Fiona recently graduated from university in Milan as a fashion stylist. But even as a stylist, finding her personal style when it came to tattoos wasn’t an instant success. Her first tattoo - a large piece of text on her ribs - was something she wanted to remove as soon as it was done. And with NAAMA, she has. Here’s her tattoo removal story.
The tattoo I'm removing is this horrible thing I got done when I was 16. It's like a barcode and it's really big on my ribcage. It's almost gone now, thanks to the sessions I've been having. It says ‘sleepwalker’, which is my favorite song, and then it got translated into Russian as well, because I'm originally from Russia, so it was this huge chunk of black ink on my skin.
The second I got it, I didn't like it.
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“Tattoo removal in general, I think, is pretty scary. I was looking at places that looked a little more friendly.”
I got rejected from the tattoo studio because I was 16, so I went to my friend to do it. She's a great artist, but she wasn't good at lettering. And the second she put the stencil on, I was like, ‘oh, it's fine, she'll just fix it after.’ But then it turned out the way the stencil was.
I came back from her house, went to my flatmate and started crying. I was like, ‘I want this removed now.’ I started looking into places to get it removed.
I think I had it for maybe four or five years before I started getting it removed. Within a year and a half I think it was really gone. I just have the last finishing bits to go now.
What was it about NAAMA that appealed to you?
Tattoo removal in general, I think, is pretty scary. So for me, I was looking at places that looked a little more friendly. And then I started reading about it, and saw how the treatment worked and how the technology was a little less harsh on your skin.
I'd rather pay a little more money and get more sessions and do it in a safe way than dive right in and just get it removed and like, bleed or be left with this huge scar or something.
It’s been really good. Everyone's really friendly. They're always asking how my day is, it's a very positive energy.
“It’s good to know that whatever happens, I can always have a fresh start.”
Speaking of treatment and your skin, how have you found it?
It's been pretty good. It only lasts about two minutes or so and then afterward, it's just a sort of burning feeling, but it goes away pretty quickly and it was less painful for me than the actual tattoo. So I think it was a good situation for me to be in.
My pain tolerance is pretty bad, but I think with the cooling machine as well, it's like you kind of numb it. It feels a little bit like getting scratched. It's a weird feeling and it's a bit uncomfortable, but like I said, it's over in like two minutes. And then afterward, it's fine.
You have quite a lot of tattoos, so it seems this one didn’t put you off…
I was actually getting them during the removal. I found these incredible artists that started doing all of my tattoos and I just really got into it. I still want more. But the difference is, I want more delicate things. The one I had removed was like a black chunk of thick lettering. I just want to replace the bad with the good. I think tattoos are beautiful.
It's a nice feeling to know that once I get a tattoo, in a few years if I don't like it, I can get it removed. It's not like my parents used to tell me: “it's on your body forever.” It's good to know that whatever happens, I can always have a fresh start.
Fiona's rib tattoo she says was "like a barcode".
After 6 sessions
The ink is fading and lines are starting to blur.
After 9 sessions
The tattoo is hard to read and clear skin is showing.
After 12 sessions
Treatment is complete and healthy, clear skin is left.