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6 tips on what to consider before getting a tattoo on dark skin

By Winnie Mabel November 19th, 2023 2 min read

Tattoos are permanent markings that people get done on their bodies using ink, pigments or dyes that are inserted beneath the skin to create patterns and designs. Many people often go for artwork or decorative patterns while others opt for symbolic meanings- such as angel wings for departed beloveds, dates on which significant events occurred, or bar and Morse Codes that contain hidden messages until they are scanned.

In some societies, people tend to find tattoos on lighter-skinned people more attractive than on darker-skinned people. This may be influenced by media representation, culture, and visibility of various colors on lighter skin. But dark-skinned people, in other societies, do enjoy the same consideration as lighter-skinned people despite being limited to the color of ink they can use for their tattoos.

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Nairobi News, now, looks at six tips darker-skinned people can consider when getting ready to have tattoos done on their bodies:

  1. You are not limited to the obvious color black because it is darker than your skin. You can go for bold and colors such as red, dark blue, and green to ensure the design stands out.
  2. Make sure you research tattoo artists, get their reviews, and see their works beforehand instead of simply walking into any tattoo parlor and getting up on the chair to get work done. Choose a tattooist who has experience working on dark skin and whose handiwork is great. You don’t want shenanigans permanently marked on your skin using colors that may fade over time, right?
  3. Choose a tattoo design you can live with for life. Choose tattoos that please you and have meaning in your life. Don’t go for cliché tattoos such as praying hands, skulls and snakes, butterflies, and tribal markings just because you saw it looking good on someone else.
  4. Try and choose tattoo designs that don’t have thin, fine lines- especially on certain areas- because they won’t be visible and you would constantly have to explain your tattoo to curious people. Instead, get designs with thicker lines, bold designs, and those that require shading for better visibility.
  5. Carefully pick the area where you want the tattoo to be done. There are places you must avoid because the tattoo would be too painful to get done or the ink will fade faster, forcing you to get the work redone. Such areas are places constantly exposed to the sun- hands, feet, elbows, armpit, and inside of the arm, unlike places like the inner thighs and upper arms which are lighter and constantly covered.
  6. Dark-skinned people often get darker skin patches whenever they get injured. As tattooing is the process of being injected hundreds of times within a minute to get the ink beneath the skin layer, dark-skinned people will get darker spots. In this matter, they must follow very specific tattoo aftercare instructions to promote proper healing that will not leave one with varying skin tones. Additionally, darker-skinned people will need to invest in moisturizing products so that they can maintain the tattoo’s vibrancy.

At the end of the day, do enjoy the designs you opt for, no matter what anyone says about your choices.