So, you’re thinking about getting some finger tatts, huh? Well, don’t let us stop you! Just, let us warn you about some things before you go get some things done.
If you’re not big on jewelry and therefore rings, a finger tattoo can be the perfect way to enhance your fingers! However, the ‘downsides’ might outweigh the benifits. We’ll let you be the judge of that.
Finger tattoos are not for perfectionists, here's why
If you’ve already got some ink on your body, you probably know that no tattoo is perfect. It’s just simply next to impossible to get a tattoo perfect! You can get close to it, and to the average person, that’s perfectly fine. Most people wont even notice the imperfections.
However, with finger tattoos,… It’s another story. There are multiple reasons as to why this is. Not only is it hard to get them tattooed in the right skin layer, but they’ll also fade a lot. Let us explain.
Hard to hit the spot
Bare with us! So, some of you know, others don’t, but our skin is made up from three layers. We got the fatty layer (hypodermis), the connective tissue layer (dermis) and the top, protective layer (epidermis). When getting tattooed, ideally the ink should be deposited in the second layer, the dermis.
If it goes too deep, the ink might ‘spread’ out and the lines can become blurry and on the other hand, if it’s not deep enough the ink will simply not ‘take’.
Our skin is already unpredictable as it is and unlike other body parts, the skin on our fingers is thinner and more sensitive. This is why it’s hard for most tattoo artists to get it right and why some might refuse it to do it alltogether. The tattoo is either going to blow out a lot, or there’ll be patchy pieces. Or a combination of both. Your tattoo artist is not to blame for this!
That’s one reason why it’s definitely not for perfectionists. If you’re going to obsess about the imperfect look… Maybe opt for another placement? Or you could see it as a challenge and an opportunity to improve your perfectionist mindset.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being a perfectionist, but, writing from experience – it can be exhausting.
They will 100% fade on you
Our hands and fingers are the parts of our body we use the most. They’re constantly moving and they get in contact with more things. For those who paint their nails, this is an explanation as to why nail polish lasts longer on our toes than our fingers.
We’re also constantly washing our hands (or should be, wash ur hands more if you don’t!). To go even further on this, our hands are also constantly exposed! Exposed to the sun, moisture, heat… This also causes our skin on there to peel more, even if we don’t notice it as much.
All of these are factors as to why finger tattoos fade so much faster than other tattooed areas might fade. For the unlucky ones out there, finger tattoos also might just fade out completely.
A finger tattoo is a long-term commitement
Yes, all tattoos are a long-term commitement, of course! Finger tattoos, though, are even more so.
It might seem a bit contradictive with the last point we made, namely them fading so fast, but hear us out.
Because they fade so easily, you’ll need ‘constant’ touch-ups if you want to keep them looking the best they can.
The first touch-up is usually free, but that’s not always the case with finger tattoos. Simply, because more often than not the tattoo artist will have to go over the entire piece again.
This is less of a problem if you care less about the perfection. If you do, though, the cost can add up so it can become a ”financial commitement”.
Besides the touch-ups, you’ll also get prejudiced by the majority of the folks you’ll come across.
Even if you’re not heavily tattooed, having your fingers tattooed makes you look like you are. Sadly, there are still lots of people out there that would judge you and base their opinion of you just from seeing your finger tattoos.
Although this mindset is slowly starting to change, there’ll be lots of instances you’ll come the boomer mindset people across, even if they’re not an actual boomer.
This said, it can actually close doors on some career fields. This is for the same reason as to why people would judge you without knowing you. For the longest time throughout history, tattoos have been used to mark someone’s property, to mark society’s outcasts, gang and criminality, etc… So, there are still lots of uninformed people out there that simply don’t know that it’s become a form of self-expression and art!
The debate about being heavily tattooed before getting a finger tattoo
Following our last point, there’s a huge debate among the tattoo community about whether or not you should be heavily tattooed before you commit to finger tattoos.
Because it’s such a commitement, many tattoo artists and tattoo wearers stand behind the argument that you should already have majority of your body covered (or at least, upper body) before getting down to your fingers. Why? This way you’ll be sure you wont regret them and you’ll be somewhat used to the prejudicial comments/hindrances.
You’re also more likely to have figured out what you want to do with your life career-wise, so there wouldn’t be any doors closing for you. Covering a large amount of your body usually takes quite some time, it’s a process. If you already have that done, tattoo artists are more sure you’re 100% into getting heavily tattooed.
If someone with minimal ink on their body goes in a tattoo parlor asking for finger tattoo designs, artists might give them a weird look for the reasons above. Most will also reject, which is understandable. If you’re not heavily tattooed yet, but are 10000% sure of what you want, not only on your fingers but in life aswell AND are aware of the risks of them fading and not looking great… Then, who’s to stop you?
After all, there’s also always the laser option if you were to regret them. This is the other way to look at it. Life is way too short to give a d*mn about what anyone else thinks, right? Just be aware of the risks.
