Tips For Getting a Tattoo on Hairy Arms and Legs

Hairy Arm Tattoo

Tips for Getting a Tattoo on Hairy Arms and Legs

Tattoo sleeves are undeniably cool, highly expressive, and statement-making. It usually draws attention from the public, may it be vibrantly colored or monochromatic. However, as much as you want to get a tattoo on your arms and legs, you should consider one significant factor that may affect the outcome of the design that you wish to have - your body hair.

The most famous body parts for getting a tattoo are the arms and legs, but also they are the hairiest parts. Hair on arms and legs has consequential effects on the appearance of tattoos, especially when the hair is dark and thick. But does it mean that you can no longer get a tattoo if you have thick body hair? The good news is you still can! With careful considerations and proper tattoo aftercare, you do not have to worry about expressing yourself through body art. And here are five essential tips when getting tattoos on hairy body parts like arms and legs.

Consider the Crucial Factor that Affects the Tattoo Appearance — Body Hair

Thick, dark, and dense hair on arms and legs can affect the appearance of your body art. You have to seek recommendations from a professional tattoo artist about the ideal ink colors and designs you should choose from, especially if you wish to keep your body hair and not shave regularly.

When getting a tattoo on hairy parts of the body, your tattoo artist will suggest you shave or wax the hair off before the appointment. It is essential because the hair will hinder or complicate the process and may cause infections within the hair follicles if not removed first.

Before getting a tattoo on your arms and legs, you must also know that the healing process is much longer than tattoos on other parts of the body. However, maintaining the ink color and design is not a complicated process if you know about the basics of tattoo aftercare

Choose the Appropriate Ink Color and Design 

To avoid distorted appearances, some painters choose to match ink colors to the hues of each follicle. Black ink tattoos are popular among dark hair since the artwork looks like an extension of their physique. Darker ink hues may conceal freckles or other physical skin flaws. If you have lighter skin tones, you may choose to go with softer hues. On the other hand, blonde body hair can negatively contrast against a black ink tattoo, which some individuals may not like. In this situation, playing with contrasts may be a lot more fun.

Furthermore, double-check if the design is appropriate for the body part where it shall be inked. Arms and legs with thick hair can show off a different appearance than expected. The body hair feature might impact the artwork placement because there are more follicles on the top section of each arm.

No one should be discouraged from having a tattoo due to the color or type of their body hair. However, it would be more beneficial to consider the desired style once the hair has grown back. The practical example presented here is a man getting a tattoo of Angelina Jolie’s face on his arm, but the hair grows out to make it appear as though she has a beard. And no one wants to have an epic fail out of tattoos since they are permanent on the skin.

Manage Your Expectations

Before getting a tattoo on your hairy arms and legs, you have to set your expectations first. It does not matter where you would like your ink tattooed; the tattoo artist will either shave the area for you before they begin tattooing or ask you to shave the area before your appointment. It should be done first with hairy body parts because if the tattoo artist does not shave the region before applying the tattoo stencil, the tattoo stencil may not stay or mark as effectively to the skin as it should. The tattoo stencil may also be partially stuck on the skin. If this occurs, the tattoo artist will have to reapply the stencil several times, making the procedure longer and more complex.

When your tattoo is done, your hair will begin to regrow naturally over the next several weeks until the tattoo heals. Since this is a natural body process, growing hair will not harm your new tattoo. However, the appearance may be affected, and it is dependent on the density and thickness of hair that develops in that area. If you have thin, light hair (particularly blonde), it will not affect the look of your tattoo. However, if your hair is thick and black, it may somehow cause changes in the final appearance. 

Also, the appearance of the tattoo design may improve over time. How it looks on the first day of getting the tattoo may look different from how it will look in the following months. The healing process may also involve itching and scabbing. You have to control yourself from scratching that part because friction is the very first no-no of tattoos; you may use antibiotic ointments instead.

Know the Effects of Ink on Different Body Parts

Before finally deciding on a tattoo design, ask your tattoo artist if the body part is ideal for getting inked with your chosen design. The hair on your arms and thighs may be a lot thicker than the hair on calves. The hair may affect the appearance and readability of your tattoo; your dog’s face tattooed on your thigh may look like a bearded lion after your hair regrows, for example. 

Take Care of Your Tattoo

Tattoo Body Hair

The steps of tattoo aftercare for hairy body parts do not differ much from tattoo aftercare steps when there is less body hair. The only difference you should consider doing is shaving the hair to make the appearance more noticeable and vibrant.

    • Do not undergo laser hair removal if your hair grows back because the laser can adversely impact your tattoo. Other options include shaving, waxing, using depilatory cream, or electrolysis.
    • Keep your tattoo clean and moisturized using mild soaps and moisturizers. The process helps speed up the recovery and healing time, and moisturizers can also restore the tattoo’s vibrancy and luster. Avoid swimming and taking long, warm baths since it can also lighten the ink faster; just use the shower.
    • Protect your tattoo from the harmful ultraviolet rays by applying sunscreen or sunblock at least three to four times a day, especially during summertime.
    • Loose clothing can also help heal your tattoos better and quicker.