Drew Beckett (GBR), Legal Investigator, London

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‘In 2010 I began suffering from something called alopecia universalis that caused every single hair on my body to fall out over a period of six months. So I went from having these terrible, terrible haircuts to having no hair at all. Suddenly I lost control over aspects of my body, things I used to be able to control, or change. Tattoos were a good way to get back some of that control. Another positive thing about it: I save a lot on haircuts and razors. Tattoo artists come up to me with the razor in hand and look at the area they’re about to tattoo and see a hairless surface. They still charge me the same, though…’

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‘I had some tattoos before my hair started falling out. I got one from renowned artist Thomas Hooper around 2001, when he just started studying arts. It’s the tribal dragon on my stomach, which because of Hooper’s name, no one will ever cover – even the artist who did the huge skull carefully worked around it. But it was only after I lost my hair that I wanted to get bigger, more dramatic pieces. Nowadays the trend is for people to have more simple, smaller pieces, kind of like a prison-style tattoo, but a bit more naïve. Somewhere between traditional tattooing and scratching, I suppose. In London it’s a big trend. But I prefer big pieces, they tend to be the ones that stand out. Not that I’m looking to stand out personally, and if I was, tattoos are not the way to do so. Not in London, anyway. It’s crazy how tattoo culture evolved. And it should. But it’s hard to believe that because of that evolution, at one point, the most radical, alternative thing you’ll be able to do is to not have any tattoos at all.’

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