The following FAQ’s are geared specifically to the laser tattoo removal service. If there is a particular question you need answered that doesn’t appear here, feel free to email, call the studio or drop in for a chat.
Where are you located?
We can be found inside the world renowned Westside Tattoo Brisbane previously in West End but now located at 83 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 4006.
The studio is approximately a 5 minute walk from Fortitude Valley Station and there is a bus stop right out front of the studio servicing routes 334, 346, 353, 360, 361, 364, 370, 375 & 379
I hate catching public transport. Is there parking available at the studio?
There’s plenty of street parking around the studio and you’ll usually have no troubles finding something within a block or two. Keep in mind however that we are not the local council, parking inspectors nor law enforcement. We can’t and don’t guarantee you a park within a certain distance of the studio. Fortitude Valley is a very busy area, increasingly more so every day, so please allow a little extra time to find parking and make your way to your appointment.
What are the shop hours?
Our opening hours are 11am to 6pm, Tuesday through Saturday and there’s always someone available to talk to you about laser tattoo removal and lightening during these times. The first and last hours of the day can get a little busy however, as we get clients ready for the first sessions of the day and finalise the last, so after 12 noon and before 5pm are ideal times to talk over all aspects of your treatment.
What equipment do you use?
Pastelle Q-Switched ND: YAG laser unit and a Cryo-Jet Air Cooling System for pain relief.
How much does it cost?
Jobs are quoted per session unless negotiated otherwise with our technician. The clinic’s minimum is $80 per treatment. Each job is priced according to how much needs to be lasered, location on the body and multiple other factors. Our technician will give you an exact price before commencing treatment. All consults and appointments are obligation-free.
How can I pay my deposit?
We accept cash, credit/debit card and EFTPOS payments when in the studio and we also have online booking available through our booking platform here.
If I cancel my appointment or change my mind, can I just get my deposit back?
If you can’t make your appointment we require at least 2 trading days notice by phone, email, in person or you will forfeit the deposit. If you don’t show up for your appointment, you forfeit the deposit. If you cancel with more than 2 trading days notice, we can roll the deposit over to a new appointment time. Please give us as much notice as possible if you need to cancel. Please note that we’re unable to accept cancellations by Facebook/Instagram or via messages left on our answering service outside of shop hours.
How long does it take?
Laser sessions are very quick, most jobs taking less than 5 minutes to complete. Larger tattoos can extend to 15 or 20 minutes.
Does it hurt?
Yes, it does. Think of it as a painful reminder to choose your design and tattooist better next time.
Is there anything I can do to reduce the pain?
Numbing creams can be sourced from chemists and/or prescribed by your GP. These help to bring the level of pain down to that experienced in the original application of the tattoo. Talk to your local chemist to find out what creams they stock and recommend.
Our technicians also utilise a localised cooling treatment that helps to ease the discomfort level both during and after treatment. Think of it as a big air conditioner, used to blow cool air on to the treatment area. Great for pain relief and those hot QLD summers!
Is there a maximum amount you can laser in one sitting?
Yes. Depending on the area of the body being treated, some tattoos are too large to be lasered in one sitting, and are best broken into several. The technician can walk you through and advise on the best course for your circumstances. In these instances, pricing of the work is quoted per tattoo, even when the work is split across multiple sessions. Please note however that these circumstances are rare and most clients can have the entire piece lasered in one session.
So if I want my whole leg sleeve lasered in one go, is that possible?
It’s certainly a possibility, though ultimately will depend on two factors: the level of discomfort you can stand for extended periods of time and the technician’s assessment of the work to be carried out. If they believe the treatment is better managed in split sessions, they will discuss the options with you at your initial consult.
How long between each session?
We recommend 8-12 weeks between each treatment.
Why do I have to wait so long?
Your body will begin drawing the old ink out of the area as soon as it gets lasered and will continue to do so for anywhere up to 6 or 8 weeks and in most instances far longer. As such, experience and studies have shown it to be unnecessary and premature to re-treat an area prior to this time. The time between each session also allows the treated area to heal properly.
Do all colours come out equally well?
No. Black ink is the easiest to lighten…which is good considering it’s the hardest to cover up. Lighter colours like green, yellow, purple, pink, are more stubborn and usually require more treatments.
Does it damage the skin or cause scarring?
