“How much will my tattoo removal cost?” is one of the most common questions we’re asked by new customers at NAAMA Studios. Of all the tattoo removal methods available, lasering is easily the safest and most effective, but it can be an expensive process. However, once the tattoo is gone, it’s gone – so if you’ve fallen out of love with your ink, it’s worth the investment.
As you prepare to take the first steps on your tattoo removal journey, we sought to answer your frequently-asked tattoo removal cost questions in this handy guide. You’ll learn about the different types of laser technology on the market, uncover the real reason prices differ substantially between studios, and discover how many sessions it can take to remove a tattoo:
How much do tattoos cost to remove?
How much does it cost to remove a tattoo at NAAMA?
How many sessions does it take to remove a tattoo?
Does the NHS pay for tattoo removal?
Does insurance pay for tattoo removal?
What to consider before tattoo removal
1. How much do tattoos cost to remove?
As with most laser skincare services, tattoo removal cost can vary wildly – starting at £40 per session and going up to £400 per session. Tattoo removal tends to be cheaper in out-of-town beauty salons with less specialised beauticians using more dated technology, and more expensive at top-end, city-centre dermatologists’ offices with more advanced technology.
When a laser passes over your tattoo, each flash of light shatters the ink into tiny particles. Your immune system then sweeps away the debris and flushes them out of your body. However, not all lasers are created equal. How quickly it flashes and how much energy is transferred determines how effectively the tattoo is broken down and how damaged the surrounding skin is.
The more advanced the laser, the quicker, safer and more effective the tattoo removal process will be. Three types of lasers are typically used for tattoo removal: q-switch nanosecond lasers, picosecond lasers, and more recently, Lightsense lasers – our unique patented technology derived from Princeton University, only available at NAAMA Studios:
- Q-switch nanosecond lasers flash at a rate of one billionth of a second. While this might sound speedy, nanosecond lasers are the slowest of the three. ‘Q-switch’ refers to the way light is held back before it’s released, which leads to a powerful transfer of energy to the skin. This means they’re more painful, and carry an increased risk of blistering and scarring. These lasers typically retail at a cost of £35,000-£60,000.
- When they first hit the market in around 2010, picosecond lasers were hailed as a marked improvement on their predecessors. They flash much faster, at a rate of one trillionth of a second, which means the ink is broken down more effectively. However, these lasers are also extremely high energy, which means lots of heat gets trapped in the skin. They can cost upwards of £110,000.
- The most advanced technology on the market, NAAMA’s Lightsense lasers pulse at a much quicker rate, but use far, far less energy. This significantly reduces any chance of blistering, scarring or lasting damage, allowing for more frequent treatments, which speeds up the removal process. A decade of research and development has gone into our lasers, and they’re the most costly to engineer of all three technologies.
Not only are older models painful and damaging to skin, but they tend to be less effective on colourful tattoo inks. Our next-generation laser technology utilises different settings depending on the colour spectrum of your tattoo, providing effective removal across all ink types. Plus, the precision power of our laser means we can target and treat even the most intricate of tattoos.
Of course, when you buy a tattoo removal session, you’re not just paying for the laser. The expertise of your therapist (also called a treatment consultant or technician) is part of the tattoo removal cost too. It takes time and investment to thoroughly train therapists and develop safe, effective laser technology, so be wary of clinics that offer cheap treatment bundles online.
Credible tattoo removal studios ensure their therapists are trained to the very highest standards, with extensive Continued Professional Development (CPD) – typically at least three days, but ideally around 10. Performed correctly, tattoo removal is a delicate, skilled procedure, so choosing highly-qualified, experienced therapists is an investment your skin will thank you for.
Our belief is that the very best clinics also hire staff with exemplary interpersonal skills and experience in service and hospitality. At NAAMA Studios, we’re proud to offer the very highest standard of care within a relaxing, friendly atmosphere, to make sure you’re well looked-after from your first session to your last.
2. How much does tattoo removal cost at NAAMA?
At NAAMA, each tattoo removal session is priced at £269 and includes two treatments. This means at every appointment, we aim to pass over your ink twice. We use very low levels of energy, so there’s no damage to the skin, allowing us to treat it up to twice in a session and, where possible, with sessions every week. We offer several different ways to buy, from cost-effective bundles to monthly memberships. View our tattoo removal pricing here.
3. How many sessions does it take to remove a tattoo?
At NAAMA Studios, full tattoo removal takes months, not years. Our Lightsense laser tattoo removal technology is gentle on the skin, allowing many of our customers to have laser sessions as regularly as once a week. Others need to wait a little longer between treatments, but rarely longer than three weeks.
How many sessions you’ll need depends on the characteristics of your tattoo, including:
- Size of tattoo (the bigger the tattoo, the more time each session will take)
- Location of tattoo (closer to active blood flow can remove more quickly)
- Ink colour (some colours fade more quickly than others)
- Density of ink (thick ink removes slowly as there is more of it)
- Quality of ink (cheaper inks are consistently tricky to fade)
Your skin tone and texture also affects the fade time – scarred or sun-tanned skin tends to require more sessions – as does your general health. Once the ink particles have been shattered with the laser, your immune response is responsible for the elimination process, so a strong immune system means fewer treatments. The good news? It’s largely within your control. Getting enough high-quality sleep, exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water all have a positive impact on tattoo removal. Smoking and drinking alcohol, meanwhile, slow the process. Find out more about tattoo removal aftercare here.
4. Does the NHS pay for tattoo removal?
The tattoo would have to cause severe emotional distress for the NHS to cover the cost of the treatments. You’d need to provide evidence that the tattoo is directly impacting your quality of life and be willing to undergo a psychological assessment. The NHS rarely covers the cost of tattoo removal, but if approved, you’ll be placed on a waiting list (this could be months or years).
5. Does insurance pay for tattoo removal?
It’s unlikely that your insurance policy includes tattoo removal, but you should double-check with your provider.
6. What to consider before removing a tattoo?
When you’re evaluating the cost of removing or fading ink, there are a few factors you should consider before signing on the dotted line. Here’s a helpful list to guide your decision:
- Which laser technology is being used?
- How qualified and experienced is the treatment consultant?
- Has the consultant been trained in laser tattoo removal specifically?
- How large is the tattoo, what colour is the ink, and where is it located on your body?
- How many treatments (actual passes over the tattoo) are included per session?
- If you’re considering a multiple-session deal, is it suspiciously cheap?
As with all aesthetic treatments, prices that seem too good to be true usually are. Unfortunately, there are many knock-off lasers on the market. These devices pose high risks to those undergoing treatment, and may not be regulated or tested properly. Often, they are operated by under-experienced, under-qualified therapists. People who offer these lasers might make bold claims at much lower costs, so again, be aware of anything that looks too good to be true.
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