There’s a huge debate between which is better, black and gray tattoos or colored ones.

Before you sit down to get inked, it’s best to know which one will suit you better.  There are a number of factors that go into it and you should talk to your tattoo artist before you get to it. Picking the right artist is also important when you decide whether to go neutral or colorful. Certain artists have specific skills or styles and talking to artists and looking at their portfolio will help you determine which route to go. A tattoo is permanent (duh) so it’s worth the extra time and energy to research and think through which design, color scheme, and artist is best for you.

Benefits of Black & Grey Tattoos

Black and gray tattoos are the more traditional, classic colors of this art form. They have a number of benefits, which is why that style has thrived for so long, even after the introduction of colored ink. Two big benefits of black and gray tattoos are that they cost less and take half the time to complete. That means less pain for less money.

Fading is another pro of black and gray tattoos. While they will fade from sunlight, it is much less pronounced than it is in colored tats. The simple, neutral color scheme also means that your tattoo won’t be competing with the colors of your clothing. They’re pronounced but more understated. The dark ink also shows up on every skin tone. Color has a hard time showing up or staying vibrant on dark skin tones, which can be frustrating since they are costly and time-consuming to get. This isn’t a worry with black and gray ink though.

Downside of Black & Grey Tattoos

Black and gray tattoos are classic and vivid despite their dark color palate. However, they required a skilled artist to get the image to come to life.  It takes special skills and techniques in shading to get tone, shape, composition and texture to come across. Without the boldness of color to hide behind, it’s the details that make black and gray tattoos special.

While it’s recommended that you think through a tattoo to make sure you love it before you get inked, that doesn’t always happen. Whether you were young, drunk, picked a bad tattoo artist or just made a plain stupid choice in image, sometimes we come to regret what we got permanently inked on our body. Luckily the world has come a long way in laser removal and tattoo coverings. It’s important to know though that black ink is some of the hardest to remove and cover so make sure you really love your design and artist before you go through with it.

Benefits of Colored Tattoos

Color tattoos are bright, bold and vibrant. The use of color allows for multiple possibilities and unlimited combinations and creativity. A definite benefit of colored tattoos is the increased room in terms of creativity. Color also makes it easier to capture the reality of certain images. It’s a lot harder to make an image look lifelike with shades of black and gray than it does with the use of color.

Like we mentioned, some tattoos at the end of the day are a mistake. And thank god for color tats. Color tattoos are easier to cover, with the exception of darker blue tones. Color is also preferred in the use of covering up old tattoos. The color can be layered to create designs that better hide the old image.

Downside of Colored Tattoos

Colored tattoos are striking and eye-catching but unfortunately, they don’t show up well on everyone. The color has a hard time standing out and sticking to darker skin tones due to pigment. Talk to your tattoo artist about which colors work best with your coloring and be sure to listen to them. There’s nothing worse than ignoring your artist’s advice about a certain color only for that once vibrant yellow to be faded and invisible in a few weeks. Colored tattoos also aren’t recommended for people who spend a lot of time in the sun. Fading in colored ink is much more visible than black and gray.

When it comes to cost, time and pain, colored tattoos also have a few downsides. The process is more costly than black and gray tats and due to the level of details and color layering needed they tend to take longer. Color tattoos can also be more painful due to the repeated layering of the colored ink on top of cut and irritated skin.

Which to chose?

There are pros and cons to both colored and black and gray tattoos. It ultimately comes down to a personal choice but hopefully, we outlined enough to help you make the best choice. Do research first and take the time to talk over your options with your tattoo artist. Weight all the information from your skin color to the design style you want when making your decision. The most important thing is making sure you love your tattoo today, tomorrow and every day in the future.