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Tattooing, a lucrative business in Iran


Source: Radio Zamaneh

Tattooing, risen to an unprecedented demand gaining a wide market in many countries across the world, has also become a top earning occupation in Iran. While tattooing is actually illegal, it is being offered overtly in all beauty salons and spas in all the major cities of the country.

Khabaronline published an article penned by Baharaeh Cheraghi comparing prices offered for tattooing services across Tehran.

According to the report, tattoo artists make anywhere between 8 to 100 million toumans per month: "Tattoos may differ in price from neighbourhood to neighbourhood due to different styles of application and the material used. For instance an eyebrow tattoo in a beauty salon in southern Tehran is anywhere between 90 to 100 thousand toumans while a similar tattoo in north of the city will be offered at 250 to 300 thousand toumans."

Amongst Iranian women, eyebrow, eyeline and lipline tattoos are very popular. Many people use tattooing to give shape to their eyebrows and it is safe to say that eyebrow tattooing is very trendy. Small patterns and symbol tattoos, mostly in demand by women go for 50 to 70 thousand toumans and yet some very small designs on sensitive locations of the body may be even costlier. For instance tattoos on eyelids, behind the ear or on major veins can cost anywhere between 300 to 400 thousand toumans.

The report on Khabaronline adds that larger tattoos have different prices as well depending on the area they cover and the variety of colours used. It can also depend on whether it is a two dimensional or three dimensional designs. "Hand designs go for 1.5 to 2.5 million toumans, full legs depending on the design and colour variety go for 3 to 4 million and a complete waist design may be anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5 million toumans.

Complete body tattoo, more popular amongst men than women may cost anywhere between 10 to 12 million toumans. The symbols and designs may vary from a Zoroastrian symbol, an Iranian miniature painting design of the flower, candle and moth design, to a few verses of poetry or sad lines in prose.

Tattoos can only be removed with lazer and special creams and ointments and the price of completely removing them, depending on the area and kind of work, may be anywhere between 50 thousand and one million toumans.

Importance of legalizing the tattoo business in Iran to keep it hygienic

Tattoo artists in Iran are usually trained in Iran or Thailand. The price of each tattoo needle is 250 toumans. Other tools needed for the service are antiseptic spray, anesthetic agents and disposable gloves. The chief overhead for the tattooing business is the sterilization equipment. Without this equipment, the overhead becomes at most 10 thousand toumans for each small tattoo while the customer is charged anywhere between 100 to 300 thousand toumans.

In addition to artistic prowess tattoo artists need specific expertise in use of tattooing equipment, including the sterilization gear. The price of sterilization equipment can cost anywhere between 1.5 to 8 million toumans. Since tattooing is illegal in Iran the businesses are not subject to government regulations or supervision in terms of adequate sanitary practice.

Lack of adequate sterilization may lead to several health complications for tattoo customers. These complications include itchiness and hives around the tattoo site, swelling or sagging of skin, redness and inflammation and infection. The government should seriously consider legalization of the tattooing business in order to ensure health and safety of the public in view of the high demand for this service.

According to a number of statistics about 20 percent of 18 to 35 year olds around the world have a tattoo.

Related Video: tattoo culture (comparison USA vs IRAN)

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