What It’s Really Like to Get a Tattoo Removed

If you’re thinking about tattoo removal, I have one piece of advice for you: stop psyching yourself out and just do it.

For two years now, I have been contemplating getting my tattoo removed.

I got the tattoo when I was 16 years old after softball practice with my friends. Why the hell I did that, the world will never know. I had to literally hide my tattoo from my dad for over a year because I knew if I was caught it was going to be the end of my days.

I know what you’re thinking — why the heck did I get it on my chest? Great question, but for that I do not have an answer either. I wore t-shirts, long-sleeved tops, and even bought a full T-shirt swimsuit for my cruise I went on with my family. I was truly young and ridiculous.

I loved the tattoo at first. It’s one of my favorite quotes: “Dream as if you will live forever.” But once I got older I realized how much I didn’t like the placement and when I would wear tank tops and swimsuits I didn’t want to see it anymore. I even took a blast to the future and thought about me in a wedding dress… and I just don’t want the tattoo to be present in my beautiful strapless dress. I should have thought about all this a little more before getting something permanent.

It was when I turned 18 that I finally 100% wasn’t feeling it anymore. When I started modeling 2 years later, it really interfered with clients because they wanted me to appear as a blank canvas. I want to take my modeling career to the furthest level so I just decided it was time to get rid of it.

And then the heavens sent me Vanessa Marc of Erase Spa.

I met Vanessa at the Alexander Wang show I was modeling at during fashion week. She approached me and told me about her salon and that she loved my energy and told me to come in ASAP. I did some research on her salon and I knew some girls who actually went there and loved their services. She also appealed to me because she is a woman of color going through the tattoo removal process herself, so it made me comfortable knowing how the process would turn out on my skin.

She’s the ultimate destination for your laser removal needs. Also, the spa itself just fits my aesthetic. It’s so luxurious and the people working there accommodate to your every need. I felt completely comfortable and calm with my overall experience of the treatment.

The thought of tattoo removal makes some people think of one thing: unbearable pain. For the pain, I believe it is a mind-over-matter thing. However, the couple shots of Bombay I took before I went to my appointment helped as well.

Okay, yes, using a laser on anything is painful, but it’s not that bad if you go into it with the right mindset. Having a positive attitude and continuously picturing what the final result will look like is the most efficient way to get yourself through the process.

Lisa Guidi, the owner of the spa, actually did my first session. She made me feel very comfortable. She applied a numbing cream for 40 minutes before beginning the process, and I think that helped tons. She’s hilarious also, and she said she screamed while she was getting hers done and the look on my face was priceless. I had that, “Oh hell nah,” look on my face. No worries though, she was just kidding. You won’t scream.

The laser process was super quick. She goes over your tattoo one time. I think it lasted for 30/45 seconds.

Overall, the laser itself was quick and minimally painful. She zaps you once with the machine before starting the procedure to show you how it’s going to feel. I was totally fine. It didn’t hurt worse then the tattoo itself. However my tattoo is small and for people with larger tattoos, the pain level will most likely be higher.

At the end, my tattoo appeared white. I didn’t scab or bleed. I wasn’t in excruciating pain afterward, either. The funny thing is I immediately got laser hair removal under my armpits right after, because you know that’s how I roll. I have to keep it real: the laser hair removal on my armpits hurt really bad. I honestly felt like it hurt more than the tattoo removal. It took a little longer than the tattoo removal process. Maybe that’s why. But hey, I wanted to have fleeky pits that looked smooth.

The healing process after my first session is going great so far, and I can already see a difference and letters fading away. The experience was definitely worth my time and for an affordable price. I will keep you guys updated until the end of my journey.

It’s kind of like that fear of the dentist: you just have to get over yourself! So whether you want to get rid of that tat of your ex’s name because you thought it was going to last forever, or maybe you just want a fresh start, check out Erase Spa here in NYC.

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