The vast majority of the times you're offered a free tattoo, you should run in the other direction. However, there are a few instances when you can get unique and beautiful ink at no charge. 

Here are five ways you can get a free tattoo.

1. Be a human canvass
If you've had your heart set on a skull tattoo, there's no better place to get free ink than at one of the country's biggest tattoo conventions, the Ink Life Tour Tattoo and Music Festival. As advertised on the event's website, people who are interested in a skeletal-shaped design can sign up online or in person to be a canvass for the tattoo competition, and finalists will be announced at the event. 

2. Take a trip to Mesa, Arizona
What better way to complete a cross-country road trip than with a free tattoo? Leave room in your itinerary, rife with wild Vegas plans and plenty of sunsets, to stop by Helping Hand Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona. The business' Facebook page promises that it's a place "where your first tattoo is free." The caveat is you have to be completely ink free to qualify for this bargain basement ink

During your road trip, stop by this place for your first tattoo for free. Is there anything more epic than a free tattoo on a road trip? 

3. Try out for a TV show
Have you always pictured your big break involving an on-screen tattoo session? If so, auditioning for a reality TV show might be your road to fame, or at least a free tattoo. Casting is currently in session for people who'd like to receive a free tattoo on the show "Ink Master." The catch is that participants are at the discretion of the artist, which is pretty rad if you're down with random body art. It's not so cool for someone who wants a more conservative piece. 

"Making friends with someone in hopes of getting free tattoos is downright evil."

4. Win a raffle
Nowadays, raffle prizes span beyond funnel cakes and gift cards. At plenty of events across the nation, you can enter to win a free tattoo. At the Ink Fusion Tattoo Festival, which was held at MegaCon in Orlando, Florida this year, you can buy raffle tickets for $20 for a chance to get one of Stan Lee's famous character sketches. The winner also gets a photo with the legend himself, Stan Lee. Finding a better way to spend $20 is nearly impossible. 

5. Be besties with an artist
Making friends with someone in hopes of getting free tattoos is downright evil. However, if you have some buddies who are budding artists, offer them your body as a canvass. You friends gets to practice and you don't have to shell out a few hundred bucks for some new ink.

5 worst free tattoo options
Conversely, here are the five worst ways to go about getting a free tattoo.

  1. Finding an ad on Craigslist
  2. Giving yourself a tattoo
  3. Letting a friend of a friend of a third cousin give you one in the basement
  4. Visiting a parlor that doesn't charge for tattoos
  5. Begging for free tattoos (have some dignity).

If you've had one of these experiences, you don't have to live with tattoo regret. Consider laser removal and next time get some free ink in a more viable way. 

Over 45 million US adults* are living with tattoos, but now permanent ink can be a thing of the past. PicoSure® is the world's latest breakthrough technology in laser tattoo removal providing faster results in fewer treatments. Visit to learn more and find a PicoSure Practitioner near you. * Source: Harris Interactive, 2012