Reasons of tattooing as a custom are not clear. However, the most real hypothesis assumed is that when, in the Stone Age, one hurt the skin accidentally and some mud or other objects got into it and remained there, it was just one more way to express oneself as a personality. People with wider thinking that are not in fetters of other people’s opinion and afraid of the reaction of surrounding people prefer the most artistic and original tattoos. In the meanwhile, lawyers, bankers and representatives of other occupations that need more rational logical decisions prefer more often “drier”, more neutral drawings or ornaments. Usually, people choose traditional places (shoulders, breast and shins). The place, subjects and scars of tattoos distinguished their bearers from other members of the tribe. In the course of time, tattoos became symbols of courageous soldiers, good hunters or prophets and had also a magical meaning, and only persons of merit were marked by them. Nowadays, tattoos reflect the individual’s world outlook, way of thinking and lifestyle. Artists (singers, cinema, sports and other stars) adorn themselves with tattoos most often. Previously, it was thought that tattoos are the desire of the youth to come out, however, the time has passed and people understood that the flamboyance and other matters are undoubtedly influenced by the lifestyle and office. All people can not like tattoos in the same way: every man has his/her own taste. As we know, there’s no accounting for tastes and, especially, bad tastes.The word “tattoo” has derived from a Polynesian word “tatau”. Tattooing is the perpetuation of various durable signs of the body in the mechanical way: colouring matters are injected under the skin by cutting or pricking. Let’s introduce several the most famous ways, one of which was wide-spread among some tribes of Indians in the South America. The skin is pricked with a special instrument along the outline of the drawing to blood and then colours are rubbed into the skin. When the wound heals up, the colour penetrated into the skin remains there for ever. The more complicated way of tattooing was when only a needle and thread (that was former substituted by various tendons) were used to make a tattoo. People of the North-East Siberia threaded the skin according to the drawing prepared in advance with a threaded needle, where a thread was coloured with graphite or the mixture of soot and fat. In such way, primitive drawings were performed. The most widely spread technique was the pricking of the body with a needle. Fish bones, tree needles or sharp stumps of shells were used. In the Oceania, where tattoos became popular exceptionally quickly, there were used instruments similar to combs (sharp pieces of stones, shells or bones were fixed to a wooden grip). It was possible to do at once a rather large ornament with such instruments – combs. It was not established, when the human body has been adorned with colourful drawings for the first time, however, tattoos exist for some tens of thousand years already. From the oldest survived specimens, the dried-up remnants of the skin with traces of colours were found in tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The first instruments were made of horn and bone.

The biggest progress was made by the American Samuel O’Reilly who has invented and patented the first electrical rotating machine.


At present, the operating principle of these machines is almost unchanged, with the exception that devices operating by electromagnetic principle appeared.


Sailors contributed much to that tattoos survived both as an art and the way of marking. When sailing between continents and thirsting for new discoveries, the Europeans meet natives of America, Polynesia and the New Zealand adorned themselves with drawings in the skin.


Usually, it was an ornamentation that may be reckoned among the modern “tribal” style. This art spread quickly in ports and escaped from them to the whole Old Continent. Tattoos moved from there to the direction of Asia: India, China and Japan. In the East, they became a realistic manner expressed in mystical-religious motives.


The fashion of temporary tattoos made with colour henna came from India to Europe.


