The Easiest and Hardest Tattoo Colors to Remove

  • Written By Dan Hunter on February 03, 2022
    Last Updated: February 3, 2022

No one walks into a tattoo studio with the thought that they may need to get the tattoo removed at some point. You want the tattoo to look as beautiful as you imagined and for it to last forever.

This isn’t always the case. It may be that the tattoo you chose didn’t turn out as you imagined, or you changed your mind about the design. Luckily, tattoo removal has improved over the years, and you can now successfully remove or fade most tattoos

While tattoos are easier to remove than in the past, there are still certain colors that are harder than others to remove or fade. We’ll let you know which colors are the easiest and the hardest to remove and the best ways to remove them.


The most popular and successful way to remove a tattoo would be by using laser treatment. This slowly dissolves the ink particles and removes the pigment in your skin by comprising the use of laser lights or the photomechanical effect. 

Laser tattoo removal uses Q-switched lasers where the infra-red light reaches into the dermis layer of the skin. The light and the heat from the lasers are then absorbed by the tattoo ink. The energy from the laser starts to heat the ink, which breaks up under the temperatures.

Removing Different Tattoo Colors

So it all sounds simple, right? Wrong. Even though the tattoo removal process has improved significantly, some tattoos are difficult to remove, and some colors of ink prove downright impossible to get rid of.

Some colors disappear after just a few sessions, but others take a lot longer, which costs a whole lot more than many people can afford. We’ll let you know which are the easiest and hardest tattoo colors to remove below:

Easiest Colors to Remove

Black

Black is the easiest tattoo ink color to remove using laser tattoo removal treatment. The black ink will absorb the infra-red light directly and precisely, meaning that the ink heats up quickly and gradually disappears. You can remove a small black tattoo in as little as five sessions. However, larger, more detailed black tattoos can take up to ten sessions to be removed completely.

Gray 

Gray tattoo ink works in a very similar way to black and can be removed quite easily. For the laser to remove a black or gray tattoo, it needs to be set at a 1064nm (non-ablative) wavelength.

Red 

You may think that a vibrant red-colored tattoo ink would be difficult to remove, but this isn’t the case. Red is the third easiest tattoo ink color to remove. Due to the darkness of the color, it also absorbs the infra-red light well. It’s not as easy to remove as black or gray tattoo ink. However, a tattoo with red ink shouldn’t take more than ten sessions to be removed as long as the size and placement of the tattoo are suitable for removal.

Dark Yellow

Yellow is another tattoo ink color that can be removed without great difficulty. You need to bear in mind that the lighter the yellow color of your tattoo, the harder it will be to be removed, and a very light yellow will be almost impossible to get rid of. The laser needs to be at a 532nm wavelength to remove red and dark yellow tattoo inks.

Dark and warm-toned inks generally work well with laser removal treatment as they absorb the heat quickly. This is the same with dark orange or brown tattoo ink, and they can also be relatively simple to remove. 

In the heat of summer, you would wear lighter-colored clothing as dark colors absorb the heat from the sun and make you hotter. This is the same theory with tattoo ink removal. The darker the color, the quicker it absorbs the heat and starts to disappear.

Hardest Colors to Remove 

Green, Blue, and Purple

The most challenging colors of tattoo ink to be removed would be green, blue, and purple. These colors require many sessions of laser removal treatment, and even after these sessions, the tattoo may still be visible. The darker the colors, the easier it is to remove them. 

Light blue and light green are two of the most difficult tattoo ink colors to be removed. The laser light needs to be set at a 694nm or 755nm wavelength to remove these ink colors.

Neon

Neon color tattoo inks are also difficult to be removed and they require multiple laser removal sessions. 

White

The hardest tattoo ink color to remove would be white ink. This color of tattoo ink doesn’t absorb any of the infra-red light from the laser. There have been instances where the laser has had the opposite effect and has turned the white ink darker.

If Laser Tattoo Removal Fails

It could be that you’ve had multiple sessions of laser removal treatment and your tattoo colors are still visible. The black outline may have disappeared or faded, but you can still see the tattoo. 

The best option, in this case, would be to have a tattoo cover-up. If you have a lighter tattoo this would work well and would give you a whole new tattoo that you want to show off, rather than hide.

This may not be the best solution for someone wanting to get rid of the tattoo completely. However, this is one of the things that you need to think about before getting a tattoo. 

Conclusion

A tattoo is a permanent piece of body art, and you need to think long and hard before taking the plunge. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and the tattoo doesn’t turn out as you wanted.

In this situation, it is possible to have laser removal treatment to remove the tattoo. However, you need to remember that this isn’t guaranteed to work, and it works better on some colors and pigments of tattoo ink than on others. You may not always get the results that you wanted.

Speak to your tattoo artist before getting the tattoo to make sure that you get the best results from your tattoo. This will mean that you don’t even have to think about removing it.