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How to Fix a Tribal Tattoo to Look Better

Add more details to fix a tribal tattoo.
Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

No matter how much time and effort you put into creating the design, tattoos don't always turn out as planned. Tribal tattoos are no exception, especially if the crisp lines intended aren't as straight as you'd hoped, or the overall design is less intricate than you originally imagined it would be. You can fix a tribal tattoo with the help of a professional tattoo artist, who will be able to add embellishments to the original work and create a tribal tattoo you're proud to show off.

Things You'll Need:

  • Tattoo Artist
  • Tracing Paper
  • Markers

Identify the problems or areas you want to fix on the tribal tattoo. This might be lines that aren't straight or sharp enough, the tattoo is lacking color or you desire more details in the design. Narrowing down exactly what aspect you want to fix will make it easier to communicate your ideas and adjust the tattoo.

Sketch some ideas about ways a tattoo artist could fix your tribal tattoo. Trace the existing tattoo on your skin onto a piece of paper. Make a few copies of this drawing to experiment with ways of fixing the design. Use markers to add extra colors around the tribal tattoo design, outline the creation with a steady hand for straighter lines or draw extra filigree extending from the existing tattoo design.

Make an appointment to consult a tattoo artist. This might be the artist who created the original tribal tattoo, or a new artist you've never worked with before. Just be sure the tattoo artist is someone who is trusted and experienced, and whose work you admire.

Discuss ways to fix your tribal tattoo with the tattoo artist. Talk about your concerns and problems with the original tattoo. Share ideas you have to improve the tattoo, using your sketches to help illustrate these visions. Ask the tattoo artist for her recommendations and ideas to fix the tattoo. She will be able to tell you what tattoo additions or changes can be made to the design.

Hire the tattoo artist to fix that tattoo, once you've decided on a way to fix the tribal tattoo.


If you feel the tattoo artist doesn't understand your desires, consult a new tattoo artist who sees more eye-to-eye.


  • Ensure your tattoo artist uses only sterilized equipment and complies with local health codes and laws.
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