If treated properly, by a qualified professional, you should experience no visible scarring. Your technician will highlight any potential issues with you if they feel there’s any cause for concern after visually inspecting the area to be treated at your initial consultation.
Is there any area of the body that can’t be lasered?
If you’ve had it tattooed, it can be lasered. Your technician will tune the equipment and adjusts the procedure to suit the area being lasered, but essentially, anywhere that can be tattooed can be treated with laser removal.
Is laser removal instant?
You may see immediate results on grey wash and black shading, but most ink requires a few weeks to see the effects of the laser treatment. The vast majority of tattoos require several sessions before they are light enough for successful cover up. We can discuss the projected results and anticipated number of sessions at your initial consult, taking into account such factors as the colours in your old work, the new work to be tattooed, etc.
How many sessions does it take to lighten enough for cover up?
Each client will have different needs depending on both the tattoo being lightened and the new work that will be tattooed in its place. For instance, if you have a black tribal armband that you want covered with a realistic B&G portrait, then you will need to lighten the tattoo considerably more than if you were covering it with, say, a traditional rose or a Japanese dragon. In most instances you could expect an absolute minimum of 2 to 3 treatments to facilitate a successful cover up.
How do I make an appointment?
To book an appointment we prefer you to visit the studio first to discuss the work with our counter staff or technician. If it’s difficult for you to drop past to chat or maybe you just don’t really like people that much, feel free to complete our Enquiry Form and our bookings manager will contact you ASAP to book a consult and/or laser appointments.
Do I have to make an appointment or can I just walk in?
We do recommend making an appointment but are more than happy to do walk-ins. If you’re planning on coming down without an appointment however, give us a call first to make sure a technician is working that day and at the time you plan on coming past.
I want to get a quote before coming in. Can I just email you photos of the area in question?
We will happily quote based on emailed photos but reserve the right to re-evaluate the work at the first appointment once the tattoo in question can be properly sighted. Please note that we do NOT make any bookings or give quotes of any kind via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platforms.
I sent an email/enquiry last night and still haven’t heard back. Are you ignoring me? Why don’t you like me? I like me?
No. We’re a very busy studio and receive a large number of emails and messages all day, every day. We aim to reply to each within 24 hours of receiving but we’re only human and every now and then have other work that needs to be done (crazy, but true). Please be patient. Emails are generally a time consuming method of communicating. If you want more immediate attention, come into the studio and talk to us in person. Also, please allow for a delay if you email during our closing times (IE: if you email us on Saturday night, it may not be read until we open the studio again the following Tuesday).
…so anyway, I sent you a message on Facebook and haven’t heard back? What gives bro?
More than possible. Facebook and Instagram are great ways for us to show you our work and keep you involved in the process of laser tattoo removal and lightening. They’re not, however, where we spend our day. It’s quite likely that any message sent on Facebook may simply be missed by our very busy staff or get buried under an avalanche of comment/like notifications, posts to timelines, shares etc. We simply don’t have the time to sit and check social media all day every day.
Do I need to be 18 or over to have laser treatment?
Any requests for laser tattoo removal by someone under the age of 18 will be evaluated for suitability based on its individual merits. We are able to perform the treatment but require that parental guidance is sought and undertaken.
Should I do anything prior to the treatment, especially on the day of the appointment?
Other than numbing the area as per the directions of your chemist if you choose to do so, we’d ask that you avoid getting sun burnt. It also helps if you shave the area before you arrive at the shop. More info on this can be found on our Pre-Care and Aftercare page.
How should I care for the area after my treatment?
Aftercare is reasonably basic. Keep the area clean and out of the sun, and apply an after sun or aloe vera gel twice a day for the first week. More info on this can be found on our Pre-Care and Aftercare page. We will also run through all of this and supply you with a copy of the aftercare once we have finished your first treatment.
What side effects can I expect from the treatment?
Besides the immediate pain and discomfort, you may experience swelling, scabbing, blistering, and in some cases, a general feeling of lethargy.
My skin has developed quite large blisters. Is that normal?
Yes. A blister is the body’s response to injury or trauma, and is intended to protect the underlying skin tissues from any damage during the healing process. Your body will gradually absorb the fluid cocooned under the skin as the tissue repairs itself. Some people will experience blisters, while others will not.
Can I bring my child in with me when I’m being treated?
