Report shows surge in tattoo removal demand

One in nine people in the UK have undergone tattoo removal treatment, whilst 38% of those with tattoos have considered a tattoo removal procedure, according to new research.

The top reason given for having a tattoo removed was regret at having the body art when they were younger (20%), whilst approaching one in ten people thought that having a tattoo didn't seem responsible, with a similar figure (8%) worried tattoos will prevent them from getting a job.

Carried out on behalf of the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT), the report found that 89% of the beauty industry has experienced an increased demand for aesthetic treatments such as tattoo removal, with millennials driving the trend being twice as likely as other age groups to seek tattoo removal. 

Kirsty Turnbull, Training Academy Manager from laser manufacturer Lynton, says: 

“We've been in the laser/IPL business for 25 years and we have seen demand for IPL/ laser treatments significantly increase. In the last six years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in demand from people for tattoo removal, and of course, there are many different reasons why. We see everything from someone wanting to decrease the size of a large sleeve to wanting to get rid of a poor design, to fading the tattoo down for a different design to go over the top. It's not surprising to see someone removing the name of an ex or a tattoo that cannot be covered with clothing for a particular job.”

Lynton Lasers tattoo removal treatment
In the last six years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in demand from people for tattoo removal, say laser experts Lynton
The research also found that in response to this demand, 97% of salons would consider diversifying their business model to incorporate these treatments, with 64% considering receiving training at a college that offers laser tattoo removal qualifications from an Awarding Body such as VTCT.

Tattoo removal using laser works as light of an appropriate wavelength is absorbed by the particles of the tattoo pigment, which causes the ink particles to rapidly heat. The ink structure expands and fragments, with smaller ink particles leaving the body naturally. Over time, the tattoo fades away.

Alan Woods OBE, Chief Executive of VTCT, comments: 

“Working with many industry leaders, VTCT has created an industry standard for excellence and safety with our Laser Tattoo Removal Qualification. Beauty entrepreneurs and business owners can now train to a Foundation Degree equivalent qualification through a fully regulated Level 5 certificate that allows for expertise in carrying out these complex procedures. This continues to illustrate the growing entrepreneurial spirit and focus of the UK beauty sector and its increasing demands for higher-level skills to meet consumer demand.”