Helped along in part by the 2007 American reality TV show LA Ink that premiered on TLC, getting “inked”  has become all the rage.( In case you aren’t into the new fangled vernacular, “getting inked” is just another way of saying you’re “getting a tattoo.” ) Long gone are the days when tattoos were relegated to sailors and leather clad biker gangs. Now, tattoos are an artistic expression embraced by those from virtually all walks of life. The following are some ways to choose your perfect tattoo, just in case you are getting an itch to get inked:

Take Your Time Selecting The Perfect Tattoo: It’s a Long-Term Choice

Gabriel Nunes

Your tattoo design should be something you LOVE. Therefore, it’s important to take your time and make a choice you won’t eventually regret, which is a more common occurrence than you might imagine. A survey of an annual meeting of the British Association of Dermatologists found that almost one-third of those surveyed (580 tattooed individuals) now regret getting their a tattoo.

According to the survey, men are more likely to regret their ink than women. In addition, men who got their tattoo before the age of 16 were three times as likely to regret their tattoo. Dr. Caroline Owen, who was a researcher on the study, said that due to the study findings, she “encourages the public to have a ‘cooling’ off period to seriously think about what effects getting a tattoo might have on their future.” This sounds like good advice.

Also, don’t assume you can just have your tattoo removed if you end up unhappy with it down the road because tattoo removal isn’t cheap. In fact, LiveScience states that having a tattoo removed is quite expensive, sometimes costing as much as 10 to 20 times the amount you originally paid for your tattoo.

Avoid Choosing Overly Trendy Tattoos

A tattoo is something that will most likely be on your body for the rest of your life. Therefore, you want to avoid being too trendy with your design choice because by nature trends come and go. A good example of why this is true is a tribal tattoo, which was extremely popular in the 90s according to Metro. When you see someone with this type of tattoo, it dates them to being a young adult in that timeframe. Is there more that needs to be said? Instead, choose a design that will be timeless, one that will age well and will never, ever go out of style.

Ensure it Means Something

Isabel Sacher

According to Inked Magazine, any potential design idea should be something you connect with at a deep level. This will ensure you remain happy with your tattoo even years down the road. An example of this could be a mother and daughter, or sister-sister matching tattoo. Another could be a tattoo that commemorates a great accomplishment or surviving something like cancer. When your tattoo means something, it makes sense that you will remain happier with it long-term.