- 1 Need For Free Tatto Removal 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 Tatto Removal Services
Tattoo removal services can be costly, especially for large or multiple tattoos needing removal. 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. Sometimes it is necessary to travel outside your local area.
Some municipalities have assistance programs to help with travel expenses though most do not. Especially if you are part of the military and want a tattoo removed, then extra services may be available for you.
Regardless of your situation or background, there are people ready and willing to help so 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, you can travel to a nearby state to get the services.
- Tattoo Removal Ink: Based in Northern Kentucky provides 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 needing help getting their tattoos removed 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 attempting to enter military service but with 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
Free Tattoo Removal Places in Los Angeles
Homeboy Industries: Offers free tattoo removal for former gang members and incarcerated individuals looking to start a new life.
Fresh Start Tattoo Removal: Offers free tattoo removal for individuals who have been trafficked or are survivors of domestic violence.
P.ink: Partner with local tattoo shops and plastic surgeons to provide free or low-cost tattoo removal for breast cancer survivors.
Delete Tattoo: Offers free tattoo removal to former gang members and individuals looking to remove tattoos that negatively impact their life.
Erased: Offers free tattoo removal to individuals who have been affected by human trafficking
Free Tattoo Removal Places in New York:
- New York Presbyterian Hospital’s “Erase the Hate” Program
- The Floating Hospital
- Grace Medical Mission
- R-Health Urgent Care (limited to low-income individuals)
Free Tattoo Removal in Chicago
- Illinois Association for Community Action
- The CORE Center
- The Resurrection Project
Free Tattoo Removal in Texas
- Fresh Start Tattoo Removal – Offers free tattoo removal to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and other forms of trauma.
- The TX Tattoo Removal Project – A statewide initiative that provides free tattoo removal to individuals looking to remove gang-related or hate-based tattoos.
- Salvation Army – Provides free tattoo removal through its Adult Rehabilitation Centers for individuals looking to turn their lives around.
- Dermacare – Offers free tattoo removal through its “Erase the Hate” program for tattoos that depict hate symbols or gang affiliations.
- The Tattoo Project – A nonprofit that provides free tattoo removal services for veterans and first responders.
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 provided free tattoo removals depending on the resources and the 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, faces, wrists, heads, or necks.
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 in reintegrating into 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:
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, which provides services for tattoos related to crime, drug abuse, and domestic violence. They also assist 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 to 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 ensure they can be achieved.