After a few boom years the tattoo has become victim to fickle fashion tastes. One in eight Britons is estimated to have a tattoo, more than any other nation in Europe. But the tide has turned. Laser clinics in the UK are reporting record traffic to remove the body art as popularized by stars such as David Beckham and Britney Spears.
Clinics reported a 40% increase in tattoo removals over the past two years. In July it received 500 enquiries, more than twice its average. Almost two-thirds of customers are women in their mid-20s to 50.
“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in people coming in for removals in all our clinics’ said Jane Lewis, regional director of one of the laser clinics, “Tattoos are very fashionable now, you see celebrities with them. A lot of people who get henna tattoos like them and think they’ll have a real one.
“We are seeing a mixture of people. Some had a tattoo when they were younger but have now got on the career ladder: they are executives who can’t wear a short -sleeved shirt around the boardroom table in summer because of what it will reveal.
“There are also women for whom a...