How Much Do Tattoos Cost?


A tattoo is a permanent design made on your skin with pigments inserted through needles in the top layer of your skin. The tattoo artists use a hand-held machine and pierce the needles into your skin repeatedly and mark your desired design on your chosen part of the body.

A tattoo has a significant meaning and expression. This body art is an individual’s self-expression of something they believe or something they have gone through in life. For example, a red rose is a reflection of love and romance and a barbed wire means a stint in prison. Some people like to tattoo some famous quotes or meaningful religious lines which indicate that they believe in these things.

Tattoos give happiness to people. More than 90% of the people said they are happy after getting their favorite body art. The act of getting a desired tattoo can positively impact your mind. 

Why do people get tattoos?

In different societies around the world, tattoos are worn for various reasons. Some people prefer them as an expression of feelings for other people, animals, beliefs, or anything else while some people wore tattoos because they believe that tattoos bring good fortune. Some people wear tattoos for fun or to show off and some wear them as their cultural practice.

Tattoos increase the confidence and self-esteem of a person. Some people believe that tattoos show their inner feelings and are an important aspect of their identification. And some people that tattoos give them the confidence of expressing what they are as an individual. What they can’t speak is what they can show.

How much does it cost to get a tattoo?

Generally, tattoos start with a minimum cost. If you are planning to have a simple tattoo then you can think of spending $50 to $200. Small tattoos are always people’s favorite because they have very cool designs and do not need much planning. The average cost of a small tattoo is $50 to $80 and it does not take much time.

A full-sleeve tattoo design that runs from the wrist to shoulder will cost you from $2000 to $4000 and a full-color tattoo of the same size will cost you up to $6000. And a full-color, detailed, and complex design tattoo on your back will cost you $2500 to $5000 and it takes 40 to 50 hours to ink these fill-size detailed tattoos.

A tattoo on the forearm will cost you $250 for an outline and up to $1300 for a detailed and colorful design. And a tattoo on the chest will cost you $600 to $200 depending upon design, size, and shading, and will take 6-10 hours of work if the artist is experienced.

A beginner tattoo artist will charge less than a more professional and experienced artist. A smaller tattoo like an outline of a star or a watercolor flower will cost about $50 to $150 and a medium size tattoo will cost up to $200 and a large tattoo will cost you over $250. It can be very expensive when it comes to the bigger size of the tattoo. 

Some countryside tattoo artists will charge a minimum cost of $60 while some larger metro area tattoo artists will cost you a minimum of $150 or more. It all depends on the skills of tattoo artists, the equipment they use, and the hygiene practice they follow.

How painful are Tattoos?

Tattoos are a painful process because tattoo artists use needles to inject ink into the layers of your skin. The needles can cause swelling, and damage skin and your skin may feel sore but the swelling and soreness will go down in a week.

Certain parts of the body are less painful because of the amount of fat and muscles. These are the Upper back, outer arm, upper thigh, firearm, calves, and butt. And the body parts that have less fat, muscles, and exposed nerves will hurt more when getting a tattoo. These parts are feet, hands, fingers, head, armpits, inner wrist, ribs, and chest.

Factors that affect pain while tattooing

There are some factors that affect the degree of pain. These factors include: –

  1. Placement: – The biggest factor that affects tattoo pain is the part of the body. Fatty areas and thick skins are the least painful areas because the muscle mass can cushion the sting of the needle.
  2. Size & Duration: – The bigger the tattoo the more the needle will take time and hurt you. The bigger size of the tattoo will require more detailing, shading, and different needles.
  3. Style: – If you choose a simple outline of a tattoo then it will hurt less. That’s just a fact. But if you choose to ink a whole portrait with different shades and designs then it will hurt you more. Difficult designs and different shades will need different needle tips to get the desired portrait and it definitely will take more time.
  4. Tattoo Artist: – The tattoo artist you choose to go with will affect the level of pain. Generally, the more experienced tattoo artists will end the whole process in a better way. Their speed of using needles and fineness in their work will affect the degree of pain that someone can feel. Professional tattoo artists will make sure that your experience with tattooing is as pleasant as possible.
  5. Pain Threshold: – Now this is something that no one can help with. Every person has different thresholds of pain. You know your body best so, what is painful for you might not be painful for someone else. Age, gender, and medical conditions of a person affect the capacity of tolerating pain which is different from person to person.
  6. Mentality: – Mentality plays an important role while experiencing pain. If you think of the worst then you will feel more pain and might have a bad experience. The best way of approaching a tattoo artist is with a positive mindset. When you decide to have a tattoo, mentally prepare yourself for the pain. Focus on getting through the session and you will end up with a great tattoo of your choice without much pain.

In Conclusion

Getting a tattoo is a person’s own choice based on what they believe, follow, and want to express. On average, the cost of getting a tattoo no matter small or big will start from $50 and will cost up to $8000 depending upon a body part, the design you choose, the use of different shading and styles, and the complexity of the design.

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