Children are more than welcome at the studio, but are not permitted to come with you into the treatment areas. We also do not offer baby sitting or child care. Working alongside a bunch of tattooists is basically the same thing.
What about my girlfriend? I’m gonna need her to hold my hand?
We can accommodate one extra adult in the studio with you. Please advise us of this before you arrive for your appointment.
Do you guys have any merch available? I saw this bloke wearing a sick TLC shirt at the pub? And what about gift vouchers? I forgot the missus’s birthday is tomorrow!
Heaps!!! We have t-shirts, stickers and gift vouchers plus more available in store and our soon to be relaunched webstore,
What’s the best dollar figure to add to a gift voucher?
There’s no minimum or maximum dollar figure that a voucher can be purchased at but as a general guide for those who aren’t sure what to buy the minimum deposit that any client will be required to leave to book an appointment is $80 and the minimum cost of any treatment is also $80, so that is often a good dollar figure to go with. Of course, if you’re feeling generous, go HAM!!!
Isn’t it kinda weird offering laser removal in a tattoo studio?
Not at all. While we want to make it very clear that offering laser removal in no way insinuates that we consider the process of being tattooed as anything other than a permanent life-long commitment, and one that should be carefully considered before any tattoo work commences, we are very pleased to provide the service as a way of helping clients get the type of quality work they should have obtained in the first place.
I don’t live in Brisbane. Are you ever going to open up interstate?
If you’re from out of town and require laser removal services, talk to us at the studio and we’ll refer you to someone who will be able to help.
Is there such a thing as a tattoo you’d refuse to laser?
Hasn’t happened yet, but we don’t think we’d be able to bring ourselves to laser an original Sailor Jerry, Amund Dietzel, Bert Grimm, Matthew Cunnington, Horiyoshi III or the likes of…you get the idea.
Is it easier to remove an older or newer tattoo?
In most cases, older is easier. Of course sometimes a new tattoo (generally the cheap, “my mate got a tattoo machine on eBay” piece) has been applied so poorly it makes very little difference. Please understand though that laser removal treatment on fresh/new tattoos often shows little results. You may need to sit with your freshly acquired work of genius for a period of time before it’s going anywhere.
What about a tattoo that was done by a ‘backyarder’…mine looks like it’s barely in the skin?
Regardless of whether a tattoo was applied by a mate in your outdoor toilet while you were both blind drunk, or a tattooist in a professional studio, the skill with which it is tattooed will certainly play a part in how easy it is to remove. Poorly applied tattoos will not hold in your skin in the same manner as one applied by a skilled, talented tattooist.
If I get my tattoo lasered, can I cover it with anything I want?
With considered treatment by a qualified technician, a lasered tattoo can be covered up with pretty much any design and style you desire. Of course, some new pieces such as B&G portrait work, will require close to blank skin, which may mean near complete removal and as such, a real dedication and commitment (mentally, physically and financially) to see the procedure through to its conclusion. In some instances, you may want to consider putting the new piece in another location on the body.
Why bother with laser…can’t you just cover up my old crap with another tattoo without lightening it first?
Straight cover up without lasering is certainly an option that can be considered and should be discussed with the tattooist who will be doing the new work. A rule of thumb is that the new work would need to be 3 times the size of the old, and in darker/bolder colours in order to hide the old work. This style of cover up can provide great results, but often means the design of the new piece is compromised due to the need to adjust/tailor the drawing to the existing lines, colours and shading of the old. Your chosen tattooist will be the best person to advise you on this. Some are happy to do this type of cover up, while others now insist on lasering in order to maintain the integrity of the new piece.
Do I have to laser my entire tattoo, or can I select certain areas?
Totally depends on the new piece that will cover it. Your tattooist will guide you in what needs to be lasered and when different areas of the old work are ready to be covered.
How long after my last laser session before I can be tattooed?
We recommend waiting at least 4 months. The longer the better, wink wink, nudge nudge.
What the? By the time I’ve had 3 or 4 sessions, and then waited 4 months, it’s going to be 77 months before I get tattooed!!!
Yep, in some cases, much longer. Undertaking laser treatment is a long term commitment that will ultimately result in you getting an amazing piece of art on your body (we hope) in place of the bog you have there now. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a very short period of time. Please be aware that it is NOT a quick fix, an easy out, nor a reason to take the decision to be tattooed lightly.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL THE STUDIO:
PH: 07 3844 0711