Do Tattoos Stop Looking Great?

Photo by The Pug Father
There are loads of people out there walking around with colourful creations poking out underneath their clothing, large masterpieces of artwork on skin instead of canvas. Do you ever think to yourself, those are going to look horrible in a few years? Or do you think: those look completely bad-ass.

I’m going with the ‘completely bad-ass’ approach on this one.

The ‘myth’ surrounding tattoos looking bad after a certain age is a bust.

Don’t get me wrong: Tattoos can and do look bad in the future. But it depends on the artwork chosen for a tattoo. It all comes down to quality, upkeep and placement.

For instance…

1. Don’t put ink where you want to build up

If you are planning on building more muscle in a certain area you’ll want to re consider putting a tattoo there. According to’s Jae Allen, “If you develop stretch marks from sudden gain of muscle mass or weight, these stretch marks may destroy some of the ink in your tattoo.”

There are very simple precautions you can take for this. “If you want to minimize the risk of a tattoo stretching due to muscle gain, make sure to get the tattoo at a time when your muscles are the size you expect them to be in the future. You should also be aware that a tattoo on a muscle will be prone to shrinking if you cease working out after the tattoo is placed.” The placement of the tattoo will help preserve it in the long run.

2. Bigger tattoos age better

For the most part people who commit to getting a tattoo have put some thought into it. There are some pretty horrendous tattoos out there, but that is just stupidity on the person’s part. When tattoos are done correctly and with talent, they hold up against time. When I talk about tattoos that age well, I mean those that have full arm, leg or chest pieces. I am talking about tattoos on the larger scale—not that butterfly tattoo on your ankle. When the tattoo stops becoming an anchor or word and starts becoming a full piece of art.

3. Better tattoos age better

My wise word to you is to research the tattoo artist first. Take a look at their portfolio and judge for yourself the quality of tattoos they produce. Don’t rush out on your 18th birthday and get some sketchy Chinese symbol—which you don’t even know the real meaning of—plastered on your lower back. Or do, if you want, but either way, at the end of the day, it’s your call if your tattoos start to lose their luster.

And who doesn’t want to be the rocking old grandparent with a dragon around their forearm. You would totally win cool points with the grandkids on that one.

4. Tattoos should be maintained

Everyone at some point starts to look bad while aging—loose skin, more wrinkles and thinning hair—it’s bound to happen. But for the most part, old people with tattoos look pretty kick ass. Instead of wrinkles and pale skin you see a mirage of colours.

If you think about it, people covered in tattoos are really doing themselves and you a favour—no wrinkle mess, instead awesome artwork.

But let’s not kid ourselves: tattoos have the potential to look bad later on in life. But think about it: If you dye your hair – odds are in a couple weeks time you’ll need a touch up. So why not just do the same things with tattoos?

Give a tattoo a touch up, add some more colour, blacken the lines—it’ll look brand new.



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