Advice : Teens and Tattoos 101


Art by Leah Pinkerton

Should teens get tattoos? It’s a good question to ask. With the popularity of tattoos, it’s understandable that a teen may have a desire to get one. They may have friends that already have some. They may have already experimented on themselves with a ‘stick and poke’ tattoo somewhere their parents don’t see. For most teens, this is a time of their life they are becoming a bit more rebellious and starting to figure out who they are.


The desire to get a tattoo at that age may stem from the innate rebellious nature inside them. It could be, to them, a good way to separate themselves from the crowd and have something unique about them. Perhaps they just want to experience what it is like to get a real tattoo from a professional.

The reason for some teens might be much more pure than that. Maybe they lost a parent or another loved one at an early age and they want a tattoo to memorialize them. It could even be for a lost pet, a dog this teen grew up with since they could remember, and they want a little something to permanently connect them.

Some teens may want a tattoo due to pop culture. There are some very prominent musicians out there right now with facial tattoos, some with many facial tattoos. Maybe that teen wants to emulate those artists.

NO reputable tattoo artist will give a teen a facial tattoo, even if that artist commonly gives underage tattoos with parental consent. Any adult artist knows this is a terrible idea. Only money-grubbing ‘artists’ that lack any fore site would give someone under 18 a facial tattoo. It’s even often advised to those that are legal age, but still young, to put a lot of thought into getting one.


Teens with facial tattoos will probably regret them later on in life.
Facial tattoo on a young person

A tattoo can be a big decision considering that its purpose is to be on your body forever. This kind of decision probably shouldn’t be made during adolescence. This is extra true for tattoos on the face, neck and hands. These are known as “job killers”.

Not everybody is going to grow up to be a famous singer or sports figure, in fact, most people won’t. Hindering your future just so that you can have a tattoo at a young age is a bad idea. You may even lose consideration at your choice of college based on this unfair, but real-world discrimination. If your back up plan, in case you don’t get famous, is to work in fast food, you need to reach a little higher.

The odds of becoming famous to the level make a living off it are 0.0086%. The odds of becoming famous at all are 1 in 62,000. For perspective, the odds of being executed by the state are 1 in 58,000 or struck by lightning are 1 in 88,000.

Another factor is the simple fact people during adolescence are fickle. During this time in your life, your tastes and interests could change literally overnight. You might love one band one day, but the next, you hate them for one reason or another. Peer pressure often leads to people making decisions that they wouldn’t necessarily otherwise choose. This goes for interests as well.

For example, 3 of your friends are really into “X”, but down inside, you really don’t care for “X” but you go along with it anyway so that you aren’t the odd man out. Imagine basing a tattoo design in this same manner. You don’t care for “X”, but get a tattoo representing it, and later on you regret it.


It’s a pretty big decision, and some of the most commonly seen regretted tattoos are from people who got one or more during their teens. It’s not something that needs to be rushed. There’s plenty of time to be a grown up and to figure out the person you are. Your teens are the real last time you can act like an idiot and be forgiven for it. Enjoy it while it lasts.


If you’re ready to get your next tattoo done, schedule an appointment with an award-winning tattoo parlor. Here at Lucky Bamboo Tattoo, we have some of the best and most experienced tattoo artists in the Salt Lake City area. We can tattoo any style you’d like, and our artists can even design your next piece as well.

Share This post

Join Our Mailing List