This is the most regretted tattoo design and well, that makes sense

Maybe find another way to declare your unending devotion.

tattoo regrets
(Image credit: Carl Timpone/BFA/REX/Shutterstock)

Maybe find another way to declare your unending devotion.

If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, you might want to read this first. A new study just revealed what kind of ink people are most likely to regret and to be honest, you probably could have guessed what it was from the get-go. According to the research, you might want to scratch getting somebody’s name tattooed on you - but hopefully most of your good friends would have warned you against doing that anyway.

The University of Portsmouth teamed up with to find out which tattoos people weren’t as keen on later in life and the research was pretty eye-opening. They talked to a thousand people across the UK who rock permanent ink about their tatts and found that both men (3.34%) and women (24.33%) most regretted getting a person’s name on them.

tattoo regrets

Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock
(Image credit: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock)

The next most likely tattoos that the genders were likely to regret diverged from there, as 12.81% of men now disliked their tribal tattoos and 15.95% of women really weren’t feeling their star constellation ink anymore. However, they were both combined on their regret over their Asian character tattoos (12.53% of men, 12.64% of women). Also heads up, if you’re going to get anything in a language you don’t understand tattooed on you - please get it properly translated first. To be honest, it tracks because it turns out a lot of tattoo artists are sick of those designs and one artist even revealed that they had ‘overheard an American guy bragging about the Chinese character on his arm, he thinks it means brave, it means turtle.’

As for why people regretted their choice in ink? Over a quarter of women said it was because they ‘simply got bored’ of their design, while 23.85% said it was due to the colour fading over the years. A fifth said that the poor line work was an issue, while 23.7% also said that the design ‘no longer held the same value to them’ which we totally get - things have a tendency to lose significance as you get older. Men were most likely to regret theirs for the diminished sentimental value (28.07%) while a quarter were bored of the design.

tattoo regrets

Action Press/REX/Shutterstock
(Image credit: Action Press/REX/Shutterstock)

If you’re umm-ing and ahh-ing over where you’re going to get your next tattoo, placement played a big role in tattoo regrets. 15.17% of women were no longer fond of their lower back tattoos while a fifth of men wished they hadn’t gotten theirs on their forearm. Anything on the shoulders, chest and upper back was a no-go for both genders.

A few of the members at team MC have tattoos and we’ve actually put together a few inspiration guides that may sort you out. From celebrity tattoo inspiration to tiny tattoos that’ll make you want to book your next appointment immediately, we’re sure you’ll find something to fall in love with.

However, whatever you do, spend a bit of time thinking about what you’re going to get. The survey backs us up on this one, as it found ‘those who regretted having a tattoo were more likely to have spent less time thinking about it’. And on that note, we’re going to dive back into our ever-growing Pinterest board of potential tattoo designs...

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.