First, the employment market has tightened considerably over the last several years. Though most public companies do not expressly prohibit tattoos in their human resource handbooks, the existence of a tattoo may be a differentiating, and potentially negative, consideration between two otherwise equally qualified candidates. The reality of today’s employment market is fueling the laser tattoo removal market significantly.

A second new dynamic is likely a result of the growing acceptance of Body Art.  Some of today’s most exceptional artists utilize the human canvas.  An emerging population recognizes and, to a certain extent, revels in the Body Art lifestyle.  Far from seeking to have a tattoo removed completely, they desire a constantly evolving and improving human canvass. Thus, tattoo lightening via a laser tattoo device is the next big thing!

Tattoo lightening is the idea of ‘covering’ tattoos which have faded over time or in which the artist did poor quality work. In these cases, the client is not interested so much in removing their tattoo work as they are in enhancing the tattoo they currently have. Laser tattoo lightening works to clear the ‘canvas’ in an acceptable way so that a new tattoo can be placed over the old. This is a significant growing trend in the industry.

In previous materials, we shared tattoo market demographic data.  In additional to that data, you may be interested to know that there are approximately 21,000 tattoo studios in the US.  These artists create tattoos which are, on average, 4 x 4 inches or smaller.  These tattoos have historically been black-ink, yet we have recently witnessed an explosion in vibrant, multi-color tattoos.  In the US, there exists no ink-composition standard, and therefore there may be as many ink formulations as there are tattoo artists, each who seek a trademark-look for their body art.  Today’s Laser Tattoo Removal devices require a level of sophistication and flexibility unheard of just a few short years ago.

Here’s a real-world example:

As we discuss extensively in previous materials, Laser Tattoo Removal is completely dependent upon the physics of a laser’s ability to selectively target specific tattoo colors. No matter the hype, the marketing claims, or frankly, the sales pitch of the laser sales person who brought their laser to demo in your office… and now won’t leave… a tattoo removal laser specifically targets tattoo ink based on its emission wavelength.  That’s why US FDA will specifically list the tattoo ink colors a specific laser wavelength is capable of treating.  As an example, the Quanta Q Plus C is cleared by FDA to:

  • treat Black and Dark Blue ink with it’s Q-Switched 1064nm laser, and to
  • treat Blue, Sky Blue, Black, Green and Violet ink with it’s Q-Switched 694nm Ruby laser.

This means that Black tattoos may be cleared with either the 1064nm laser or the 694nm Ruby laser.  This also means that a Green tattoo can only be cleared with the 694nm laser.  This is where it gets tricky.

The “Black” in a tattoo is, in reality, deeply pigmented Green.

As mentioned above, there are no ink-composition standards in the US, and many tattoo artists seek a trademark-look for their body art. Some artists like to substitute colors for Black.  This creates sophisticated art.  However, for the Laser Tattoo Removal practitioners, this creates a nightmare!  Unless you have an integrated 694nm Ruby laser, the Green tattoo ink will not clear.  After one or two treatments, what appeared Black now appears Green.  You’ve signed up your patient to a treatment regimen and they simply won’t be happy if you can’t clear their tattoo.  No amount of apology and refund will stop them from posting an on-line review meant to warn others of the limitations of your technology.

Here’s how this can happen:

Intenze™ Dark Green Tattoo is beautifully formulated so that the color richness of its shade of green will be worn for many years.  When densely applied by a skilled artist, inks such as this can appear black.  This yields a wonderful and subtle richness to the tattoo.  To the laser tattoo removal practitioner, this yields a potential customer expectation nightmare.

We certainly do not highlight one brand of tattoo ink over another in this regard.  Please see the two charts from different tattoo ink manufacturers below.  Take note as to how many colors, if densely applied, can mimic the appearance of black to the naked eye.  Your tattoo removal must be able to meet this challenge.  Your business depends upon it!



The bottom line:

  1. The Laser Tattoo Removal market characteristics are fundamentally changing in the most recent few years.
  2. Your tattoo removal laser requires a level of sophistication and flexibility to meet these changing market characteristics.
  3. It’s all related to the unchanging laws of physics- don’t be fooled by hype– the wrong technology decision can either doom your tattoo removal business, or allow it to feast on your competition!