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Reasons Not To Get a Sleeve Tattoo

If you ask a lot of different people about the reasons why you should not get a certain tattoo, you will get many different opinions, but more or less, they will be in similar categories.

Today we will try to clarify for you the reasons why not to get a sleeve tattoo. Of course, tattoo fans will find reasons to get them, but today’s approach is a bit different, focusing on the cons of sleeve tattoos, i.e., the reasons for not getting them.

Why Not To Get a Sleeve Tattoo

There are 4 main reasons why you should not get a sleeve tattoo. 

The first reason is that a large tattoo on your arm is fully visible in certain environments, such as the workplace, and mostly in the spring and summer seasons. This could pose a potential obstacle for the work dress code of the workplace.

The second reason is that sleeve tattoos tend to be highly costly and expensive.

The third reason is that this type of tattoo of this size will most likely hurt a lot as well.

The fourth reason is that a full sleeve tattoo is hard to correct in case you change your mind. Cover-ups and touch-ups are not the simplest options that would otherwise be a good solution for smaller tattoos.

Why are some workplaces still against sleeve tattoos?

workplaces against sleeve tattoos

Unfortunately for tattoo enthusiasts, many officialized workplaces require a highly-professional look of the employees, i.e., not intimidating or attracting glances at all. Of course, we believe that tattoos are not and should not ever be a factor in defining someone’s competence, but that is a dilemma for another day and topic. 

The workplaces that usually require a tattoo-free look are hospitals, schools, kindergartens, banks, airplane companies (for the staff that contacts people such as the flight attendants), law and finance companies, police departments, and similar. Of course, this varies from country to country and you can meet both types of people (tattooed and non-tattooed) on those premises as well. 

Part of the reasons for this so to speak discrimination based on appearance is because in recent and far past, people still didn’t think of tattoos as just fashion or visual statement, and sadly, this body art was closely associated and linked to marginalized or crime-prone groups/people in society.

Can I hide a sleeve tattoo while at work?

If the work uniform shows your whole arms, and you cannot wear a long-sleeve uniform of that same design, there is not much you can do, and this is the bad news. But, if you’re allowed to hide the sleeve tattoo with a long sleeve uniform, then it is ok. Although one problem in the summer would be dealing with the immense heat while fully clothed like this.

For any other environment apart from work, you are free to choose whatever long sleeves or clothes you want, but again, the heat in the summer is a major obstacle to last through the whole ‘hiding’ for many hours.

Are sleeve tattoos as expensive as people say?

sleeve tattoo expensive

Any tattoo that takes up a large area of your body will be expensive. Since the sleeve tattoos are not small or medium and take up a whole extremity, yes, expect them to be pricey. 

The price ranges vary from one artist or salon to another, but on average the sleeve can start from as cheap as $500, but also as expensive as $4000 for the whole sleeve. 

Try not to be fooled by the low prices for a full-sleeve tattoo. This part of the body is visible, and you will cover it all in ink, so it is better to invest more, to avoid a bad-quality permanent art that will be hard to cover up!

How much does a sleeve tattoo hurt

The sleeve tattoo will hurt, but not because it is a sleeve. Your body can only go through so much pain, so after a certain amount of time in the salon, you will start to feel the pain more and more as time passes.

Usually, people tend to feel unbearable pain after the 3rd or 4th hour of tattooing, with just tiny, if any, breaks.

What to do if you dislike your sleeve tattoo

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do. If you exclude the long sleeves, there are 3 other options.

1. Makeup for concealing

Nowadays, the makeup industry advanced its manufacturing and quality of products, so you can find many foundations or concealers to cover up the ink. But, the sleeve is a large area, so be prepared for this process!

2. Laser removal

If you dislike the sleeve that much, you can only remove it with permanent laser tattoo removal. This will also be very costly!

3. Massive and complex coverup

However, if you don’t hate the sleeve now, but you just dislike it somehow, you can ask whether your design can be changed with a coverup. If it’s too dark, chances are slim. But, if your sleeve is mostly light lines and colors, there could be a cover-up, but it will be much, much darker, or almost all black.


In conclusion, a tattoo is a permanent investment and you should think long and hard when you decide what you will get. Of course, if you plan on a full arm design, think even harder, because it won’t be as easy for a change midway when you just add small pictures on the arm!

A sleeve tattoo could attract bad looks in the workplace, either by coworkers or most likely customers. Also, be prepared to splurge some finances, and bear some amount of pain too! Lastly, a coverup in this case is almost impossible.

All of this means, there are reasons to stop and rethink if you want a sleeve tattoo!

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