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11 Frequently Asked Questions About Finger Tattoos

Blog article cover for 11 FAQs about Finger Tattoos

Are you currently obsessing over finger tattoos? Celebrities including Ariana Grande, Travis Barker, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus all have their fingers tattooed and they're not the only ones to appreciate the trend. They've become really popular and there doesn't seem to be any signs of stopping.

While these little pieces of art may look really cool, it's really important to understand what's involved in getting your fingers tattooed. You may have already come across some of the questions listed below and we're hoping this article provides the information you need to help make a decision. Research is an essential part of planning your next body art, especially when it comes to tattoos that you can't cover up when you need to, which brings us to your first question:

1. Will getting my fingers tattooed prevent me from getting a job? Consider your workplace's policies regarding visible tattoos. Depending on what sector you're in, some places will have rules which can mean not being able to get tattoos where they're visible or difficult to hide. It would be very difficult to conceal finger tattoos unless you're prepared to wear gloves all year round! We've tattooed a few professionals who have to carefully choose a placement because of their careers so it's worth keeping this in mind.

2. Can I get tattooed anywhere on my fingers? The best area of the fingers to tattoo would be the top of your fingers (see photos below), the space between the knuckles where it's smooth. We would advise against tattooing the side of the fingers, side of the hand and the palm or palmar side, as ink generally comes out a lot quicker in those areas. We're not trying to p*** on your chips, just trying to save you from throwing money down the drain.

Done at KTREW Tattoo, Birmingham UK

3. Is a finger tattoo a good idea for a first tattoo?

Honestly, no it isn't. As tattoo artists, we tend to steer people away from getting finger tattoos if they don't have any to begin with. It's a pretty drastic move to get finger tattoos as your first. Again, remember to consider your workplace's policies or if you're considering a line of work in the future where this could create an issue and stop you from getting the job you want.

Generally speaking, it's best to consider building up to it by getting tattooed elsewhere first and then see how you feel about it later on. There's no rush!

4. How much detail can I have in my finger tattoos? Some of you may have seen lions' heads tattooed on fingers, please don't ask for those and no, you're not having a pocket watch next to it either! Also, don't be tempted to have words and names jammed into such small spaces, as they'll become unreadable very quickly. You can have a single letter per finger but make sure you choose a simple font! Depending on the size of your fingers and the space, you will have to consider these factors whilst choosing a design. Tattoo ink spreads a little, regardless of placement but they tend to spread a lot more on fingers. Simple and clean lines generally work better! Your tattoo artist can advise you on what would work best for the space you have on yours. You can also search on Google for 'finger tattoos for women' or 'finger tattoos for men' and see what comes up. Don't be lured into those highly detailed designs, they will not age well so remember to think about keeping it simple.

Detailed Lion Tattoo on Index Finger:

Fresh versus Healed

(Cara Delevingne's Lion Tattoo. Not done by us.)

5. How long will my finger tattoos last? We use our hands and fingers on a daily basis with a lot of handwashing. Something as simple as putting your hands in your pockets to reach for your change or keys can affect how your tattoos heal and can contribute towards ink spreading, falling out and fading. The skin on our fingers also regenerates a lot faster than anywhere else on our body so the ink fades pretty quickly. It's also important to mention that not all tattoo shops offer free touch ups for the reasons we've mentioned above so be prepared to pay for those appointments!

We usually advise clients to Google healed photos of finger tattoos rather than fresh ones. Fresh tattoos always look amazing but what you want to see is eventually when they've fully healed. The healed version is what you're going to be looking at for the rest of your life. Scroll back up to take another look at Cara Delevingne's lion tattoo on their index finger and remember that less detail is best. Aging is also inevitable so regardless of placement, tattoos will age with us and this includes blurring and fading.

6. Can I get a tattoo on my ring finger to replace my wedding band? Some of us can't wear wedding rings for different reasons, one being practicality in some jobs. For example, surgeons, athletes or operators of heavy machinery, where wearing a ring can be dangerous.

Sometimes it's as simple as not being keen on wearing any jewellery and so a tattoo is a great alternative. Clients would often ask for a simple band/line or get their partner's initial on their ring finger, so yes you can but again, bear in mind that your finger tattoo might need maintenance or a top up.

A letter 'T' tattoo on wedding finger

7. Do finger tattoos hurt?

The simple answer is Yes. There's increased nerve sensitivity in our fingers so it will be slightly more painful in comparison to normal placements such as your arms or legs but never unbearable. Being prodded with needles will naturally hurt! There are ways to reduce pain including preparation, self-care and maybe your choice of tattoo method which we cover in the next question below.

8. There are two methods of tattooing to choose from?!

There are two ways you can get your fingers tattooed, either with a tattoo machine or the Stick and Poke/Hand Poke method. If your pain tolerance isn't great, we would suggest the Stick and Poke as it's less invasive and hurts less. Is it as permanent? Yes it is although it does take a bit longer. If you've never heard of Stick and Poke tattoos before, we have lots of information here:

9. How much is a finger tattoo?

There's a minimum charge that covers the materials used during your appointment so it starts from there, plus the artist's time doing the tattoo. This can range between £50 - £100 per tattoo or more, depending on the design you're getting. This will also depend on where you go and who you go to so prices will vary. A common misconception is that because a finger tattoo is small, it should be cheap. Tattooing is difficult as it is, especially doing tiny designs in super small spaces!

Avoid bargaining or making your artist feel bad about their prices. They worked hard to acquire and hone the skills which you're paying for and remember, tattoos are a luxury, not a necessity. Tattoo artists are self-employed and are paying around usually 50% of their earnings towards the tattoo studio for rent, energy bills and materials, not to mention paying their taxes just like you. It's completely fine to ask for a price and if you can't afford it, politely say so and they won't be offended by this. If you would like to know more on how tattoo artists price their work, check out this article.

10. How do you care for a finger tattoo?

Once you leave your tattoo appointment, it is your responsibility to make sure that your tattoo heals well. Your goal is to follow your tattoo artist's aftercare instructions to avoid ruining your new tattoo(s) and any infections, plus good hygiene is a must. Remember, we use our hands a lot on a daily basis so you need to be careful resting those fingers on anything that may contain bacteria, such as gym equipment, computer keyboards, etc. You'll be advised not to go swimming or have baths while your tattoos are healing which means opting out of doing the washing up, you're welcome!

Hands are one of the firsts to show signs of aging because they're exposed to numerous elements (*cough* the SUN!). If you like to go on beach holidays or bake in the sun, make sure you apply a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin and your tattoos! Excessive exposure to sunlight can fade your tattoos and give you wrinkles, yikes! Long-term aftercare should involve drinking plenty of water and moisturising your skin, especially your hands.

11. Will I need a touch up appointment?

Tattoos typically heal between 3-4 weeks. After 4 weeks, we would advise to book in for a touch up appointment right away to get your finger tattoos looking great again and they should do for awhile after that. However, people's skin vary from person to person and depending on how well you look after your tattoos, touch ups may be necessary in future too. Top ups or maintenance can be costly so bear this in mind before getting your fingers tattooed.

Finger tattoos can be amazing as long as you're aware of what's involved and what's achievable. Sure there's a lot to take into consideration but that's the point, we should care. We hope this helped you make a decision!

We offer both machine and stick and poke methods at our tattoo shop in Birmingham, KTREW Tattoo. Whether you're after some finger tattoos or general tattoo enquiries, we're happy to help! To make it easier, you can fill in our booking form.

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