Although you can get tattooed just about anywhere, you will want to be careful with some areas as they might not be the ideal places for a tattoo. As we go through different body parts, you will learn which ones are more prone to fading, warping, and stretching. All of this comes down to one component, placement. Placement is finding the best place to get a tattoo for your vision and design. As you can imagine, not everyone will have the same opinion on ideal placement but at the end of the day, it comes down to what you want.
Popular Tattoo Places for Men and Women
Just like anything in pop culture and fashion popularity changes and it can change fast. Trends take months to build up and then fall even quicker and it is no different with tattoos. Yet, there are areas that continue to remain popular for both men and women. Although styles might change, these places continue to hold strong and remain popular choices for anyone looking to get some ink.
Top 5 Popular Tattoo Places for Men
The chest and front area of your body gives you an open canvas that you can explore with any design. Furthermore, the pain is tolerable, you can easily cover up most tattoos, and you can hide big tattoos for any job.
One thing you do need to keep in mind is waxing or shaving your chest. In order for your artist to do their job, you will need to remove any body hair prior to your session. It is also important to note that as hair grows back onto your chest, your design will be harder to see and in order to fully see your piece you will need to wax or shave your chest again.
Full back pieces are on the rise with men for a number of reasons. The main reason being the complete custom canvas that allows you to design any piece you want. Secondly, back tattoos are easy to hide, just like chest pieces. And lastly, the pain level for back tattoos is manageable. Combine all three of these factors and back tattoos easily become one of the most popular areas for men.
Note: One downside with back tattoos it that the healing process can be difficult. You will have to be extra careful when you go to sleep because you won’t be able to sleep on your back until the healing process is finished.
The bicep is a prime location to display your tattoos. As a body part that can be easily exposed and hidden, the biceps become a great area to show off intricate pieces that turn into sleeves. If you have been hitting the gym, the design of your tattoo will be emphasized by your physique. Although the area can get tender, the overall pain level is not bad at all.
The upper arm is a very dynamic area because it allows designs to grow and expand into the shoulders. Getting a tattoo on your shoulder will give you a piece that is going to age better than many other areas. This is because the skin tends to have fewer crease lines than other body parts.
The rest of the upper arm also praises the physique. If you work out and then get a tattoo on your upper arm you will notice that most designs wrap around in an extremely aesthetic manner.
Forearm tattoos were frowned upon for a long time. They were harder to hide than upper arm, chest and back tattoos which made going to work in a half sleeve shirt difficult. Over time, we have seen the perception of tattoos change in the work environment and society. As progressive and open-minded thinking grows, we have seen more and more men getting intricate forearm pieces. The unique styling of the forearm is what appeals the most and different styles of wrapping around and realism are center-stage.
Top 5 Popular Tattoo Places for Women
The ankle has been a popular place that women get tattooed for quite some time. The main reason is because of the upward flexibility of designs. You can choose to get a small tattoo that can go unnoticed or you can choose to get a design that starts at your ankle and continues up your leg.
Typically, we have found that ankle designs are often feminine with flowers, hearts, birds, and butterflies. You should keep in mind that this area can be painful since it is very close to the bone. How much you can handle will ultimately come down to your pain tolerance.
The upper back is an area that is rising in popularity amongst women. The best thing about getting a tattoo on your upper back is that you have a lot of design flexibility. You can choose to go with a small, medium or large design and know that it will continue to look good through the years.
It is also one of the best places to do a cover-up tattoo if you need one done. The one disadvantage of getting a tattoo on your upper back is that it is a bit difficult to take care of in the early stages. It is hard to reach your upper back on your own and you will need someone to help you change your wrap, apply your lotion and you will have to be mindful as you sleep.
Next on our list is the wrist, another area that is popular for script, gentle designs, and small pieces. Similar to the ankle, the wrist isn’t the easiest spot to sit through and can be painful. It doesn’t have a lot of cushioning and approaches a boney area.
