You’ve decided that you want to get a tattoo. There’s a design that’s inspired you, and you’re ready to take the next step.
But, before you book your appointment, have you thought long and hard about your tattoo placement? The body has a plethora of fantastic spots for body art, but some are more popular than others for a multitude of reasons.
Here are six popular spots for tattoos, why you should consider them, and why they may not be a good idea:
The hip is a fantastic spot for a tattoo because it’s easily hidden. The only times your hip tattoo would be on display is when you’re in a swimming costume or underwear, which makes this placement choice out of job-stopper territory.
“Job stopper tattoos are classified as any visible tattoos which are located in an area hard to cover in social settings – i.e. hands, face, neck,”Better Tattooing
Visibility is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to tattoo placement. Think about how often you would want your tattoo on display and how easily you’d want to be able to cover it up.
The lower half of the arm is a popular choice, especially for first tattoos, because it’s one of the least painful places.
“There’s a lot of muscle and thick skin on your forearms, without many nerve endings. Tattoos on the forearms usually cause a low to low-moderate amount of pain,”Healthline
This area is also smooth and relatively large, which makes it a great canvas for tattoo ink. Most tattoo styles work well on the forearm.
While all you have to do is throw on a long sleeve shirt to cover up your ink, if you live in a hot climate this could be annoying. If this is the case, then you’ll need to be okay with your tattoo being on display often.
Tip: If your tattoo is uncovered and you’re outside, always put on SPF. This will help protect your tattoo from the harsh rays of the sun.
Similar to the forearm, the thigh is a relatively fleshy area of the body with fewer nerve endings, making a thigh tattoo on the low to moderate end of the pain scale. Plus, there is ample space for a tattoo in this area, so you can go really big with your design choice.
The thigh is also easy to cover up, so you can control when your ink is on display. However, when your tattoo is in the healing stage, it’s best to avoid tight material.
“If your new tattoo is on a covered body part please try to wear loose clothing made of soft materials. For example, wearing jeans after you have a thigh tattoo is not recommended－sweat pants or shorts are much better choices,”Lovin Kit Tattoo
This is because tight pants can rub on the healing skin and distort the tattoo and lengthen the healing process.
Tip: Take a couple of weeks off in summer to get your thigh tattoo. You’ll be able to stay at home comfortably in shorts during the healing process.
The wrist is one of the most popular placements for mini tattoos. There isn’t a lot of space to work with making it just the right size for small, minimalistic tattoo designs.
You’re still spoiled for choice when it comes to design options, though – you could opt for a tiny tattoo on your inner wrist, or a wrap around wrist tattoo, for example. It’s also ideal for meaningful tattoos, as you’re always able to see the wrist.
However, this also means that a wrist tattoo is always on display unless you cover it up with a watch or makeup.
Unlike the forearm and thigh, wrist tattoos do hurt for most people. This area has thin skin and is a frequently used joint with nerve endings, which makes getting a wrist tattoo a painful experience.
Tip: To minimize the pain of a wrist tattoo, eat a calorie-rich meal before your tattoo appointment to stabilize your blood sugar. Low blood sugar will make the process way more uncomfortable.
The shoulder blade is one of the most popular placements for tattoos because it’s versatile – both small tattoos and larger designs work well here.
Plus, getting a shoulder tattoo isn’t that painful!
“[The] outer part of your shoulder has a lot more skin that is quite thick. There are no severe nerve endings either, which makes the process not as painful. People describe this tattooing process as low and tolerable when compared to the rest of your body and tattoo placement options,”Saved Tattoo
Over the last few years, finger tattoos have become popular, partly due to the many celebrities that sport them. From Rihanna and Ariana Grande, to Hailey Bieber and Cara Delevingne, many celebs have opted for finger ink.
However, you should proceed with caution when it comes to finger tattoos. There are a few downsides to finger tattoos, including the fact that they fade quickly.
“Your hands are used almost constantly and whether you believe it or not, such use will most certainly fade your awesome new tattoo…think about it, how many times do you wash your hands? How many times do you reach into your pocket or bag? Simple little things like this will stop your tattoo from healing in the correct way and cause some fading,”Tattoodo
So, if you do decide to go ahead and get a finger tattoo, be prepared to go for touch-ups.
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The placement of your tattoo is just as important as your design. So many things will be impacted by where you choose to get tattooed, including how painful the process will be, how long your tattoo will last, and what design you can choose.
Do your research into tattoo placements to ensure you choose a spot that works well with your lifestyle.