While there’s plenty of advice out there for white people getting tattoos, there’s not much for those with darker skin.
People from African, Indian and Pacifica backgrounds are often forgotten about when it comes to information about getting a tattoo.
We’ve put together this short article to explain a couple of things about getting ink when you’ve got a higher melanin content.
Come talk to us first
Good advice for anyone getting a tattoo, regardless of skin colour. Talking to your tattoo artist before going under the needle is always a good idea.
By booking a consultation, you can get a better feeling of what’s possible and understand the limitations involved.
If you have darker skin, your initial idea might not be plausible, or won’t come out as you’re expecting. Talk to your artist first, they are the ones with the experience and can help you make the right choice.
Avoid lighter colours
Despite what bullshit you may read on the internet, there are NO special inks for dark skin. Tattoo ink isn’t made for skin types, but the quality of the ink can vary widely.
Tattoo ink is generally translucent, so the skin underneath will show through. This means, the darker your skin, then less lighter-colours will show.
Black or grey ink usually works best on darker skin, evidenced by this cool MF.
Genetics can play a part
If you’re of African ancestry, your skin may be prone to keloids, which is an overgrowth of scar tissue.
Knowing whether or not you are prone to keloids can help before getting a tattoo, as your artist may need to use different techniques to limit the scar tissue, including reducing power to the tattoo gun, and not going over the same area twice.