The Unique Type Of Tattoo You'll Want To Get ASAP

We all love a good tattoo. But these days, it's not just a few young trendsetters lining up to get some fresh new ink; tattoos are booming business. According to Global Newswire, the worldwide tattoo market is expected to generate $1.5 billion by 2031. And as this industry grows in popularity, more and more people are looking for a way to make their ink unique from everyone else's.

From colorful galaxy scenes painted with the colors of the Milky Way to serene, nature-inspired designs with delicate accents, tattoos are a way for people to express themselves and show off the wild side of their personality. "This year, I have been seeing a lot of colorful projects coming in, which I am surprised to see as clients in past years would tend to go for black-and-gray tattoos," tattoo artist Lorena Lorenzo tells Insider. Timeless favorites like portrait tattoos and minimalist line art are also expected to remain popular this year and beyond. But there's one trending throwback style, in particular, that you might want to consider the next time you're getting some new ink.

Gen Z is bringing back the best of Y2K vibes, and we're here for it. From low-rise jeans and claw clips to the tiniest handbags you've seen in years, the early aughts are back in a major way. And with this new trend cycle comes the resurgence of an old tattooing fad that gained popularity in the '90s and '00s: glow-in-the-dark tattoos.

What are glow-in-the-dark tattoos?

Everything old is new again, which may be why glow-in-the-dark tattoos have recently become a hot trend in getting inked. These cool tattoos use ink that's invisible under regular light but glows under the UV rays of a black light. It's like having a wild and crazy tattoo full of color, but also not. And the look is easy to get; as Allure points out, there's no major difference to the process of getting a black-light tattoo over a more traditional design. This opens up a world of possibilities for people looking to try something new with their next tattoo.

Artists create this otherworldly effect using ink that contains a fluorescent dye that responds under black light (via Medical News Today). However, the name of this trendy tattoo might be misleading since this tattoo requires a black light to see the full effect of your glowing ink. This means that in daylight or under any regular light, your tattoo will look similar to any other, and it won't automatically glow in darkness. But take a walk on the wild side of interior design or hit up a club with black lights, and your tattoo will light up the night.

And despite glow-in-the-dark tattoos being trendy, there are still plenty of ways to embrace this unique tattoo style while still making it your own. "I believe if you love the tattoo you took the time to pick out, it won't matter if the style is trendy or not," celebrity tattoo artist Dillon Forte tells Byrdie.

Are glow-in-the-dark tattoos safe?

Despite their recent popularity, black-light tattoos are not necessarily a new trend, so much as the resurgence of an old one. "I've been in the business for over 16 years. I remember when UV first hit the market," tattoo artist JonBoy says to Refinery29. "I've had mine for years. I recommend it." When these colorful statement pieces first became popular, glow-in-the-dark inks were created with carcinogens like phosphorus to achieve a radiant effect (via Greatist). Needless to say, the ink that today's tattooers use to achieve the glowing look excludes the use of this ingredient. "These days, you can find UV inks without phosphorus. They won't glow in the dark, but they will react to UV light," tattoo artist Adam Suerte explains to Bustle.

Still, it's important to note that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration doesn't regulate the ingredients added to tattoo inks. Therefore, you're going to want to do some serious vetting of your tattoo artist before deciding to get a black-light tattoo. For starters, not all tattoo parlors carry UV ink, so you'll need to check this prior to booking your session. Before you set up your appointment, it's also important to ask your artist about the type of ink they'll be using and check their body of work to see if they have experience in glow-in-the-dark tattooing. These steps will help ensure you safely get your money's worth out of your UV tattoo.

Which styles work best for glow-in-the-dark tattoos?

Once you feel confident about your choice of studio and artist, you can go ahead with the tattoo process. But it's not enough to just pick the right tattooist to ink your design –– you'll also want to choose an image that lends itself well to the black-light style. Thankfully, most styles will complement this trend if approached thoughtfully. "The improvement in tattooing technology has allowed for artists to be more creative than ever with what they put on their clients skin — nothing is out of reach now," tattoo artist Lauren Westervelt tells Popsugar.

As for which hues will give you the best pop of color? Experts recommend talking with your tattoo artist about whether the colors and design you've chosen are built to last. "Anything really bold looks good in neon, especially when it's done right next to a dark color, so that it pops. That's why I like doing the 3-D effect in black and pink or blue and red," tattoo artist Kayla Newell tells Inked. Another factor to consider is the cost of your tattoo, since UV tattoos do tend to cost more than traditional ink and may take multiple sessions to complete. So, be sure to talk with your tattoo artist about the pricing of your tattoo, including size and placement, before finalizing things.