In Europe, even some kings (in England: George V, in Denmark: Frederick VII, in Russia: czar Nikolay II) did not resist the mania of tattoos. They moved to aristocracy and became a prestige adornment equated with works of the art. Tattoos were also used as talismans or punishment. In the XVIII and XIX cent., English seamen perpetuated the crucified in their backs and hoped that he will protect them against corporal punishments that were widely used in the fleet of Great Britain. Arabs were used to do tattoos with quotations from the Koran. As a punishment, they were made in Japan in the Ed’s period (1603-1867). In such way, soldiers and prisoners were marked by making difficulties to them in escaping and by facilitating their recognition in the society. Greeks, Romans and Spaniards conquistadors used also tattoos for similar purposes. In the XX cent., during the First World War, English deserters were marked with a letter “D”, in Hitler’s Germany, victims were tattooed with a number in concentration camps. In the course of time, the purpose of tattoo and the attitude towards it has changed. There is no unanimous opinion about what it is even now: one people call it an art, other – a folly. The XX century was the flowering of this art. In the end of this century, the first museum of tattoos was opened in Amsterdam. Many articles and books narrating about their styles and history were published in various languages. Novelties in foreign countries were described in special magazines. Styles and fashions of tattoos began to differ and characterized best the period. Both ordinary mortal people and music and cinema stars ran to tattooing salons. Such pop singers as Britney Spears, Christina Aquilera and actresses Halle Berry, Kate Hudson, Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow have tattoos. Janet Jackson, Pink, Julia Roberts, Madonna, Cher, Pamela Anderson, Drew Barrymoore, Angelina Jolie have several tattoos. Men strive to keep up with women. Tattoos adorn singers Mick Jager, Eminem, Jon Bon Jovi, the boxer Mike Tyson, actors Bruce Willis, Wayne Diesel, Billy Bob Thornton, basketball players Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Jason Williams. You will find more photos of foreign stars here. People with strong character who are self-confident and know clearly what they want choose tattoos. Men make tattoos more often; their bodies are adorned with dragons, panthers, lions, etc. The fair sex chooses delicate tattoos in visible places. A small flower, a little lizard on the leg or a little dolphin on the shoulder-blade look very seductive. Today, tattooing masters (with the exception of tattooists of Jakudzas) are not attached to traditions. They often make drawings of various cultures. Now, different tattooists make tattoos of a different style on the body of the same person. Result – chaotic drawings that are not related in any way. Such motleys are most popular in the Western Europe and the United States of America. Anyway, from the point of view of aesthetics, one should pay attention not only to the kind of tattoo that will be made, but also to its combination with already available or future tattoos. If tattoo was made good, it almost does not change its form in the course of time, with the exception of cases, when an individual gets very fat or very thin. It is also very important, on what part of the body the drawing was made. In order the drawing would not fade with time, it is recommended to keep it in the sun as less as possible and apply the protective cream against the outside effect of ultraviolet rays. The colour that would be fully sun-resistant is not invented yet.


We do not speak about masters – amateurs here, when the tattoo is made with ink or liquid from the ballpoint pen with a self-made machine,and soon after the healing up of the wound, the greyish-blue and not black tint appears. By the way, such masters may be often recognized from that, whatever the sketch would be, they will do it with one needle put into the device, when, in the meanwhile, 1 to 32 needles are put into the original machine. 3 to 15 needles are mostly used. Moreover, when they do prickling [and not tattooing], the constant attendant is the blood, when, in the meanwhile, only several drops of the blood should be normal. Usually, they are people without any artistic education and unable to name at least one name of disinfection solutions necessary according to the requirements of the hygiene inspection. Of course, you will not find such things among their inventory. So, it is better to pay for a tattoo more than for beer. Thus, you will have no problems with your health and you won’t need to go to salons and correct your tattoo from wrong, meaningless medleys of lines with the “burnt” as cellophane skin, when it is difficult to do anything at all. Sometimes, the only way out is the elimination of the false tattoo by laser. It is the only effective aid, since, after the grafting of tissues, scars remain also and do not look very aesthetically. Lasers used in beauty therapy and surgery clinics spread the dark-red concentrated ray of light. Colour penetrated too the skin imbibes easily this light. Due to the short, but strong impulse of light, colour is decomposed into fine particles. A man feels only a slight sting. Because of the effect of laser, the skin whitens instantly. Particles retire from the skin together with the lymph, and finer remnants of tattoo’s colour are obliterated by cells – phagocytes. The duration of one treatment procedure is not longer than 10 to 15 minutes. The procedure may be repeated after a month. After these procedures, direct sunrays must be avoided, therefore, it is best to eliminate the tattoo in winter or spring. 2 to 6 laser procedures are enough to eliminate amateurish tattoos, and even 6 to 8 seanses are necessary to eliminate professional decorative tattoos. The skin reddens and swells up after such actions. Small beads similar to hoarfrost appear on the skin, but there are no wounds or bleeding. It is enough to apply vaseline or antibacterial solution on the skin, it is not necessary to put or stick a bandage. Scabs peel off after 5 to 10 days, the skin gets lighter.