Famous actress Melanie Griffith is going through a painful divorce, as we all know. But the removal of her tattoo with the first name of her ex-husband Antonio Banderas may be almost as painful. And she’s not alone in this ordeal. Revenue for tattoo removals has surged 440% to almost $75.5 million over the last decade, says Marketwatch news site.
The tattoo removal industry is still growing and expected to hit $83.2 million over the next 4 years, keeping pace with growth in the overall tattoo industry, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Revenue for the industry overall is estimated to be $3.4 billion in 2014, an annualized growth rate of just 2.9%, though there is strong demand for tattoos with intricate designs, such as 3-D tattoos, says IBISWorld lead analyst Andy Brennan.
Most tattoo removals are performed on people in their 30s and 40s, says Michael Kulick, a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon. “What was attractive in your 20s is not so attractive in your 30s,” he says. Costs vary from $500 up, depending on the color and depth of the ink in the skin.
Relationship breakups and job-hunting are two of the most common reasons that lead to tattoo removals, Brennan says, adding that developments in technology to remove tattoos more easily and with as little scarring as possible was also a key driver of growth for removal services.