Tattoos aren’t just cool, they’re also marks of important events, objects, and people. So, you’d want yours to be as special to be as possible. And a black light ink tattoo, also known as UV tattoo, can be just the thing you need. Now you just need to know, how much does a black light ink tattoo cost?
Black light ink tattoos will cost $50 to $100 more than your average ink. The amount can increase drastically depending on the artwork and the artist. If you want a proper estimate, it’s best to get a quote from an artist.
If you’re thinking of getting a black light ink tattoo, then you shouldn’t just focus on the cost. You should consider the value of the tattoo too. I’ll be discussing the cost vs. longevity, health aspects, actual effects, and more in this article.
So, make sure to give it a read if you’re serious about getting tattooed.
Why are We Talking Value Instead of Cost?
You can get a black light tattoo for $50 to $100 more than a normal tattoo would cost. But that upfront cost doesn’t cover what it might cost you after. You can’t avoid estimating how much it would cost in aftercare, in terms of time, products and effort. You have to compare the total to the cost of a normal tattoo.
Then there are the long-term and abstract costs and returns. You need to know what you’ll get for spending extra money. Also, what black light ink behaves like, and how it holds up over time.
There are other serious issues like health risks. Getting a black light ink tattoo with no idea can cost you thousands later. So, you need to understand value when you ask, “How much does a black light ink tattoo cost?”
What is a Black Light Tattoo?
It may seem obvious, but it’s good to recheck things than regret your decisions later. Especially because a black light tattoo is also known as a UV tattoo, and glow in the dark tattoo. These names can easily confuse you and give impressions that aren’t accurate.
UV tattoo might be the most accurate description of these tattoos. A black light tattoo will only glow in the presence of black light or UV light. It won’t react in sunlight or any other light source.
Black light tattoos are not luminescent. They won’t emit light on their own in the dark. They are also not fluorescent. Meaning they won’t absorb any light from an external source and emit it in darkness.
If you’re expecting your tattoo to glow in the dark, you’ll be disappointed. Black light tattoos are more of a secret that you can enjoy on your own but can’t easily show off. Also, the tattoos are reflective, so the light is very dim.
In most cases, black light tattoos won’t seem more impressive or interesting than a typical tattoo. If you were hoping for a lit-up tattoo, or one that is vivid and bright, that can’t happen with black light ink. It’s up to you if you find value in its properties or not.
Other decisive factors factor into a black light ink tattoo’s value. The most important one of them is how they might look.
Which One Looks Better, Black Light or Normal Ink?
If you’re expecting a trade-off for that dim glow, you’re expecting it here. There are some assumptions that you might have about black light ink.
- Black light ink is not as vivid in color.
- Black light ink will smear easier.
- The ink will feather or get blotchy.
- The ink is only black or monochromatic.
- The glow will be monochromatic.
- The ink can’t produce thin lines.
Colors and Vividness
You may assume that black light ink comes in black or limited colors. And in normal light, they look quite dull. You’re probably guessing only specific colors can have these properties or they can’t reflect visible light that well.
You’ll be happy to know that black light ink comes in various colors. The tattoos produced can also be very vivid and attractive. So, any piece of art you choose will look equally vibrant.
The only way a black light tattoo can look discolored is if your artist uses normal ink in your tattoo. Mixing inks will ruin its properties, including color.
Blotching, Smearing, and Other Issues
Black light ink doesn’t blotch, smear, or feather any worse than typical ink. It’s known to be more resistant to these issues than normal ink.
It mostly depends on how skilled your artist is, and what’s the quality of the ink they’re using. Using cheaper ink, or unsteady hands will create these issues.
Line width exclusively depends on the needle and the ink quality. There’s no inherent issue in black light ink that can produce a blotchy, smeared, feathered, or fanned-out tattoo.
Facts About Black Light Ink Glow
I’ve mentioned that black light tattoos will only produce a dim glow under UV light. But the glow isn’t monochrome. Whatever the ink color is, it’ll glow the same under UV light. So, don’t be afraid that your tattoo might look boring and simple under black light.
Ink is a big factor in overall tattoo quality. It’s no doubt that black light ink can produce a great tattoo. But you still need to know how long it’ll last.
How Long Does a Black Light Ink Tattoo Last?
Black light inks can churn out great tattoos with a special effect. But do they last long? Artists don’t expect its longevity to be any different than normal black ink.
On average, a black light ink tattoo will last around five years. This range is also expected for normal ink tattoos. By five years, the tattoo will begin to show signs of fading.
The tattoo won’t become discolored or lose its luster any earlier. This isn’t guaranteed by any means, as the quality of the tattoo will vary. The skill of your artist, post-tattooing care, and wear and tear will decide how well your tattoo will hold up.
In most cases, you won’t be losing value in terms of longevity with a black light ink tattoo. But once you get a black light ink tattoo, you’ll have to care for it till it heals.
Caring for a Black Light Ink Tattoo
The price of a tattoo doesn’t end with getting one. You have to spend time caring for it till it heals. Depending on where the tattoo is and how intricate it is, you might become impaired for a while. It’ll affect your daily life, especially if it requires special care.
So, how much does a black light ink tattoo cost you in terms of care? No different than a normal ink tattoo would. In terms of time and effort, you’d spend the same amount of time healing if you’d gotten a normal ink tattoo. And aftercare won’t require any exorbitant spending either.
Every shop will have different instructions for aftercare. You won’t have a universal aftercare guide. But the instructions will most likely be to use Neosporin or Aquaphor to keep it moist for five days, and then use a generic moisturizer. It’s the same as caring for normal ink tattoos.
Overall, a black light ink tattoo seems like normal ink in all other cases. But there is one last factor that you have to think of. Will you face any health risks if you get one?
Can a Black Light Ink Tattoo Cause Health Issues?
Black light ink does have a problematic history with health. I’ve already mentioned that black light ink isn’t fluorescent or luminescent. Meaning they don’t emit photons or light.
But when the fad of black light ink tattoos rose in the 90s, black light inks were produced with Phosphorus. Phosphorus is a carcinogen, and it can cause cancer along with other issues.
Now you can find black light inks that don’t use Phosphorus, so they are safe. However, there are still reasons to say, caveat emptor.
Black light ink tattoos aren’t FDA approved, and their long-term impact on health is too early to predict. Also, many companies won’t list their ingredients on the ink labels. This leaves no way to determine if these companies produce safe ink.
If you’re getting a black light tattoo, you’re getting one without assurance. You can have health issues down the line. But if you work with a reputed artist who’s careful about their ink choice, you’ll be safe.
As I’ve discussed, how much does a black light ink tattoo cost isn’t a question of the upfront cost. And value-wise, you’ll have similar costs and returns as a normal ink tattoo. You’ll get the added value of the glowing tattoo on top, which might be worth it for you.
Keep in mind that all artists won’t work with black light ink due to the restrictions. And not all of the willing artists are well suited for you. Do your research and find an artist with an excellent reputation. Make sure that you discuss and look into ink choices with the artist before pulling the trigger.