Why Do Some Tattoo Colors Show up Later? Which Tattoo Colors Show up Later?

Have you got your first color tattoo done recently? It is exciting and confusing at times as some colors take longer than usual to show up.

It is a tough decision as most people are unaware of the duration a color tattoo takes to go darker, how much it costs, and whether there are any side effects to it etc.,

Getting a new ink could be exciting to many only if they are aware of the pros and cons. When you plan to get inked, you should be aware of the things to be careful about.

It helps to be prepared beforehand. In this article, we have covered the basics of the duration of a tattoo, reasons why some tattoo colors take time and other important guidelines of colored tattoos.

Why do some tattoo colors show up later?

There is no preset time limit for tattoos. It all varies from designs, skin, type, tattoo designer, skin area, ink quality, and ink color. Various other external factors also contribute to the duration of tattoo colors to show up on the skin.

One thing that you need to remember is tattoos are for the patient, so you cannot rush to the process for permanent-colored tattoos. Take out a good amount of time if you wish to see desired results.

Colored tattoos are way different than the standard black and grey tattoos. These take longer to complete as the tattoo designer sets the layers of the colors.

As per the design chosen by you, the layers of colors sit on each other, and thus, it’s a long process. Other than the time it takes to show up, these are costlier than the black and grey.

Color Tattoos vs Black and Gray Tattoos

Color tattoos take longer than black and grey. If you are familiar with the various tattoo designs and styles, you would agree to this. Some tattoo artists are skilled at fine black and grey tattoos whereas some are highly creative in colored imagination.

You need to know based on your design certain parts may need a thick tone whereas some designs like eyes, eye-lashes, lips, and other details of hair take longer to show up as these are made with fine lines.

To add more, the solid grey gradients take longer as they are difficult to finish. On the other side, designing a custom tattoo regardless of color or black and grey, takes time.

Which tattoo colors show up later?

1. White ink tattoos

Some people prefer to go ahead with white ink tattoos. It is because these are longer to keep. White ink tattoos tend to grow dark and show up gracefully as you age. It is because the discoloration is less visible compared to other colors.

One must be aware of the merits and demerits of white ink tattoos though. White ink colors are usually chosen by people with dark skin. Based on a white tattoo, color tattoo, or black ink, you may have to take care respectively as suggested by your designer.

2. Black colored tattoos

Black colored tattoos show up soon and do not fade that easily with time. Black ink has also been the classic ink of all times in the world of tattoos. On some skin tones, the black ink will take time to show up whereas some will heal faster. Usually, after the first month, the tattoo gets completely healed and shows up vibrant.

To share a fact, black ink is one of the simplest to even remove if someone wishes to in later stages. It is because black ink absorbs the laser light faster than other ink colors. Thus, black and grey have been considered as the hardiest colors as they last longer and stay vibrant.

3. Vibrant Colored tattoos

Certain vibrant colors to ensure before getting inked are light green, hot pink, yellow. These colors fade faster and do not show up for longer. If you want the colors to last longer and show up in even later stages of life, go for deep red. Red color ink tattoos are fade resistant.

Other than the above, some of the top tattoo experts will recommend black or blue ink. These are recommended if you need the best tolerant colors for your skin to show up for long. Black and blue are easily accepted by your skin and they can be removed also with little effort.


It would be difficult to answer in general why some tattoo colors show up later. We hope you are now aware that it depends on the skin tone, design, weather conditions, pigment, tattoo color, and other similar factors for the color to show up. Also, your healing time may vary from person to person respectively.