Colourful Keith Gordon had agonising skins grafts to remove his teen tattoos - only to spend nearly £15,000 redoing them all over his face and body.
The 58-year-old blames the impulse to ink himself on extreme OCD - which has seen him change his appearance radically several times over the past five decades.
As a teen he was a skinhead before transitioning to long-hair and tattoos. However, he then cut his hair and had all his inkings removed through painful skin grafts so he could start a white-collar career as an administrator.
But now, Keith, from Romford, has gone full circle - tattooing most of his body, even his eyelids.
The dad says he's re-invented himself as 'the coolest looking guy in Essex'
But, unsurprisingly, it hasn't gone down with his wife or children.
Keith said: "OCD has completely ruled my life. I'm very obsessional. Once I get started on something I just get carried away. A lot of people look at me aggressively. They look almost saddened and angry but I don't understand why - it's me who's looking like this, not them.
"But I love the attention. I love being different and I love showing people that it is okay to be different."
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Keith was part of the skinhead cult as a teenager. He says he then became obsessed with heavy metal - along with the long hair and tattoos.
Along with his fellow headbangers, he covered his arms and shoulders in inkings - but he had to have them all removed after landing himself an office role - eventually working his way up to a £30,000-a-year job as an administrator.
After years of change Keith finally turned his back on his carefree bohemian life in Soho, world travels and excessive drinking to finally settle down at the age of 45 - getting married to Lisa, 42, and having children Jamie-Lee, 11, Ricky, eight, Jennifer, five.
Keith also became a father to Lisa's daughter Diana Rose, 14, from another relationship.
Then, five years ago, after nearly 10 years of marriage, he felt an overwhelming urge to return to his first love - tattoos.
He said: "I had some tattoos done on my arms when I was 17 but I had them all taken off with skin grafts after changing my mind.
"It has only been later on in my life that I realised I should have stuck to my original beliefs and been true to myself. Now, I've come around full-circle.
"I don't know how many there are in total. I've lost count. It is just one big project. But getting my whole head tattooed was a very extreme, intense experience.
"There was a feeling of euphoria coming out knowing I had got another new piece and that I'd managed to stand the pain.
"At times it was very, very painful especially around the corner of the eyes, the lip and parts of the inner ear - that was absolutely killer."
But Keith admits it doesn't fit in well with his conservative lifestyle.
He added: "It doesn't go down to well at work, I'm like a fish out of water there.
"Generally speaking, younger people tend to really, really like the way I look.
"I get a lot of really positive reactions and they say stuff like 'hey, that's sick, that's really cool'.
"But then on the other end of the spectrum you've got the older ones who are not so favourable.
"I had one woman who was probably about 75 and upwards who was her very straight-laced conservative-type husband look right into my face and said 'oh my God'.
"So I said it straight back. What's the big deal?"
Not surprisingly his new appearance went completely against the wishes of Lisa - even though he managed to convince her to get her own done after paying £1,500 for the rose and heart designs on her forearm and shoulder blade.
Lisa, a former cleaner from the Philippines, said: "I never would have married him if he looked like this when I met him.
"I feel embarrassed when we are out and everyone stares. But he's my a good husband and a good father and I persevere.
"People think I am with him for the money but that's not true. I love him, that's why we got married."
His shocking look has also put him at odds with his children.
Son Ricky, who is learning kung fu and enjoys video games, agrees with his mum's opinion of his dad's unique look.
"I think it looks a bit ugly," he said. "My mum doesn't like it and I kind of agree with her. He looks kind of evil.
"I see it every day so I'm not really bothered but people always look at him and then they look away.
"My friends at school think he's like cool and awesome. But he's just a regular dad to me."
Despite his family's objections, Keith is pushing ahead with even more tattoos and is in the process of finishing off a huge inking that spans his entire back.
And even then it is unlikely he will stop and is already planning to use his new look to audition for hard-man acting roles on TV.
He added: "I've had them done now so I may as well try and make them work for me."Suggest a correction