The latest and possibly greatest tattoo trend is pretty and delicate—just perfect for the woman who loves a tiny tatt. Fans are taking to Instagram to show off their dainty helix tattoos, which are inked on the ear’s outer curve. These minimalist designs are the latest in ear art, and they are fast catching up in popularity with those lovely inner ear tattoos we’ve been crushing on for the past couple of years.
Seoul-based tattoo artist Zihee has been a key figure in popularizing helix tattoos that feature delicate, nature-inspired designs. Other artists working on the impossibly thin space on the side of the ear have come up with some awesome designs ranging from intricate florals and climbing vines to simple bands resembling earrings or piercings. Angular lines, graphics and polka dots are suited for women who don’t favor sweetness in their body adornments.
The helix tattoo is especially appealing to first-timers who want a subtle, understated introduction to body art. The discreet nature of the helix tattoo is part of the appeal for novices dipping into the body-ink pool. “It’s not found in an exposed part of the body which makes it an ideal first-time tattoo,” says Tattoo Artist Dalriada.
The upside is that you can hide ear tattoos with a simple sweep of hair over ear. The downside is that inking the ear, which is one of the most sensitive parts of the body, can be painful. “Because it’s such designed on such a delicate part of the body, it’s essential to choose a reputable and experienced artist who can deliver a high-level degree of care and attention,” says Dalriada.
Some who’ve gotten ear tattoos have said the pain is not too bad, but most say the noise was incredibly loud. It should come as no surprise that tattooing the ear can cause headaches, migraines, dizzy spells or temporary jaw lock. While your shiny new ear tattoo heals for the first couple of weeks, you should avoid getting any shampoo or other hair products on the area.
Be smart when you pick a studio. You’re going to drop some serious coin on this, so find a good one. Check out their Instagram or portfolio to see if you like their work. If they can’t show you samples, there is probably a reason. Think what you’ll go through to remove their tattoo If you don’t like the result. Make sure you can see the studio is clean when you walk in the door.
If going in for a helix tattoo or other ear art is so arduous, why are fans lining up outside tattoo studio doors? Well, when it comes to the fresh, new and adorable, apparently, we are all ears! Ask a friend to draw one on so you can try out the helix tattoo before you make a commitment if you feel a little dubious.
Some of the cutest tiny ear tattoos we’ve seen are here.