It will HURT like a buttcheek on a stick
If you got the reference, hehe nice.
Now let’s get serious. Finger tattoos will hurt. A lot. Every tattoo hurts, but a finger tattoo even more so. Other parts of our bodies have more fat and muscle density. So, because of the lack of fat and muscle, the needle of the machine works directly around the bones of the fingers. To add to this, our fingers also have more nerve endings than other body parts.
Combine the lack of cushion for the needle puncturing sensation, plus the extra nerve endings we don’t have on other parts of our bodies and as a result, finger tattoos are extra painful. Let’s also not forget about the vibrating sensation you’d feel even more now.
If it makes you feel better, though, some people report that it barely caused them any pain. It depends on so many different elements including your pain tolerance.
They take longer to heal
Since finger tattoos are in such a ‘difficult’ area, they take longer to heal. Most tattoos are ALMOST good after about two weeks of them being done.
Finger tattoos however… they can take a bit longer to heal. Here are some tips.
Keep them moisturized but not overly moisturized
Because they’re in a placement with a lot of natural movement, they’re more likely to crack up if they get dry. This isn’t good for the look of your finished product AND it will hurt.
Don't touch them and keep them clean
This goes for all tattoos, but you should be extra cautious with finger tattoos, since the fingers come in contact with more stuff than your average… bicep, for example.
Cover them when necessary
If you’re in a career field that requires you to work with your hands a lot and it can get rough or dirty, sorry mate you’ll have to work with gloves now.
Finger tattoo ideas
If you’re still on board, here’s some inspiration for your finger tattoos.
Ring finger tattoo
If you and your significant other are getting married, but are not a fan of the ring tradition, you can always opt for matching finger tattoos and get a ring finger tattoo of your wedding band!
Although a lot of finger tattoos are purely meant for the aesthetics, this can be an option if you’d like a meaningful tattoo for yourself. For some, these tattoos represent passion and eternal love. We’d recommend going with only black ink for this one, since colored ink can tend to look… discolored on the fingers.
Tiny finger tattoos
A small finger tattoo is a great idea if you just want to dip your toes in the finger tattoo waters without having to commit to bold script letters on your knuckles, for example.
There are plenty of options for this one and if you want to keep it somewhat hidden, you can always get them on the inside of your middle finger or index finger!
You can get anything aswell, since it’s minimal! A snake, an important symbol, flowers, simply dots, a word, a half moon, a cross tattoo or even a heart tattoo. Literally everything goes. Just remember that once you get it inked, there’s not a fast way to go back.
Getting a small tattoo on your inner finger should be a safer bet if you really want to get your finger tattooed, though.
Symbol finger tattoos
If you’re big on different symbols and like to think of them as reminders for morals or things to be aware of, getting one on your finger might be a good idea.
We’ll give you an example to get inspired. Some of us struggle with being mindful and living in the moment.
While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more accessible and easier to pertain if we practice it daily. This isn’t as easy for some, so getting this symbol on your fingers, something you see daily, might be a way of putting this to practice more often.
This symbol would look good on any finger tattoo placement, but if you want a suggestion we think the thumb could do it’s justice.
We’re being pretty spiritual, but remember that a meaningful symbol can be ANYTHING. For some of us, it’s random numbers we come across.
If you know anything about numerology, you’ll be able to follow and if not, that’s totally okay too! It’s just an example to show you that everything can become a meaningful tattoo design.
So, if you have certain special numbers that are important to you and help you get through days – maybe another idea for you!
Finger tattoos fade faster, because of their placement. The skin on the fingers is much thinner so in a lot of instances, the ink doesn’t go as deep as it should.
There’s lots of artists that would rather go in lighthly than heavy-handed in order to avoid blow-outs, which is what happens if the needle goes in too deep – with blurred lines as a result.
Our fingers are also the most used parts of the human body and are the ones that are most exposed to the outside world. Sunlight already helps with the fading process and the daily tear and wear of our fingers doesn’t help much.
If this bothers you, there are other tattoo placements you can opt for.
A finger tattoo will be more painful because of the bone and skin structure of the skin. There’s less cushion (fat and muscle) to soften the blow of the needle and there are more nerve endings.
This causes a finger tattoo to be more hurtful than other places might be.
Of course! Not all tattoos have to be bold and huge, especially on the fingers. It all depends on what your personal preference is, though. Sometimes, less is more. If minimalism is your style, who’s to say it wont make for great finger tattoos?
Some tattoo artists might indeed refuse to give you a finger tattoo. This is simply, because they often don’t end up looking great.
And a lot of the people that request them have zero to none tattoo designs on their body already inked.
Other artists might do them, but for a more expensive price for the same reason.
Because the skin on there doesn’t take as well as skin somewhere else on our body could take, black ink doesn’t come out as black sometimes and colors are not as bright.
Sticking to black ink only might help with the overall ‘clean’ look of your finger tattoo.