Springfield, IL, and Tatt2Away technician.
The bottom line is this: laser takes more treatments to do less work. It’s performed by technicians who have varying degrees of expertise on machines of differing age and effectiveness. The pain is extreme, and while some facilitates offer a numbing agent, it won’t protect you from the pain of the heat blisters once the numbing agent wears off. The ink does not leave your body, and if the ingredients are less than clean, or the chemical changes caused by bombarding ink with a laser makes them toxic, your system is forced to deal with it. Eventually there may be consequences.
Whether you want to fully or partially remove your tattoo, Tatt2Away is economical, reliable, and works better than the alternatives. Is the initial cost-per-treatment really the wisest way to make your decision? Don’t be fooled by optimistic price quotes from laser clinics. Consider the full cost to your bank account and your body.
And if you do decide on laser? Our advice: get the number of treatments and total cost up front, in writing.