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The Permanency and Process of a Traditional Tattoo Can Be Scary

I don’t like needles but I love the idea of getting body art or skin decoration. I’m also not too thrilled about the permanency of a ‘needle’ tattoo I might hate down the road. Have you priced tattoo removal processes lately? The cost of tattoo removal is at least 3 times as much as getting the tattoo! After doing some research, I discovered some fantastic alternatives for body art and I’m going to give those a shot (no pun intended) way before I jump into the nearest tattoo parlor.

Tattoo Alternative #1: The Natural Beauty of Henna Tattoos

Henna tattoos have been making a comeback and I can certainly understand why. The dried and pulverized Henna Plant Lawsonia Inermis is made into a paste and applied to skin treated first with mehlabiya oil. The paste is then applied to the skin using a stencil design.

Henna tattoo stencils come in an incredible variety of designs and can be reused. In fact, once the paste dries after an hour or two, the paste can be reapplied 2-3 more times to intensify the color to a deep brown or nearly black. If the paste is used just for a single time, is dried and removed, the color continues to deepen to a rusty-orange or reddish tone. It reminds me of self-tanning lotion in that respect.

The application of Henna tattoos does not require licensing and is considered safe for all skin types (outside of those who have an allergic reaction to Henna). Henna tattoos can last up to 4 weeks with care not to scrub the area and protect the tattoo with Vaseline in chlorinated water.

Kits range in price but the average cost for a henna kit, which includes the paste, stencil(s) and other needed supplies is under $20. In fact, one bottle of Henna dye can create about 25 mid-size tattoos.

Tattoo Alternative #2: Body Piercings

Yes, we’re pretty much aware of umpteen holes in earlobes and ear cartilage, nose, tongue, lips, eyebrow, and belly button rings. However, the days of face piercings have gone by the wayside as more employers have increased bans on wearing this ‘distracting and unprofessional’ body art to work. The great thing about piercings, though, is that the jewelry can be removed (or changed) on demand. My only issue with body piercings is the healing time which varies considerably, depending on the area being pierced:

  • Ear lobe 6 to 8 weeks
  • Ear cartilage 4 months to 1 year
  • Eyebrow 6 to 8 weeks
  • Nostril 2 to 4 months
  • Nasal septum 6 to 8 months
  • Nasal bridge 8 to 10 weeks
  • Tongue 4 weeks
  • Lip 2 to 3 months
  • Nipple 3 to 6 months
  • Navel 4 months to 1 year
  • Female genitalia 4 to 10 weeks
  • Male genitalia 4 weeks to 6 months

I do worry about infection with body piercings – but not quite as much as with a traditional tattoo that might be hard to reach (as on the back of a shoulder) to keep clean and bandaged.

Tattoo Alternative #3: Temporary Tattoos

Now, temporary tattoos just might be the ticket and best choice of all as a traditional tattoo alternative. Temporary tattoos are made on special paper and coated with special silicon. Once wet and placed on an area of the body for a minute or so, the colored “tattoo” design ‘slides off’ and is transferred to the skin.

Similar to Henna tattoos, temporary tattoos can last up to about 4 weeks if taken care of: no scrubbing, scratchy clothing, or rubbing against them. Also, like Henna tattoos, temporary tattoos are safe (children get them in bubble-gum machines all the time) and have become as sophisticated as traditional tattoos – without needles and permanency.

What gets truly fun about temporary tattoos is that you can design your own – online – for little more than a ready-made temporary tattoo design.

Tattoo Alternatives Wrap-Up

So, celebrate an occasion, speak your mind, dare to be different! Try out some of these alternative tattoo ideas and have fun adorning your body in a new way. Invite your friends for a “Happy Henna Day” or design and order some custom tattoos for the bridesmaids in a wedding. Think outside the box.

“Alternative tattoos” are trendy, different, and can be taken off or out if you don’t want to live with them for the rest of your life.