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Tattoo Ideas: Blacklight UV Glow-in-the-Dark
If you don't know what a blacklight is, then either you didn't grow up in the seventies or you've never been to a Spencer's Gifts. Spencer's has a blacklight section at the back of all their stores, an area that is decorated with glow-in-the-dark sticky stars and hanging beads. They try to keep this section relatively dark because they have blacklights set up to illuminate the glowing items. Blacklights are essentially purple lightbulbs that emit ultraviolet radiation. When a blacklight is turned on, it will illuminate anything fluorescent that is nearby.
A blacklight tattoo either comprises the entire tattoo or is sometimes used to accentuate a standard black ink design. Many tattoo parlors shied away from doing blacklight tattoos for quite a while due to the inefficiency of the ink and the high number of allergic reactions or resulting skin conditions. Over the past few years however, several new UV inks have been approved for use in the U.S. with little to no complications. The most common product is a blacklight reactive ink called the BIOMETRIX System-1000 (also known as BMX 1000). As the below illustration shows, blacklight tattoos that use UV Titanium white ink are visible under blacklight only. In regular lighting, the tattoo appears as a faint outline at best or sometimes completely invisible. Colored ink is available in 17 different colors, however, for those who either want the tattoo to be visible at all times or appreciate a little color in their designs. When held up to a blacklight, these tats will simply glow brighter.
Because the UV ink is more expensive than regular ink (around $270 for a half-ounce bottle) blacklight tattoos tend to cost a little bit more than usual. If you're considering getting a blacklight tattoo, make sure you do your homework. Go to a tattoo parlor that has experience with UV tattooing and can show you samples of other similar tattoos they have done. If you've elected to get a titanium white tattoo, an experienced tattoo artist will keep a blacklight close by that he can periodically turn on and off throughout the process to ensure the tattoo is coming out correctly. If you are interested in getting a regular black ink tattoo that you would like to highlight with UV ink, the proper way of doing so is to get the standard tattoo first, give it time to heal completely, and then later go back to get the blacklight accents.