We are often asked about white ink tattoos, which are currently very popular with lots of images to be found on line; very few of these images are of healed tattoos. Pictures of freshly done tattoos do not accurately reflect how a tattoo will heal. Before you consider, as with any tattoo, having a white tattoo there are a few facts that we think you need to consider.
The tattoo itself will be completely done with white ink, which leaves a ghostly image that looks quite different from a traditional tattoo. These tattoos can look like brands or scarification, and they can appear to be very subtle.
To ensure even coverage your tattooist will have to make more passes over your skin to ensure that they get maximum colour. This could mean that getting your tattoo would be more painful, and may take longer to heal.
The white ink will fade much quicker than the traditional inks; resulting in having to have your tattoo repeatedly ‘re-done’. Your tattoo may even turn a yellowish colour over time especially if it is in an area that is regularly exposed to sunlight.
Your tattooist should avoid tattooing white ink by the usual method of stenciling and outlining in black. If a stencil is used, the artist must be careful to make sure the ink from the stencil does not mix with the white ink being used, potentially this could either dull the brightness or taint the colour of the ink. You also need to be confident in your artist’s ability to draw if the tattoo is then going to be done ‘free hand’ without the use of a stencil.
All tattoos bleed when being done however with black ink this isn’t always visible to the customer but with white ink any bleeding is likely to over power the white ink making it very difficult to see where the white ink has gone in which could result in your healed tattoo looking blotchy.
Your skin type can also determine how your tattoo will stand out; if you have pale skin understandably your tattoo isn’t going to be as obvious. On the flip side if your skin is too dark your natural skin tone will over power the white ink.
Not all white ink is the same quality; it is worth asking your artist about the ink that they use.
So the reason that most tattooist will refuse to do white ink tattoos, as that it is very difficult to get a good finished result, which would reflect directly on their name and reputation.