Which Type of Tattoo is Right for You?

As body art continues to grow in popularity, the chances are you’ve either had a tattoo already, or you’re thinking of getting one… and why not? There are many ways you can go about this. The main question is whether you want a permanent tattoo, or you’re more interested in temporary tattoos done with henna or jagua ink.

Perhaps you’re interested in both! Before you make your mind up, we’ve got some advice for you. Not everyone knows what goes into a tattoo, so we’ve summarized the most popular methods of temporary and permanent body art. We hope this information helps you to choose the right type of tattoo for you.

A permanent machine tattoo

Modern tattooing is done with a mechanized needle in a tattoo gun/machine that rapidly punctures the skin, injecting ink into the dermis(the second layer of skin beneath the epidermis). Tattoo machines use electromagnetic coils that move an armature bar up and down at a very high speed. The needle is connected to the bar, and it dispenses the ink into the skin.

If you’ve ever had a tattoo done this way you’ll know that it hurts. That’s because essentially you’re damaging the skin. You’re creating a scar, albeit a colorful and beautiful one. When the ink hits the dermis, the body sends out white blood cells to try to absorb the particles in the ink pigment; it’s trying to flush them out via the blood stream.

Machine tattoos can change over time

This attempt will inevitably fail as the particles in the pigment are too large for the white blood cells to absorb. That’s what makes mechanical tattoos permanent. Obviously that’s the aim for most people, but with time the tattoo can change. If it was injected too deeply at the time, that won’t have been obvious and it would probably have looked great.

However, as the skin ages, the pigment can start to migrate, causing a blurred effect. Your tattoo can end up looking faded or distorted. The same goes for permanent and semi-permanent makeup, so it’s worth thinking about before you go under the needle. Having said that, if your artist is talented and careful, your tattoo shouldn’t go too deep.

You probably know that it’s possible to remove a tattoo, but that has to be done by zapping the pigment into tiny particles with a laser – and that’s an incredibly painful, lengthy and expensive process that doesn’t always yield perfect results. It may also leave you with a scar.

A hand-poke/bamboo tattoo

Although hand-poke tattoos are only now gaining popularity, they’re far from new. There is evidence that indicates hand-poke tattoos originated in East Polynesia around 1000 A.D, if not before.

This kind of tattoo is still practiced today in East Polynesia. It’s also popular in South East Asia. Sometimes called hand-tapping, hand-poke tattoos were originally rendered using an instrument made up of either thorns, pearl shell or a sharp comb made of bone. This was then dipped in pigment and the sharp point was poked into the skin using a mallet.

This method is still in operation, but the devices used for hand-poke tattoos vary. Sometimes it’s just a wooden handle and a needle attached to it with tape. Sharpened bamboo sticks are another simple tool used today; these are very popular, which is why hand-poke tattoos are frequently referred to as bamboo tattoos.

Hand-poke tattoos have more benefits

This might seem like a basic, or even archaic way to render a tattoo, but don’t be fooled. Many people consider this to be a superior method, for several reasons. Firstly, no electricity is used and without a heavy, vibrating machine in the hand, the tattooist should have more control over the instrument he or she is using.

Secondly, these tattoos are mainly done freestyle, and the artist has more creative free-reign. The designs are made up of tiny little dots rather than thick black lines, as the artist is poking the design in one dot at a time. This is more time consuming, but many people feel it’s worth the wait.

This method is less intrusive than a machine tattoo

Another thing is that this method is a lot less painful than machine tattooing. That’s because the fine needle is less aggressive and intrusive than a machine; it’snot dispensing the ink into as deep a layer of the dermis. It’s still deep enough for the ink to be permanent, but the tattoo is far less likely to distort over time. Lastly, as you might assume, it heals more quickly.

Often a hand-poke tattoo will look totally different to a machine tattoo. The detail is naturally more delicate and intricate. Some might say they look more ‘organic’. Despite similarities with rudimentary prison tattooing methods, most artists are talented enough to do a great job. It’s an art form, after all!

The same hygiene practices are applied with both types of tattoo, or at least they should be! It’s always best to check this out before committing to any permanent ink, of course.

Temporary skin dye tattoo: henna or jagua gel

Henna is a skin dye that is completely harmless and will stain the skin for up to two weeks. It is used all over the world with great results, and henna paste is easy to distribute through cones or henna kits with applicators. In this way you can get designs as intricate as a machine tattoo, but without the pain or commitment.

Jagua gel is equally safe and effective. It’s made from the dye contained in an Amazonian fruit. Where henna comes out as a reddish or dark brown color, jagua is blue/black. It lasts for around the same time period as henna, and the main difference is the consistency and the color of the stain it leaves on your skin. Some people prefer jagua gel because of its similarity in appearance to permanent tattoos.

Whether you go for henna or jagua gel, you can enjoy the benefits of changing your design as often as you please. It’s also a great way to test out a permanent design before you go ahead and get inked. If you want to try out henna or jagua gel, you’ve come to the right place! Henna City wish you every success with your body art, permanent or temporary.