How to Darken Tattoos

by Sarah Snow

Tattoos are a popular form of body art for young adults, but as skin ages the tattoo also fades over time. Tattoos fade from improper aftercare, overexposure to the sun and the simple aging process of skin. Personal care of a tattoo is the most reliable method of maintaining dark and vibrant color. Before obtaining a tattoo, research tattoo artists, types and colors of tattoo inks and the care requirements for the body area you wish to have tattooed. The sun will cause your tattoo to fade, so always use sunscreen or cover your tattoo. Many tattoo artists will touch up and darken your new tattoo for free within the first few months; consider this when choosing your tattoo artist. Older tattoos also can be touched up to darken or sharpen a faded tattoo.

Step 1

Find a tattoo artist who provides a clean facility and safe tattoo practices. The Alliance of Professional Tattooists website is a good place to research tattoo safety and look for tattoo artists who are not only ethical but also concerned about your personal safety.

Step 2

Visit the tattoo artist, show him your tattoo and discuss the best method for darkening the tattoo. A professional tattoo artist will tell you if your tattoo can be darkened and give you tips on how to maintain the vibrant color after your tattoo has been retouched.

Step 3

Eat a full meal an hour prior to your tattoo appointment. A full stomach will reduce nausea during your tattooing session.

Step 4

Discuss with the tattoo artist one more time the specific area of your tattoo that you want darkened. Artists see many clients, and you are ultimately in charge of ensuring that your tattoo turns out the way you desire.

Step 5

Follow all tattoo aftercare procedures and keep your fresh tattoo out of the sunlight.

Photo Credits

  • Juan Leiton/Demand Media

About the Author

Sarah Snow began working as a freelance writer in 2010. She has worked in finance management, supply-chain management and currently works in public relations and creative development in the film industry. Snow holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from Stanford University.