Behind the Ear
Although it is a sensitive spot, getting a tattoo behind the ear is still popular. It doesn’t help that the area has some of the thinnest skin and it is close to your skull. The constant vibration and buzzing sound near your ear can quickly get painful. The good thing is that most tattoos behind the ear are small and completed quickly. Another bonus is the flexibility of the area; you can put your hair up and show off your piece or have your hair down and hide it easily.
Back of the Neck
The back of the neck is one more area that is very popular for women. Again, it gives you flexibility because you can choose to show off your tattoo or hide it with your hair. Most find the pain manageable, but if your design starts extending down to the spine then you will likely experience an increase in pain. A shining factor for this area is that you can have free-flowing lines without trying to cram your design into a tight spot. You can extend as far down as you’d like and turn a great neck tattoo into a full back design.
Where should I get my first tattoo?
As you plan and prepare for your first tattoo one of the most pressing questions is: where should I get my tattoo? When looking at placement almost anything is possible, but that doesn’t really help you narrow down your options. This decision becomes even more intimidating when you realize that you only have one shot to get your placement right, otherwise you might have to deal with a painful tattoo removal process.
The first question you should ask yourself is do I see myself getting more tattoos in the future? The answer is almost always yes! This means that you need to plan for future tattoos and give yourself ample spacing for your tattoos to flow together. In order to do this, you should avoid place pieces in big areas without any plan for what you would like next. By doing this you will make your future artists’ job a lot easier as they design future pieces.
The next question you need to ask yourself is how is my pain tolerance? If you know that you have a low pain tolerance then you will want to avoid areas such as the rib cage, inside thigh, back of the knee, face, spine, etc. You can view our complete pain chart to see which spots are the least and most painful.
Do you want to be able to see your tattoo?
This isn’t a question that many people think about until they see the stencil placed on. If you decide to get a piece on your back, calves, triceps or neck you won’t be able to see it that often, if at all. Most people want to be able to see their first tattoos and getting one in a hidden spot might affect how you feel about it.
The best thing to do is to talk to one of our artists about placement and how it plays into your design. When working with a professional tattoo artist you should be consulted properly about how different styles and designs will look on your body.
Do you want others to be able to see your tattoo?
If you’re okay with everyone seeing your tattoo then the entire body is an open board. But, if you want to make sure that people only see your piece when you want them to then you will have to think hard about where you are going to place it. You quickly eliminate a lot of areas such as the hands, neck, face, wrists, and forearms. Although you can cover your wrists and forearms, they generally remain uncovered. Some areas that would be best would be your chest, upper arms, and back. With these spots, you can have full control of how much you allow others to see.
How big do you want your design to be?
This part is simple and complicated at the same time. If you want to get a big design you won’t be looking at your hands, feet, wrists, behind the ear, or face. Those areas have typically been for smaller tattoos that have simple designs. For larger pieces, people look towards the chest, back, arms, legs, and torso. These spots won’t limit how lines flow together, how much detail can be put into your tattoo and the overall sizing of the tattoo.
It should become clear when your artist explains how a particular design will look on a particular part of your body. Your artist will outline the beauty and flaws they see in tattooing your design. Sometimes your design looks amazing but not so much in the spot you were looking to get it.
Sun Exposure and Colour Tattoos
As the years pass by, you will want to do your best to keep your tattoo looking healthy and fresh. A huge factor that influences how your tattoo will age is the amount of sun exposure your skin receives. This is why sunscreen will be your best friend as you go on runs, vacations, swimming, outdoor experiences or anything else that puts you in the heat.
When you are considering placement for your colour tattoo you should be even more mindful of sun exposure. To ensure the longevity of your tattoo you will want to place it in a location that is often covered by clothing and receives low amounts of sun exposure. This is because the sun fades lighter colours a lot faster than darker colours. By keeping this in mind when you are getting a colour tattoo you will be making sure that your tattoo stays bright and retains colour for a long time.