How does laser tattoo removal work?

January 11, 2023

Author: Jamie Tomlinson

How does laser tattoo removal work? Firstly, let’s take a step back and understand how tattoos work. The tattoo pigment is placed in the Dermis. This is the deeper layers of the skin. The ink particles are quite large. And cannot be absorbed by the body here. This is why the ink is permanent. And visible.

Tattoo laser removal works by directing the laser light onto the tattoo. The laser is set to the correct wavelength depending on the ink colour. Black ink or darker ink is the easiest to remove or fade.

Why? Because these colours absorb all wavelengths of light. If you think about the colour spectrum, black absorbs the laser light. Whereas white retracts the laser light. And then reds warmer tones can take longer than black ink. Lastly, blues, and greens can take a little longer.

The tattoo ink absorbs the laser light, and the ink particles are shattered into tiny little particle


The Tattoo Removal Elimination Process

The shattered ink is then eliminated through the lymphatic system. This is the body’s natural cleansing system. Every tattoo is different, and so is every individual. The number of treatments needed is determined by a few factors.

How many tattoo removal treatments will you need?

So we’ve answered the question ‘how laser tattoo removal works’. Now we can look at number of treatments you might need.

One other common question we get is ‘can you get rid a tattoo in one session?’. To which we say, short answer, no! We wish!

Longer answer: Generally, it takes 6-10 treatments to remove or fade a tattoo. Some people need more and some people need less. And this can vary from person to person. Based on the below factors;

Tattoo removal and Tattoo colour

Tattoo colour is important to consider when it comes to laser tattoo removal. Black ink is the easiest to get rid of. Followed by reds and warmer tones. And then blues and greens, being the hardest to get rid of.

Tattoo removal and Skin Tone

When it comes to laser tattoo removal, we refer to the Fitzpatrick Skin Scale to estimate how many treatments you’ll need. There are 6 different skin types. Ranging from light, pale white to very dark. Tattoos on very light, fair skin can see quicker results.

Tattoo removal and Layering of tattoos

With laser tattoo removal, we can only treat one layer at a time. So if you have a tattoo on top of a tattoo, this just means we need to target that many more layers of ink. And it may need more treatments.

Tattoo removal and Tattoo location

We now know how the body gets rid of the ink through the ink elimination process. Therefore, we can now understand why tattoos in certain parts of the body may fade quicker than others. The higher the circulation, the quicker the tattoo can fade. Closer to the heart, the quicker we might see results. This is why tattoos on hands and feet may take a bit longer.

Tattoo removal and Health

Health and Lifestyle plays a major role in getting rid of that ink. For example, let’s take smoking and drinking regularly. Your body has to deal with getting rid of the nasty toxins. And may not have the detox capacity to get rid of all that ink. Therefore, this can slow the process and result in more treatments.

Tattoo removal and Amount of ink

Are we looking at a tattoo with very faint lines. Or a tattoo that is dense and has a lot of ink.

Tattoo removal and Age of tattoo

Older tattoos can be easier to shift. Because the body is already trying to break that ink down over the years. This is why a tattoo that is 20 years old will look more faded. Compared to a tattoo that might only be 6 weeks old.

Tattoo removal on Professional or Amateur tattoos

Professional tattoos are a lot more harder to get rid of. Why? Because they are professional! And when a tattoo is done professionally, the tattoo artist is able to place the ink deeper in the Dermis. The Dermis is the deeper layer of the skin. If a tattoo is done with a tattoo gun by a friend, the ink may not have been placed so deep into the Dermis. So this type of tattoo may not need as many treatments. Similarly Stick and Poke tattoos are easy to get rid of. Because the ink hasn’t been placed so deep. 

A few things to consider

Now you know how laser tattoo removal works, it is easy to understand why everyone reacts differently to tattoo removal. Because everyone is different. And so is every tattoo.

At Goodbye Tattoos, we carry out a skin assessment at the consultation. This way we can estimate how many tattoo removal treatments you might need. This just an estimate. We won’t know how you’ll react. Or how quickly the tattoo will fade until we have done a treatment.

In some cases, the tattoo may need 2-3 treatments before we seeing any fading. This doesn’t mean it’s not working. It just means, we need to break the ink down further.

Speeding up the laser tattoo removal process

There are ways to help speed up the tattoo removal process. And our goal is to get rid of your tattoo in as fewer treatments as possible. But there is some ‘homework’ to be done. By following some very simple tips, you’ll be saying goodbye to your unwanted tattoo before you know it.

Tattoo removal is a journey. And if you remain consistent, the results can be so worth it.

At Goodbye Tattoos, our laser tattoo removal specialists will take you through all the information you need. And are happy to answer your questions. So if you’re looking for laser tattoo removal in Sydney, get in touch with Goodbye Tattoos today. Call us today email For more information see our FAQ page.

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