- 1 Need For Free Services
- 2 Free Tattoo Removal Services
- 3 Local Resources
- 4 How To Find Free Services Near You
- 5 Free Tattoo Removal Services For Military And Gangs and Ex-Prisoners
- 6 Moving Forward
Need For Free Services
Tattoo removal services can be costly, especially for large or multiple tattoos that need to be removed. Sometimes the tattoos can make it hard to find a well-paying job, which makes getting them removed even harder. Whether someone is trying to erase gang tattoos for reintegration into society or needing to remove visible tattoos to join the military, it can be challenging to find the finances to fund treatments. Luckily, there are options for people with low incomes to get free tattoo removal services.
Often, there are so many people signed up in a given area for free or low-cost services that the wait can be months. Because of this, it is sometimes necessary to travel outside your local area. This can mean driving a few hours to a different city or going to an entirely different state. Some municipalities have assistance programs to help with the travel expenses though most do not. Especially if you are part of the military and want a tattoo removed, then there may be extra services available for you.
Regardless of your situation or background, there are people ready and willing to help so that you can start over.
Free Tattoo Removal Services
Here is a small list of organizations and charities that provide free removal services. Most places do not require that you live in the state offering the program, so if there are none near you, there is the opportunity to travel to a nearby state to get the services.
- Tattoo Removal Ink: Based in “Northern Kentucky providing free removal of jail, gang and human-trafficking tattoos from the formerly-incarcerated, former gang members, and victims of human trafficking.” https://www.tattooremovalink.org
- Atlanta Redemption Ink: “Offers free tattoo removals to individuals who have marks from sex trafficking, gang insignia, self-harm scars, and addiction markings.” https://atlantaredemptionink.com/
- Fresh Start Program, Inc. They connect people in need of help getting their tattoos removal services with companies that do laser tattoo removals. http://www.freshstarttattooremoval.org/
- 2nd Call: Located in Los Angeles, CA, and offering tattoo removal for former gang members. https://www.2ndcall.org/
- New Beginnings located at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, CA, provides free assistance with gang-related tattoo removals.
- Tattoo Removal Program at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center located in the San Fernando Valley offers “ laser tattoo removal treatments are provided at no cost to adults who qualify for the “community service”-based program.” https://www.providence.org/Treatments/Tattoo-Removal
- Delete — Tattoo Removal & Laser Salon: Offers tattoo removal for people who are attempting to enter military service but have disqualifying ink.
Additional Individuals, Tattoo Shops, And Departments Offering Free Tattoo Removal:
- All Sacred Tattoo Shop: Based in Edgewater, CO offers “free tattoo removal for former gang members” https://allsacred.com/
- The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has a program. “The Tattoo Removal Service incentivizes inmates to engage in structured academic, vocational, life-skills and other learning opportunities offered by EBI, as participation in those courses and activities makes them eligible for tattoo removal treatments.” http://shq.lasdnews.net/pages/PageDetail.aspx?id=1432
There may also be some local resources near you. Some tattoo parlors will have information about removing tattoos for free, which may not be publicized online. Sometimes there are county programs for former gang members or victims of human trafficking, which offer free services. Tattoo shops will often be aware of local clinics and spas that provide reduced costs or free services.
Churches and local religious organizations may also be aware of services available to specific demographics in need of tattoo removal. Generally, this includes people with drugs, crime, or other offensive tattoos. Churches and medical centers have been known to provide free tattoo removals depending on the resources and person’s needs.
There are also places you can go to get free removal services specifically for joining the military because current army regulations do not allow recruits to have tattoos on their hands, face, wrists, head, or neck. The Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard all have their restrictions and rules regarding tattoos on recruits. To find a local resource for the removal of tattoos for military service, you can do a Google search, or your local recruiting office may have some information about places in your area that can assist.
There is a great push throughout the country for free tattoo removal for the military.
How To Find Free Services Near You
Look at your local resources in your area, such as charities, non-profit organizations intended to assist people reintegrating to society, and local tattoo parlors. There are also multiple online databases of locations that offer free or income-based tattoo removals. A quick Google search for “free tattoo removal service [insert city, state]” will bring up any options near you.
Here is an online database that lists places that offer free or low-cost services.
- A comprehensive database of companies, organizations, and individuals that provide their service throughout the United States for former gang members, victims of crimes, and other specific demographics. https://secondchancejobsforfelons.com/programs-for-felons/list/347/tattoo-removal
Some places offer sliding scale fees based on income and free options for those that qualify. For example, Outside In has Project Erase Tattoo Removal that provides services for tattoos related to crime, drug abuse, and domestic violence. They also have assistance for people unable to pay even the lowest tier costs.
Free Tattoo Removal Services For Military And Gangs and Ex-Prisoners
It is not unusual to be in a situation where you find yourself with a tattoo that you no longer want. For example, if you were in the military, it may have seemed fun at the time to go with your friends and have a tattoo to show your strength and unity. However, once you have been out of the military for a while, there may be regret.
Prisoners also may have tattoos, which seemed like a great idea when you were in prison but once you are in a different environment seem out of place.
You may have been in a street gang which you have now left and want to get rid of the mark of the gang. This can sometimes be extremely important for your safety so that you are not physically targeted.
In all these situations, it is worth enquiring about whether laser centers have special deals to remove tattoos for the military.
Now that you have some resources for finding free services, nothing is stopping you from being able to move forward onto the next chapter in your life. Your ink does not need to define you any longer. Whatever your goals are for the future, you now have some of the tools required to make sure that they can be achieved.